Need a Cute Top for Summer? Try This Easy Shirred Top DIY Tutorial

8 Materials
2 Hours

I’m going to show you a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a beautiful DIY shirred top. This guide is also great for beginners and those who want to learn how to shirr. So, get your materials and sewing machine ready, and let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Linen fabric
  • Shirring thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Iron
  • Pencil or marker
DIY shirred top sewing pattern

1. Cut the pattern pieces

For this DIY shirred bandeau top, you’ll need to cut a large piece of fabric that measures 40cm x 130cm (15.75 inches x 51 inches). 

Hemming the edges with a double fold

2. Hem both edges

Once your large piece is cut out, go ahead and hem both edges with a double fold. 

Pinning and marking the fabric

3. Make markings

Fold the fabric in half widthways. Then, place a pin 1cm (0.4 inches) from the edge. 

How to make a shirred top

Fold the fabric in half again. Make sure that you don’t cross the first pin mark when you fold the fabric. Now, pin the center fold right where my thumb is. 

How to make a shirred tube top

Fold ⅓ from the edge so that the fold meets the center pin. Place a pin on the new fold on the side. 

DIY shirred bandeau top tutorial

Repeat the above step on the opposite side; fold the fabric so that the outer pin meets the center pin. Then, mark the outer fold edge with a pin. 

Equally-spaced markings on the fabric

You now have four equally-spaced markings. 

Marking where the straps will go

Next, mark where you want to place the straps. Do this with a pencil or marker inside the fabric. Be sure to mark on both sides. 

Prepping the sewing machine with elastic thread for shirring

4. Prep your machine

Before making the DIY shirred top, ensure that you have prepped your sewing machine’s bobbin with the shirring elastic thread. Wind the thread on the bobbin and place it in your sewing machine. 

How to sew a shirred top

5. Start shirring

Open your fabric piece and start shirring on the right side of the fabric. Go across the fabric in rows. The top row should be sewn a few inches from the edge. 

Tip: When shirring, start around an inch from the edge and finish the seam an inch from the opposite edge. 

Shirring on fabric

Keep going until you’ve shirred the whole fabric piece. 

Pressing the shirred fabric piece

6. Press the fabric

Once everything is shirred, press the fabric piece. 

Strap sewing pattern for the DIY shirred top

7. Make the straps

Cut out four strap pieces that measure 10cm x 75cm (4 inches x 30 inches). 

Sewing the straps

Fold the straps in half, with the right sides facing. Sew the short end and along the longer edge. 

Turning the straps right side out

Turn the straps to the right side using a pen. Then, use a pin to pull out the corners of the strap gently. 

Pressing the straps

Press the straps. 

Attaching the straps to the top

8. Attach the straps

Remember the strap marks you made in the second step? Well, now they’ll come in handy. Align the mark on your shirred piece to the center of the strap’s short end. 

Placing a pin on either side

Place a pin on either side and repeat for all the other straps. 

Sewing along the edge of the strap

Now, sew along the edge of the strap to secure. Make sure the stitch is in line with one of the shirred seams. 

Turning the strap upwards

Once stitched, turn the strap upward from the wrong side. 

Attaching the strap to the bodice piece

Turn the piece around and pin the strap on the right side of the DIY shirred top. 

Sewing the strap in place

Sew a second stitch across. Make sure it aligns with the top’s first shirred line. 

Sewn straps

Here’s what it should look like. 

Wrong side of the fabric

Right side of the fabric

Repeat the process on the rest of the straps. 

Closing the DIY shirred top

9. Close the top

Let’s close the top with a french seam! Pin the raw edges of the DIY shirred bandeau top on the right sides of the fabric. 

Sewing the side seam

Sew to secure. 

Trimming the excess fabric

Cut the excess fabric. 

How to do a french seam on shirred fabric

Turn to the wrong side of the fabric and sew along the seam. 

Tying the straps

Tie the strap ends in a pretty bow. 

Shirred top DIY

Shirred top DIY tutorial

Here’s the result! Thanks for joining me on this shirred top DIY tutorial! Now, you know how to make a shirred top! It’s really fun and straightforward, plus this top is perfect for summer.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Suggested materials:
  • Linen fabric
  • Shirring thread
  • Sewing machine
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