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This article is about the sewing technique. For the method of cooking eggs, see Shirred eggs.
This cotton day dress of 1836–40 features shirring on the upper sleeves. Victoria and Albert Museum.
Here is a close-up of shirring done on the shoulder area during the garment construction from a 1925 vintage dress pattern. Photo provided by Love to Sew Studio[1]

In sewing, shirring is two or more rows of gathers used to decorate parts of garments, usually the sleeves, bodice or yoke. The term is also sometimes used to refer to the pleats seen in stage curtains.

Shirring is a method of shaping a garment and is done so by controlling fullness. Its technique is similar to gathering. Shirring consists of two or more rows of gathered fabric. Shirring can be a pretty and feminine alternative to darts in small areas of a garment. Shirring can also be done on large areas of a garment like all around the top of a full skirt. Shirring works best on soft fabrics but can also done on stronger fabrics.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Love to Sew Studio
  2. ^ "Garment Construction: How to Sheer Fabric". Retrieved on 2011-12-27