Puckering Fabric

Choose a garment you would like to make. Decide where the puckering will be done. Plan a color scheme. Practice this technique and determine how much extra fabric will be needed to create the pieces you want to pucker on your garment.

1. Set Machine and Bobbin Thread

Use a normal stitch length (8-9 stitches per inch). Use sewing thread in the needle.

Wind elastic thread onto bobbin using one of the following methods:

  • wind elastic thread onto bobbin by hand - wrap evenly and stretch thread slightly while winding or
  • use the sewing machine, winding the bobbin at a slow speed.

Attach right seam guide to your sewing machine foot and set for 3/4". If you do not have a seam guide you can draw lines 3/4" apart from selvage to selvage with removable chalk pencil or baste lines the length of your fabric.

2. Stitch

Machine stitch five or six rows on a sample of your fabric. It will not look too puckered at this point. Fabric must feel soft and pliable. If it is stiff, the tension on your bobbin thread is too tight. You may need to make a minor adjustment. Draw a straight line across the width of your fabric. Stitch across this line. If using a seam guide, place guide on this line and stitch across. - Let the party begin! Follow this procedure until you have the desired length for your garment. (If other method of marking was used - continue to draw lines then, stitch each row as above.)

3. Steam

After the piece is completed, place it on the ironing board wrong side up. This is a magical step! Hold your iron slightly above the stitching...use steam...move iron slowly. You'll see the fabric draw in from side-to-side creating the puckers! Fabric will "shrink-up" to half the width after steaming!

Use this technique to create enough puckered fabric for your garment. Cut out all pieces for your garment. Assemble the garment.