Ironing can make or break a gathered seam. Perhaps, one of the trickiest aspects of completing a perfectly constructed gathered seam is how correctly it is ironed in the final application process. Here are three steps you should follow when ironing gathered seam:
1. Once the gathered seam is stitched, start by ironing the gathered seam allowance (only) flat. Be careful not to iron directly on the stitch or past it, into the garment surface.
2. Next, flip the seam on its right side and iron carefully on the seamline, next to the gathering but not directly on the gathered folds. The gathered seam allowance should be directed up, away from the gathering, under the flat (un gathered) fabric layer. It very important that you do not iron directly on the gathering as this can flatten and distorted their drape and volume. Use the tip of the iron for more precision as you navigate this delicate area.
If you need to iron the body of the gathered fabric, iron upwards toward the gathered seam using the tip of the iron plate. The sharp iron point will align right next to the seamline while keeping the fabric layer flat underneath, thus not ironing directly on the fabric folds.