shirred check top

July 20th, 2011

girl's check shirt made from men's shirt

Here is a little shirred top I made for my daughter from an old men’s shirt. When I started I was trying to make something more like this, but the yoke was a leeetle too tight. Luckily there was just enough length to cut it off and try something new.

That damn elastic thread everyone raves about seemed like the best bet for actually coming out with a wearable top in the end. I’ve tried it before, but there are so many conflicting explainations on how to use it–wind it loose, wind it tight, wind it not too loose and not too tight (that one is particularly helpful, thank you), pull it to gather, don’t pull it, iron it, steam it. Whatever. I already screwed up the shirt once, so I didn’t have much to lose by screwing it up again.

But hey! it’s not so bad.  I have no idea how I wound the bobbin (not too loose and not too tight–sorry) but it worked well enough. Definintly of the homemade varitey.  She likes it, but elastic thread is not all that pleasant against the skin–anyone have any ideas for lining shirring? Or have any horror stories about elastic thread?

Posted in sewing clothes.

19 Responses to shirred check top

  1. Erin says:

    Your realistic perspective is always refreshing! I haven’t tried the elastic thread thing yet and was thinking about it. It’s good to know it’s not as easy as some have made it out to be! The shirt turned out really cute. Good job! :)

    • meg says:

      for me sometimes it’s better to stop reading about how to do something (on the internet, for hours) and just do it already.

  2. Heather says:

    We have the same problem with elastic thread—the discomfort part. I have been thinking of trying: this stuff. Or L just wears a camisole under clothing that has shirring.

  3. erin says:

    i love it.
    i think pressing it on the right side after sewing with it is the best bet. heather ross’s instructions in weekend sewing give me the best results – even better than the ones i have on my own tutorial.

  4. Amanda says:

    I haven’t had too much trouble with elastic thread, although I do find that it starts to come undone after a few washings. Backstitching is key, not tying knots as I’ve seen suggested. I’ve never noticed the discomfort, either, but then I’ve only shirred things for myself (haven’t seen too many boy clothes with shirring…!) and I may not be as sensitive as most kids. I guess you could always use it as a jumper with a t-shirt underneath?

  5. eadaoine says:

    Years ago I gave up on elastic thread. A simpler solution is to sew a casing on the backside stitching parallel lines where you want the gathers. Insert cord or very narrow elastic in each casing, pulling each one to the same length and voila you have the gathered top with no scratchy elastic touching the skin and no fussing with bobbin tension.

  6. Heather says:

    I hate the shirring elastic. I read and read and read how-tos on the internet before finally just winging it. Each time prior was fraught with disappointment. When I winged it, my daughter could at least wear the dress. Cute idea. I have repurposed a mens shirt into a dress; I may need to try a shirt now.

  7. Patricia says:

    Really like the top. Haven’t shirred anything in a long time, I mean years. I like eadaoine’s method. I saw a little dress made that way and it was really cute.

    Patricia aka Mamaw

  8. Barbara says:

    I really love how this top turned out. I may have to make one for my granddaughter. I have used the elastic thread to make the gathered dresses and didnt have any problems. I always had a slip on under the dress so not sure how it felt. Hope you find a solution to the scratchy problem. I love your blog by the way, I am a newbie to it. I look forward to reading all your posts.

  9. Beth says:

    was that an Eddie Bauer shirt? I had one that looked very much like that in college. So smooth/soft. Unfortunately my purging phase happened before my repurposing phase :(

  10. Jenny says:

    So cute, Meg! I know what you mean about the elastic thread though… it always seems a bit itchy.

  11. MBMeadows says:

    Cute top! I might have to make another try at the elastic thread shirring. I haven’t had much luck with any tutorial for it thus far. It makes me wanna cuss!

  12. Molly says:

    My husband has this shirt!! I love this! Must but fear elastic thread. Need to re-read your post now.

  13. Melissa Q. says:

    Oh, I love elastic thread but, to be honest, I have only used it to make clothes for other people’s kids (2 boys…no real shirring happening over here.) so I don’t have any idea if it was uncomfortable for them, they may have been too polite to say anything. You could try that…the give it away method.

  14. Ah, but it looks so cute… My solution would be to explain to her that back in the old days some of us were made to wear wool kilts that were the itchiest things imaginable, so elastic thread really is not that bad, is it? ….

  15. Joy says:

    If you can find elastic thread in the right color, you can sew it on the outside. I have a top with the elastic on the outside, in the same color as the cloth, and it adds a little visual interest, as well as being more comfortable.