You really should get over to Tip Junkie & have a look! This is just a small amount of the free printable’s that are there.
You just thread the bobbin through the machine as normal. Once you have shirred something, you will become addicted. It means that you no longer have to make everything tailored. If you shirr a dress for a little girl, as she grows it becomes a top or a skirt. You can shirr things instead of having to sew in zippers & if you dislike zippers as much as I do, that will make you very happy!!Using the presser foot as a guide, line it up with the top of the rectangle & sew straight across, using the shirring elastic in the bobbin. Make sure to reverse stitch at the beginning & end so that the elastic does not come out. You need to keep the material nice & taut as you sew. If you remember those tips, then you will have perfect shirring every time. That is the hardest part to shirring, it is really very easy though once you get the hang of it.
Now, to make a long flowing dress as I have done, you need to measure the widest part of your body, either your hips or your bust. With that measurement you use this simple sum;
Widest part plus 40cm divided by 2.
That is how wide your 2 rectangle pieces will be. How long they will be is the measurement from your armpit to your feet plus 5cm. If you are going to hem the top & bottom instead of overlocking then add another 5cm.
You need to shirr each piece separately, so you will need to overlock or hem the top before you do anything else. If you are going to hem with a normal sewing machine then just fold down the top 1 cm and iron it flat & fold it down another 2 cm so the raw edge is under. Sew along the bottom fold.