Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gathering a Neckline

Sorry for the lack of posts recently - I will get better I promise! Had a very busy schedule in the last couple of weeks. So anyway here goes....

I don't know about you but personally I always used to avoid patterns and designs with gathers because I was never really sure on how you achieve that even but random gathered look. If that makes sense! So in this post I will go through the technique I use to gather the neckline on my 1940's dress. I hope you find it useful.


- the fabric piece your gathering
- the corresponding fabric piece
- scissors
- sewing machine
- thread
- measuring tape

STEP 1: Work out where you need the gather to be. In this case I will be gathering the lower edge of bottom front panel between the two notches. Measure between the two notches and write this down.

STEP 2: Find the piece that the gathered edge will be joined. In my case this is between the two notches on the top front panel. Measure between the two notches and write this down.

STEP 3: Set your sewing machine to the longest straight stitch, usually this is 5mm. Sew from notch to notch on the piece to be gathered roughly 1/8" in from the seam allowance.

STEP 4: Knot the threads at one end of the sewed edge. Then get your tape measure putting it at the knotted end. Start to pull on the free bobbin thread and push all the gathers to the knotted end. Do this until the length of the gathers reaches that of the measurement you wrote down earlier from the corresponding pattern piece.

STEP 5: Even out the gathers as much as possible. Sew another line with a 2.5mm stitch length just above the line of the gathers. Get as close as possible or you can even sew directly over the gathering stitches.

Sorry about the blurry close up! 

STEP 6: Fold the gathered piece in half so you can put a pin in the center. This makes it much easier to sew in the right place. Mark the center of the corresponding piece using the same method. (I actually serged my edge at this point, but if your using another method to finish the seam then you don't need to do this).

STEP 7: Sew the pieces together making sure the center pins and notches align. And here is my finished gathered edge. This is before I ironed the seam to make it flatter.

And that's it my method complete!

Here is a photo of the completed front bodice.

Did you find this tutorial useful? Would you do anything differently? All comments are welcome! Stay tuned for my tutorial on how to insert an invisible zipper.... 

Happy blogging! 

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