Yay I finally got a chance to start & finish the shirred dress I have been thinking about for the last week! I had it all planned out in my mind and I am happy to say it turned out pretty close to what I imagined. We have a wedding coming up and I think this might be the perfect dress for the occassion!
Ok it was pretty easy to make. Frustrating at parts but really easy!
*Fabric – I used about 55cms for my dress which I made for my almost 3 year old daughter.
*Shirring elastic – I got mine from Kmart
*Ribbon (optional) – I got mine from my bits and pieces bag which I have had for YEARS!!!
*Quick unpick (if you need one like I do more often then not)
1) Cut your fabric down to size. As I said above I used 55cms in length for my dress and I cut about 4cm’s off of the side of the fabric (the salvage side) to make the straps (yay no wastage!)
2) Wind the shirring elastic onto an empty bobbin with your hand. Be careful not to stretch it as you wind it on! Then thread a normal thread on the sewing machine & load the bobbin. This gave me terrible grief! I don’t know if it’s my machine or something I was doing wrong but getting the elastic to thread properly was taking me forever!
3) Before you start stitching the elastic set your stitch length wider, I put mine to my machines maximum. Then start your top line of stitching. I didn’t do any reverse stitchin because I thought I was just going to be stitching & overlocking it all together in a few minutes anyway & I didn’t want to run out of elastic & have to rethread my machine (but I had to do it anyway!). I spaced my lines apart about the width of my presser foot. Do as many lines as you desire! I think I did 8. I did run out of elastic part way through but I just rewound another bobbin & rethreaded the machine (It was a bit quicker this time, yay) and made sure I did a reverse stitch to ensure the elastic was secure. Don’t be alarmed if the first few lines don’t seem to bunch up very much the more lines you do the more it will bunch. And a little tip from Debbie from Little Illusions is to iron with a steam iron to make the elastic bunch more.
4) Stitch the back seam together and overlock. There is only one seam obviously.
5) Overlock the top of the dress and iron down (I ironed down about 6mm). Stitch down. I did this over the top of the top line of shirring, this may not be the best way to go about this but for the meantime it worked for me. Might improve this with future dresses I make.
6) Overlock the bottom hem of the dress. Iron up the hem again I did this around 6mm (just over the width of the overlocking). Stitch the hem up sewing in the optional ribbon at the same time.
7) Using the fabric that you have cut in the first step create the straps for the dress. There should be two pieces to start with about 4cms in width. I ironed in about 1cms on each side and folded it in half. Mind you I did include the actual salvage in one side but I did proceed to trim it as it made that strap rather bulky. I cut the two ironed straps in half in order to make 4 straps in total. I folded in the top of the straps and stitched all of them individually. I then pinned the straps to the dress where I wanted them (about 7cms in from the side of the dress) and stiched them to the dress going over the first and second line of stitching on the top of the dress.
And then finished!!!!
Hope you liked my second tutorial. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask! Oh & if you like the fabric I used my dress I sell it on my website