Pattern Design Activities for Kids
by Don McCunn

Sewing Gathers


There are three steps described here to add a gathered trim to the main body of a project.

  1. Prepare the fabric.
  2. Sew a Rolled Hem at the bottom of the trim.
  3. Gather the trim.

For this project, use the pattern that has two darts and no seam.

Prepare the Fabric

Prepare the top Prepare fabric Set length
  1. Cut the pattern for the body out of fabric. Sew the darts and edges as shown in the earlier videos.
  1. For the trim, rip off a length of fabric that is 3" (8cm) wide.
  1. Cut the length of the trim fabric so it is one-and-a-half times longer than the length of the bottom of the body.

Sew a Rolled Hem

Change bobbin Sew fusible thread Fold the fabric
  1. Put a bobbin with fusible thread into the sewing machine.
  1. Sew a line of stitching, the good side up, 1/4" (1.2cm) from the edge of the trim fabric.
  1. Fold the trim fabric so stitching from the good side is just visible along the folded edge. The fusible thread should be inside this fold.
Iron fabric Trim excess Change bobbin
  1. Holding the iron in place for 10 seconds, press the edge of the fabric Move the iron and repeat this process until the full length of the fabric has been ironed.
  1. Trim off the excess fabric as close to the stitching as possible.
  1. Change the bobbin in the sewing machine back to regular thread.
Fold the hem Sew hem Finish ends
  1. Fold the hem over a second time and press.
  1. Sew a line of top stitching to hold the hem in place.
  1. Finish the ends of the fabric as described in Edge Finish.

Add Gathers

Gather top edge Sew basting Sew second basting
  1. To finish the top edge of the trim, sew a line of zigzag stitches.
  1. Sew a line of basting stitches 1/4" (.6cm) from the top edge of the trim.
  1. Sew a second line of basting stitches 3/4" (2cm) from the top edge of the trim.
Pin the center gather fabric Pin center of top
  1. Find the center of the trim and mark it with a pin.
  1. Hold the basting's two top threads and push the fabric toward the center.
  1. On the fabric for the body, find the center of the hem and mark it with a pin.
Pin together at center Pin the ends Adjust trim
  1. Hold the gathered trim to the body's bottom, good sides together, and pin the centers.
  1. Pin the ends of the trim to the body and pin in place.
  1. Adjust the trim evenly and pin in place.
Sew the trim Remove Basting Press the trim
  1. Using a 1/2" (.5cm) seam allowance, sew the trim to the body.
  1. Remove the two lines of basting.
  1. Fold the seam allowances toward the body and press in place.