I was given by a friend some girly fabrics and I told her I would turn it into a shirred dress for one of her daughter. It’s lovely because I have so many friends who have girls, I can create for them! I love my boys and love doing things for them, especially when they ask for it, but it’s also nice that I can use pink fabrics and make some girly things.
So here is a very simple tutorial on how to sew a shirred strapless dress!
For this project you will need: fabric (I used 44″x22″ but it can be wider and longer depending on the size of the person it is going to fit), matching thread, elastic thread, ruler, fabric marker or pencil, pins.
To know how much fabric you will need, you need to measure round the chest of the person who is going to wear the dress and double that.
It’s a pretty straight forward project. I would say the tricky bit or lengthy bit is to wind the elastic thread onto your bobbin by hand. While you wind the elastic thread, it needs a little bit of tension but not too much. You will have to repeat the process a few times so it’s best to have a couple of bobbins ready for use.
Use normal cotton thread for the top bobbin and elastic thread for the back.
Start by making a hem at the top of you r dress and at the bottom. I’m using a hem presser foot but you can do it manually.
On the right side of the fabric mark a line every ½” until you’re happy it covers most of the little girl’s chest, usually 7 lines are enough for a 5/6 year old, but you can do more or less!
When sewing on the marked line don’t forget to sew a couple of stitches back and forth at the beginning and the end of the line otherwise the stitches won’t hold and the frilly effect won’t work.
Make sure you keep your fabric nice and tensed while you sew, don’t be scared to pull a bit on the shirred fabric:
Once you’ve sewn all your lines, it should look something like that:
You can now fold the fabric wrong side together pin it and sew the length of your fabric:
Et voila! you have a quick and simple little strapless summer dress. Now just another 6 months before anyone can wear it!
PS: I’ve been told to wet with water the elasticated part of fabric and iron it so the elastic would shrink a bit and tighten the fabric.