Author Topic: How do I do a gather stitch using my sewing machine?  (Read 3763 times)

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Offline Emily

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How do I do a gather stitch using my sewing machine?
« on: October 29, 2011, 01:22:27 AM »
I've reached a new set back in the Amy butler Rain Jacket pattern I've been working on. The directions say to " sew two rows of gathering stitches; one at 1/8 and one at 3/8 from curved edge". This is to fit the sleeve.

How do I "gather" using my sewing machine? I tried doing this using a basting stitch but the thread wouldn't budge. I also tried using a normal straight stitch. I'm using a pfaff 2140 updated to 2170. I also have the 7570.

I sure hope someone can help me tonight:)

Offline BeeBee

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Re: How do I do a gather stitch using my sewing machine?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2011, 02:15:47 AM »
Put in 2 rows of basting stitches at the distances specified.  Don't tack either end.  Then tie the 2 top threads together of one end of the stitching and gently pull the other end while holding the fabric in your other hand.  It should scrunch up or gather the fabric, pull them until your notches on the longer fabric match the notches on the shorter fabric.  then distribute the gathers evenly and tie off the other end. 

Offline SuziQz

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Re: How do I do a gather stitch using my sewing machine?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2011, 02:16:27 AM »
I use a regular straight stitch set to the longest length.  It sometimes helps to loosen the top tension just a little.  Then pull the bobbin thread to gather.  HTH

Offline Emily

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Re: How do I do a gather stitch using my sewing machine?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2011, 02:34:31 AM »
I'll try to loosen the tension. I did try basting and another with straight stitch and the threads won't budge no matter how much I tug and pull. I did not tie of the ends or anything. I don't know why it's not working unless the tension is too tight

Offline BeeBee

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Re: How do I do a gather stitch using my sewing machine?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2011, 02:39:53 AM »
The stitches should slide easily if you've used a basting stitch or even just a long stitch.  You can't hold the top or bottom thread and push the fabric back to make gathers?  I'm sorry, I really don't know what could be wrong, I often have a hard time pulling my basting off the machine without it gathering a little and having to smooth it back out.  I hope someone else comes along with a better suggestion, good luck.

Offline Emily

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Re: How do I do a gather stitch using my sewing machine?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2011, 02:41:50 AM »
Maybe I have the basting stitch tension set wrong. I am not sure. I'll try it with the 7570 in a little while. maybe that one will work better.

Online karent

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Re: How do I do a gather stitch using my sewing machine?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2011, 02:53:13 AM »
Are you sure it isn't the fabric?  You're making a rain jacket, correct?  If the fabric is stiff or unyielding, it may just be that the fabric doesn't want to slide.  If you don't have a lot of gathering to do, you could try this:  set the stitch length long, just like you are going to baste.  When you sew the "easing/gathering" stitches, put your finger up against the fabric and kind of hold it against the foot while it sews.  That may cause just enough pull on the bobbin thread to ease the sleeve head and make it fit.  Of course, if you need to do a good bit of gathering, that won't work.  If that is the case, and your fabric is still not going to give, try this:  take a length of buttonhole twist or other heavy thread, if you have some, the length of the gathering edge plus extra enough to grab onto at each end.  Hold it over the lines you are supposed to put your gathering rows, and then using a narrow zigzag, zigzag over it so that the zigzag stitches make something of a casing.  Be slow and careful to not spear your heavy length of thread (so it is free in that little tunnel.)  Then you can pull the heavy thread, and it will gather.  Of course, I would test this first on a scrap of your fabric, as what I'm seeing in my mind's eye may not work with what you are using.  Good luck.  K

Offline Loomchick

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Re: How do I do a gather stitch using my sewing machine?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2011, 07:16:31 PM »
take a length of buttonhole twist or other heavy thread, if you have some, the length of the gathering edge plus extra enough to grab onto at each end.  Hold it over the lines you are supposed to put your gathering rows, and then using a narrow zigzag, zigzag over it so that the zigzag stitches make something of a casing.  Be slow and careful to not spear your heavy length of thread (so it is free in that little tunnel.)  Then you can pull the heavy thread, and it will gather.  Of course, I would test this first on a scrap of your fabric, as what I'm seeing in my mind's eye may not work with what you are using.  Good luck.  K

I do the same thing . . . except I usually do a narrow zigzag stitch over a length of embroidery floss . . . and after I sew the pieces together, I can remove the embroidery floss. 
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Offline Emily

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Re: How do I do a gather stitch using my sewing machine?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2011, 10:02:49 AM »
an update. I managed to get the lining sleeves done. I haven't done the laminated sleeves yet. I'm going to be working on the jacket tomorrow. My daughter is po'd that it's not done yet so I have to get moving.

Karent I will try your instructions with the laminate sleeves. the issue was too much tension though.

Offline DeniseM

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Re: How do I do a gather stitch using my sewing machine?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2011, 02:00:17 PM »
You can also try the good old fashioned way of hand basting. Wax and iron your thread and it should move more smoothly. Just a suggestion.

Offline LauraM

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Re: How do I do a gather stitch using my sewing machine?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2011, 12:28:53 AM »
Emily,  I just saw your post now, so I hope I"m not too late........... I see you have a Pfaff 7570.............this works on this model and any model that has the IDT.

Set your straight stitch length to the longest stitch length it will go..........set your upper tension to 9 (the highest it will go) and DIS-engage your IDT.  Sew away.  It will make the best gathers without a gathering foot.  The thinner the fabric the more it will "gather".
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