Ode to a gathering foot

I’m not usually a gadget person. I feel like a lot of them are gimmicks. So if I can do something the old fashioned way, without newfangled gizmos, I will do so, thank you very much. For example, when attaching ruffles to something, I would stitch two rows of basting stitches and tug on those threads to create gathers, inch by pitiful inch, and spread those gathers evenly and attach them. But after sewing my niece’s Isabella Romper and the miles of ruffles it requires, I was ready for another way. I was planning another romper for a friend’s barnyard themed birthday and slightly dreading the ruffles. My friend and coworker told me I needed a gathering foot.


I’m pretty sure it’s crafted by wizards and kissed by unicorns before leaving Baby Lock’s warehouse. I increased my stitch length and upper tension and watched it turn my flat fabric strips into beautifully gathered ruffles.

I’m not sure how it works.  Probably magic and the unicorn kisses. (It could have something to do with the adjustments I made to my settings and the raised portion on the foot that keeps the feed dogs away from the fabric as it moves under the foot, but it’s probably mostly the unicorns.) You can also use the slot in the foot to attach the ruffle to another piece of fabric, but that application didn’t work for me this time. See?

Magic. So sometimes, a gadget isn’t a gimmick, but a useful tool that saves time and enhances our work.

Bonus gadget: the Fasturn fabric tube turners. I used one of these to turn the straps for this romper (contrary to pattern instructions).

After sewing the fabric tube, I slid it onto the Fasturn tube.

Then I inserted the wire piece, twisted to secure the end and pulled it through the hollow tube.

It arrives, right side out, from the other end. I untwisted the wire and after a quick press with the iron and it was ready to be attached to the romper. So quick and painless!

There you go, a couple of totally-worth-it tools that will speed up your process and make the whole thing more enjoyable!

What are your favorite gadgets? Or do you have a tool you can’t do without?

Thanks for visiting!



2 thoughts on “Ode to a gathering foot

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