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How To Gather Fabric

Add volume & fullness to your apparel & decors by gathering fabric. Click here to learn how to gather fabric and create ruffles, for your next sewing project!


Do you want to add more volume to your garments? Fabric gathering is a technique used in fashion design that adds fullness and volume to a garment, or even a project like curtains.

Whether you’re creating a skirt, dress, or even a simple top, adding gathers can elevate your design and give it a unique, delicate touch.

In this blog, we’ll go over how to gather fabric, a few tips, and projects that utilize gathering fabric for both beginner and professional sewists alike.

How To Gather Fabric By Hand

To gather fabric, you will need to set your sewing machine’s stitch length to its longest setting. This will create long, loose stitches that are easy to pull and gather the fabric.

Next, sew a row of stitching along the edge of the fabric that you want to gather. Then, sew a second row of stitching parallel to the first row, about 1/4 inch away. Once you have sewn both rows of stitching, gently pull on one of the strands of thread from the first row of stitching. This will cause the fabric to gather along the thread, creating a ruched or gathered effect.

Repeat this process for the second row of stitching, and then adjust the gathers to your desired fullness. To finish the gathers, stitch them into place.

How To Gather Fabric With A Sewing Machine

A sewing machine with a gathering foot attachment can make the process of gathering fabric much easier.

First remove the current presser foot and shank from your sewing machine and attach the gathering foot. Next set the machine to a straight stitch setting and adjust the seam allowance to create gathers.

It’s always recommended to test your adjusted settings on a piece of scrap fabric before working on any garments or décor. Once you are happy with the results, start gathering.

Fabric Gathering Tips & Tricks

Fabric Gathering Projects


Now, it’s time to put your newfound skills to the test. With these instructions, tips, and project guides, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of fabric gathering. Remember to take your time, be patient, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different fabrics and techniques. Happy gathering!

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