We have pointed you in the direction of a very useful and beautifully presented website many times: http://www.sew4home.com. We will do this again today. There is a very good tutorial on sewing gathers by machine which covers many different gathering techniques. Some you may have tried …….indeed you may have used a technique successfully for many years. However there is more than 1 way to gather by machine so let Liz Johnson of sew4home show you.
I specifically wanted to highlight the Janome Gathering foot V today as a viable alternative to fussing around with long rows of basting stitches. True – we have done that many times but it can be frustrating fiddle to ensure the threads don’t snap and that the gathers are even across the fabric. So here is a great alternative. Please note that this link gives good information including parts #’s for this foot for various Janome models as well as short video’s on how to use this foot.
Please read the blister package instructions for using this foot: To be successful, we highly recommend you use a stitch length of 3mm or longer and that you tighten the needle thread tension a little. The amount of gathers will be determined by the stitch length you opt for + the tension on the thread. More length and tension >>>more gathers. But the really clever design of this foot (see pic below) is what achieves gathers forming as it slows the feeding of the fabric against the feed dogs. In addition you can put your finger gently behind the foot to further slow down the fabric feeding and more gathers will form.
We suggest you do a test stitch to establish how much gathers you require. Experiment with stitch length, tension and the pressure of your finger behind the foot until you achieve the look you desire. Make a note of the settings for future use if you wish.
Do remember that different fabrics will gather differently. For example a soft chiffon is going to gather very well so stitch length and tension need not be too big. Denim or corduroy will be something else entirely!
A question I am often asked when I demo this foot is: How do I know how much fabric I need to gather a frill around a pillow? Fair question. The quick, easy answer is just to make more frill than you need and cut off what you don’t require. But some of us don’t like waste so here is my suggestion: when you have established your gathering “formula” as described above, measure the length of the fabric you started with and the gathered end result. This will give you a ratio to work with which you can then apply to your specific measurements. I will let you do the math!
Delightful projects courtesy of sew4home using gathers & ruffles:
Do you struggle with gathering fabric? Is it a frustrating hassle? Then we would like to suggest you ask your local authorized Janome dealer to show you the Gathering foot for your Janome machine today.