Gather fabric is a beautiful technique, but it is also time-consuming. In this article, you will learn how to gather fabric with the easiest and fastest technique.
Whether you need a princess tulle skirt for your little girl or you had a party and decided to look fabulous with a skirt made by yourself, I just know it.
Now you will be able to gather all your fabrics in fast mode.
Any kind of fabric!!
>>NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase using one of the links in this article, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you (To know more about this click here.)<<
At least, once in your life you have been in the position to gather, gather, and gather. Maybe you are making a ballet tutú for a Halloween Costume. Or you might be, like me, sewing a super full petticoat.
After a while, you can only think if there could be an easier way to do all this.
What a pain!!!
But don’t get me wrong…
Gathered fabric is beautiful.
I know this better than anyone. It is a fantastic and very feminine detail for any type of garment.
Whether it’s blouses, skirt dresses, it’s something we absolutely love.
But the truth is, that doing the action to gather itself, is not as fun or easy as the end result is …
But luckily for all of us, I recently had the wedding of my best friend and I got a good amount of gather tulle (I’m talking about +40 yards of strips panels).
Learn this too: How to sew a zipper. 3 ways + Free Bonus Pattern.
The smile you see in this picture is staged. I was really on the border of collapsing due to the big amount of fabric I have left to gather laying on my floor.
I love to be efficient with my time. This is why when I encounter a difficult task I always try to look for alternatives to improve my productivity.
This made me rethink many times the usual techniques of pleating and gathering. Finally, I found a quick and effective technique for any fabric.
Do you want to know what it is? Keep reading.
It turns out that my best friend celebrated the happiest day of her life this past October 6.
So, as the wonderful best friend I am, I offered a gift for her wedding: the wedding dress.
I will not lie … This is definitely the most complex design and project I have made to this day.
And one of the most difficult things was to gather the huge amount of fabric strips for the mermaid tail and for the petticoat on the inside of her dress which made it a very beautiful volume.
So I needed to make about 40 yards worth of gathered strips like the ones you can appreciate here.
So, as I was sewing my strips of gathered fabric, I turned to the floor only yo find the rest of that yards that I was yet to finish.
I began to test the different sewing techniques I knew to do this…
But it turns out that in reality none were faster than the other.
So I decided to try something new.
How to Gather Fabric. The actual quickest technique:
What I did was to take my seam ripper sharpest point and as the fabric was fed with the machine I began to push the fabric that was on my side towards the foot of the machine, forcing, in this way that a fold was made in it.
The best part is that this seam ripper has a hidden secret… The silicone end is great to “erase” loosen threads from your fabric!!
This is definitely one of my favorite Beautiful Sewing Notions that I totally recommend to anyone who asks.
But back to the gathering…
The fast and lazy gathering technique in action.
(Here is the written explanation but you can also watch it on video at the end of this post.)
Is really easy.
Start at the beginning of your fabric and make a backstitch approximately 1/4″ from the edge of the fabric. If you want to have greater space to be safe do it at 3/8″ or 1/2″.
Basically what you do is guide the edge of the fabric with your left hand and start to sew a straight line. Just sew a couple of stitches.
Then with your right hand and the help of the pointy end of the seam ripper, you are going to start pushing small amounts of fabric towards the feed.
Don’t apply too much pressure. Just enough to push that area of the fabric through the feeding.
This will create small “pleats” or gathers, and you can control the size of them by pushing the fabric nearer or farther from the foot.
Just after the pleat gets “trapped” by the sewing machine’s foot you are going to take away the seam reaper.
Is always better safe than sorry. Pull it out just before it gets trapped under the foot because this could cause an ugly accident.
And that is all about it. Repeat this technique until you are done with your gathering.
As a tip, try to measure the same distance each time you push the fabric in so the gathers are more-less balanced.
If you are finding this technique some sort of confusing I also made a quick video tutorial so you can just sit and watch.
Check this video tutorial to see the technique:
Click to play
ISN’T THAT THE EASIEST AND FASTEST WAY TO GATHER??
I hope this works for your future projects with pleats and gathers.
If you have tried this technique at home please let me know in the comments how it went!!
- How to make bias tape. Easy and without a maker.
- Best Sewing Books for Beginners and Improvers.
- Sewing Machine Tension: Master it once for all.
- How to sew a Button Quick and Easy. Step by Step Tutorial.
- 10 Steps to the Perfect Sewing Room Plan
1. Back Stitch.
Set your stitch length to the longer setting.
Place your fabric under the presser foot and make a backstitch.
2. Apply Pressure.
Start sewing while you use the seam ripper to apply slight pressure to the fabric.
3. Push Forward.
Use the seam ripper to push the fabric through the presser foot so the gathers can start forming.
Take out the seam ripper to avoid it getting caught under the presser foot. Repeat as many times as needed.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.