Create gathers quickly, easily and evenly with the Janome Gathering foot

For those who’ve been sewing garments for a number of years, do you remember seeing the following directions? “Sew two parallel rows of long basting stitches, then carefully pull the threads while adjusting the fabric to create even gathers.” Did you cringe, as I did, at the thought of doing that tedious, but necessary step? And, what happened when the thread broke, as it inevitably did for me? Panic! As an alternative, I also tried a zigzag stitch over dental floss, string, or any strong cord, then pulled the dental floss to gather up the fabric. It worked ok, but felt there must be an easier way!

Well, forget all that! Enter the Janome Gathering Foot (V) to speed-up and simplify the process!

Janome Gathering Foot.

The engineering of the Janome Gathering Foot is quite unique; simple, but sew effective. The bottom of the presser foot is thicker at the front to produce more pressure on the fabric while it feeds under the foot. The back part of the foot is not as thick, so the gathers have room to form between the stitches. Density is controlled by varying the stitch length; a longer stitch will create more gathers, as will increasing the needle thread tension. Full instructions are in the back of the blister pack.

Underside of the Janome Gathering Foot.

A little tip for creating more gathers is to put your finger behind the presser foot, preventing the fabric from feeding normally. This will produce dense gathers, as well. Release the fabric as it bunches up around the foot, then place your finger at the back again if you have a longer strip of fabric to gather. It’s sew much fun to play; try different weights of fabric; try different techniques to create the look you desire. Making samples is so important to learn any new presser foot, attachment or technique. “Failures” aren’t a bad thing if you learn from them!

The Janome Gathering Foot is a snap-on presser foot, so it’s important to know which machine type you have, referring to the size of the opening in the zigzag needle plate.

  • 9mm machines will take Part Number #202096005.
  • 7mm & 5mm Top Loading machines will take Part Number #200315007
  • 5mm Front Loading machines will take Part Number #200124007

Our friends at Sew4Home have used the Janome Gathering Foot to create many of the projects on their website, and be sure to check out the Sew4Home section of the Inspire tab of Janome.CA, for more fun project ideas, as well!

Photo courtesy of Sew4Home.
Photo courtesy of Sew4Home

Just how much will the fabric gather? It depends on the weight of the fabric; lightweight cottons and sheer fabrics like organza, for example, will gather more readily than denim so you need to experiment. To gather thicker, more dense fabrics, you’ll have better results using the Janome Ruffler Foot. Stitch length and the needle tension will also influence how the fabric gathers, so it’s a good idea to cut a bunch of long strips and play with the different settings and record them so you can go back to reference what you did to achieve that look.

Math is not my strong suit, but lets say you start with a 10″ strip of fabric and it gathers down to 5″. You know that you will need to cut your fabric 20″, or twice as long as the finished length of your project. So, for a pillow which measures 60″ around the circumference, cutting the strip at 120″ will produce a very full, lush gathered edge. For me, personally, I just cut a strip longer than I think I need and cut off the extra. Do whatever works best for you!

Experimenting is half the fun as it’s all part of the process, so have fun creating those gathers quickly and easily with the Janome Gathering Foot!

Happy Sewing! 

About janomeman

As Janome Canada's National Consumer Education Manager, I'm SEW excited to share my love of sewing, quilting and all things creative with everyone at our fabulous new Janome Sewing and Learning Centre in Oakville, ON. Have an idea for a class, or to be put onto our mailing list, E-mail me at
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2 Responses to Create gathers quickly, easily and evenly with the Janome Gathering foot

  1. Reena Kaplowitz says:

    Where can I get answers regarding my 9450 skipping stitches during FMQ? it will be perfectly fine for the longest time then suddenly skip then fine again with no rhyme or reason for the skipping. very frustrating.


    • janomeman says:

      HI Reena, You have lots of resources available to you, starting with your Instruction Manual. Page 102, for examples shares tips for Free Motion Quilting, including using a Janome Purple Tip sz 14 needle. That alone, switching to a Janome Purple Tip needle, is often the magic fix for eliminating skipped stitches. Another great resources for information is right here on the Janome Life blog! Use the Search box to find all the posts related to whatever the subject, in this case, Skipped Stitches. The first blogs to come up is a 3-part series I wrote on tips to avoid and eliminate skipped stitches You Tube is another useful resource, specifically our Janome Canada Artisan, Kim Jamieson Hirst of ChatterBox Quilts. Kim has a Free Motion Quilting playlist on her Chatterbox Quilts You Tube channel, which includes videos specifically on the MC9450, but you might find all the videos in the series helpful, or, at the very least, entertaining. Lastly, but certainly not least, your Janome Dealer and/or authorized Janome service technician is another good resource for information and for troubleshooting. I hope these suggestions help! Happy Sewing!


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