Tutorial: Elastic thread shirring using a sewing machine with drop-in bobbin

Dawn from Designed by Dawn Nicole shares a tutorial on her blog showing how to do elastic thread shirring on her Brother sewing machine, which has a drop-in bobbin.  She also shows how she uses her machine’s bobbin winder to fill the bobbins with elastic thread.  I’ve always filled by bobbins with elastic thread by hand – winding and winding and winding until I’m half mad – so I was thrilled to see how she used her machine for that step.   Get the how-to.

[photo from Designed by Dawn Nicole]


  1. Alice says

    I have a brother electronic machine and I have shirred before on it with elastic thread but this time I am having trouble. It seems to knot up and not work. I am trying to shirr some flat lace (cotton} to put around Christmas place mats. Can you give me some info? I have checked several sites but I will take several ideas from anyone. Thank you, God bless America and have a happy holiday season.

    • says

      Alice, I have not shirred flat lace before so unfortunately I don’t have any advice to offer. I wonder if the threads are tangling because of the holes in the fabric? If so, is there a way you can somehow stabilize the lace while it goes under the needle, perhaps with a water soluble stabilizer? My thinking is that the stabilizer would give the fabric too much body and you wouldnt get a good shirr effect. Or, maybe try adjusting your tension? These are just shots in the dark, though. My guess is that you’ll have to experiment some to figure out how to make it work. –Anne

  2. Lynn says

    Your are SEW clear! I’ve tried shirring in the past with limited success, not knowing to tighten the bobbin tension. Can’t wait to have another go! Thanks! In stitches, L

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