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July 27, 2008



Thanks for the tip! I like to do the zig zag gather with dental floss instead of heavy thread.

Shelley Detton

wow, thanks for the tip on zigzag gathers - I have never heard of that one before. Is that a trick you came up with yourself? I can't wait to try it. In fact, I'll be a lot more likely to do a multi-layered skirt for Eliza now, as I have mostly avoided it up til now because it's not too fun to mess with the double layers. Thanks again!

sarah jane

wow! Even your demonstration is lovely! THank so much!!!


Love your tutorials. I've added this one to my favorites too! Thanks so much!


This is such useful information. Easy to understand and wonderful illustrations.


Nice tutorials! Do you know the gathering technique for sergers - that is all I use now for all of my gathering. I'm sure you do with all of your gathering on your outfits. :)

I would think that if you don't have Adobe Reader installed or had dial up it would be difficult to open them. You need a pdf reader, and the files are pretty big so it would take a while to download on a slower connection.

Sandi Henderson


I wouldn't say I came up with the zig zag method myself. It's a pretty popular method! I prefer the Straight gathering because it feels like I have more control, but sometimes you're working with too much and the zig zags make it easier!


Sandi Henderson


You know, I never use my serger for gathering! I like to have "ultimate" control and not all people have sergers, but feel free to leave a comment telling others how to do it!


Pink Sky

Sandi - your tutorials are wonderful, thank you so much for sharing them!

Folks may be having trouble with the tutorials because file size is very large, and some may not have the fast connection to download it or enough memory in their computer to see a file that size. You can optimize the file in Acrobat (the regular Acrobat, not the reader) by going to Advanced --> PDF Optimizer. The roses tutorial went from 8 MB to 300 K. The images may not be as sharp but if that means they can see it, that may work.


As you requested, Sandi...

In case anyone wants to know how to gather on a serger, here are the settings:

Thread tension - between 6-9 (I use 9 for fuller gathers)
Upper and lower loopers - normal tension (3-4)
Stitch length - highest (mine is 5).

Leave a long thread end and you will most likely have to adjust it a bit, but it finishes and gathers at the same time. I do lots of gathering for my outfits for my daughter, and this is the method I use.


Oh thank you - I just asked this question on my blog - I've been having so much trouble with my thread breaking! Thanks so much Sandi - can't wait to get my hands on your patterns...


Oh thank you soooo much! I'm making a tutu for my daughter (professional style with bodice etc not a play one) and after gathering 14 yards of net by hand I was running out of steam. I then read this post and whizzed through the next 35 yards in a flash by using the zig zag idea. It looks way neater than the hand done layers. Excellent!

Maricopa Fabrics

Sandi, tutorials are so helpful to everyone - thank you for doing them on your site. You hited at the end about the patterns being at the printer - do you have an ETA for them? I've been excited about them since meeting you at Market!

~ Junkyard Jennifer

I love how pretty your tutorials are! I know once I get my sewing machine set up somewhere around here, I'll be referring to them. Thanks for taking the time to, so generously, offer them to us!

~ Jennifer


It looks like a fabulouse tutorial - thank you for that. Oh, and can I say for God knows which time that I LOOOOVE your designs? :)


I love your tutorials. I'm a beginner sewer and you make the instructions very easy to understand and you make a seemingly difficult task approachable, thank you!

Anxiously Waiting

Sandi, I also gather with my pleater ( for those of you that smock and have one). I run two lines and once I pull the threads and gather the material and pin it where i want it, i just sew between the two gathering strong threads and then just pull the two pleater threads out--it is so quick and easy and I never break a thread.
to change the subject Sandi, can you give us a HINT of when the patterns will be available for sale for EVERYONE that is anxiously waiting??? I thank you so much for sharing all of your tutorials--they are GREAT and I haven't had the first problem saving them or opening them thanks again for everything and I have told everyone that I sew with and even our local fabric store about your patterns--you are the best


For those without adobe here is a link for a free reader : http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html


Sandi-I can't wait to get my hands on your patterns! That little dress pattern looks too cute for words! xo Shannon


I used the zigzag gathering for the 11 feet of ruffles I gathered up for the latest dress I'm making my daughter. If it hadn't been for that technique I'm sure I'd still be cursing and breaking threads. :)

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