How I Gather: Dental Floss Edition

I got a lot of questions on my preferred gathering technique so I decided to post a quick tutorial. I tried this out the first time when I needed to gather some heavy weight denim. I did three rows of basting stitches per Sarai’s instuctions in the Colette Sewing Handbook. but my bobbin threads kept breaking and the gathers were not coming out evenly. That’s when I remembered hearing about this dental floss technique and tried it out.

Dental floss is not required. Any thin, strong thread should work (such as embroidery floss or fishing line. All you need to do is place it in the seam allowance and set your machine to a wide zigzag. Then you simply stitch over your floss being careful not to stitch the floss itself. Then you just pull on both ends of the dental floss and gather. Voilà, a quick and easy method to adjust gathers.


6 thoughts on “How I Gather: Dental Floss Edition

  1. Neat!
    I keep meaning to try this technique…you’re the only person, other than Gertie, I’ve seen use it. Thanks for sharing the pics/tutorial.

  2. I just tried your floss-gathering method – love it!! No snapped threads mid-gather. I didn’t check before sewing but the skirt of my new dress is also “minty fresh”. 🙂 I’m sure that will come out in the wash. Thanks again!

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