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By Sally Cowan, Keeping You In Stitches

"Shall we gather at the river...." The word "gather" is not new to any of you, but gathering, as in sewing, is an age old problem.

Sounds simple. You just put two rows of long stitches into the garment, pull and you have instant gathers. But this is not always true. The usual method is to sew a row of basting stitches 3/8 and 5/8 inches away from the edge. Then sew over the 5/8 inch row. Next time you gather, notice where most of the control area is. It is between these two rows, not at the 5/8 inch area.

So, to make perfect gathers, sew a row of basting stitches 4/8 and 6/8 inches from the edge and then you will sew on the 5/8 inch line to join the gathers to your garment. (notice diagram).


Remove the two rows and you will be left with a perfect row of gathers!

Naturally, use the longest stitch on the machine and sew from the right side. The two threads you pull are the bobbin threads which will be on the wrong side of the cloth. Pull them at the same time and push the cloth along the threads at the same time. Nothing is more upsetting than to have everything just about in place and the threads break. So push gently.

The next time you sing, "Shall We Gather At the River". . . you will know to stand 4/8 of an inch away from the shore!


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