Sewing Tutorial - Shirring

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Shirred Top Dress

For this project I used 100% cotton fabric, elastic thread, cotton thread and a sewing machine.

Elastic thread ($2.49 at the fabric store)
Hand roll the elastic thread onto a bobbin.

Hand wind your bobbin

Now thread the bobbin into the sewing machine.

Load as usual

Hem the top of the panel to be shirred (with regular thread).  Using the elastic thread bobbin, begin sewing shirred lines.

Be patient and keep sewing

For the first couple of lines it doesn't look like much.  Just keep going.

It takes a few rows before it looks right

A few lines in it begins to look ok.  Keep sewing.

Fully shirred panel

Before you know it you have an entire shirred panel!  But wait -  you're not done yet!!!

You'll need to wet the panel so that it can contract.

Wet the shirred panel

I wet the panel in the sink and allowed it to drip dry.  (Use could also toss it in the dryer).  While the panel dried, I made and hemmed simple skirt.  I also added a few bright pink embellishments to the skirt.

One the top dried, I sewed it to a matching skirt.

All done!
Shirring is an excellent way to resize clothing.  I recently added a shirred panel to make a dress a little larger.

Easy Breezy!

Pro Tip:
Most of the time you see narrowly shirred garments.

Narrowly Shirred Top

Please know that you can also make a wider shirred garment.

Wide Shirr

Wide Shirr
I think that the wide shirred top is very pretty.  The problem (if you can call it that) is that it's not as snug against the body and may require shoulder straps.

Wide Shirr top on a Maxi
  Recently I did a wide shirred top on a maxi dress.  I LOVE the way it turned out.  The The problem is that because the dress is long, the weight of the skirt tended to pull down the dress.  Making a wide shirred top (in my opinion) is better for a shorter dress or a dress with straps.

Happy Shirring!

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