Ok. Ok. There are two things I’ve historically despised in clothing: tie-dye, and shirring. Please find here what my nightmares are made of.
So you can imagine my shock when recently realized I was enough into a shirred bustier to buy it. Was there a shirring opportunity in my life after all?? There was. but not in the usual bust use case.. But sleeves! Ladies, never say never.
Fabric (I used a printed crepe) 1.5 m x 1.5 m | Scissors | Pins | Small piece of matching round elastic + shirring elastic | Button | Thread & sewing machine (I also used my serger to finish seams | Not in image but about 25 cm of double-sided bias tape if you want to finish shoulder seams nicely
I. Here are the measurements of my cut front and back pieces (on top of each other) – I am EU36/US4 and wanted a semi-loose fit.
The only adjustment I made to the front piece was to cut the neckline a bit lower:
I also chopped the back piece in half along the middle, and finished the edges with my serger.
II. Then to create the keyhole, I sewed the two pieces back together, leaving about 15 cm from the top unsewn. Then I pressed the seam allowance as below, and sewed around the keyhole on the right side with a straight stitch.
III. To finish the neckline nicely, I cut two pieces matching the curve, about 4 cm wide and pinned along the edges, right sides facing like so, and sewed along the curved neckline.
Then I flipped the lining pieces on the reverse and used my iron to fold them so I had this:
Before sewing, I created a little loop from my matching elastic, and hand-sewed it at the fold:
And then sandwiched the elastic in between, hand-sewing the lining piece to the top to avoid having a visible stitch on the right side.
Finally I hand-sewed my button on the other side of the keyhole.
IV. I repeated the same thing for the front piece neckline with a single lining piece.
V. The shoulder seams I finished with bias tape, like I did in my previous dress here.
VI. Then I cut my sleeves, by using the top’s arm hole as guidance. Some measurements below:
I first finished the sleeve ends with a double fold:
VII. Next came the shirring. Here is a very clear video showing the process. My shirring elastic was a bit loose for my tastes, so after sewing in the stitches (which you can see from below I did in pairs, with about 1.5cm in between) I pulled on the elastics to gather the shirring even more. Until I had this:
After doing both sleeves, here’s what they looked like.
VIII. Next I just attached the sleeves to the top, and completed the sleeve under seam and top side seams. I left small slits at the hem on both side seam.
After hemming the top it was done!
I still can’t believe I have this amount of love for something shirred. How life can change.