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Friday, July 4, 2014

The Gathered Insert Tutorial

Before too much time passes by, I thought I would do the tutorial for the shirred inset that so many of you asked for. I originally posted this top here.
I had this top that I made some time ago. I like it a lot, but for whatever reason,I just don't wear it that much so I decided that maybe I should remake it into something else. When so many of you asked for the tutorial, I decided that rather than make something new, I would just use this top. It had a turtleneck  collar which I have already removed.
So, to begin, I tried the top on to decide the shape of the neckline and how low I would like for it to be.  
The neckline was cut out. Remember, you'll be adding back to the depth, so go a little lower than what you would like the finished neckline to be. But be careful initially as you can always cut more away if need be. 
 Measure the circumference of the neckline. My neckline opening measured 37".
I had some scraps of this fabric and thought that it would be fun. But there is a little issue since it is a stripe, if I cut it  on the crosswise grain, I would have a stripe around the neckline. If I cut it on the straight of grain, I would lose the stripes when it is shirred. So I decided to cut it on the bias.
Before I made my final decision, I decided to cut a sample and give it a try. My initial piece was 2" wide. I liked the movement of the stripes, but I felt that the piece was a little too wide, so I decided to make the strip 1 1/2" wide.
Since the circumference of my neckline was 37", I knew that I needed at least 2 times that amount for the gathered band. I cut a strip that was 80" long. Once the strip was cut, I sewed the ends of my strip together making a circle. 2 rows of gathering stitches were done on either side of the band.
With right sides together, I folded my band in half and anchored it into my ironing board so that I could begin pulling up the gathering stitches.
I only pulled up 1 side. Since my neckline circumference is 37" and my band has been folded in half, I gathered the band until it measured half of 37, which would be 18 1/2".
Now the gathering is done, the band is opened up and placed against the edge of the neckline. I place the beginning of my gathering stitches at center back, but I do not begin sewing in the center as I may need to adjust my gathers once I sew around to the other side. So begin sewing a few inches over from where the gathering stitches begin.
 One side has now been sewn to the garment.
The next step can be done without a dress form, but it will be much easier if you have one. Simply flip the ruffle up and tack in place with a few pins.
Begin by pulling the shirring stitches from center back on 1 side only and arrange them evenly to center front. Once you are pleased with the shirring on 1 side, gather up the other side.
Pull all the shirring threads to the front and tie.
Cut a strip of fabric and sew to the edge of the gathering to finish the edge of the neckline.
 And that's just how simple it is to do a gathered insert.
I'm going to take the sleeves off of the top and redo them. I'm thinking that I'll make a shorter sleeve and do a gathered insert as a band around each arm. I'll let you see it when I'm finished.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
Rhonda



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27 comments:

  1. This looks fantastic. I love how the the stripes look shirred. This really takes this to up a notch.xx

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    1. I was amazed by how different the top looks. It won't sit around not getting worn now!

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  2. OMG! this is fabulous. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. I have bookmarked it as I really like the neckline shirring look!!!

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  3. Wow, what a great technique! I love how it transforms this top into something even more interesting. Looking forward to seeing how the sleeves come out.

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  4. Love it. Those stripes are just the right counterpoint.

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  5. THAT is just too cute! Thanks for the tutorial. I MUST try this. My "try" list is getting so long.....

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  6. Thanks for this great tute.

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  7. I really like how the bias stripes look when shirred. My question is: how did you cut the shirred piece when it was a solid color? On grain or on the cross-grain? Would it be easier to gather the fabric if it was cut one way over the other? I'd like to try this technique. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Meigan,
      The fabric for the green top is a 2-way stretch knit, so it really didn't matter how I cut it, but I did cut it on the straight of grain. Thanks for asking the question because I should have said that if you were doing this out of a woven fabric, it should be cut on the bias. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.

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  8. This looks so great, Rhonda. So inspiring!

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  9. Such a wonderful tutorial to find while I am playing around with t-shirt designs. I love how you transformed your top.

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    1. Oh great! I'm so happy :) Whatever you end up making I know will be lovely. Look forward to seeing your t-shirt post.

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  10. Makes sense! Thanks for posting it! (Gotta get a dressform someday....) Love the way the bias stripes look on that shirt, btw... ;-)

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    1. Thanks Lisa. You can do this without a dress form. Lay the piece flat, gather up like I said. Once everything is laying nice and flat, try it on and then adjust. So a little more fiddly, but you can do it.

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  11. Awesome! Love the gathered stripes....I need to try this! Thanks for such a clear explanation :-)

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  12. What a fantastic tutorial. This is a must do....and have the perfect material in mind. Thank you again, and always enjoy reading your blog!

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  13. Thank you for this! I need to give this technique a try!

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  14. These gathered inserts are really good at gathering splendor. I need to try experimenting with more things like this, instead of sticking to making simple items.

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  15. Hi Rhonda, this tutorial is so helpful as I'm just learning how to sew with knits and starting out with t-shirts. I really like the shirring around the neckline and look forward to how you design the sleeves. Thank you so much for sharing your skills and techniques to further our love of sewing. Blessings.

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  16. ADORABLE!!! Thank you so much for sharing. I ASSUME the last piece at the top of the neckline is folded in half lengthwise, and you reduced it some so it would not gap.
    Hugs, Joy

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  17. Really darling top now, and so current! I love the striped fabric for the shirring. With that print, you needed something that could hold its own! Very nice, and good instructions.

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  18. Love the effect of the stripes cut on the bias. Great tutorial!

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  19. Great tutorial. I already bookmarked it by way of pinterest. Thanks, Cennetta

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  20. An inspired hack! I have a number of tops (and bodices on dresses) that feel too deeply scooped nowadays, and have done a few "flat" inserts (faking the layered look) to alter some of them. But adding shirring makes the hack look integral, especially if echoed in the sleeve. Thanks for the tutorial.

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    1. You are more than welcome :)
      So glad to know that it will really be useful to you.

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