Monday, August 13, 2012

Shirring Tutorial

 Q. What is Shirring? 
 A. a sewing technique that uses elastic thread to create rows of gathers in fabric.

How to do it:

1. Wind bobbin by hand with elastic thread. Keep the elastic taught as you wind.  Load your bobbin into your machine and thread the top with regular thread. Set stitch length to highest possible setting (longest stitch) and set tension to highest setting as well. While you sew the fabric will shirr because of the contracting elastic. 

*Don't stress out if the thread doesn't contract immediately. once you've finished, just hit the threads with some steam from your iron without actually touching them and they'll gather right up*

2. Stop at the edge, within the seam allowance, of your first row of stitching. Keeping the needle in the down position, lift the presser foot, and turn your fabric 90 degress toward the next row shirring. Lower the presser foot and sew a few stitches. Once you reach the beginning point for your next row, leave the needle down, and lift your presser foot once more. Rotate the fabric to the starting point of your next row and put the presser foot down. Sew. You'll probably have to stretch the fabric flat with each new row, because it's likely to shrink up with the first. 

Your rows should look something like this

3. Once you've finished all your rows, Secure your shirring by replacing the bobbin with regular thread  (return the length and tension setting back to normal),  and stitching a line over the shirring perpendicular with in the seam allowance. 

Now go try it! 

Patterns that call for shirring

1 comment:

Justine of SewCountryChick said...

This is such a beautiful dress you made!