Sometimes, the simplest techniques can produce the best results when working with sewing machines. Gathering is a great technique that is easier to do than you might think. If you use a Juki sewing machine like the Juki Exceed HZL F300 and need to make gathers, follow the four easy steps provided below.
1. Prepare Both Fabric and Machine
To make easy fabric gathers on your personal sewing machine, start by setting the machine to its longest stitch length, about a four, and lower the thread tension a bit. If you are working with lightweight or sheer fabric, a slightly shorter stitch is recommended to prevent gathers from being too loose.
Once the machine is set, make sure the thread tails from both the needle and bobbin thread are pulled out a little longer than normal behind the fabric under the needle. If necessary, mark the fabric where the gathers will begin and end to know how far to stitch.
2. Sew the Gathering Stitches
Working on the right side of the fabric, slowly make a first line of stitching with your Juki Exceed HZL F300. When that row is done, sew â -inch from the edge of the fabric just inside the seam allowance. If desired, sew a second line of stitches about â -inch from the second row. Do not backstitch at the beginning or the end of any of the lines of stitching.
If you are working with sheer fabric, be sure to stitch a third line. This will make the gathers lie flatter. Leave four or five inches of tails at both ends. Be sure to cut the ending tails manually with a pair of scissors.
3. Gather the Fabric
To gather the fabric, put a straight pin at one end of the rows of stitching and wrap the tails around it to secure them. Beginning with the top thread, gently pull it tighter so the fabric begins to bunch. Repeat this with the second (and third) thread, keeping all threads evenly pulled as you go along. The tighter you pull the threads, the more the fabric will gather.
Spread out the gathers evenly along the length of the thread lines. Remove the straight pin and tie off all four threads at both ends of the gathers to prevent them from loosening.
4. Stitch the Gathers
To secure the gathers, reset your Juki sewing machine to its normal thread tension and stitch length. Sew a row of normal stitches close to the gathering stitches. You can then go back and make the gathers even more secure by using a zigzag stitch over the bobbin stitch. This will also make the stitching look more attractive. For additional embellishment, try zigzagging over cord or thin ribbon. That's it, your gathers are finished.
The next time you use a sewing machine like the versatile Juki Exceed HZL F300 and the pattern calls for gathers, remember how easy it is to make them. Fabric gathering is just one of the basic techniques used on projects sewn on Juki sewing machines that can really show off your sewing skills!