After finding how easy it was to do shirring on Lucy's Little Flower dress, I'm now hooked!!! So, I've added a cute, little shirred pocket to the original dress. Here's how I did it...
- Change the bobbin thread to shirring elastic.
- Wind the elastic onto the bobbin by hand.
- Make the stitch length 3.
- With the right side facing up, stitch 1/8 inch from the top edge. Backstitch at each end.
- Stitch a 2nd row 1/4 inch from the top edge. Backstitch at each end.
- Stitch a 3rd row 3/8 inch from the top edge. Backstitch at each end.
To shrink the elastic on the dress, I held the iron over the dress and pressed the steam button. Because the pocket was small and I didn't want to burn my fingers, I used the damp cloth instead.
- Turn under the side and bottom edges 1/4 inch.
- Pin the pocket in place.
- Baste (long hand stitch) and remove pins.
- Topstitch as close to the edge as you can.
- Stitch a 2nd row 1/8 inch from the 1st row.
That's all there is to it.
After doing some reading, it seems that machines with top loading bobbins are the ones most likely to have problems with shirring. My machine has a front loading bobbin, so it looks like I'm lucky.
Keren, from Sew la Vie! has told me another way to do shirring.....
You place the shirring elastic along the "seam line" and carefully zigzag over it without catching the elastic. Then you pull the shirring through the "zigzag tunnel" as much as you like and secure the ends (in the seam allowances). This is how Burda Magazine explains it. This way you have more control over the level of gathering and you don't need to use elastic in the bobbin thread.
Thanks for the tip, Keren. Next time, I'm going to use Keren's method.