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“Fake Shirring” with Cathie from Sew Darn Ezy

Picture Shirring . . . love it or loathe it there’s times when you need an alternative that gives the same look.

Cathie from Sew Darn Ezy has done us a tute on using regular elastic in place of shirring, with the Bells Beach Dress from Issue 5 in mind, but you could do this same thing for other shirred dresses.


Picture Step 1


Picture Step 4


Picture Step 2


Picture Step 5


Picture Step 3


Picture Finished Back


Elastic Panel Back.

To make your Beach Dress with an elastic panel insert, instead of the shirring, you can follow these easy steps.
You will need to cut your Centre Back Bodice Piece as per the pattern piece provided but instead of cutting one on the fold you will need two on the fold.  This gives you a lining and a main. Stitch them together along this top seam giving you one full piece.
If you are confident enough you can cut these two pieces minus the top seam allowance of 3/8”, on both the liner and the main and cut one large piece on the fold, which is what I have done. (See step 1 pic)

Step 1.
Attach your Centre Back Bodice piece to your Centre Back Skirt Panel and iron seam up towards the Bodice. Fold your Centre Back Bodice Piece over at the unattached edge by 3/8” and iron.

Step 2.
Fold the Centre Back Bodice Piece in half, having your fold just overlapping your seam when you attached the skirt panel. Press and pin in place.

Step 3.
Starting at the top of the Centre Back Bodice piece fold, sew a top stitch line 1/8”  down from the fold. Now sew a straight line across your Panel at the waist , your bottom line of stitching needs to catch the inside liner that you ironed down previously. At roughly ½” intervals down your panel towards the waist line, sew straight lines to form a casing to hold your elastic. You need an uneven amount of casings because we are only inserting elastic in every second casing section. Pictured here in step 3, I have 8 rows of stitching (Including the top stitch at the top of the panel) and this gives me 7 casing openings.

Step 4.
Beginning at the top ½” opening, insert your elastic (as per elastic requirement guide)  and make sure you place a pin at the edge so you don’t pull it right through. See here I like to put mine about 1 – 1 ½” in from the edge. This gives me a nice flat edge to place my seam and stitch in place. Now do the other end the same. Continue down your panel making sure you have elastic in the top and bottom casings.

Step 5.
Sew along the two ends to make sure you have your elastic secure and so it wont pull out once you are finished your garment.

Now complete your garment as per main instructions.

Bells Beach Dress Cover If you haven’t already be sure to pick up your copy of the Bells Beach Dress.
* as a Single PDF HERE 
* or as part of Issue 5 HERE
and check out more Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns HERE 
and more from Cathie from Sew Darn Ezy HERE
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