Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Shorts, shirts and shirring

Welcome to another New to Me Link Party, come celebrate or commiserate with me on the highs and lows of trying something for the first time!

This month I have sewing related New to Me's for a change.

First up, I tried a New to Me pattern for Baby Bloomers from Vagabond Stitch

The pattern was so easy to follow that I stitched it up twice more!

Of course, shorts need a t-shirt to go with them, so I tried another New to Me pattern from Brindille and Twig

This pattern is free too, so if you need to whip up a t-shirt or two for a child then it is definitely a great one to try. The sewing wasn't altogether without incident, but all troubles were entirely self-inflicted. I was not able to convince myself that no-one would notice the upside down dachshunds from my first cut but, fortunately, I was able to rescue the fabric to make the sleeves! I found attaching the sleeve binding a tad difficult so would probably add that before stitching up the sides next time. This t-shirt is for 12 - 18 months so I suspect it would be even more difficult if I had been making the t-shirt for a newborn. Other than that it was really straightforward to do.

Sadly my third New to Me wasn't anywhere near as successful.

My niece is coming to France for the first time in a couple of weeks and I thought that I would upcycle this dress to make a sundress for her holiday. I don't know her exact size so thought that a shirred top was the way to go. I checked out lots of tutorials, who all stressed how straightforward a technique it was. I found the shirring elastic for sale in the local supermarket, chopped up the dress and set to work.

I stitched the first couple of rows and it wasn't quite as tight as I had anticipated but a couple of the tutorials mentioned that the first few rows might be looser, so undaunted I carried on until I had run out of elastic in the bobbin. Bobbin rewound and replaced I stitched another row, what a difference! Now this looks more like it.

When I had finished stitching with the second bobbin, I had a very tightly shirred piece of fabric but on testing the stretch I think that it is now too tight!

Clearly something is not quite right and I need to find that happy medium between too loose and too tight, so I am hoping that wiser heads than mine out there will be able to tell where I have gone wrong and what I need to do to produce a piece that is gathered but not so tightly that it would be better placed around a wrist than a chest :)

So, these are my New to Me successes and failures this month, now it is over to you. As always the link party will remain open until 23.59 GMT on July 31st, so if you are thinking of trying something new this month but haven't yet here is the nudge that you need. Grab the link party button and take the plunge! Check out the linkers and give them some blogger support for their endeavours too.


  1. I haven't done shirring for a while, but have never had any problems. Looking back through my notes, setting the stitch length to 3 has given me the best results. At 3.5, the shirring was a little too tight.

  2. Sorry, I can't help you with the shirring - I've never done it. I hope you find a solution to the too tight problem - but in the interim, you can comfort yourself with those adorable bloomers (like a diaper cover that could substitute for shorts on a wee diaperbutt?) and t-shirt :)

  3. I replaced elastic in a similar dress: but I zigzagged over thin elastic. It means I could pull the elastic tighter if needed


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