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Mock shirring with the serger

tinyluv | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I saw in my serger secrets book that you can get a mock shirred look by using elastic thread in the lower looper and a chain stitch. I have tried to do this by the elastic is not being held by the upper thread. Any tips/hints? Should I wind it on a bobbin or a cone? Is there special thread? Should I be using a greater differential feed? More tension in the upper thread?


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    The weight of your fabric will make a difference, the heavier the fabric the more you have to "gather" with your differential feed.  I "hand wind" the elastic onto bobbins (and use a bobbinserge thing that you don't really need).  Hold your fabric taught in front and behind the needle, stretching it if it is knit material.  Be careful, you don't want to serge your fingers!

     You may have to adjust the tension a bit.  The needle thread should be serger thread that matches your fabric and the elastic thread in the chain looper.

    The first thing I would do is rethread the machine completely.  Also, did you read page 75 on steaming your fabric from the backside to "shrink" the elastic further? 

    When you have it the way you want it,  be sure to tie the threads well before trimming them and use fraycheck or frayblock.  I go over the ends with a regular straight stitch on the sewing machine to "lock them in".  If you don't need them to stretch you can use a fusable stabilizer to help hold the shirring in place.

    I love that book, Serger Secrets!  So many fun techniques to stretch your serging muscles. 

    Don't give up,  this is fun and easy once you get the hang of it!  Good luck and I hope this helps!  Mary


  2. User avater
    Becky-book | | #2

    If your project does not require the elastic to be underneath, then you can just serge over the thread.  My serger's foot has a slot for inserting trims so I just feed the elastic through that and hold a little tension on it as I serge.  Be sure to anchor the ends when you have it the length you need.

  3. MaryinColorado | | #3

    You might try changing the needle too?

    1. tinyluv | | #4

      I'll definitely do some testing. Thanks for your advice.

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