If you don’t have time for traditional shirring or smocking, you can use your sewing machine to create a faux shirring.
To do faux shirring, you will need to select a lightweight fabric. You should start with fabric 2 to 2 1/2 times the width of the piece you need when you have completed your project.
In the video below, Professor Pincushion mentions that you may need to change or loosen your bobbin tension. Be extremely careful doing this. You can cause yourself hours of frustration.
Before changing the bobbin tension, get a Sharpie or some fingernail polish and mark the line on the screw on the bobbin casing. This will allow you to quickly change the bobbin tension back where it needs to be for normal sewing.
Some people who do a lot of faux shirring purchase a new bobbin for their machine so that they always have one bobbin that is correctly tensioned for regular sewing. I highly recommend this practice, but if you do this, be sure to mark the shirring bobbin so that you can tell it apart from your regular bobbin.
You can purchase patterns specifically designed for shirring and smocking, or you can add width to a pattern from or other piece by moving the fabric away from the fold before cutting.
An Extra Machine Bobbin Case
prevents the frustration of resetting the bobbin case for regular sewing.
How to Sew Shirring with Your Machine