Gathering is an uneven stitch made by passing over . twice as much as is taken on the needle. When the thread is drawn up this gives the appearance of fine gathering on the right side and admits of considerable cloth being gathered into a small space.
Gathering is used in joining a full part to a straight piece, as the skirt to the band, etc. Gather with a strong single thread a little longer than the space to be gathered. Never use a double thread. If the thread becomes knotted a new thread must be put in from the beginning. Hold the cloth, as in the running stitch, with the right side toward you, using the wrist motion. Make a large knot in the thread so that it cannot slip through the cloth, and place the knot on the wrong side. At the end of the gathering slip the needle off and make a knot in the thread, that it may not pull out.
For stroking or placing gathers use a coarse needle or a pin. Draw up the gathering thread just tightly enough so that the pin can be easily inserted between the gathers and fasten by winding over a pin placed at right angles to the last stitch. Begin at the left hand, placing the pin in the fold of the first stitch and stroke gently downward, holding the pin obliquely. After each successive stroke press the pleat under the thumb of the left hand. Continue the same with every stitch.
Divide both into halves, quarters or eighths, depending upon the length, and pin the points of division together. Draw up the gathering thread to the proper length and fasten by winding over a pin. Arrange the gathers even before basting. Baste just above the gathers, holding the gathered piece next to you. Stitch just below the gathering thread.
Gauging or double gathering is done by having a second row of gathering stitches of equal length and directly below those of the first so that when both threads are drawn up the cloth lies in pleats.
In heavy material three or four threads may be put in. Gauging is usually used on heavy material or on a folded edge that is to be over-handed to a band.
Ruffles of lawn, linen or embroidery are sometimes put upon the edge instead of into a facing or seam, and when so placed it is desirable to avoid the raw edge on the under side. Hold the work over the left forefinger and roll the edge toward you between the thumb and forefinger. Place the needle under the roll on the right side, passing out at the top of the roll. Whip about one inch and draw up the thread. It is necessary to use a strong thread for whipping and gathering the edge of a ruffle.