Shirring

Verb: to gather (an area of fabric or part of a garment) by means of drawn or elasticized threads in parallel rows (Oxford Dictionary)

My four year old daughter has been at me for months now to make her a shirred dress. I’ve tried many times to explain to her that it’s probably a bit beyond my capabilities at this early stage of learning to sew but she just won’t give up. So over the past couple of days I have done some research on how one shirrs. I had a good look over the internet and also went to Tessuti Fabrics for some guidance (the ladies there are always more than happy to offer advice!). I worked out all I needed was some elastic thread, (sometimes called Shirring Elastic) that you can pick up for about three dollars (for 20 meters) and of course your sewing machine. You hand wind the elastic thread onto your bobbin head applying a little tension as you wind, thread your machine with normal cotton thread and then start sewing. In theory it sounds very easy; but I’ll reserve my opinion on this until I actually try it in just a moment.

The first line:

IMG_2303

The second line:

IMG_2306

The third line:

IMG_2307

And a final touch; a good hit of steam from the iron to get the final effect:

IMG_2308

Well I have to admit that really was quite easy to do! Really the machine did it all for me. So now for the real challenge… can I make my daughter a cute maxi dress with a shirred top? I’ll give it a go over the next few days (or maybe a week knowing my capabilities). Wish me luck! I’ll need it!!!

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