Dress mania and shirring

So I recently saw Kayleigh post a picture on Facebook of these adorable dresses that she’d made for her 13-month-old daughter, and I thought, “Oh, how did she do the rippled top?”

I read the description, calling it shirring, so I went and googled it (of course). There are a lot of tutorials already out there for how to shirr fabric, so I won’t recreate one here. Instead, I’ll give you some links:

And show you what I made:

And because of photo transfer fail between devices, that’s the only photo I can post out of the three things I made. Darnit. I’ll try and remember to come back and post the others.

Things I learned along the way:

  • My machine (a Bernette, about 13 years old) needs to be on maximum thread tension to sew with elastic thread.
  • Elastic thread is much cheaper from the Dollar Store if you can get it. It was $5 a roll at Spotlight and $2.50 a roll at the Dollar Store in Northcote, but couldn’t find it at the Dollar Stores in Birkenhead. So hunt around! Especially since you use somewhere around half a roll per dress.
  • When making dresses with separate bodice, sew the darts into the skirt before attaching to bodice. This was definitely a duh moment, and you can see from the photo the skirt fabric pulls a little around the hips.
  • For the tube-style dress (the yellow and tartan ones I couldn’t post pics of yet), about 125 – 150 cm diameter is about right for a NZ size 12. There is room to grow and shrink.

My next project is another shirred dress, using some nice satiny pink fabric I got from Nick’s Fabrics in Mt Eden (336 Dominion Road). Great place to shop, nothing over $10 a metre. This dress will have triangle cups at the front, shirred under the bust and around the back, and a flared skirt. With no pattern, wish me luck!



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