Thursday, March 24, 2016

Shirty Shirring

I'm smack dab in the middle of making Easter dresses. I have been all week. The plan? To get all three dresses done by the middle of this week. Yeah, that hasn't happened. They will get done, they're just not done yet. Why? Unsurprisingly I distracted myself. Unintentionally of course. No, really, it started because of the Easter dresses, the original distracting idea completely pertained to the Easter dresses. Well, one Easter dress in particular, mine. 

Anticipating a fitting issue with my dress, that I should have fixed while cutting out the dress, but failed to do, I started brainstorming ways to fix it. An idea popped into my head. I could use elastic thread to shirr the part of the dress with the issue, that ought to the potential problem! I already had elastic thread on hand, I just needed to figure out how to use it.

 A while back I read on a blog a mention of using elastic thread to shirr things and I wanted to try it. I bought some elastic thread, then proceeded to do nothing with it. So, this week, after the idea popped into my head, I proceeded to read a couple of tutorials, then try out this new found skill. Only my Easter dress wasn't (and still isn't) ready to be shirred yet. So, I pulled this men's button down out of my refashion bin instead.

I bought a couple months ago to make my sister another tunic, like this one. I just hadn't gotten around to making said tunic yet. This shirt looked like a pretty good base for my first shirring attempt. I cut a new (huge) neckline, finished it with bias tape, then got down to business.

 I hand-wound my bobbin with elastic thread, then threaded my machine like normal, putting my elastic bobbin in just like a normal bobbin. I lengthened my stitch length to the longest it would go, then started sewing, around and around the new neckline.

It worked! The elastic thread gathered up the fabric just like it was supposed to! I sent regular, 1/4 inch, elastic through the bias tape to stabilize the neckline, did some shirring on the sleeves and at the waist, ran out of elastic thread, then I was done!

Less than two hours, one shirt, one cut, one spool of elastic thread later, my sister had a shirred, puffed sleeved, tunic top!

I can't believe I've never tried shirring anything before! It's so easy and the finished product looks amazing. I love how this tunic turned out, so pretty and famine, yet so easy to make. The puffed sleeves really complete the picture I think.

Now, I might just have to re-design the Easter dresses to showcase some more shirring! Oh, wait, the Easter dresses are already cut out, and mostly sewn together. It might be a little late to do any redesigning. Or is it?

We shall have to see.


  1. I thought I was the only one crazy enough to get distracted by another project in the middle of Easter sewing! :o)

  2. Lol, no I get distracted in tge middle of every big-ish project. Atleast this distraction didn't take too long to get done!