Shirring: a Tutorial!
*Since there were so many requests for this tutorial after the Ruffled Scarf post, I thought I would post one on the main page, so no one misses it! But you can also find it in the "Sew Basic" section*
There are many shirring tutorials out there.
And a lot of them have different ideas on tension, thread length, how tightly to wind the bobbin, etc. So, in preparation for this tutorial, I tried it every way I could possibly think of! Most of the time, I saw little difference in the end results. So you may want to play around with it a little yourself, but here's what worked best for me....
To shirr, all you need are three things:
1: When first cutting your fabric, remember that your piece will be about half the size when finished, but with lots of stretch. If possible, I recommend marking your lines out first with a fabric pen or quilter's chalk. You can space your lines as far apart as you like, but most people usually make them somewhere around 1/2" apart, give or take a little. And just remember that the closer they are, the more gathered it will look!
2: Then wind your bobbin by hand. I used a little tension while winding it, but not much. (Don't be afraid! It took about 20 seconds!)
Continue to thread it through the bobbin's thread guides, just as you would with regular thread, using regular thread on top!
3: At the beginning of your first row, do a couple of backstitches, to secure the stitches.
4: Sew with a straight stitch all the way down your first line....
(I used regular stitch length and thread tension)
5: At this point, you can either backstitch again, and clip your threads, or simply just lift the presser foot, turn your fabric around, setting down the presser foot on the next line, and keep sewing!
Your first row won't look very gathered, but as you go along, it will pucker up nicely! The more rows, and the closer they are to each other, the more gathered it will be.
A back view:
A back view:
6: Then spray lightly with water, and press. (Do not slide the iron over them, just gently press down, lifting the iron to move.)
The water/iron with tighten the elastic back up even more, and you'll have a lovely, stretchy garment:
And since I didn't want to waste the scrap I practiced on, I cinched it in the middle with a little bias tape, glued, and threaded a bobby pin through!
A fun little hair bow!
And by the way, I'm sorry that I've been posting so many "boring" tutorials lately! I know the sewing basics ones aren't as fun, but I don't want anyone to be left out of the sewing projects! So thank you for your patience, you wonderful people!! :o)
Some of you have had trouble with shirring, because you have a drop-in bobbin. I don't have one of those machines to play around with, but Prudent Baby recommends using your bobbin winder to wind the elastic with those machines. She says it gives her the perfect shirr, so it's worth trying! :o)