Quick tutorial/ pictorial on how to gather tulle using a gathering foot. This is the only way I gather tulle, because it is easy and efficient and kinda fun. I like to simplify everything in life, including sewing- so here is my easy method-
To begin with, you will need some tulle. I am documenting this tutorial for my Tulle Skirt SewAlong, which is why I am using tulle that comes in a 54 inch width. When tulle is purchased in a fabric store, it comes on the fold. If you remove the tulle from the bolt but leave it folded, you now have 2 layers of tulle at 27 inches each (54 inches divided by 2). Gather the tulle on the fold, which means you will end up gathering two layers of tulle that are 27 inches wide.No need to cut the tulle, no need to unfold the tulle. We will keep it simple!
Step 1: Install a gathering foot and make sure your needle is centered above the slot in the foot so the needle does not break
Step 2: Adjust tension and stitch length
The gathering foot works in conjunction with the tension and stitch length. The higher the tension, the tighter the gathers. The lower the tension, the softer the gathers. 9 is the highest tension on my machine, and I like to use either a 8 or 9. You can experiment with the tension settings on some scrap tulle to determine what you like.
Set the stitch length to a basting stitch (highest stitch length). This is a 5 on my machine.
Step 3: Take the folded edge of the tulle and slide it underneath the gathering foot. Make sure the fabric extends beyond the gathering foot to avoid bunching.
While holding the treads, lower the gathering foot and lower the needle manually into the fabric.
Do not engage the foot pedal until after you have lowered the needle manually to secure the fabric.
Step 4: Gather away! Press the foot pedal and let the machine do the magic… I used the highest tension and as you can see my gathers are pretty tight.. This will make for a poofy skirt!
I use this method gather 10 yards of tulle in a little over 5 minutes! I have made the following skirts using this method
Hope this helped!