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Monday, April 9, 2012

Mommy & Me Skirts

I've been wanting to try shirring again lately, so I decided to make myself a skirt for summer.  I had a couple of shirred waist skirts from Target years ago that I loved, and after seeing this tutorial over at Running with Scissors, I knew I had to give it a try.

Since I don't have much experience with shirring, I decided to use an inexpensive piece of quilting cotton that I had purchased from Joann's a few weeks ago.  I liked the colors and the print was okay, but if this shirring thing didn't work out, I wouldn't feel so guilty about wasting the fabric.

Warning!  The picture you are about to see contains a pair of very, very white legs and me with no make-up on.

I chose not to make the skirt with pockets just to simplify the entire project this time.  The main idea was to practice my shirring technique.

I used the tutorial to determine the width and length of the skirt, but I found that even with her revised notes in the instructions, this was still too much fabric for me.  I also felt like the skirt length she specified was a little long for me.

Last time I shirred something, I made sure to make a note about how I adjusted my sewing machine settings.  This seemed to work out just fine, but when I finished all 10 rows of shirring for the waistband and then spritzed it with water and applied heat, the elastic just did not draw up nearly enough. This is when I discovered that the width of the skirt was just way too big for me.  I even sewed in a few extra rows of shirring hoping it would draw up more, but it didn't.

What I thought was going to be a super quick project turned into an afternoon headache!  I eventually decided to cut off 10" of the width at which point the skirt still fit a little loose.  So, the next time I try making this skirt, I'm only going to multiply my hip measurement by 1.45 (instead of the tutorial recommended 1.75) to get a better fit for me.

After finishing my skirt, I realized that I had enough fabric left over to make Ella one, too.  Since my experience with shirring hadn't gone as well as I had hoped, I opted to just put in a regular elastic waistband on her skirt.

To make the two skirts look even more similar, I added the bias tape at the hem.

This little ruffle and bow were a cute addition to her skirt and gave it more of a girly flare; however, she keeps asking me to remove it (not gonna happen!).

Next time I shirr, I think I'll try using a different brand of elastic thread.  I've read that Stretch-Rite works well (I think it could be because it has more rubber in the elastic than the Dritz brand).  What's your opinion?  Do you have a preference for one elastic thread brand over another?  I'd really appreciate your input on the topic.  Thanks!


  1. Both skirts are adorable, this is something I would love to try but I already have one skirt not finished so shirring will have to go on my to do list.

  2. The skirts look great, especially with the contrast at the bottom. I find shirring to be imprecise, but I love the effect it creates. Have you experimented with stitch lengths? The longer the stitch length, the tighter the shirring will be.

  3. well, the skirt came out looking great!! and i love the little one too :)

  4. If you will hold your iron one inch above the shirring and give it a few blasts of steam, it will draw up even more. Also, lengthening the stitch will help, too. Every fabric weight responds differently. It's kind of trial and error. Your skirt is really cute, though!

  5. What a pretty skirt, who wouldn’t love it!


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