Sundress ... For Shirr


I have a new favorite thing to do with the sewing machine ... shirring (fabric, not eggs).DSC02927123

Here's a simple tutorial for shirring a pillowcase top. Here's another, a Heather Ross free pattern and tutorial. And one last one to really get you in the mood ...

My first attempt at this procedure was a real struggle. I bought this packaged elastic thread because it was all the fabric store I went to had. It was thick and had no desire whatsoever to come off the bobbin, no matter how loose the bobbin tension was. The second time around I used Gutermann thread elastic and it was a completely different experience. The thread is a bit thinner and worked like a dream, on the first try ... so much so that I can't wait to do it again and am wondering what I'll be making next (according to C. it's a top for her). The only complaint I have about it is that I cannot find it anywhere, locally, in white. I have no idea why and will just keep looking.

For this dress, made for a very slim ten year old, I used about 6" less than DSC02924123the 44-45" width the fabric comes in. I could have just as easily used the entire width but I wanted to have the excess for the straps. I'm not sure how long this is, but long enough that M. can grow and it'll still work well (and if she keeps growing taller still, which she has a tendency to do, we can just add another row of fabric to the bottom ... or cut the bottom off and make it a top). I left a slit at the bottom of the dress, approximately six inches long, in case she decided to run in it (I know her, she'll run in it ... in fact, it seems she's running in this picture).

The straps are braids made from three of the fabrics in the dress.

These pictures were taken by my oldest daughter, C. Over the last year or two she has developed a real love of the camera and has a great imagination and eye. She has come up with some incredible captures and I've been awed by her photographs and was thrilled when she agreed to take these for me. I'm not sure if photography DSC02928123is something that she'll pursue as a career ... I do think she could if she wanted to. More of her work is visible on her flickr page. She'd be thrilled to get some feedback.

If you haven't already head over to Jenni's blog and leave a comment to be entered to win $20 credit to Because I'm Me.

My two youngest kidlets were sick today. It's the first time the baby has been sick and everyone in the house was quite concerned about him. It's a real treat to watch the older kids dote on him and love him the way they do. I'm hoping they'll both bounce back and be happy and healthy tomorrow.

I'm sorry you aren't here to smell the gardenia in the picture of M. below. Gardenias are my most favorite smell ever and I am lucky enough to have one gardenia tree and four gardenia shrubs, all of which are located right outside the sliding glass door in the breakfast nook. I've been leaving the door open whenever possible to let the yummy sweet smelling air in. Ahhh ...


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2 Comment

  1. That sundress is very cute! I need to make one for my daughter. I bought the elastic thread, I just haven't tried it yet.

  2. So cute!! I love elastic thread shirring! Easy and sich a cute look. Question: how did you do the braids, mainly did you finish the edges of the fabrics, make a casing, or leave then raw? I've been wanting to make a maxi dress with braided straps but am not sure how to finish it, if at all.