How to Make Shirring by Hand

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Shirring is a sewing technique that involves rows of gathering as a decorative accent to clothing. Shirring may be done on a dress or skirt to emphasize the waist and will add an element of elegance to a long-sleeve blouse at the wrist. A shirred throw pillow can add a luxurious touch to a living room or bedroom. Although the shirring technique can be done quickly with a sewing machine, a fine hand stitch will also accomplish the desired results.

Things You'll Need

  • Lightweight fabric
  • Ruler
  • Fabric pencil with disappearing ink
  • Sewing needle, size 9
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors
  • With the fabric pencil, draw a series of four long lines lengthwise on the fabric located two inches apart, where the shirring will be located, using the ruler.

  • Thread the needle with 24 inches of thread and knot one end.

  • Sew small, even stitches that are approximately 1/2 inch in length along the fabric pencil line with the needle and thread.

  • Pull the thread to half the stitched row length to create the gathered shirring. Knot the thread firmly at the end of the shirring row.

  • Repeat the stitching and gathering on every fabric pencil row.

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References

  • "New Complete Guide to Sewing"; Reader's Digest; 2002
  • "Teach Yourself Visually Fashion Sewing"; Carole Ann Camp; 2011
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
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