Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I am loving shirring!!

Ok - yesterday was a BAD DAY for dressmaking!  I messed up two, yep two, dresses!!  OH MY!  Nothing was working!!  (I guess that is what I get for trying stuff on my own without any patterns...)  But I did learn some things and took plenty of notes of what not to do!

But - third time was definately a charm!!!  I finally have a new dress!! And it was a very easy dress to make!  I am sure I will make it again!!

Here is the finished product!  Pictures do not do it justice and I so wish I was a better photographer.  It is made from a stretchy blue polyester.  The waist is done with shirring (I have grown to LOVE shirring) and the shoulders are shirred as well (close up on that below).

Here is how I made it (in case you want to make one for yourself!)

You need 4 Measurements:

A - length you want the dress from shoulder to bottom.
B - width you want each shoulder to be x 2
C - width you want your neckline to be
D- length you want your arm hole to be

Here is how you use those measurements to make your pieces (you need two - front and back)

*Note: I only drew measurement D on one side - make sure to mark this measurement on both sides.

Cut out your pieces.  Sew your side seams. You will sew from the bottom of measurement D to the bottom of the rectangle.  Do this for both sides.

Sew your shoulder seams.  Then finish your neckline and sleeve edges.

When you are at that point your dress will look like this - a great big "moo moo dress" as we call them!  Not pretty at all!  But trust me - it will be when you are done :-)

You will also see in the above picture that I have white marks along the middle of the dress.  This is where I have marked for the first line of shirring for the waist.  You need to figure out where you want your waist band to sit.  Measure how far down from the top of the dress.  Then mark a light line (with a washable fabric marker) where that line needs to be.  Then shirr that line.  (I explained in this post about shirring and there are also other great resources online if you need instructions on how to shirr).  I shirred 6 lines for my waistline.  You may want to do less or more depending on how wide you want your waistline area.

Below is a picture after I shirred the first line to show you how the dress starts taking shape just after one line of shirring!

I then shirred the shoulder seams.  I shirred three lines on each side of the seam.  (once again you do as many as you like to your liking).  I really liked the finished result of shirring the shoulders!

Here is a close up view of the shirred shoulders - see how nice they gathered!!

Here is the finished dress!!  (once again it really does look better in person!!) 

I also decided that the dress needed something added...since it was navy blue I thought it needed some yellow!  So I made yellow fabric flowers and sewed a blue button in the middle.  I then attached them to a set of my not real pearls.

Enjoy!!  And let me know if you decide to make one!  I would love to know how it turned out!!

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