Sewing our Sanity

Monday, April 16, 2012

Shirred Shirt

Say that fast five times!

I was going to do a follow-up post to Emily's bunny tutorial and write about my experiences with my daughter's "bun-bun," made from the same pattern. She is on her 6th or 7th, she has lost most of those somewhere - they are probably with all those single socks. I was going to post pictures of what is left of her favorite, an arm and an ear, but all I could find was the faded little arm. I decided to post something a little more interesting.

Shirring has always intrigued me. I tried it once but it was a disaster. I recently bought a ruffle-tiered black skort and plain lime green t-shirt at Walmart for my girl. I put a flocked black butterfly on the shirt using my Silhouette.

It is a little hard to tell in this photo, but the shirt was a little long and needed something else to give it some shape. I had an uncooperative model. This was the best photo. The other two were sassy and I left out the one where she was sticking her tongue out at me. She has never done that before! Aren't four and a half-year-old little girls full of surprises!

Back to the shirring and the point of this post...
This was the perfect shirt for a little bit of shirring so I decided to give it a try again. I drew four lines 1/4 inch apart at the waist in the middle of the back, two inches from each side seam. I wound, by hand, elastic thread on my bobbin with a little bit of tension, inserted the bobbin in my machine and started sewing (and held my breath). It worked! I used the Acufeed foot on my wonderful Janome. (The Acufeed foot is a built-in walking foot.)

(Not the greatest photo - I have been playing around editing my photos. My camera isn't as nice as Emily's. Mine is a pin hole camera compared to her's.)

I did three rows instead of 4, putting the middle row in-between the two outside rows. Three rows was plenty. The photo below is of the inside; make sure you sew on the outside. There is a fantastic tutorial here.

A close-up of the back:
I cut the hem off and just left it as is. T-shirt fabric doesn't unravel and leaving no hem makes it curl up a little. I might go back and cut another 3/4" off.

The finished top on a much more cooperative model:

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