How to gather a skirt?

by - 22:15

Gathering fabric is the easiest way to get a nice fluffy skirt. You won't need any patterns, and you can use as much fabric as you've got without worrying that you have less than the pattern requires (a common situation for full circle skirts). How to gather fabric in a proper way?

I'm totally in love with circle skirts and most of the times I'd buy enough fabric to sew it. But sometimes I buy, let's say, 1.5 meters of material, which isn't enough for a proper circle skirt and a nice top. That way I'd just gather my skirt. It's quite easy and I've tried all the possible ways of doing it. So what are the ways?

1) Gathering by hand.

The most time-consuming way. It's also not a good one if you aren't sure in your ability to make stitches of exactly the same size.

Start hand stitching about 5 mm above your seam line, and 5 mm below it. 

Now knot the ends of the threads at one side and gather your skirt.

2) Gathering by a sewing machine.

The most popular and quickest way, as well as my favorite one. All you need to do is to choose the longest and loosest stitch. Leave long lengths of thread and start stitching 1 cm above, and then 1 cm below your seam line. 

It should be done on the right side of your fabric. Don't forget to leave long tails of threads at the end!

Now you can start gathering. Do it carefully, you don't want to break the thread.

3) Gathering with elastic tread.

One of the cheating ways. You can use either the elastic tape or elastic thread. As for the thread, all you need to do is to thread your bobbin with it, the top thread should be your regular one. Choose the longest and loosest stitch and start stitching in a regular way on the right side of your fabric. That's an easy way but be careful with it: for some strange reason it may break your machine. So if you hear that your machine makes too much noise while sewing with the elastic thread, it's better to choose another way of gathering.

Otherwise you can just choose a wide zigzag stitch. Place your elastic thread on the right side of a fabric, but don't stitch it, zigzag should only make a channel for the thread. This way is also suitable for the elastic tape.

Do you gather fabric? Which way do you usually use?

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  1. AWESOME tips!! Thanks for sharing. I recently tried the tip# 2 (gathering by a sewing machine) few weeks ago while sewing dresses for my daughters and man-oh-man did it work like a charm!!! Now I'm addicit to gathering with the machine hahah.. Thanks for sharing this! Saw this on IG @IAmLadyJays