Shirring: The Technique That’s Gonna Change Fabric As You Know It


Professor Pincushion / YouTube


Do you have some fabric you’d like to stitch up that doesn’t stretch, even though you need it to?

Believe it or not, there’s a sewing technique that can fix that super quickly. It’s called shirring, and once you learn how to do it, you can create a ton of stretchy things for whatever you want!


Not only does it provide stretch, but for a lot of garments, it serves as a decoration as well! Since the stitch ends up looking decorative on the outside, use a contrasting thread for an awesome pop of color.

Depending on how tightly and/or closely you do your shirring, you can create a ton of different versions of stretch, from form-fitting tops to a slightly snugger version.

If your lines of stitching are closer together, you get a stretchier, more form-fitting version, whereas larger amounts of spacing between the lines make for a snugger fit with less stretch.

Regardless, the stitch is going to be the same. Just make sure you use elastic bobbin thread.

The type of stitch you use, and materials, along with the tightening technique that Professor Pincushion describes in her video below is all there really is for the perfect level of shirring.

The sewing machine does most of the work for you, so once you try this once, you’ll be hooked. 

Watch the tutorial below, then give it a try!