How to Make Shirring by Hand

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Things You'll Need

  • Lightweight fabric

  • Ruler

  • Fabric pencil with disappearing ink

  • Sewing needle, size 9

  • Coordinating thread

  • Scissors

Shirring is a gathering technique that can be done by hand sewing.

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.


Step 1

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.

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Step 2

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


Step 3

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

Step 4

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.

Step 5

Repeat the stitching and gathering on every fabric pencil row.


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