Friday 2 December 2011

Shirred Pocket...

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...

I cut a piece of fabric that was wider at the top, than the bottom. The bottom has slightly rounded corners. The top has 1/2 inch that is straight to allow for the hem.

Hem the top by turning under 1/4 inch, stitch, turn under another 1/4 inch and stitch.

Turn under the side and bottom edges 1/8 inch and stitch.

  • 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, press using a moderate iron with a damp cloth over the shirring.

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 try Keren's method.



  1. Very nice addition and alternate shirring tip too!

  2. So cute! I wonder i could do this! Do you stretch the shirring elastic as you hand wind the bobbin?

  3. Who's addicted to shirring??? :o)
    I love this idea.. I think I'll use this tutorial to make some pockets for the little skirt I made for Hannah this week. Thanks for shirring... I mean... sharing!!!

  4. Thanks Pam for another great tutorial from you. I think the shirred pocket is so cute on this dress..I'm totally in love with it. :)

  5. The red polka dot fabric is such a cute detail. Super!!

  6. What a cute idea. I've always wondered about shirring. I'm going to have to try both methods and see which I like best. Thank you for sharing!!


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