Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Easy and versatile dress - the perfect sewing project!

I mentioned in my last post that I had bought some gorgeous jersey fabric and had another project on the way.... well a spool of elastic thread later and here I am with a quick and easy new garment that I'm in love with! Why am I in love with it? Because not only was it an instant gratification project (and I am queen of instant gratification), it was fun to make, it looks really cute on and it's really simple yet versatile which means I'll get a lot of wear out of it. There are some garments that you make that look really nice on but they only get worn once in a blue moon because they only suit a particular occasion, or they don't go with anything else in your wardrobe, and what you really need is a garment that can be worn in several different ways. No it's not one of those multiway dresses, and you'll probably all think, 'Is that it?!' but if you know me then you know how much I live for pretty everyday dresses!

So I bring you, my shirred summer dress! This is my first time ever attempting shirring, I'd seen pre-shirred fabric before but I didn't even realise you could do it yourself until I came across a tutorial by Disney at Ruffles and Stuff (and finding the tutorial via google led me to her amazing blog/site and creations and her cute daughter Paige) which explained what to do perfectly. She covered every detail exactly and doing what she recommended worked brilliantly for me! I've seen people say they can make dresses using this technique in 20 minutes, well I must be a slow sewer because the whole thing took me about 2.5 hours but that's still good going I think.

My fabric was actually from Ebay and it was just a 1m piece, but was 1.5m in width so enough to make this short dress with fabric leftover! It's 96% cotton and 4% lycra/elastane, so soft but stretchy! I really loved the colour and the print, what do you think?

I also had to buy a spool of elastic thread (mine was white and 10m in length), as well as some thread to match my fabric. The elastic thread actually acts as the bobbin with the coloured thread on the top so it's best to sew on the right side of the fabric so you have your coloured thread on top which will blend in, rather than some garish elastic! I could have chosen to sew an elastic casing round the top of the dress to make it neater but I quite like the shirred effect and so I just sewed a hem round the top and started the shirring directly underneath.

This dress cost me £5.80 in total to make and so is a bargain as far as I'm concerned! The shirring means that it can be worn as a dress or as a skirt and it can be worn in a variety of ways. I'm really in the habit of wearing different garments together and disguising them to look like one garment when actually I'm wearing several and having people ask me where I got my dress from when actually it's a top and a skirt, or a top and a dress, and this dress is ideal for that!

Here's some pictures of the dress, please excuse the grainy pictures (they're taken on my webcam due to the broken camera issue), the fluffy hair and the cheesy grin!

On it's own...

Shirring folded over and worn as a skirt...

Worn with a t-shirt underneath for colder days...
This dress will also look perfect with a cute cardigan or my cropped denim jacket, I can't wait to give it it's first outing! Now just to wait for it to stop raining....

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