How to make shirring by hand

Written by linda shepard
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How to make shirring by hand
Shirring is a gathering technique that can be done by hand sewing. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

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 emphasise 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.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Lightweight fabric
  • Ruler
  • Fabric pencil with disappearing ink
  • Sewing needle, size 9
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    With the fabric pencil, draw a series of four long lines lengthwise on the fabric located 5 cm (2 inches) apart, where the shirring will be located, using the ruler.

  2. 2

    Thread the needle with 60 cm (24 inches) of thread and knot one end.

  3. 3

    Sew small, even stitches that are approximately 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) in length along the fabric pencil line with the needle and thread.

  4. 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.

  5. 5

    Repeat the stitching and gathering on every fabric pencil row.

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