Shirring is adorable. If jake and I have a little girl some day, she’ll be dressed in shirring. I’ve been thinking about making a shirred dress since I saw it on a blog by made-by-rae and on the back of a shirt that laura (my sewing teacher) made for her daughter.

I saw a link on a blog for elastic thread. The blogger said that she had been having problems with the thread from Joann Fabrics so she bought a different brand and it worked great. I thought it was a little spool (I should have wondered a little harder when I was confused as to why a spool would cost $15) but when it came in the mail, I understood. it was GINORMOUS. I actually laughed out loud.


It’s about the size of a lonely planet travel book for costa rica.

I brought my giant spool of thread to Laura’s Sewing School and she helped me make a dress for Jake’s niece, Maddie. We didn’t use a pattern.

1. We cut the material 27.5 inches long.  the width was selvage to selvage.

2. On the top I used a 6mm rolled hem foot. It’s the first time I have done this (Maddie, please don’t look too closely). I only had a 4mm rolled hem foot so I borrowed Laura’s. Thinking about buying one for my machine.

3. Then I “shirred” the material. I put elastic thread in the bobbin with regular (orange) thread in the top of my machine. I sewed 12 rows across the material from selvage to selvage. I backstitched at the beginning and end of each row.

4. After shirring the fabric, I brought it over to the iron and used it to steam the elastic thread. It makes it shrink up. Kind of like a shrinky dink (remember how awesome those were??). I guess it changes the chemical make-up of the elastic.

5. I sewed the selvage edge to selvage edge to make it into a “tube”.

6. I did a wide hem on the bottom. I think it was 2 inches.

7. Lastly, I attached straps. I wasn’t sure how long they should be for Maddie so I made them to tie into bows.



And here’s the princess in the dress, I love it.

Enjoy Maddie! We love you!




3 thoughts on “Shirring.

Leave a Reply