Friday, February 22, 2008

Little Girls Shirred Sundress Tutorial

My school computer is apparently really screwed it up, the store gave up and had to send it to HP to fix, lol, so I'm without my Corel Draw where I create my cool graphics for my tutorials and patterns and stuff, so this will have to do for awhile. It's the same reason why I haven't turned my nursing cover tutorial into a download.

Shirred Sundress

This is a quick little dress that is easy to whip out and look so cute.

Shirring elastic
1 yd of fabric – up to size 6 (larger sizes at bottom).
1/8 yd of coordinating fabric for ruffle.

1. Measure from very top of crease of underarm down to where you want the dress to hit. I usually prefer mid calf or little higher. Add 1 inch to measurement.

2. Cut the length of fabric to this measurement (you are going to keep the entire 44-45 inch width of fabric for the dress. You’ll be cutting the length from the 1 yd (36 inches) length. For example, on a size 5 your fabric should be 44-45 inches wide x 24 inches in length

3. Hem the top of the dress.

4. Begin shirring about 1 cm under the hem stitch line. Continue shirring about 8 to 12 more rows down. With the size 5, I usually shirr about 10 rows, with a smaller size such as 12-18 months, I usually shirr only about 8 rows. Make sure to leave excess thread at each row. Then as you create more shirred rows, pull slightly on the excess threads to gather the shirring more.

5. At bottom of dress, attach ruffle or just hem. For a ruffle, you’ll need to cut the 1/8 yd into half. This will create two 2 1/4 inch strips and sew them together until you have a length of about 88-90 inches. I use a ruffler foot so that it attaches and gathers in 1 step. With the long strip now, I fold the strip over widthwise with raw edges together and attached it.

If you do not have a ruffler foot, you’ll need to fold the long strip widthwise with raw edges together, and sew a long gathering stitch through the entire length. Then pull the threads to gather, pin to the hem of the dress, and sew it on, Make sure you pin it to the right side of the dress.

6. With right sides together, match the raw edges of the back seam and sew it closed. I usually do some backstitching to tack the shirring so it doesn’t come unsewn.

7. Try the dress on your daughter and mark the placement of the ribbon ties. When you sew the ribbon ties, I like to sew them on the hemline of the top of the dress and I tack them so they are secure.

You’re finished!!

For older girls, measure the bust and double the measurement and this will be the width of fabric you will need. Measure from the underarm crease to the length you would want

For example, my daughter is a 10/12 and her length is 32 inches, her bust is 32 inches.
So I would need approximately 64 x 32 inches for her dress.

To make it easy, I would find a print that would work widthwise (44-45 in) as opposed to the usual lengthwise.

For really quick and easy, I would use a 2 yd piece with 72 inches for the bust and then cut down the 44-45 inch length down to 33 inches (1 inch for hem at top and bottom). This way I would have only one piece of fabric like the directions above and just one back seam as opposed to using 2 pieces with 2 side seams.

For this example, since the width is 72 inches, you'll need to piece strips to make 144 inches long for the ruffle.


Anonymous said...

That dress is so cute! Thanks for the tips on how to cut the fabric for bigger girls! I made a shirred sundress for my 8-year old yesterday and since the fabric was narrow the entire sundress fits rather tight on her (but thankfully it does fit!). Now I will know better for next time to watch out for patterned fabric that can go either way! 8^)

Anonymous said...

Hi - I am really delighted to discover this. great job!