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Forum > Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting > Want to replace hand-stitched smocking with machine shirring

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Want to replace hand-stitched smocking with machine shirring
What do I need to consider, if anything?
Christina Sonja
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Christina Sonja  Friend of PR
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Washington USA
Member since 7/2/06
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Date: 5/30/11 0:44 AM

I am interested in making Burda Magazine 05-2011-114.



It's designed for ''lightweight dress fabrics'' and the magazine shows it in a batiste. Included are detailed instructions on how to hand-smock the neckline. I love the silhouette of this dress but I just don't have the time or the motivation to learn hand smocking (one day, yes! just not now...). I think I could successfully replace the smocking with machine shirring with elastic thread in the bobbin (like in this tutorial). I've done this type of shirring with elastic thread before - I'm just wondering if there's anything else I need to take into consideration? Does the elastic thread shirring gather the fabric more than smocking would? Would I need to make any adjustments to the pattern pieces? I am anxious to forge ahead and not do a muslin, of course :)

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Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to Christina Sonja
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Date: 5/30/11 8:20 AM

Some sewing machines have a honeycomb stitch, used for just this technique. As to whether or not the elastic thread shirring would gather more than the hand smocking depends on the stitch length and tension settings of your machine. I would suggest you try this out on scrap fabric, a piece that is as long as the neckline on the top, and figure this out. I think this would look gorgeous in batiste!

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Debbie Cook
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Date: 5/30/11 9:35 AM

I think hand smocking is a 2:1 ratio, or close. You may want to ZZ over elastic thread from the back side instead of using it in the bobbin so you can pull the elastic as tight as you want. I did this for a Burda WOF tee (made a few times and how I did it is shown in the linked review) and it worked great. Be sure to secure one end of the elastic thread before you pull it.

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Christina Sonja
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Christina Sonja  Friend of PR
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Washington USA
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Posts: 342
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Date: 5/30/11 4:43 PM

Thanks for your replies. I do have that honeycomb stitch on my machine, I never knew what it was for! I will give it a try. And yes, good idea to zig zag over the elastic thread (instead of using in the bobbin) to have more control. I'll try these on some scrap fabric.

That 7 hole cording foot is something, Debbie!

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Christina
www.assortednotions.com

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