Gathers are used to add volume and shaping to skirts, sleeves, and bodices. When they’re a featured element, it’s important to ensure they are evenly spaced and properly aligned. Threads Contributing Editor Susan Khalje shares tips for improving gathers; you’ll add an extra step or two, but the results are worth it.
Most gathering methods have sewers use a long stitch length: 4.0 mm or longer. Susan advises using the shortest stitch length you can, as the tighter stitches hold the gathers in place more securely. To determine how long the stitches should be, experiment with your fabric. Decrease the stitch length until it’s as short as possible but you can still smoothly pull the needle thread to gather the fabric.
Another important test to make is to decide on the gathering ratio. This depends on the look you want, the amount of fabric you have, and…
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