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How to estimate fabric needs to shir it

DeeDee7 | Posted in General Discussion on

Can anyone help me with estimating the amount of fabric I will need to Shir the bodice of a narrow strap dress. I want to copy a picture of a taffeta dress, however I do not want to gather so much around the rib cage so that the chest part of the dress is way too wide. Do I sew the top and bottom sections separately after shirring them to their respective sizes?


  1. alotofstitches | | #1

    I made a shirred bodice a couple of yrs. ago--used 3-4X size needed and cut it bias so it would stretch around curves.  On a pressing surface I pulled the gathers "flat" and pinned into the surface while I steamed the shirring in.  This bride was pencil thin but so afraid she'd look thick but wanted shirring! 

    1. DeeDee7 | | #2

      Thank you for your help! I am now wondering if you can recall the pattern you used-I cannot find a pattern with a shirred bodice-I have checked, vintage pattern sites, etc. with no luck. Thanks again.

      1. alotofstitches | | #4

        I used  Vogue 7852 as a guide for the amount of fabric needed for shirring.  the pattern shows quite a bit of shirring but using a silk chiffon DID NOT LOOK ANYTHING LIKE THE PATTERN!  It looked downright skimpy.  I did have to put a seam in the bias to get 4x length of bodice but the shirring hid that. 

  2. suesew | | #3

    I used sheering on the bodice of 6 bridesmaid dresses last year using Simplicity 5238. I think it was about double the length of the finished piece. Each of the top five pieces for each bodice were done separately.

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