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Gather fabric NOTHING

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Can you gather


You can always gather on a sewing machine, no matter its age or model.

Usually, I like to set the upper tension looser so the upper thread shows on the bottom of the fabric. Set the straight stitch length to very long. Stitch two lines of stitching about 1/4" apart on the fabric.

how to gather fabric

How to Gather basic sewing tutorial

How to Gather Fabric Sewing Machine

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Apr 29, 2016 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Can I watch a video on how to fix a singer sewing machines that gathers fabric?


Most common faults for material gathering is either tension too tight for thin fabric or there may be a slight burr on the needle

Sep 30, 2013 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

When i do gathers on my machine i use the largest sticth,but the gathers r hard to pull. y/


Stitch length of 4, loosen your top tension by half a number and always pull up the bobbin threads.

If you need to gather yards of fabric then get a gathering foot. Janome make one - it looks like this
10_24_2011_6_57_47_am.jpg

This foot is for creating soft gathers in lightweight fabrics. The underside of the foot is raised behind the needle and has a thick bar in front of the needle to gather the fabric. This works great to create the gathers as you sew. You can also gather and attach a ruffle onto a flat piece of fabric simultaneously, run the flat fabric through the top groove of the foot and the underneath fabric is gathered and stitched to the top piece, you need to keep the bottom piece feeding smoothly though so it takes practice to guide it evenly. Once mastered it is great to ruffle on valances and cushion frills.

Other option is use a ruffler foot, these will make a little ruffle every 12, 6 or 1 stitch so give a set result, and to obtain a more dramatic gather. They look like this.
10_24_2011_7_04_39_am.jpg

The arm of the foot with a C'shape sits over the needle bar of the machine so it is moved up and down to activate the device. The little blade at the front moves backwards at regular intervals forcing a "tuck" of fabric into the feed to be stitched. Again you can ruffle and stitch to straight fabric at once but it is an art to master.

The weight of the fabric you are gathering is obviously the key variable, ginghams and poplins are lightweight so gather easily but if you need to gather something heavy like cordoroy it is going to be a battle and threads may break. If so, stitch two lines of gathers and don't try to do long runs, you'll just break a thread and have to start over.

Another good way is to zig zag over a length of perle cotton, taking care not to actually stitch the pearle at all. You can then gather up the fabric along it, this works well for heavier weights.

Oct 22, 2011 | Janome Memory Craft 9000 Computerized...

1 Answer

I have the singer 7442 and i cannot figure out how to get the baste stitch for gathering material on a flower girls dress. I've tried everything and there's nothing in the manual, can you help with this?...


Normally to gather fabric, you select the regular straight stitch, turn the stitch length up to maximum (4 or 5 usually), and stitch two rows of stitches, one at 10mm from edge and one at 20mm from edge.

Then gather by pulling the bobbin threads (underneath ones) from each end to gather the fabric. If doing lengths of more than 1 metre, then stop, leave long thread tails, and start a fresh length of gathering threads to avoid gathering long lengths of thread which might break on you.

If your machine has a basting stitch it might look like " .___.___.___" on the dial however, I've never been that happy with machine basting for things like attaching slippery fabric to underlining, I've always done it with needle and thread to keep the two layers matching and not stretching/slipping. For example, stitching a piece of chiffon to a underlayer of satin, even pinning carefully, these two fabrics will slip under the machine foot so I'd always do it by hand.

If you have masses of fabric to gather, sometimes what is quicker is doing a large wide zig zag over a length of perle cotton (heavier than thread) at the 15mm seam, don't let the needle pierce the cotton though. Then you can gather the fabric along the perle cotton.

Sewing machine instruction manual often assumes a knowledge of sewing techniques that you may not yet have. I have the Vogue Book of Sewing on my shelf and refer to it often. Or Singer do a good range of sewing books too, its worth investing in a good reference book.

I also love www.patternreview.com, this is such an awesome website for dressmakers/sewing enthusiasts and you will find loads of helpful tips here.

Hope this helps you a little.

Apr 16, 2011 | Singer 7422

1 Answer

I'm having trouble gathering fabric...no matter how I adjust the stitch length it seems to be too tight and I break the threads when I try to gather. Help!


So you are sewing two rows of straight stitch at 10mm and 20mm from fabric edge with a stitch length of 4? Are you using good quality thread? I like Molynecke, Guttermann or Sylko Supreme.

Try loosening the top and bottom tension too, and use a gathering foot if you have one.

A quick solution is to zig-zag over a length of pearl cotton or similar heavy weight string/thread, this works well for large volumes of gathers such as around a bed valance frill.

For large volume gathering like cushions and bed frills, I use a pleater/ruffler attachment, however, this has only 3 settings so isn't a variable gathering effect.

Apr 04, 2011 | Necchi 3537 Mechanical Sewing Machine

2 Answers

I cannot find instructions on how to gather/ruffle with my imagine wave babylock overlocker, please help.I need to know what settings and how many threads to use etc.


I do not have the Wave, but in the manual for my Imagine, on page 17, it states:

"at the maximum setting of 2.0 the differential feed can gather lightweight fabric to nearly double fullness.

To maximize the gathering effects, use the longest stitch length setting."

There is no indication as to the number of threads to use, but in the picture, it appears to be four.

I would use scraps of the same fabric to be ruffled and test this technique until I achieved the preferred look.

Feb 25, 2010 | Baby Lock Imagine

1 Answer

Thread jams


Hi! I've had this happen to me many times and it is so very frustrating! First, take the bobbin out and also the bobbin assembly and clean the entire area of all lint, fuzz, little bits of thread....get it as clean as you can. Take out the upper thread too. Clean and oil. Change the needle. Make sure you're using the appropriate size and type of needle and thread for the fabric. Take off the needle plate and look for any nicks or scratches. If you've got them, you can get emery cloth from a good hardware store (often in the plumbing department) and polish them out (or mostly out).

Rethread the machine, carefully following the instruction manual. Use your basic, normal settings. Using a scrap of the fabric you're trying to gather, sew a seam and see if everything works ok. You may need to hold the top and bobbin thread firmly behind the needle as you sew the first few stitches (I find this little trick helps a lot to prevent birdsnests).

To gather, sew three parallel lines of long, basting stitches (you really don't need a special foot or special settings other than to make the stitch a long one). Don't backstitch, reverse, or lockstitch either end, and leave the thread long when you cut it. Pull the three bobbin threads and the fabric with gather nicely along them.

Something to keep in mind--if you're trying to gather very sheer fabric on a zigzag machine, you may need to replace the throat plate with the zigzag hole for a throat plate with a single, small hole for a straight stitch. I've run into this situation before, and ended up using one of my antique straight-stitch only machines to do the gathering.

If you don't have a throat plate with the single hole, you might try some light weight interfacing to give some density to the sheet fabric.


Hope this helps!

Jan 31, 2010 | Euro-Pro Sewing Machines

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