Friday, April 01, 2011

Shir- Fire Success: The Shirred Top Tutorial (No Fooling!)

I made myself  a super comfy fairly easy new blouse using elastic thread shirring!
A few of my Me Made March buddies said they'd like a tutorial so...
Here We Go!! 
( A little late. My PDF creating skillz are lacking!!!)

For this project you'll need:

  • Prewashed and ironed fabric. 1.5-2 yards
  • Matching and contrasting thread
  • Elastic thread

Tools :
  • measuring tape
  • scissors
  • marking method (tracing wheel and paper or dressmaker's pencil or pen is best)
  • straight edge
  • sewing machine 
  • downloaded PDF

Use the PDF to measure and cut the pieces for your shirt.
It's a few steps to get the measurements done.
The Math is easy!

Mark your cut pieces on the 'right side' of the fabric.
use a straight edge and a more precise marking tool.
Straight lines to follow make all the difference!
More info on this step is in the PDF.

Hand wind your bobbin with the elastic thread.
Don't Pull It Tight.

Join and hem pieces according to PDF instructions.
Use  matching thread to make these stitch lines less obvious.
( No pic, sorry, I just forgot to take one!!)

Load elastic bobbin, thread machine with
contrasting thread for a more Faux smocked look
and set stitch length to the longest possible.
Start shirring.
Right side up, stitching carefully on the lines you marked.
Pull the fabric gently as you go, to make the few inches 
in front of the presser foot flat.

Pull the cotton thread through to the back
and knot it to the elastic thread as you go. 
The stretchy nature of the elastic thread
will pull itself loose very quickly

When you are done your shirring should look like this!~
If it's looser, a little blast of steam from your iron will help it gather.

Join final sleeve to back panel.
(Again no pic. I got too excited!)
(you could try and do this before you shir, 
but I like having the flatter garment to work on
what with all the bunching that is already involved!)
And then sew down the sides.

Hem and Wear it!

I love these silly little blouses because they are perfect for warm weather. 
Comfy and breezy.
All the tiny knots take a little time, 
But I will probably wear this once a week all summer! 
And if you get the shirring principle down?
You can add shirred wasitbands,  or smaller rectangular panels, little plackets...
The imagination reels!

Sew On, My dearies!


Plushpussycat said...

Pretty blouse! Thanks for the tutorial--I may refer to this later for making plushy doll clothes! :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I will use it for a summer dress!

Pamela said...

I'm with DeniseAngela... I need some cute dresses for summer! Great tutorial.

Heidi said...

Your the best Betty I love my new darling chick, do you see how I messed up can you re send the bill on etsy I'm going to use my debit and I did this last time and it worked and this time it sent it to you for and invoice...I adore them all!!!sorry about the mess though, hugs Heidi

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [02 Apr 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

Anonymous said...

I love that you made a pdf to go with the tutorial too. Thanks, it is so handy! What a great blog!

Anne said...

I love this so much!!! I've been wanting to make myself a top exactly -EXACTLY- like this, but have been avoiding actually figuring out the measurements for the pattern. Now I have no excuse not to make one.

I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


Shelley Noble said...

This was all new to me! Love that your projects are smart looking and yet not too scary to perhaps try. xoxox

Hillary said...

Oh brilliant, thank you!!!

Jenifir said...

Fabulous! Did you use a spare bobbin case or are you accustomed to adjusting it or maybe that is not an issue? I have not experimented with this technique.

You can call me Betty, or Bethany, or Beth ...Just don't call me late for dinner. said...

I used my regular bobbin case. No adjustment. The elastic pulls just a little as it comes out... That's what does the shirring, I think.It's handy to wind an extra bobbin though. They can't hold too much of the thicker elastic thread so you go through it pretty quick!

christine said...

thank you for sharing. I love that shape of shirt. It is flattering to most body types. I am adding it to my gotta-make-pile.

Sara said...

Thanks for the great tute! For step #6, the knotting, do you mean at the beginning and end of each row or every few inches? Is that a Singer you were shirring on? I have a Singer 201-2 and have had a terrible time shirring on it. The bobbin tension always seems to go wonky. Just wondered if you had the same machine and had any tips. Thanks again so much!

You can call me Betty, or Bethany, or Beth ...Just don't call me late for dinner. said...

I do have an old Singer.. a 15-91 I think. I love to use it for shirring, but I think you can adjust the bobbin tension with a little screw on the case...

and the knots are just at the beginning and end of the rows!

Thanks for asking!

Jeans Manufacturers said...

I love the way you teached every thing and elaborated it clearly :)

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