Friday, June 26, 2009

Quick Tip: Getting Even Gathers

Ever have problems with the gathers on the front of a dress or on the top of a sleeve being bunched up all unevenly?

Mom taught me this little trick years ago, and it really helps. First sew your basting lines as the pattern directs and then gently tug your bobbin threads to pull up your gathers. Pull up the gathers till your piece is about the length it needs to be. Match up and pin the ends, the center, and any notches your pattern has.

Next, take a spare pin and use it like a guitar pick, running the end over the gathers between each pinned section. This will even up your gathers just like that!

Add more pins to keep the gathers in place and take it to your sewing machine. Sew as directed by your pattern. I keep a spare pin in hand and continue to run it over my gathers from pin to pin to as I sew.

Finished! Nice even gathers. Now go try it on your next project!



  1. What a great tip! I'll have to try that!

  2. AnonymousJune 26, 2009

    Wow - great tip. I'm forever fiddling with mine, so I need all the help I can get! Thanks :)

  3. Awesome tip!! I mess with mine constantly. I can't wait to try this - wait, I just cut out an apron - here goes!

  4. Great tip! I hate trying to keep all my gathers even; this should help!

  5. to go along with this, I usually tie the two gathering threads together (the ones that I pulled) on each end so that the gathers will stay put while I'm pinning and sewing. What I really need now is a little granddaughter to sew for :)

  6. Thanks for this wonderful tip !

  7. Thank you for this awesome tip. I've never heard this, but I will use it for now on. Please share any other tips you have. I'm always looking to improve and speed up my sewing.

  8. I've read about this in a turn-of-the-century book on school needlework (!). It's called "stroking", but descriptions have always confused me. Do you run the pin up and down, parallel with the gathers, or across the gathers, along the seam line?

  9. Thanks so much! This is so helpful!