So two years ago, the long Easter/Royal Wedding weekend to be precise, I was camping up in Perthshire, and I popped into Karelia House, a craft/fabric shop, where I found a bolt of French General’s Rural Jardin, which has a slight border print, and I thought it would be perfect to make a shirred summer dress from.  I hadn’t even thought of venturing into quilting at that point, but clothing I was okay with, and really, shirring is easy, right?

Nothing daunted, a few weeks later I started trying to shirr it.  Oh dear.  That was the weekend that I discovered that Baby Brother, and in fact Brothers in general, were not fans of shirring in a conventional way.  Then I thought I might trying sewing the elastic on at least, and then pull it to get the tension afterwards.  That worked right up until I realised that some of the stitches went through the elastic.  So by that point I had 20 rows of elastic stitched to fabric that I couldn’t shirr, with about a quarter of it that was actually what it ought to look like.  Crapbiscuits.  I did what anyone would do at that point, and balled it up and threw it into a dark corner…

It lay there right up until madam over here went and showed off how easily she had made a shirred dress from a Nordika border print.  Damn her.  Not to be outdone I dug the offending outcast and started to unpick.  And unpick.  And unpick.  And good grief that took for-flipping-ever!  So here it is now:

That thread/elastic ball is a good 6″ in diameter.  Just so you know.

Now I’m in a bit of a quandry.  The bit that sat shirred for 2 years is, well, kinky, but the rest is flat.  So I’m hoping a wash will sort it out, but I think I’ll have to overlock the sides before I do that so it doesn’t unravel.  What do you reckon?  I’m pretty sure an iron is not going to do it!

The good news is, that Big Brother has a special bobbin casing for this sort of thing.  Better go and find the user guide…

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