Let’s Get Gathering Skirt

After the Angelina Ballerina Costume and Peppa Pig T-shirt, a quick skirt (not related to any TV show!) for Celeste was in order for Kids Clothes Week (yep, Jacob missed out this time!). I’ve never used the gathering foot for my sewing machine and it was time to give it a try.

Gathering Foot

I started with 3 fat quarters of purple fabric. If my kids come to the fabric shopping, I let them pick out a fat quarter (to keep them happy). When Celeste picked out one of these prints (I can’t remember which one), I had to get the other two coordinating prints.

Fat quarters

I cut the first fat quarter (chevron) into 4 strips, and put two aside for another day. The second fat quarter (spots) was also cut into 4 strips and the bottom one (stripes) was cut into 8 strips. So I sewed together 2 strips for the top layer, 4 strips for the second layer and 8 strips for the bottom layer, giving a 2:1 gathering ratio for each layer.

Tiered Gathered Skirt (4)

I played around with the tension and stitch length to get the gathering ratio right. I ended up with a tension of 7 and stitch length of 3. The higher you go with both those numbers, the more gathering you’ll get.

The beauty of the gathering foot is that you can gather one layer of fabric and sew it to another layer of fabric all in one step. The fabric you want gathered goes under the foot and the other fabric goes through the slot. It took me a while to get the hang of holding the top fabric up and feeding the two fabrics in straight – a lot of my stitching was wonky, but it still created a cute skirt!

Tiered Gathered Skirt (2)

The end result was nice, even gathering (which I struggle with the old fashioned way!), and a quick way to make a fun skirt!

Tiered Gathered Skirt (1)

I finished the skirt off with a simple elastic waist and rolled hem (using my rolled hem foot). It took me two days, partly from experimenting with the different feet and partly because I didn’t have a lot of time to sew.

Tiered Gathered Skirt (3)

So I ended up sewing for 6 days for Kids Clothes Week (Sunday was spent on a 4WD Sand Driving Course that my husband decided we needed before our next road trip!). Not a bad effort considering my kids didn’t actually need any new clothes!

The next time I use my gathering foot, I’ll put together a proper tutorial for how to use it. I think it’s going to get a lot of use in the future!

Do you have a gathering foot? What is your favourite way to gather (and get it even!)?

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