Paragraph 141. Gathering is a very common process in sewing. It consists of running stitches drawn through the material tightly enough to produce a fullness which may be evenly divided when it is sewed on another piece of material. Gathers are generally placed 1/4" to 1/2" from the edge of the material. Fasten the thread by sewing over a short stitch two or three times. Fill the needle with running stitches; when the needle is filled with stitches do not remove it from the cloth, but as you take up more stitches, push the extra ones off the back of the needle onto the thread, as in Figure 47, continuing until the cloth is gathered. To fasten the gathers until you are ready to sew them on another piece of material, put a pin across the stitches, vertically, and wrap the remaining thread around the pin a number of times to keep the gathers from slipping off the thread. Stroking the gathers (as our grandmothers did) makes them lie in small pleats. This method is not used as much now as formerly. However, practically the same results can be obtained if you draw the gathers up tight on the thread, wrap the thread around a pin to hold the gathers in place, then (with the thumb and forefinger of the left hand holding the cloth above the gathers) hold the cloth below the gathers with the right hand and pull the gathers out straight and pinch them tightly with the left hand. When you are ready to sew them to another piece of material loosen the gathers until they fit the place for which they are intended.
Make the first row of running stitches just as stated above, without drawing up the gathers. Make a second row of running stitches about 1/4" below, with each stitch directly under the stitch in the first row. Draw the two threads and adjust the gathers, as desired. See Figure 48. The two rows of stitches will hold the cloth in little pleats without stroking or pinching.
Gathering may be used any place where one piece of a garment is to be set on another piece with fullness, as in setting a full skirt on a band, ruffles on dresses or underwear, or fulling the top of a sleeve into an arm hole.