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Gathering Foot Practice

A while ago (It seems like forever but it was really a few months ago) I mentioned I was having problems sewing by hand and I wanted to practice sewing by machine. I also wanted to practice using my special sewing machine feet. Well, I can say I’ve been very bad about using the special sewing machine feet. As of today, I used about three of the over ten feet I have and want to play with. Although I’m disappointed with the lack of progress using each of the feet, I’m not that upset about it. I’ve learned how to use each of the feet so well I can use the feet while I sew without thinking or researching how they are supposed to work. That makes me really happy!

One of the feet I learned to use is the gathering foot.

gathering foot gathering foot 2

This foot is parts of a larger set of sewing machine feet I bought from amazon…

sewing machine feet

There are about 10 feet in the set and whole entire set cost about $20. Although I already had some of the feet in the set, I found some of the feet online for $20 without shipping at that time so buying the set of feet was the best bargain. The best part of the set is that it comes with a paper that talks about the names of the feet, where they are located in the case, and what each foot does. This was the first set of sewing machine feet I found on amazon with a paper that talks about the feet. I’m still happy I bought the set!

I already have a ruffling foot, but I had trouble attaching the foot to my machine and using it. Since I wanted an easier way of gathering fabric with a sewing machine foot, I decided to learn how to use the gathering foot.

It took a month for me to learn how to use the foot, mostly because I was too busy to research how the foot works, but I did learn! Although I read many tutorials while trying to learn how to use the foot, this tutorial helped me the most.

Here’s what one of the practice gatherings looks like…


The most frustrating part of using the gathering foot was learning how much tension the top thread should have. I keep my top thread tension at 4 but it can go up to 9. I thought I didn’t need to go all the way up to 9, but I did. I think with the thicker fabric I can get away with a 7 or 8, but for light weight fabrics I need to set it at 9 otherwise it won’t gather at all. My fear of using such tight tension was the thread would break. As of this post the thread has only broke once, and I was almost done gathering fabric. Although I didn’t have a problem with thread breaks right now, I’m sure the more I use the gathering foot I’ll have a higher chance I’ll thread breaks.

I’ve already used the foot to gather tulle for Cinderella’s ballgown…

cinderella gown tulle

There is about 15 yards of tulle in the skirt and I have 9 more for the skirt and the top of the bodice. After gathering the 15 yards of tulle, I can say the gathering foot made it a lot easier to sew the skirt together! Once I figure out how large I want the skirt to be and finish the bodice, I’m using the gathering foot to gather the remaining tulle for the skirt.

That’s all for now!

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