When making something that needed to be gathered or ruffled, I always had trouble making it look good and even. Until my mom showed me this little trick!
I made a tiny Blythe dress while photographing this tutorial, but of course it works for bigger things too! Dresses, skirts, bags, anything that needs gathering!
Set your sewing machine on the largest stitch.
Stitch a straight line along the edge of the fabric. Make sure you leave enough spare thread on both the beginning and the end.
Carefully pull on on of the threads...
on one either the beginning or the end of the sewn fabric.
As you see, the fabric will start to ruffle.
Spread out the ruffles evenly. If it won't let you move the ruffles all the way to the other side, just pull one of the threads on that side as well.
Once you have your ruffles spread out evenly, pin the ruffled fabric to whatever you want to attach it too, in my case the bodice of the dress.
Don't forget to pin with the right sides facing each other!
Sew the ruffled part to the part you just pinned it too. It's easiest if you keep the ruffled part on top, so you can see if it all goes well, and there are no weird folds you don't want.
If your ruffle thread is showing on the part of your creation that will be seen, remove it with a seam ripper. Because you have used such a large stitch, this shouldn't be hard. If your ruffle thread is on the other side of the seam, where it won't be seen, you can just leave it there.
Turn everything right side out. And tadaa! Your gathered creation is done!