Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Quick Tip: Keeping Gathers from Loosening and Falling Out

Last week I shared about getting your gathers even, but I forgot to take a picture of my other gathering to keep the gathers from loosening up and coming undone at the ends of your piece.

So you've pulled your basting thread up and pinned your gathers in place. One of the comments in my last post suggested tying the two threads together to keep the gathers from falling out, and that works really well too, but here's what I do, and it's even faster then tying the threads together.

Put a pin right at the end of your row of gathers and then take the long threads you pulled to create the gathers and wind them around the pin in a figure 8 pattern. Go around a few times to secure it.

Then, push the pin head down onto the threads wound around it and wala! Your gathers will stay in place. It's also easy to unwind and re-adjust if you find you need them looser or tighter as you continue to even the gathers out.

These particular gathers were on the ruffly sleeves of this vintage 1970s pattern.

I decorated the front with orange rick-rack from my garage sale stash.

The fabric is a vintage linen type material that also came from a garage sale. There was just enough to make this top for Marie!



  1. That's a cute little top. :)

    I have always held my gathers in place that way. I put the pin in the seam allowance, so the extra thread isn't sewn down and hanging below the seam allowance.

  2. That's exactly how I do it, too.

    Love that top.

  3. Tammy, I really never thought about putting the pin sideways in the seam allowance...that would help! I usually just sew over my bunched up threads and then clip them off afterwards!

  4. This top is just adorable!! This is the way I learned to do gathers too. I think I learned by watching my mom sew when I was a little girl. There are so many things I know just from watching. I can see her hands in my minds eye.

  5. That's how I do my gathers. Not sure where I learned that, but glad to know others do that.

    And I have this pattern! Made it for daughter 30 years ago! Time to pull it back out and make it for her daughter now!

  6. CUTE! I never find cool fabric like that at garage sales!

  7. wow, I do the sanme thing sort of...I wrap but not in figure 8, I'll try it next time. I also found a new tip in a mag that really works...use silk thread for gathering, it's soooo strong!

  8. Brilliant!! I posted a link to your tip on Craft Gossip Sewing: