How to Gather Using a Sewing Machine – Make a Lavender Filled Sleep Pillow

How to Gather Using a Sewing Machine

I have never found gathering very easy to do on my sewing machine, but I have finally found a foolproof method which I am pleased to be able to share with you.

It came in very handy when I used the lavender from last month’s bumper harvest to make this pretty lavender filled sleep pillow.

how to gather on a sewing machine lavender sleep pillow

Four Easy Steps:

  1. Set your sewing machine to zig zag stitch.  I used a stitch width of 3.6, but you can obviously vary it to suit your project.  For my Tilda doll skirts, I used a wider stitch width of 5 and a stitch length of 3.
  2. Lay a strong thin nylon cord (or dental floss) along the edge of the fabric you want to gather.
  3. Sew a zig zag stitch over the length of the cord, making sure you don’t catch your nylon thread as you stitch.  You want to set your stitch width wide enough to make sure that doesn’t happen. Have a quick practice on some scrap fabric first.
  4. Simply pull up the thread to gather the fabric.

Advantages of this Method of Gathering:

  1. No thread breaks
  2. No puckering/ruckling
  3. It saves thread – you don’t need to sew 2 rows of gathering stitches, you just sew once.
  4. You can gather a length as long as you want – no need to split your fabric up into sections to avoid thread breaks if you have a long length to gather.
  5. It saves time.

All in all – it is a foolproof method – guaranteed perfect results every time!

Heart Up-Cycling

Lavender Vintage Tray Cloth
New Life for a Vintage Tray Cloth - Thanks Julia!

The pretty vintage tray cloth I used to make the lavender sleep pillow was donated by my friend Julia.  It is so nice to think of all that hand embroidery on the original piece being given a new lease of life.

I was able to use the whole tray cloth for this project.  The central piece of embroidery formed the centre of the new pillow and I joined the four corners together to make the internal, lavender stuffed pillow which is removable (so the exterior can be easily washed).

You need to leave a small gap in the joining seam so you can fill your pillow with beautifully fragrant lavender before hand closing it with a tiny invisible ladder stitch.

Lavender Sleep Pillow - Back
Lavender Sleep Pillow - Internal Pillow
Lavender Sleep Pillow - Internal Pillow (with gap for filling)
How to gather using a sewing machine - Lavender Sleep Pillow
Lavender Sleep Pillow - Back
Lavender Sleep Pillow - Overlap Back Edges
How to gather using a sewing machine Lavender Sleep Pillow - Back

I will be adding the sleep pillow to my stock of items for sale locally.  If it doesn’t sell though, I think I will keep it for myself.  I have grown rather attached to it!

Heart Up-Cycling!

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