An Easier Method of Gathering with Dental Floss
When gathering, I like to use the dental floss method, which involves zigzagging over a length of dental floss. Most directions call for two rows of gathering stitches, which you slide your fabric along as you pull on the thread ends. Dental floss works better because it's stronger than regular thread, so you don't have to worry about your thread breaking as you manipulate the fabric. If you used waxed dental floss, the fabric/stitches slide over it easily. It's also easy to remove once you're done with it. And it leaves a nice minty scent!
However, I'm not the most coordinated person, and I find it difficult to keep both the fabric and dental floss feeding evenly under the presser foot. I end up sewing through my dental floss, rather than zigzagging over it, or I end up with a really wonky row of stitches along the edge of the fabric.
If you use a cording foot, however, it will keep your dental floss nice and centered, which leaves you free to focus on feeding the fabric and getting an even row of stitches along the edge of the piece to be gathered.
How to Gather with Dental Floss
Here it is in action:
Now you don't have to pull out any stray stitches that went through the dental floss. Your dental floss can't stray under the needle.
To use it, you just lift that little flap at the front of the presser foot and insert your dental floss. I put mine in the center slot.
There's another slot in the back of the presser foot, so be sure to get your dental floss centered in both of them. It will feed nice and evenly now.
Here's what the bottom of the presser foot looks like:
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I used the cording foot that came with this set of presser feet: