Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Shirring - I think it might be addictive!

There is something meditative about shirring - feeding a piece of fabric through the machine over and over to make lines of stitching...  I found it quite peaceful!

I hadn't shirred anything before so I read a few tutorials (mainly this one) and went from there.  Mine is nowhere near as neat as hers but you get the idea :)

I shirred the whole piece and then cut the size panels I wanted, because I needed two - one for each side of the zip.  My idea for construction was based on a vintage swimsuit that I have - two shirred panels are inserted in the back, and the ends are sandwiched between two layers of unshirred fabric.

That doesn't make much sense does it...

Does this help???

I also wanted to put boning in the bodice, and at the back where the zip is going, to give it some shape and support.  I thought the best place was to run the bones along the seam lines of the lining, like this:

That white stuff is the boning casing

So I put the bodice all together so all that was left to do was add the skirt and put in the zip.  The skirt was pretty easy, just two big panels, joined together and gathered to size.  The hard bit was getting the zipper it, it was last of all and manhandling it through the machine was a bit of a pain - however we made it!

Ta Da!!!

I totally ran out of time after this, so I haven't even tried it on yet.  Next post will obviously be me swanning around in the dress and the fabulous sparkly pineapple bag that started it all!!



  1. WOW! That took you no time at all! I love it!

    1. I make sure I get one full day a weekend in front of the sewing machine (minus the time it takes to put stuff in and out of the washing machine!) So I get through my sewing pretty quickly :)

  2. Such a cute dress! Who doesn't love a tropical print? Did you get the fabric from Spotlight? I think I may have spied something similar there the other day.

    Shirring is so awesome - haven't tried it myself yet. So you did the cutting after the shirring? That would be much easier than trying to figure out how much the fabric will shrink by.

  3. Hi Esz - yep, you were right, the fabric is from Spotlight. Its my only fabric store within an hours drive so that's generally where I shop :)

    I wondered about the whole shrinking thing too, so shirred a small piece and then cut it up to see what would happen. Nothing happened so I figured that was the best way to deal with it. Mind you, you need the piece to be SMALLER than if it was a regular piece of fabric, cause it works best when its stretched a bit.

    I hope that makes sense!

  4. very much worth all that work, it looks great.

    I like the different detail with the pink "pearls"

    1. Thanks rino! I like that bobble trim too - I've been looking out for it in other colours but it seems to be someone hard to find!