January 13, 2012

shirred lace scarf

I found some lace fabric at the thrift store for $1.50 a while ago! It's really soft, and not at all scratchy like a lot of lace is. I decided that it would make a fun scarf...and I think I even have enough left over to make a shirt! Would you like to make a simple shirred scarf too?! Here's how!

Gather your supplies. You'll need lace (or whatever type of fabric you want to use), regular thread to match your fabric, and elastic thread to match your fabric *or as close as you can get to match*! Scissors and sewing  machine as well.
 First, determine how long you want your scarf to be and cut out your fabric. Keep in mind that after the fabric is shirred it will shrink up in length a lot. I started out with 5 yards of fabric in length (two 2.5 yard long strips) but the finished length of my scarf is only 1.6 yards. My two long fabric strips were 9 inches wide each. If you have to use two strips like me, just sew them together with a simple straight seam. Since my fabric was sheer and lace-y I used a french seam. For french seam, sew narrow seam with WRONG sides together then turn seam towards outside and place RIGHT sides together and sew another narrow seam. This encloses the seam within itself and it's a lot less likely to fray or rip this way. I also love the look of french seams.
Now, wind your bobbin, by HAND, with elastic thread. Don't worry, it's not hard! Not too tight, and not so loose it gets tangled up. Thread your machine as normal except use your elastic threaded bobbin in place of regular thread on the bobbin. Set your machine to the longest stitch length (this is a five on my machine) and begin sewing a straight line. I first decided to do just one row of shirring, but this didn't gather my scarf enough and the scarf was too long, so I did an additional row of shirring right next to it about 1/4 inch to the right and that shrank it right up.

You can backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitched line like normal. When you sew, you will see the fabric start to scrunch up behind the presser foot, this is normal, but make sure that it doesn't get caught up in the portion you are sewing. Also, be sure to make sure the fabric is laying flat as you stitch. This is especially important when you are sewing your second shirring line. If you do not pull the fabric down flat the shirring won't turn out right. You can stop at one shirred line or do as many as you want. You could even space your shirred lines out across the width of the fabric! Get creative! And if you mess up, the long stitches make it really easy to rip out! Trust me...I know! ;) Happy shirring!

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