Flamingo print shirred dress

Well good morning strangers!  Hope you’re having a great summer so far!  These are my most recent finishes, but the first I’ve managed to get pictures of…  I recently made each of the girls Straight-grain’s Ishi dress (which are the cutest and just as soon as I can tie Annie down in one place to get pictures, you can see them…), but as soon as I’d finished, we had a few blazing hot days which made me wish I’d made them something sleeveless…  Since we’re going down to the seaside when school breaks up, I thought I’d go quick and beach-friendly.  And FLAMINGOES, obviously.

Shirred girls dressThe dresses are from Fashion with Fabric, the accompanying book to the latest Great British Sewing Bee series.  There are no pattern pieces, as the dress consists of 2 rectangles sewn together – there is a size chart and guide to fabric cutting size, but be careful, as this was written by someone unable to convert cm to inches.  And then not proof-read.  Actually, there are also many tutorials on the internet for you to work out the size you need based on the size of your child, so this is definitely not an exclusive pattern…

Still, random size-jumps not-withstanding, this is such a quick and easy sew it’s not true!  I’ve never shirred anything before (not having sewn much for the girls, and when d’you shirr adult clothing, although…), but it turns out it’s really fun!  Zip, zip, zip, LOOK ALL CRINKLY!  Yeah, I really need to enjoy the simple things right now…

flamingo print girl's shirred dress


shirred girls summer dressYou can see the fabric better in those, I think.  They’re both flamingo-print cotton (somewhere between poplin and quilting cotton) from Leon’s.  They only had almost-half-a-metre of the turquoise, so I added a band of the white at the hem to make it dress-length.  I originally sewed this on slightly gathered, but it turns out that ‘slight gathering’ looks rubbish… I’m not really into properly gathered flounces, so I took it off and sewed it on flat.  Much better!

picking raspberriesI used 11 rows of shirring on Annie’s dress, and 16 on Amy’s, 1cm apart.  I did attempt self-fabric straps, but decided however good they looked (and believe me, they didn’t even look very good…), they couldn’t possible be worth the effort.  Matching ribbon was purchased, and sewn on.  Bang.  No shame.  I left the ribbons quite long, to give a few tying options (halter, cross-over back etc).  I’m glad I did, as Annie’s kept falling down when they were straight over her shoulders, so it’s good to have a more secure option!

I’m really happy with these:  quick and cheerful, and actually finished in time to make the most of the nice weather we’re (intermittently) having.  Hope you’re all enjoying the same, and I’ll be seeing you soon!


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  1. July 16, 2015 / 8:00 am

    Well done! They are lovely and ‘easy’ – best of both worlds! Models looking cute as well!!

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