Prior to gathering, one side is seamed and the edges of the other side are pressed over at the seamline RIGHT sides together. Then you stitch at the top and bottom edges and turn right side out, and you hem the side in place. Then the top and bottom edges are narrow hemmed.
I'm one of those people who actually likes to narrow hem. I've read many posts by people who dislike this step. To me, it's a little like magic, going from something with no shape and tatty edges, to a piece (or section of a garment) to suddenly looking finished. You can really get an idea of the final product. Pressing the little hems down seals the deal!
The gathering is quite straight forward. I stitched 1/4" from the side edges and both sides of the seam. These are then to be gathered to four inches. I actually had an "ah ha" moment at this point! I began fiddling with the gathers (you can lose a lot of time fiddling with gathers) to get them to the right length and stay. Then "ah ha"! I thought to myself: "Self, the gathers will be sewn to 'seam binding ribbon'. Just cut THOSE to four inches, pin and pull!"
I pinned the hem tape (although I think twill tape would have been sturdier?), adjusted the length and sewed into place. On the side, I sewed directly into the seam. When looking at the wrong side, the stitching is a bit wonky... I'll need more practice to keep stitches in gathering straight, even though you can't see it on the right side.
Hopefully I'll have a reprieve from viewings tomorrow so that I can progress some more over the weekend!