Sewing with Shirring Elastic
Added May 9, 2012
North West, Unit...
‘Shirring‘ is a method of gathering up fashion fabric to give a decorative effect.
Generally speaking, shirring is used on a more lightweight or softer type of fabric and when added to certain areas, can give a stunning effect.
The specific fashion sewing technique and demonstration can be done by hand but I’ll be looking to complete the shirring using my sewing machine. It all comes down to personal choice!
Shirring elastic comes in the same form as most fashion threads only thicker and has an elasticated stretch.
It is best practise to use shirring on fashion fabric that is either cut on the cross grain or on the bias, as this is the natural stretch of a fabric and will therefore give the best effects.
By using shirring thread and a simple straight stitch, you can create professional looking shirring.
1 – The shirring elastic needs to be hand wound onto the bobbin, keeping a firm tension, stretching the elastic slightly.
2 – Use your fashion thread of choice, threading your sewing machine as normal.
3 – Use a stitch length of approx 2.5. Dependent on your fabric choice, you could choose to use a longer stitch length. Try performing a test on a scrap piece of fabric to ensure you’ve got it just right.
4 – Chalk where the first line of stitching will be placed as this will help to ensure that you sew a straight and accurate line. This will then assist in the sewing of all subsequent rows of stitching.
5 – All other rows of stitching can be gauged by the edge of your sewing foot.
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