18 July, 2009

What a 'shirrful' mess

I bought some great fabric with a brillant idea to make a shirred dress for my sister-in-law.
I then scoured the internet and found some brilliant ideas on how to make the dress.
Simple, that's what I thought, Simple.

Huh but no! No, no, no, not simple, not in my household.
Firstly, I had to move the furniture to find enough room on the floor to cut the material.
Then I had to pull the vacuum cleaner out of the closet to clean the floor.
Then it took about 3 goes to get the fabric to lay smooth enough to cut it.

Then I had to drag my sewing machine out from under the spare bed.
Then I had to stop and have a cuppa!
Then it was ok, I was on a roll, I wound the shirring elastic onto the bobbin and threaded the machine with normal cotton.
I managed to sew straight lines without the sewing machine eating the material. Perfect!
Then I popped the shirring bobbin into the machine, and off I went.
Fun, it was fun!
And then I finished the first bobbin, took out the work and examined it.
I had forgotten to turn the dress inside out and had managed to sew all the shirring elastic onto the front of the dress (not the inside).
"No worries" said my partner. "No-one can tell, it looks good."
Huh, it didn't look good in my eyes.
So rather, than unstitching all the elastic and leaving marks in the fabric, I had enough fabric leftover to start again.
So, off I set, cutting, stitching and shirring all over again.
But after the first bobbin was used up rather quickly, I turned over and examined the material - the elastic had caught up all in one huge clump and looked hideous. Argghhhhh.
I decided to give it up as a bad experiment and have cast it aside with the hopes of turning it into some sort of weird bag in the future.
Don't be put off by my disasterous attempts, Shirring is rather fun and quite easy - it's just that I have trouble with new things and don't have the patience to follow instructions to a T!

Here are the links of great Shirring guides available on the internet - give 'em a go!




  1. What a shame, the fabric looks gorgeous. I have just been thinking this week to take a couple of tops to the seamtress to put shirring along the bottom as I didn't want to destroy them. But now maybe I will give it a whirl - on a test piece first though! Thanks for the inspiration :-)

  2. Lovely fabric, great idea, i have never done shirring, but this has made me curious. Nothing is ever wasted, love the black against the fabric.
    It is good to learn these things.

  3. Thanks for this - I've always wanted to give shirring a go and never quite got there. Thanks. K

  4. a great find for panda fanatic!
    my roommate and i LOVE this bag

  5. I just checked out the Panda bag - so cute!

  6. Oh dear. It is good to try new things though but much easier if you have a little set up going rather than having to pull all things out every time. The great part of being creative is being able to transform a mess into something new and different and beautiful. Good luck with that.


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