What can rival the luxury of a beautiful silk velvet gown as it falls into deep folds? Here, the open sides define a shape-mastering tie with heavy shirring. Shirring is made by drawing up parallel lines of stitching to create a handsome texture and releasing the gathered fabric into pleasing and flattering folds. Particularly attractive in pale teal, the combination of fabric and form is as romantic today as it was when it first appeared in the 1920s.
Garment: The Collection at Western Costume Company Photo: Greg Rothschild Text: Judith Neukam
Learn how to create shirred furrows
Nothing inspires embellishment ideas like a trip to an exhibition of vintage clothing. Every incredible garment whispers, “They don’t make them like they used to.” But by no means does that suggest that the wonderful techniques of bygone eras are out of your reach.
The silk velvet exterior of the stunning 1930s cape, combined with a silk charmeuse lining, offers the perfect tactile experience for bare arms and shoulders. Shirring along rows of horizontal tucks creates vertical gathers that enhance the velvet’s natural sheen and texture. Happily, this rich effect is possible to replicate.
We’ll show you how to re-create the sequence of tucks used on the inspiration garment. Once you master the technique, you can create any pattern of shirred tucks you’d like. This treatment works best for garments with ultrasimple lines.