To Practice This You'll Need:
big scraps of fabric
Set your bobbin tension to the highest setting and your stitch length to longest setting. Then zip a nice straight line across a scrap piece. It will be tempting to stretch the fabric taut while guiding it through, but DON'T! Be sure to back stitch (reverse) at both ends!
Begin your next row by aligning the right edge of your presser foot with the stitching of the previous row. This will ensure that they're all evenly spaced and the stitching is nice and straight. Again, gently guiding the fabric along, sew another row. You can see that the fabric bunches itself perfectly.
That's it! That's shirring! Now, onto the dress :)
I found a beautiful batik wrap skirt at Saver's a few weeks ago and even though I'm not a long skirt person I HAD to have it. It was $2.99!!! I decided that it would make a great summer dress for my daughter.
This particular skirt was bias cut with no seams! (That takes a LOT of fabric!) I cut the skirt down to size (My daughter's chest measurement, plus 1/2" seam allowance, plus 1" to grow... the shirring will pull the extra inch snug now and will stretch the inch as she grows) I also cut the thick waistband off, since the elastic wouldn't be strong enough to shirr it.
I popped in the elastic bobbin and stitched the top row directly on top of my hem line. (It is very important to note that the bobbin thread (elastic) will be on the underside of whatever you are stitching, so you MUST sew with the right side of your fabric facing UP!)
Now go get shirrin'!!!