There are people out there in the great wide internet that say shirring is easy. The tutorials I found all said that it was incredibly easy, requiring very little fiddling and adjusting and sobbing. These people are lying.
It is likely my machine – a Brother VX-1435 that I got three years ago at a Kohl’s mega-clearance – is the problem. But man alive, I cannot shirr to save my life. The example above is seriously the tidiest, least disastrous of my attempts to shirr.
And the fact that I cannot shirr brings me so much torment. (Well, perhaps torment is the wrong word. But it feels something similar to torment.) Last year I blithely read through shirring tutorials and patterns that required shirring, confident that when I got around to it, shirring would so enhance my sewing skillset.
Let’s be honest: This picture was taken on February 2. Soon after, the pre-thread serger I bought ran out of thread. The combination of this disaster and the threat of learning how to thread a serger has kept me from sewing anything at all since February. It’s putting a serious damper in my Etsy-shop plans.
Anyway, as far as I can tell from various forums, Brother machines often have trouble shirring. It is something to do with the bobbin tension. However: most experts recommend never messing with the bobbin tension, as you’ll never get it back to factory accuracy. Also, every tutorial I can find for messing with bobbin tension is for top-loading machines, whereas mine is a front-loader.
UGH. FRUSTRATING. Anyway, I just found this tutorial, which seems much more helpful than others. Maybe after reading through all the comments I’ll give shirring another go. Right after I clean off the two months of accumulated junk from my sewing table.