Threads Logo Threads Logo Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon

Reader Tip: Gather with Clear Elastic

Threads #190, April/May 2017
Article Image

This reader-submitted tip was originally featured in Threads #190, April/May 2017. Watch a video showing this easy method.

I devised a gathering technique that produces the most even results I’ve ever gotten. With a wide and long zigzag, I stitch within the seam allowance. I let the stitch’s left swing land on the seamline.

Then I thread a blunt, large-eyed sewing or tapestry needle with 1⁄8-inch-wide clear elastic (available at or; a similar product used in fly-tying, Hareline Scud Back, is available in several colors at I run the elastic under the zigzag stitching. When I reach the end, I remove the needle, leaving a 1-inch tail of elastic, and machine-stitch it down. Then I pull the other end until the fabric is sufficiently gathered. I machine-stitch the elastic end and cut off the excess (there’s often enough left for another project). The gathers are perfectly distributed without bulk.

—Claudia Utley, Little Rock, Arkansas

Submit your tip

At Threads magazine, we’re always in search of smart tips, tricks, and solutions to help you sew smarter, better, and faster. Send us your great ideas for a chance to be featured in the magazine’s Tips department.

Tips can be emailed directly to Threads or mailed to Threads Tips, PO Box 5506, Newtown, CT 06470.

We pay for any tips published in our magazine.

Sign up for the Threads eletter

Get the latest including tips, techniques and special offers straight to your inbox.

Sign Up

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Subscribe to Threads today

Save up to 37% and get a free gift



  1. User avater Degarots March 17th

    Good Work!
    This is exactly what I needed. This technique is good for designer clothing

  2. User avater Dominikafanya May 25th

    I live stitching & I will try this technique next time!

  3. User avater JasmeenSandle November 6th

    Love it... crazy style

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

More From Threads

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


  • Sign up for the Threads eletter

    Get the latest including tips, techniques and special offers straight to your inbox.

    Sign Up
  • SewStylish


    Take a look inside the pages of SewStylish Spring 2017.

  • CraftStylish


    Expert craft tutorials, news, and tips for sewing, knitting, crochet, quilting, paper crafts, embroidery, jewelry making, and more!