Gathering just about anything is one of my most dreaded parts of sewing. Not because it is difficult, but because it is tedious and time consuming. To avoid this I often turn to elastic. I love to gather things with elastic. It always comes out even and more importantly it saves time.
To gather with elastic :
- Cut a piece of 1/4 knit elastic to the width of your finished bodice- or area you are gathering to.
- Mark centers and quarters on both elastic and skirt- or what is being gathered. (you can mark 1/8th too if you have a larger item to gather)
- With a serger or zig-zag stitch sew the elastic to the fabric you are gathering while stretching your elastic to fit as you go.
- Be sure to use a Stretch needle 75/11 Most sergers can use these too. *Not sure what size needles you need? Learn more about needles here
- That is is.
Now that we have covered the basics of gathering with elastic here is another awesome trick for making cute elastic ruching. First you need to make sure your garment will be long enough once it has the ruching in. You can add length before you cut your pieces if needed. Here I will be adding my ruching to a tunic or dress length Juniper, from Halla Patterns . This pattern calls for fabric casing and draw strings to be made to get this look. I am going to bypass that with my elastic ruching instead. Since this pattern has the added length already drafted for me, I don’t need to add extra to accommodate my ruching. If the pattern you are using doesn’t have the added length, my rule is to double the area you want to gather.
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