Friday, 30 July 2010

Shirred dress for Julia

Though I normally mainly (only) want to sew for me, and constantly make plans about what to make next (for me), I love sewing for my niece. Maybe for my nieces when my younger niece Ella is a bit older (she's a 9 month baby now, though a very clever baby). I think so.

But now mainly for my older niece Julia.

I got this quite thin, bright pink, gingham cotton in Stockholm and intended to make a summer dress of it before leaving for France in the beginning of July, but of course I had NO time for it until yesterday. But yesterday I did!

I've wanted to try making a simple machine-shirred dress for Julia for a while. The kind where you put elastic thread in the bobbin of your sewing machine (just roll it up by hand, stretching it slightly) and sew parallell lines along the width of the fabric, which makes the material scrunch up and become elastic.

Here's a better shot of what it ended up like. It took about two hours to make. Great!

I winged it a bit, I began with the shirring, then cut the "sleeves" off, added binding to the edges - that extends into straps - and hemmed it. Julia had told me what length she wanted it so I followed her wish. The top of it, above the shirring, is simply zig-zagged along the edge, vith tiny stitches, I wanted the edge as flexible as possible, without any bulk.

Sewing the shirred bit actually worked as a dream, as long as I didn't sew too fast. You have to sew veeeeeery slowly to keep the thread from breaking! Other than that it's dead easy. I had expected the elastic thread to get jammed at least once, but no, it was very obedient.

And it all looks nice and neat on the wrong side too, I love it when that happens without any real effort!

The only places it looks a bit less neat is where I had to sew twice since the elastic broke when I got impatient and hit the foot pedal too hard thus ending up sewing too fast.

The dress was quickly approved of by Julia who immediately wanted to wear it, and who wore it going home to Bergen (she had worn a dress I bought her for three days non stop prior to that).

I even got to photograph her in it as many times as I liked, she likes my new camera (a Canon EOS550D, an excellent excellent camera) almost as much as I do, when I shoot several pictures at once (it sounds like a shotgun) she almost laughs her head off (and so do I).

Happy child, happy aunt!


  1. Very cute, the dress AND your niece. She's lucky with such a great aunt!

  2. This is adorable. And such cute pictures of Julia playing very happily in her new dress...
    Children are such a pleasure to sew for, no? You've made me think I should get out some of the cute clothes I sewed for my little ones to put up on my blog... some day...

  3. Love the action shots, and what a cute way to make up a shirred dress. The cut reminds me of the Popover Sundress. Cool.

  4. Oh it's lovely!
    I have to try it (for my little papgena)!
    Thank you so much for your visit and sweet comment!
    I don't know if it's intentional but, you don't have a public mail linked to your blog so, I couldn't answer through gmail (your message came as noreply-comment, if you'll had an email, your adress would show).

  5. I'm also reluctant to sew for other people b/c I'm too concerned with what I want to sew for myself. So bravo you!


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