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Gathering Tutorial

Gathering Tutorial

DIY & Crafts, Holiday Decorating & Crafts, Tutorials, Upholstery & Sewing
With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming incredibly soon, I wanted to share my tips for a gathering tutorial. I love the look of gathering, especially to use for wall/door wreaths or to string along your Christmas tree. However, I don’t always love the procedure of gathering. With my luck, I always break a thread or 2 and have to start over! My wonderful mother showed me a much easier way to gather thicker fabric. For any of you planning on attempting this procedure for some holiday decor, you don’t have to be a sewing pro, but a sewing machine is helpful!

What You’ll Need:

  • a sewing machine
  • fabric (I used burlap)
  • thread
  • embroidery thread

Gathering Tutorial

1. First, I cut my burlap into strips.
2. Next, lay your fabric out and decide how you want your ruffle to look. I wanted my burlap to ruffle on both sides so I ran my embroidery thread down the middle of my strips. Make sure your embroidery thread is at least 6 inches longer than your fabric on both ends!
Sewing and Gathering tutorial


3. Adjust your machine to the Zig Zag setting. You want your zig zag to be as wide as possible.  Your stitch length shouldn’t be too long, but it doesn’t have to be really tight either.   You want to zig zag right over the top of the embroidery thread. DON’T catch your embroidery thread in your stitch or you will not be able to gather… or you’ll be spending a fun evening unpicking threads.


Sewing and Gathering tutorial

4. Once you have zig zagged over the length of your fabric you are going to HOLD the embroidery thread and begin pushing the fabric toward the center.  Make sure you don’t pull the embroidery thread through on the other end.

And here is what a gathered piece of burlap looks like!
Learn how to gather, gathering tutorial

Gathering is super cute hanging on a Christmas tree or combined with garland. Try out this gathering tutorial and create some amazing decorations!


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  1. Shabby chic Sandy
    December 13, 2012 at 3:22 am

    That is a great method!

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