If your anything like me - Saturday is a welcome sight! It's the day I get to sleep late and then get up and play in my studio all day - uninterrupted! I've been sewing since I was a little girl and doing it professionally for the last 16 years. The longer I sew the more I learn about fabrics and techniques and I always love to share with others. I have really fallen in love with shirring these days and some people may assume that its a complicated process but its really very easy. It is time consuming but VERY easy. So - if you've got an hour or so and a cutie that would love a shirred dress or top then read on and take some notes and your on your way.
1. Hold down the person your sewing for and grab these measurements : Chest measurement and the measurement from chest to where you want the garment to end.
2. Take the chest measurement and double that - this will be how wide your fabric needs to be. Then cut the length of the fabric to match your second measurement. Finish the top and bottom edges of your piece with the serger or by hemming - you can also leave the edges raw if you like that look.
3. Pick up a spool of elastic thread from your local fabric store - they are never more than $1.50. HAND WIND the elastic thread onto the bobbin being careful not to stretch it as you go. Put the bobbin in the machine and set your stitch length to the longest stitch. And that's it - your ready to shirr.
4. Your fabric should be face up on the sewing machine - so that the elastic is on the wrong/in side of the fabric. Then, using your presser foot as a guide - stitch your first row 1/4" from the top edge. After you've done this row you will see that it has gathered slightly. Continue stitching 1/4" rows. You should at least do five to achieve the proper gathering but you can do however many you want. In the pictured example - Ive made 15 rows, but sometimes I do even more than that.
5. Once you've shirred as much as you like - put the two sides together with right sides facing and sew a seam straight down the back...Voila! You have a beautifully shirred top or dress for someone special or even yourself.
I hope you'll try this super easy technique on your favorite lazy dazy Saturday - you will be so proud of yourself when your done! Smooches!