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“Whether trying gather fabric for a clothing item, a curtain, or some other sewing project, it can get quite time-consuming and frustrating. Wasting time is never a good option. Is there any easy way to gather fabric that doesn’t require a Ph.D.?
Emi of the YouTube channel Hectanooga1 provides many simple tutorials on her channel. She covers topics like crocheting, knitting, crafting, and cooking. Her hack for gathering fabric easily and quickly is one of the best out there, and more than likely you’ve been doing it all wrong.
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The secret “ingredient” that Emi introduces is a long piece of yarn or even twine. (It needs to be thicker than regular thread.) Along the edge of the fabric to be gathered or pleated, sew the yarn onto the fabric’s backside using a loose zig zag stitch. The key here is to make sure the stitch is wide enough so it doesn’t sew into your piece of yarn.
Once you’ve sewn the piece of yarn into the entire length of your fabric edge, put a straight pin into one of the ends and wrap the yarn end around it several times. Insert it perpendicular to your yarn. This is just to keep the yarn from slipping out during the next step.
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From the opposite end, all you have to do now is start gently pulling on the free end of the piece of yarn. The fabric will start to gather right away. Based on how much fabric you have, you may need to smooth it along as you go.
All you have left to do is sew it onto you project. How easy was that? If your project allows, it’s probably best to sew down the gathered fabric and remove the piece of yarn. Be sure to sew it in place first; you don’t want to lose the pretty pleats you just made.
This method is so easy, even a beginner can do it. The applications are nearly endless – skirts, gathered kitchen towels, curtains, etc. No more frustrating time spent struggling getting the perfect gather to your fabrics.”