4.5" x 15" piece of fabric cut on the bias
13.5" x 4" piece of fabric NOT cut on the bias.
Sewing machine elastic
Regular sewing machine thread
If you haven't shirred anything before, then you'll need to read the tutorial that I wrote on shirring before you begin, as it has lots of information in it that I won't explain here.
As per the shirring tutorial, before you begin make sure:
- that you have regular cotton thread in your spool holder and shirring elastic in the bobbin case
- that you have reduced the top tension
- that you have lengthened the stitch length
Once you've finished shirring, the fabric should be about half its previous length. It should look something like this from the front:
And this from the back:
Now fold it in half length ways so that the right sides of the fabric are together on the inside. Pin along the long edge. You will need to sew along this edge with a 1/2" seam. Remember, before you begin to sew: to fill the bobbin case with regular thread, and to put the upper tension and stitch length back to the settings that you would normally sew with. You have now entered a shirring-free zone.
As you sew you will need to stretch the fabric out so that it temporarily reverts to the flat state that it was once in. To do this hold it taut at the back and front, and let the fabric feed through the machine at its normal pace.
Now turn right side out...yes, this is tricky...I normally pace around a bit as I do this...it feels like it helps in what I always find to be this inexplicably tense sewing moment.
Once turned, roll the seam to sit in the middle at the back and you should be left with something resembling this:
And this from the front: