A little background on this little gem of a technique. A high school sewing teacher just recently moved into my neighborhood and taught me this new, improved gathering technique. I have been sewing for about 16 years now, and never have I had something so easy change the way gathering is done. When I demonstrated it for Shasta she just about fell over! She lovingly named it, but I'm not sure if the name would be appropriate to post on a blog. Use you imaginations, better yet DON'T! So here it is....please let me know if it changes your life as much as it has mine!
Start with your fabric to be gathered at 1/4 in seam allowance. Your machine should be set at a straight stitch.
Hold on to your top thread, the way you would if you were just pulling the bobbin thread up if you were just threading you machine.
Now turn your handwheel so that the needle goes down and then back up. Do not let go of your top thread.
Pull your top thread slightly and your bobbin thread will magically come through your fabric.
Match the ends of both threads and pull both threads together out to the length of the fabric you want to gather. This ends up being a really long piece of thread if you gathering a long piece of fabric, just put the threads over your right shoulder so they don't get tangled.
Put both thread on top of your pressur foot, I use foot #1 on my Bernina because it has a groove cut in the center that the thread lays in. Now set your machine to a zig-zag stitch. Length: 2.5 Width: about a 4
Start stitching, make sure you back-stitch. This will anchor the beginning stitches and stop the long threads from coming out while gathering. The zig-zags should go over the center two threads. Stitch the entire edge your gathering, making sure that the long threads stay in the middle of your zig-zags and back stitch at the end.
After your done, trim the zig-zag threads but don't cut the long threads.
Now pull the long threads to start gathering. Your gathers will be even and your thread won't break or pull out! Amazing right? How did I ever gather before this?
P.S. I do have better color coordination, I would never pick red thread for this darling Dolce' fabric (now at Gracie's) but wanted you to be able to see the thread for the steps!
Now go try it and let us know how it goes!