children's clothing · craft · kids clothing · refashioning · sewing

Shirred pillowcase dress

I’ve had a reel of shirring elastic in the drawer for ages, meaning to make Clare a shirred dress.  There are loads of tutorials around explaining how to do it.  It probably would have been a good idea if I’d read them before I started.

IMG_8007 by you.

Although the elastic definitely did its thing, it isn’t a brilliant job of shirring.  See, I do show my unsuccessful projects on my blog as well as the ones that work.  Now that I’ve finally read some tutorials, I realise that I should have loosened the tension on my machine and should have used a much longer stitch length. 

Shirred pillowcase dress by you.

However, Clare loves the dress!  No accounting for kids.  It’s made from a pillowcase – I chopped about 7 inches off the bottom of the pillowcase, which I then cut into four strips to use as straps.  Clare chose to wear it with the front two straps tied as a halter neck (the back two straps were tucked inside the dress).

IMG_8009 by you.

I added some broderie anglaise lace around the hem to add a delicate touch.

IMG_7973 by you.

I’m definitely going to have another go at doing this, with a long stitch length.  It’s easy!  You just sew lots of parallel rows with shirring elastic hand-wound onto the bobbin.  Read the tutorials first – there is one here and another one here.  Then you shouldn’t get the puckered effect I got, rather than nice even gathers.


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