Shirring A Long :)

Discussion in 'Sewing & Craft' started by *Heather*, May 27, 2005.

  1. *Heather*

    *Heather* :) :) :)

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    I am not sure how to post this at the sew a long board.

    Hope this isn't too confusing...any questions please let me know...if you have something you want to add please feel free. I need to add more pics as well.

    Shirred Dress...optional ruffle on bottom.

    We will be making this dress :)

    [​IMG]

    A very simple dress. Has lots of shirring lines so it allows tons and tons of practice :)



    What you will need:

    ~Fabric of your choice (amt depends on size of dress)~
    ~Matching Top Thread~
    ~Wound bobbin with matching thread~
    ~Elastic thread wound in bobbin.~
    ~Marking Pen~
    ~Ruler~
    ~Measuring Tape~

    ***I am not very good with technical terms so please bare with me as I try to explain this the best I can :)***


    Step #1. Measure your little one :)
    *Chest circumfrence (I usually round up or down to the nearest .5 or whole measurement)
    *Measure from armpit to waist
    *Measure from waist to the length you would like your dress (or top) to be. (Keep in mind if you are adding a ruffle to the bottom you may want to drecrease this measurement according to the size you want your ruffle to be) Add seam allowance to all measurements, however do not lengthen the armpit to waist measurement.
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    Step #2. Now apply those measurements to your fabric as follows :).

    *A. Half the chest measurement. Draw a straight line from the fold line towards the salvage the length of this measurement. (for example if my chest measurement was 18, I would draw a line 9 inches long)
    *B. From that corner draw a straightline down the full measurement that you got from measuring armpit to waist. (this is not the waist line...the waist will be 1-2 inches below this point)
    *C. At that point. Take your ruler and angle it very outwards to form a tiny A-line.
    *D. Close it off by drawing a slightly curved hemline. (I find a design ruler, makes it perfectly curved).


    [​IMG]

    ****REPEAT THE ABOVE STEPS SO YOU WILL NOW HAVE 2 PATTERN PIECES.****

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    **Use regular thread and bobbin thread for this part of the project**

    Step #3. Open your two cut pieces and place them right sides together. Sew the side seams. Trim and Finish seam allowances. I recommend serging your seams...however it is not necessary.

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    Step #4. Next we need to finish the top part. Fold the top 7/8 inch. Press. Fold the frayed edge in to meet the folded edge (creating a finished seam.) Stitch. (You may finish this edge anyway you wish. I like it this way because it creates a nice ruffle effect after shirring.).

    Step #5. On the right side of your dress fabric make a mark where the dress starts to flare out on the side seams. (I will call this "the a mark" for future reference.)

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    Shirring

    Step #1. Wound your bobbin with elastic thread. I use my machine at a slow speed. It may help to use your fingers instead of your bobbin thread guide. You do want the thread to be tighly wound but NOT TOO TIGHT. Do not wound the bobbin completely, half way is fine (however you may have to refill after many shirred rows). After you have wound your thread...set the bobbin down on a flat surface. This helps to release the extra tension from the bobbin being wound. (I had a bobbin "explode" one time because I did NOT do this). Place the bobbin in your machine. The thread will most likely loosen up more, this is ok.

    Step#2. Set your machine. I set the tension to the tightest setting (the highest number) and the stitch length to about 2.5-3. You may want to do a test run on scraps to make sure it works for you. With thicker fabrics, I have only had to lessen the tension a stop or 2. And sometimes I may not even have to do that. I have shirred thick denim with these settings and it comes out great.

    Step#3. I usually use my foot as a quide as to where my shirring lines will be placed. However, if you feel uncomfortable with doing this you can draw straight lines where you want your lines to be. Or you can baste guide lines. My lines are normally 3/8 inches apart. This has worked great for me :).

    Step #4. Lets start. Working with the right side of your dress fabric facing up. I usually start 1/2 inch from the top. (making sure I don't catch the finished top seam but getting as close to it as I can). I use my foot as a guide from there...or you can use your pre-drawn lines or basted lines. You will see very little gathering with the first few rows of stitching. Start stitching at the side seam, backstitch about 1/4 inch and then continue shirrring. You will end where you began. Backstitch again. Onto the next row...
    Continue stitching your rows (pulling the fabric taught as you are sewing) until you reach the mark you made at "the a mark". At this point, it may
    still look WIDE. To fix this squish the fabric together as tightly as you can a few times. A steam iron does the trick as well...this is a GREAT TRICK for those stubborn shirred lines. Thank you Meagan :)

    The sequence of pictures will give you an idea of what yours *may* look like as you are sewing along.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Step #5. Finish your hem any way that you wish. I like using ruffles but just a clean hemline works just as beautifully :)

    Step #6. Add your straps. I use (4) 1.5 inch strips 14 inches long (you may need longer or shorter according to your little one) folded in half with 3/8 inch seam. Turned, pressed and topstitched. Attach the straps according to proper placement on your little one. Sew at the stitching line used to finish your top seam. You can do halter style or strappy ties at the shoulder. For a halter, I usually use a 1 inch strip with the same 3/8 inch seam.

    Thank you for looking. Hopefully, this has made sense to you and you can get some good shirring practice out of it. Happy Shirring :) :) Please let me know if you have any questions. If you need help with a ruffle or anything, I will be glad to help you out :) I usually use a 4 inch ruffle.



    ~
    Last edited: May 27, 2005
  2. xheathers

    xheathers Notions Addict

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    Great job and wonderful pictures! Thanks so much for doing this :)
  3. mamamonkey

    mamamonkey New Member

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    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

    Oh and if you have time and wouldn't mind adding ruffle instructions - I don't know how to do that either. Thanks :)
    Last edited: May 27, 2005
  4. 5littlebugs

    5littlebugs New Member

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    Thanks so much for doing this. I can't wait to try it out this weekend! :)
  5. BeckyDyane

    BeckyDyane New Member

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    Great sew-a-long Heather. :) Your instructions were excellent.
  6. babydreamer

    babydreamer New Member

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    I have a question
    You draw your pattern on the fold but have 2 peices? Sad to say I'm lost :eyes: How do you get the two pieces?

    Thanks so much for this sewalong!!

    Also dumb new sewer question, when you turn the tension up do you turn the dial to higher numbers or lower numbers (feel so dumb asking but dont know)
  7. Mama Lion

    Mama Lion New Member

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    I was wondering the same thing... Or do you simply have a seam down the center of the back? Or one side? I'm ready to get out my cutting mat and get going on this... thanks for doing the sew-along!
  8. bnylund

    bnylund New Member

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    I have a dumb question! I keep reading how people "steam" it - does everybody have a steamer or is it done with an iron on steam or ???
  9. *Heather*

    *Heather* :) :) :)

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    I am sorry. I thought I had cut 2 pattern pieces. :( I am so sorry. I added it. Also, the higher the number on your dial the more tension. I have more pics to add visuals...I will add them when I get them uploaded. Sorry about the confusion. :) I wanted to get this up for those who had questions...LOL and I just created more questions.
  10. Lisa3

    Lisa3 New Member

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    Thanks so much for this!!! I am going to attempt this in the next day or two :) Quick ? as I am a total newbie to this. For the ruffle on the bottom, do I just cut a piece slightly bigger than the circumference of the dress and then gather and sew on???
  11. fullmoonmama

    fullmoonmama girlfactory

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    Wow what a suck :( My sewing machine CHEWED up the fabric LOL. Does anyone have a Babylock Designer's Choice and got the elastic bobbin thread to work?
  12. BlueRoseMama

    BlueRoseMama Amity's Focus Member

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    I am going to get this today! Thanks so much Heather!

    Love Val
  13. momma2julian

    momma2julian New Member

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    I've got this dress mostly all made (my first major sewing project!) but i can't figure out how to do the ruffle. Can someone explain this?
    When i got my machine I bought a gathering foot, will this help?
    Thanks in advance, I'll be eagerly watching this thread! ;partyhat:

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