Here's a detailed step-by-step shirring tutorial.
You will need:
- Lightweight knit made from a natural fibre, such as cotton, modal or bamboo. An old t-shirt would work great also. I used a crinkle cotton with a thin, grey/charcoal stripe.
- Sewing thread
- Wooly nylon thread for the bobbin on the sewing machine and one of the lower loopers on the overlocker
- Shirring elastic
- Twin stretch needle
- Non-satin ribbon for shoulder strap ties. Satin ribbons get sheared when sewn through
- Domes or snap fasteners.
1. Cut out the bodice. Clearly I didn't spend too much time on pattern draughting here. I based the measurements on an existing well-fitting garment, but added about 20% extra to the width. Obviously you need a front and a back - the photo shows fabric folded in half.
|cut out the fabric|
|See, not that many pieces!|
3. With the right sides together sew the sides of the garment. Do the same with the facings for the straps. Then with the right sides together pin the facing to the garment. Extra-easy when front and back are identical. Insert the ribbons into the seams of strap ends, pin in place and sew all the way around the garment.
|Sewn sides and straps|
|Turn the right way out|
4. Decide which side is the back and attach the more rounded edge of the gusset to the centre back of the bodice. The most precise way of doing this is folding the gusset in half to locate the centre, do the same with the bodice back, and then match the centres with the right sides together. Pin from the centre out and check that the gusset is pinned evenly and not stretched out of shape on one side. Then sew together.
5. With the right sides together attach the facings to the inside of the legs. Just like in previous step, start from the centres and pin out to the ends before sewing.
|Attach leg facings|
6. Turn the facings inside and stay stitch them in place using a twin needle. If you don't have a twin needle, use a zigzag stitch instead. This creates a stretchy seam.
|Stay stitch facings|
7. Hem the legs using the twin needle/zigzag stitch.
|Hem the legs|
8. Stay stitch the strap stitching to the bodice. You can even use a straight stitch for this because the elastication of the shirring will remove any tension from it. It's possible to skip this step, but then there is a risk of the fabric layers shifting in the next step.
|Stay stitch the strap facing|
|Shir the bodice|