Shirred Sundress Sewing Pattern
1. Fabric (light weight, eg. quilting fabric or knit jersey that I used), the quantity depends on what size you are making. Most cases, 1 yard should be sufficient.
2. Elastic thread
3. 1/4″ Elastic band
5. Matching thread
1. Sewing machine with general purpose foot
2. Small safety pin
3. Sewing kits
1. Measure the chest of the girl (C), and the length from armpit until your preferred length (L). Refer diagram & instruction below for detail.
2. Measure straps length, from front to back (over the shoulder) at the armpit level.
Straps: Cut 2 pieces of about 1 1/2″ wide x 12″ length fabrics. You need shorter length for babies and longer for adult, measure the length of the intended wearer if possible, but as safety factor, it is better to allow more so that you can cut if it is too long.
Fold the straps fabric with right side facing each other, sew with 1/4″ seam allowance, turn, press and top stitch near the edge. Repeat the same for the other.
Use the diagram on the left, determine the width and length of the fabric required. Add 1/2″ for seam allowance for side, 1″ for top hem and 2″ for bottom hem. The numbers in the brackets are the sizes I used for my daughter who is 7 year-old.
Cut fabric, double-fold the top hem of about 3/4″ width, press and pin to secure. Top stitch near to the edge and about 1/2″ from the edge. This is the pocket or casing for the elastic band.
Note: This pattern is tight fit to the kid chest, if you would like to have loose fit, change the width to “2 x chest” or the widest width you can get from the fabric.
When we shirr a piece of cloth or fabric, the elastic thread is always come from the bobbin side.
Hand wind the elastic thread onto the bobbin, don’t stretch the thread, a relax tension will give you better result.
A roll of bobbin is enough for a girl’s shirred sundress. If yours ran out before finished shirring, just remove the bobbin and wind again. Sew a continuous elastic thread on a row for neater look and better gathers.
Place the bobbin into the sewing machine. Thread a matching sewing thread on the top.
Turn the upper tension to the maximum loose but maintain the normal stitch spacing that you used to sew for straight line stitches.
Test run on a fabric scrap and check for the tension. Adjust the tension if needed.
When you are ready, go for the real sewing.
This is how the wrong side looks like after the following is done.
Starting with some back stitches, sew 5 rows of elastic shirrs with 1/4″ interval between each row. End each row with some back stitches to secure the elastic thread in place.
Cut a length of 1/4″ elastic band slightly longer that the shirred width. Pin one end with safety pin, slide it through the top hem pocket or casing until it comes out to the other end. Stitch at the seam line to secure the band.
Sew the side, serge or zig-zag the raw edges if needed.
Double-fold the bottom hem for about 1″, press and pin, double stitch.
Attached the straps. Tie 2 ribbons and sew it to the front, just below the straps (with the ribbons, now you know where is the front side of the shirred sundress!!!)
Easy! Isn’t it?