I love a tiered gathered skirt, but I didn't really love the gathering process. I have tried many techniques, and mobilon tape (lastin) has become the game changer! It's fast, accurate and can produce a consistent gather, giving you a really beautiful finish.
You will need:
- For Tier 1, we will add 2.25".
- For all other tiers and skirt we will multiply by 2 and add 1.5"
See size 8 example below:
For each piece of Mobilon tape, mark 0.5" (START) from one end and 2.5" (END) from the other. Divide into eighths between these points.
Divide and mark both the top and bottom of your tiers into eighths. Using the erasable marker pen means it won't disappear before you get to put it all together. The more matching points you have, the easier it will be, so don't be afraid to divide it into even smaller sections. I find it really helpful on the very long 3rd tier or adult tiers. Just remember to divide both the tiers and the elastic by the same amount so your points will match. You'll soon realise if you haven't done that; no one wants to unpick!
Using a long zig-zag stitch, with mobilon on top of wrong side of fabric, take the START marker of the tape and match with your first marker point on your fabric. I like to start on the back of the tiers and avoid the side seams. We will be overlapping at the end. Sew a couple of stitches to get your Mobilon anchored in place with the tape and fabric clipped at the next marker point.
With your right hand, stretch your tape between the next point. With your left hand, create tension by holding and guiding the fabric from behind. As you approach your clip, remove and add it to the next marker point. You only need one marker point clipped at a time. Sew slowly to remain accurate.
When you get back to the last marker at the start, trim the extra 0.5" from your Mobilon START and overlap the last point. Sew slightly past the overlap to make sure everything is gathered and trim excess from END.
Just like magic your tier width should now match the tier above and we barely did anything! With right sides together, use the marker points on the now gathered tier to match to the bottom of the tier above it. You may find an extra pin or two between each point or glue is helpful. Use a stretch stitch or overlocker to attach the tiers. Using an overlocker will completely encase your Mobilon tape in the seam - your secrets will disappear!
You should have lovely even gathers. Repeat steps for each tier, working from bottom to top. Once you have your tiers complete, you can attach to your chosen bodice in the same way, right sides together.
That's it, you are done! Once you have this technique in your pocket, gathering is no longer a chore. You'll be excited to add gathered tiers to all your dresses.
If you're wondering if mobilon works with BOO! velvet, it absolutely does. With a thicker fabric base like velvet, those gathers really do make a statement.
Hopefully this has given you some confidence to give it a go. Using mobilon tape has completely changed my perspective on gathering and I'm sure it will soon become your game changer too!