Neefer Sews, Crochets, Crafts, Swims, and Blathers about Kids

Acorns to Oaktrees

June 24th, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Gathering with the serger

in: Sewing

I don’t know about you, but I hate gathering by machine. My gathers never come out even. I always break the threads when I try to pull them. When I try to zigzag over floss or a thread, I always catch the thread.

It’s so bad that I’ve given up gathering with the sewing machine. I have a ruffler foot, and if I need to gather a lot of yardage, I use the ruffler. I do a test, then I cut a strip that will be longer than needed once ruffled, ruffle the strip or yardage, and cut off the excess.

1. Gathered & Ungathered
2. Gathered & Ungathered

However, sometimes, I have to gather a short section. I’ve found that the serger is great for this. I use a standard 4 thread with the differential feed set to 2 on my Elna. That’s the maximum for gathering. There is a gathering foot, but I don’t have it. I tie a knot on one end, usually the end with the longer thread tail. This prevents you from pulling the needle threads completely out, and it will stabilize your piece at fixed length if you knot the other end, too.

3. Serge the fabric to be gathered.
They are still Gathered & Ungathered.
4. Tie a knot on one end.

5. Pull the needle threads

Be sure to pull a needle thread; needle threads are, depending on how you cut your thread tail, usually the shorter threads in the tail. If you pull a looper thread, you will pretty much immediately get a knot. I usually pull one thread a bit, then pull the other. I check my length as I go, and when the piece gets down to the required length, I stop pulling and knot the thread tail.

6. Both pieces gathered,
but one is very uneven
7. Even gathers.

As you can see in Figure 6., the gathers are not even. It’s very easy to spread the gathers out over the serger needle threads. Be sure that the piece is knotted at both ends. If you don’t, you will (probably) have difficulty maintaining the length of the gathers.

8. Close up of knot.

Category: Sewing Tags: , ,

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  • 1

    Great tutorial – thanks for the help….. could I mention it would be easier to see if you had used a plain light fabric…..

    Guess if you threaded the needles (or just one perhaps) in a different colour you would know which thread to pull…..

    Too much thinking going on here and it is still breakfastime for me…. VBG :restless:

    Bryden on September 2nd, 2008
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