For the 4th summer dress for little Momo, I decided to try a shirred dress. I have seen shirred summer dresses and pre-shirred fabric, and I thought basically what I need to do was to shirr the fabric and make it into a tube. But I searched for shirred dress tutorial online to get a better idea, and found a beautiful one: Shirred Twirly Dress -From An Igloo
What I loved about this design is the shoulder straps that tie in the back as a bow. Isn't this a pretty idea?
The tutorial shows you how to make a full gathered skirt with a band hem. I decided to change the skirt and do something else I have been wanting to try, a tiered skirt. For this I refereed to this tutorial: Basic 3 Tiered Skirt -Make It & Love It.
The dress uses shirring in the back, and has a clean flat front.
I have done shirring once before, but it has been while. I also was making a tiered skirt for the first time, so I used inexpensive quilting cotton I had in my stash to try out. And it was good thing I did that...because I made several mistakes making this dress :(
Mistake #1: Not winding the elastic thread properly to the bobbin. I could see the elastic thread showing up on my right side fabric, so it was obvious the elastic thread was too loose. I shirred 11 rows, and had to re-do a couple of rows. You are supposed to hand-wind the elastic thread not too tight or loose, and my winding was not even...
Mistake #2: Not cutting the back bodice in correct size. The dress is made with pieces cut in rectangles. I like this kind of design, making cutting the pieces easier. But I still managed to make mistakes... I calculated the sizes I needed, cut the pieces out, and I had a long piece of fabric left to cut out the back bodice. Then I completely forgot to cut out the back bodice, and used the large piece as-is... I sewed the front and back pieces together,shirred the back bodice, steam ironed the shirring, and then finally I realized my mistake. Looking at the bodice piece that looked like was meant for myself than my little 3-year-old, I felt so stupid. I took the pieces apart, cut the excess and sewed back them together. I cut off about 10 inches off, and that was already shirred fabric ;) Maybe I should at least cut my fabric during the day, while my brain is still functioning...even though I can only sew at night.
Mistake #4: Made the button hole for the straps too big. My straps are 1.5 inches width. I made the biggest button hole the settings allowed. When I tied the straps, I realized the hole did not need to be that big. Also I tried to make the buttonhole on the back piece without applying the interfacing first. The back bodice is just one fabric, no lining. I failed to make the button hole and then I realized I needed to add the interfacing.
The dress is light and airy, great for the hot Texas summer. The skirt is full and it does not prevent Momo from doing what she wants to do.
...till she is burned out.
Linking up to those fun parties.