Intro: How to Make a Shirred Fabric Summer Dress
For this project you will need:
A Sewing Machine
Step 1: Test It Out
For this dress you'll need to buy elastic thread and hand wind the elastic thread around the bobbin. Then put the bobbin in the machine and, using regular thread for the top, set your machine to a straight stitch with the longest length possible.I suggest first using a test strip for trying out shirring before you start on the actual garment. Make sure you lock your stitches and if the first row works, then create a few more rows at about half an inch apart. Use your presser foot as a guide.
Step 2: Make the Dress
Make a very simple rectangle pattern using the bust width and any desired length. Corinne measured from her armpit to two inches above the knee. Then iron the fabric and align your pattern to be parallel with crosswise grain of you fabric. Pin the pattern to the fabric and cut out the fabric. Repeat so you have two pieces. Place the front sides together and pin down one side. Using regular thread in the bobbin and a shorter stitch length, sew down the pinned side. Press your seam and sew down both sides of the seam. Next add a hem to the top and bottom of the garment.
Step 3: Finishing It Up
Put elastic thread bobbin back in you machine and do about 20 rows of shirring. Replace the elastic bobbin with regular thread, and sew the sides of the garment together. Press the seam and sew down both sides of the seam. For a center next strap cut out a long inch and half wide strip of fabric. Fold the long edges into the center and fold in half and sew around all the edges. Fold the center in half, as pictured, and sew together. Finally, sew the strap to the front top center of the garmen as a halter strap. And your new shirred summer dress is complete- enjoy!