Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mini Tutorial - smock/shirring.

This dress made from a pattern from Oliver + S (model: Ice Cream Dress) is one of my favorites. The package comes with this color block version (so how easy is that) and I love this combination of thin denim chambray, the always beautiful Liberty poplin fabric and then the neon lime corduroy for a great color pop. When I was done sewing it I thought the dress was too wide and I decided to sew like 4 rows of smock/shirring around the waist....and voila perfect!

 Evelyn enjoying a cheese stick.

And a little show.....with the mouth full of cheese.

Yeah okay so when I asked her to turn around so I could photograph her from the back she was kind of done being photographed so I ended up with this half blurred one. As good as it gets this time :-)

Mini tutorial for making the shirring/smock.

The reason I'm doing this tutorial is that someone who saw this dress in The first post commented that she wish that her sewing machine could sew shirring (I call it smock). And I thought that if your machine can sew straight normal stitches it CAN sew smock/shirring.
You start with elastic thread like the one to the right and then you use your sewing machine to roll it up on a fills up quite quickly. You use regular thread on top of your machine and sew with normal straight stitches. It very important that you stretch the fabric out - don't let it gather as you sew - otherwise the smock will not be very elastic in the end.

After only one row of sewing there is not a lot of smock but doooon't worry :-)

Here we are after 5 rows...a little bit better but we still have one important step left....

Up close....

We need to give the smock a lot of steam....but do NOT put the iron down on the fabric....just steam like 2,5 - 5 cm (1 - 2 inch) from the fabric.

And now you can see how much the fabric has gathered and is perfectly elastic.

Up close after steaming.

From the back side of the can see the elastic thread.



  1. Thank you for posting the mini tutorial. I think I've missed the steaming step. My smocking always looks like your pic before steaming and I could never understand why it wouldn't gather up enough!

  2. Hi Mie!! Nice blog!! I must get some elastic thread and then I'll try smocking!! Thanks for the tutorial, I didn't know about the steaming part!!

  3. thank you so much for I was really stuck on it
    but you're simple tutorial made it real easy
    thanxa bunch


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