Whilst on my pattern cutting course the tutor showed us a new way to gather fabric which I utilised on my Burda Style folk skirt - which made it a touch easier! This may be something you are all aware of but if not here is a quick tutorial.
Sew a line of stitches the length of the area where you want the fabric to be gathered, making sure you secure the thread by sewing back and forth when you start stitching. Make the stitches slightly longer than your normal stitch length, this means the thread is a little looser than normal. I usually stitch at a 2.2mm length but use a 2.8mm stitch length when doing this.
When you come to the end of stitching the area you want to gather do not secure the threads by stitching backwards and forwards but leave a long tail on the threads when you cut them.
Take the length of excess thread and seperate them. Taking the lower thread gently pull on it and you will see the fabric gathering. Don't pull too hard as you may end up snapping the thread.
Push the gathers along the fabric as you go and you will see that within no time you have created some lovely, even gathering!