Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Tute: Quick and Easy Shirred Sundress/Top

 Crafty Mamas “Quick and Easy Shirred Sundress/Top Tute”.

Shirring is very effective and very simple. It’s a great way to transform a piece of fabric into a gorgeous dress or top, or even on the waistband of a skirt, or cuffs of a shirt.
This easy dress is essentially 2 rectangles, shirred, then with straps added.

What you’ll need:
Cotton woven or knit fabric - works great on both.
Shirring elastic
Matching thread

To cut your rectangle
I have made this as a child’s dress. To calculate your measurements:
A= chest measurement of child a 1.5 times + 2cm seam allowance
B= length of dress .  So measure from under arm to the desired length, + 2cm hem for top and bottom
In my dress; A = 80cm x 1.5= 120cm +122cm B= 60cm  + 2cm= 62cm
Cut 2 pieces of fabric (front and back ) to these measurements.
Note: if you are making a top- same deal. Just decide how long you want it.

Here’s my back and front, with straps too.
Note: I have cut mine on the fold, so only have one side seam to sew. Do whatever works for your fabric.
Cut 4  straps out that measure 5cm x 60cm
(use this as a guide, you may want them longer).

Construction of straps:
Using a hot iron and an ironing board, place strap pieces wrong side up. Fold each strap in half longwise, press, then open out. Now fold one of the ½’s( raw edge) in to the middle to meet the centre crease line, then the other. Press. Repeat with other three straps.

Construction of dress:

1.    Sew down both sides of your dress.
2.    Hem the top and bottom of your dress, using a 1cm hem.
3.    Note: if you are doing lots of rows of shirring-don’t do the bottom hem til you are done. The shirring shortens it a bit.

You will be left with a neat tube. Press.

Begin shirring:

Grab an empty bobbin and hand wind it on shirring elastic. Using a small amount of tension as you wind on.

Lay your fabric tube out in front of you. The idea with shirring is to sew even lines parallel around the width. I have tried a few different methods but find the Ottobre Design recommended way works best.

My dress has 4 rows of shirring, about 1cm apart- I start the first row over my hem stitching for the top.  Your dress/top can have as many rows of shirring as you like. To get from one row to the next I “step down”  1cm, then turn and continue. I do this under the arm area. So using chalk or fabric marker, mark out where you will shirr on your fabric both back and front.
It will look like this...

To shirr I set my machine on a straight stitch of 4.5 ( so basting stitch).
The longer the stitch length, the tighter the shirring.  Do a few tests before you start.

Thread up with a matching thread, then begin.
Be sure to do a backstitch at the start and very end to secure all threads.

When you begin sewing, it will look like this...

First row

Second row. See it’s starting to do it’s thing?

Continue with as many rows as you like, being sure to back stitch at the end.

When you are done, attach your 4 straps in the desired position. For a mama, this is easiest if you put your shirred top/dres son with a bra, then use your bras straps as a guideline.

Happy Shirring!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a very helpful tut and just what I was looking for! I made very elaborate dresses for their first Disney trip (and the lasted for the second) but they are bigger now so I'm just making some 'princess inspired' tops with bike shorts and I thought this would be super cute!

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Crafty Mamas SHOP blog. Aussie agent for Farbenmix, Studio Tantrum, Stenzo fabric, Ottobre design. Stocking Hilco fabric, Mamu design and other cool stuff!