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Topic: Gathering with clear elastic  (Read 1912 times)
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KitschyCoo
« on: October 30, 2008 10:50:31 AM »

I HATE gathering and really struggle to make it even just doing gathering stitches.  So I tried Kymy's tute on gathering with a serger, but my serger really didn't like it and broke for a bit afterwards.  Then I decided to try clear elastic, as I've seen that a lot of people do that.  I followed vegbee's tute but I had a lot of trouble.  Firstly, despite the fact that the elastic was 10 cm and I was attaching it to something about 15 cm (i.e. not a huge stretch), it was really hard stretching it and pinning it to fit.  And then even harder stitching it, as I had to pull really hard to keep it taut, and you can imagine how little my sewing machine liked that.  And then when it was stitched on, it hardly gathered at all, it stayed maybe 12 cm.  So it didn't look gathered at all, just a bit wavy and bulky (not to mention ridiculous)! 

So, what's my problem??  Is it the elastic I have?  I bought the clear elastic online as it's not stocked in any shops around here, so I can't compare it to anything I've physically seen.  Should it be really difficult to pull taut?  Is there something missing in my technique? 

Please help, I really want to gathering things without crying / ripping things / pulling my hair out!
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nemejia
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2008 12:39:02 PM »

try steaming it after sewing. Sometimes that's all it needs. Just set your iron to a steam setting and hold it over (not on) your piece of fabric and give it a couple of bursts of steam.
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vegbee
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2008 01:41:11 PM »

I can't see why it should of been hard to stretch while sewing - mine has always been really stretchy stuff.  When it gets old, though, it gets sort of cloudy looking and less stretchy.  Maybe they sold you old stock?  That would also explain why it didn't spring back after.  If you are going to try it again, cut it a few centimeters shorter than you want the final seam.
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KitschyCoo
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2008 03:19:22 PM »

Thanks guys!  Still scratching my head...
try steaming it after sewing. Sometimes that's all it needs. Just set your iron to a steam setting and hold it over (not on) your piece of fabric and give it a couple of bursts of steam.
I did actually try to stream it but it didn't make much of a difference...  I've been wondering if my stitch length was maybe too short?  It is a zigzag but if it was too short maybe it kept the elastic in a stretched position?  Huh

I can't see why it should of been hard to stretch while sewing - mine has always been really stretchy stuff.  When it gets old, though, it gets sort of cloudy looking and less stretchy.  Maybe they sold you old stock?  That would also explain why it didn't spring back after.  If you are going to try it again, cut it a few centimeters shorter than you want the final seam.
And it's not crystal clear but it's not murky either.  It is actually quite stretchy but you just have to pull hard to get it to stretch.  Should it be easy to pull, like corded elastic you'd put in a peasant top casing?  I'm trying to use it on jersey, and pulling the elastic so hard makes it really tough to keep the jersey from stretching too, ugh.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008 03:25:28 PM by KitschyCoo » THIS ROCKS   Logged

vegbee
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2008 06:43:54 PM »

could be the stitch length - I machine baste with my regular machine, and use the largest stitch on my serger when I bother with that.

It's too bad your serger gathering didn't work.  I don't know what kymy does, but I just turn my needle tension way up (I use only one needle in mine) and it gathers wonderfully.  Maybe you need to just go back to the baste and pull larger thread method - perhaps we can help you figure out why that method doesn't work for you? 
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KitschyCoo
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2008 01:07:23 AM »

I only use one needle with my serger too, and turned needle up to 9 and loopers to 4.  Loosened foot pressure completely, stitch length to maximum and I think differential to max too.  First run through it gathered it only two inches or so, so I ran it through again, it gathered it another two inches or so but it was too bulky to do again (I needed it to half in width).  So I stopped trying and put settings back to what I normally use, and the needle thread started getting tangled everytime I tried to use it, so I had to rethread everything again...   I hate rethreading!

Has anyone tried two shirring lines then steamed to fit?  I can shir!

Maybe I'll  try the dental floss trick next.

I'm so frustrated!  I want to gather  Cry
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vegbee
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2008 08:43:52 AM »

shirring will stretch out again as you sew, but is doable if you do a lot of pinning.
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KitschyCoo
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2008 11:08:43 AM »

Ugh, hate pinning... dental floss it is then!
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wichitamom
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2008 07:26:59 AM »

what is it that you are trying to gather?
why not buy a ruffler on Ebay they sell them all day long for about 5 w/ shipping.
granted it will take some planning with a ruffler but it is tons easier if you are gathering ruffles.

If you are just gathering for fullness crochet thread works set ur stitch length to the highest setting and then just pull and it slides right thru
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mamalusco
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2008 09:47:14 PM »

I don't have a serger, but use 1/8" elastic - the Stretch Rite brand sold in packages or similar soft-strectch elastic which stretches to double its length in bulk from the fabric store.  It makes a beautiful, even ruffle.  The only difference I know of is that you can see the elastic on the wrong side of your garment.  I was told to only gather with elastic that stretches to at least double its length.  Good luck!
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