I was given 2 of these skirts to make up as samples for a student at Glasgow School of Art. They were identical, one long, one short. I only like gathering, if it’s given specific areas, or has a decent amount of volume, otherwise random gathering often looks like a mistake!? To my eye it can be unflattering and adds bulk to areas that should avoid bulk, for example, over the hips at the side seams. When I was given these skirts to sew up, I decided not to use the gathering as an all round feature but to fix the areas to be gathered. This meant (1) I could focus on keeping the gathers away from the stomach and hips and (2) the amount that had been allowed for gathering in the skirt was meagre and had the potential to look like badly attached pieces!?
When gathering and attaching.
I recently used gathering when working on my old 80’s blouse pattern for the #refashioners and the #vintagepledge.
This was on the sleeve, and in both cases I gathered it in specific areas only, I was pleased with how it looked.
The shoulder line on the Sewoverit vintage shirt dress pattern has been moved forward to sit on the front of the dress, the gathering here is a feature often used on blouses, shirts and dresses. When I made the first jacket, the gathering almost disappeared but this was because my fabric was so lightweight. The second, sleeveless version shows off the gathering here to a much greater extent simply because it’s a slightly heavier weight of fabric!
Gathering is often used on the skirt parts of vintage skirt and dress patterns, and these are not usually cut as rectangles, but cut with side shaping and a proportionately fuller hem circumference to waist ratio. So while I’m thinking about gathering, I realise that, for me, one of the best ways to achieve all round gathers is with the use of elastic. The gathering, or flatness, that you can achieve with elastic is a completely different thing!?
The khaki trouser shows a separate all round elastic waistband, stitched decoratively with a tie. This is a great use of elastic, as it adds comfort as well.
This all round elastic waistband is a grown on one, I made it for Kelly’s collection and it was based on a male 70’s Simplicity sports jogger, it’s really simply made and functional.
The skirt waistband shows one of my favourite uses of elastic, when it’s used flat and rolled inside a loose waist edge. No need for a zip as it stretches on and it sits flat like a normal faced waistband. Such a clever use!