Tips & Tricks for Shirring or Ruching Fabric - Free Sewing Pattern

Posted on June 2, 2021 by Greg Dugdale

Do you ever see someone walk by with a cute top and think to yourself, "I want that"? Well, Mood has a solution to your problem by using the free Camellia top sewing pattern! It’s a fun, easy, and picture-perfect top to do anything in! Since the weather is getting hotter, use a lightweight linen, cotton, shirting, and or poplin.

Rather than follow the original instructions to sew in individual elastic strips, we chose to add shirring (sometimes called ruching) to this pattern in order to give it a slightly different look!

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All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated. See chart below for sizing specifications. Note, this specific pattern is available up to a size 30.

Mood Sewing Pattern Size Chart

Note: for this pattern, size down if you want a more snug fit. 

Also, I would hand-wind the bobbin so the elastic isn't stretched while winding. If the elastic thread is stretched before sewing, the shirring won't work properly and may not scrunch the fabric as tightly as it should. 

I sewed the Camellia Top first following the instructions provided, putting the bulk of it together and hemming all the edges, stopping before the elastic steps. I then added the shirring instead of using elastic. 

Adding the shirring:

  1. Switch bobbin to elastic thread, keep top spool non-elastic thread
  2. Following your hem, stitch a ¼" down from the previous stitching. Repeat the same process about 7 – 8 times (if you want to add more rows you can) 
  3. The same process is done on the backside, as well as the bottom of the sleeves.
  4. For some extra stability in addition to the shirring, I recommend adding regular 1/4" elastic to the tops of your sleeves so they don't fall down your shoulders.

Tips & Tricks for Shirring or Ruching Fabric - Free Sewing Pattern - Mood Sewciety
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