I am not at all new to sewing, I’m trying elastic shirring and it’s not working. I’d like to make a lined chiffon skirt with a shirred waist. I experimented with shirring on fabric (The fabric I was working with was thick cotton, it was all I could find, and I was sewing through two layers of it, because I’d be sewing through multiple layers on my skirt) and the fabric didn’t even pucker. I’ve looked up basically every shirring instruction online on this site and elsewhere, and the shirring instructions that came with the package of elastic thread and I can’t find anything wrong with what I’m doing. I sewed 5 lines, full tension and full stitch length.
The one thing is my sewing maching (Janome memory craft 5000) doesn’t have a very long maximum stitch length, which could be the problem, but I don’t see why that would revent the shirring from working at all.
Another issue I was having was that the machine got jammed pretty frequently while I was working with the elastic thread and it never gets jammed usually. After I adjusted the tension this was a bit better but not perfect..

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  • 20596winter_20fairy_large

    Sep 7, 2011, 08.23 AMby sewingfan1

    A shirring method I’ve used is to do a zigzag stitch over each line of elastic making sure you don’t cactch it with your thread.Fix one end of each elastic and then pull the other ends through the zigzagged stitching until it’s gathered to the length you want, then fix those ends or tie them together. It works fine although if you are stretching the shirring a lot when putting the item on or taking it off, sometimes the elastic at one of the ends works loose so make sure they’re fixed firmly. How thick is your shirring elastic? If it’s very thin/weak maybe the thick cotton is too heavy for it and the elastic isn’t strong enough to make it pucker? Not sure.

  • 10th_aug_on_holiday_large

    Sep 8, 2011, 08.37 PMby katensew

    Sounds as if the cotton fabric is too thick to take shirring elastic – you can try either round elastic cord or narrow ribbon elastic and zig zag stitch over it , stretching elastic as you sew- on the wrong side – try out various methods first.

  • Missing

    Sep 14, 2011, 04.29 PMby quilting-mom

    sew it up has a great sheering tutorial on their website

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Jul 17, 2013, 02.46 PMby waterhousesmuse

      Thank you SO MUCH!! What a great tutorial.

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