I’ve had a reel of shirring elastic in the drawer for ages, meaning to make Clare a shirred dress. There are loads of tutorials around explaining how to do it. It probably would have been a good idea if I’d read them before I started.
Although the elastic definitely did its thing, it isn’t a brilliant job of shirring. See, I do show my unsuccessful projects on my blog as well as the ones that work. Now that I’ve finally read some tutorials, I realise that I should have loosened the tension on my machine and should have used a much longer stitch length.
However, Clare loves the dress! No accounting for kids. It’s made from a pillowcase – I chopped about 7 inches off the bottom of the pillowcase, which I then cut into four strips to use as straps. Clare chose to wear it with the front two straps tied as a halter neck (the back two straps were tucked inside the dress).
I added some broderie anglaise lace around the hem to add a delicate touch.
I’m definitely going to have another go at doing this, with a long stitch length. It’s easy! You just sew lots of parallel rows with shirring elastic hand-wound onto the bobbin. Read the tutorials first – there is one here and another one here. Then you shouldn’t get the puckered effect I got, rather than nice even gathers.