I thought I’d share a bit of sewing fun with you. I was introduced to sewing with elastic thread this summer. It is called shirring or smocking. I ran into quite some trouble trying to sew with my BabyLock machine. I read a thousand blogs on how to do it, and was beginning to seriously doubt my sewing capabilities, when I came across a blog that said that Brothers or BabyLock machines cannot shirr. So it wasn’t me, it was my STUPID MACHINE! Since I first got my BabyLock machine it has been nothing but a growing love affair. Obviously, I was distraught that I had found something that my machine was incapable of doing!
I called the fabulous ladies at the Creative Stitch in Littleton, Colorado and was reassured that neither I nor my machine was stupid. So for those of you out there frustrated and unable to shirr with a BabyLock, here’s your blog baby!
To begin, buy some nice elastic thread. As always, Gutermann has led my machine to nothing but success. Hand wind the elastic thread around the bobbin making sure it is snug. You don’t need to stretch it all the way out, but you don’t want it loose.
Insert your bobbin into the bobbin casing, pulling the thread past the tension spring. Using a small eye glasses screw driver, adjust the tension screw on the bobbin casing. I put mine about a quarter of a turn tighter (to the right).
Place bobbin casing into machine. Your top thread is just normal cotton thread that will show on the nice side of your fabric. Thread machine like normal.
Adjust thread length to longest stitch (mine was 4). You want your stitch to be just a plain-Jane straight stitch. When starting your shirring, you can reverse just like normal to knot the thread. When starting the next row, it is important to hold the fabric taught and sew straight so that the rows gather the same amount.
This is the scrub top that I made for my friend Brenda who just got a nursing job at Seattle Children’s. Woohoo! Go Brenda! She’s a skinny gal and since I didn’t have her here to fit it, the shirring in the back was a nice way to give it some shape without having to adjust the entire pattern. Lots of kids’ clothing has shirring so I think that will be my next project for my shirring summer!
|check out the shirred back|
|Me trying it on!|