This shirred dress is probably the simplest dress I've ever made and the one that got the most compliments at the same time. "Did you sew this??" "Beautiful dress!", etc. Kinda bothered me, because after years and years of sewing complicated dresses full of amazing, but time consuming details, I couldn't believe that a square of fabric with some shirring could be the pick of the litter. Life is cruel sometimes.
But! Honestly, I love this dress too. This is an eternal dress, something that never goes out of fashion, something that I could have worn when I was a little girl and something that my own granddaughter could wear in the future. That's the force of simplicity.
I've found the pattern and instructions in a lovely Japanese book, "Sewing for your little girls" by Yoshiko Tsukiori and published by Tuttle. I received this book as part of this year's London Sew Social sponsorship pack (thank you Tuttle).
This is Pattern #5. The top part of the bodice is simply gathered using a shirring elastic. I've always been drawn by shirring but it scared me a bit. My sewing machine is quite old and sometimes it doesn't collaborate when I want to do something different than using standard thread and needle (for example, it just doesn't work with twin needles) but this time it worked like a dream. I just wound the bobbin with shirring elastic and the machine started to sew perfect rows of gathers. I've finished the skirt and top with a rolled hem, then I sewed the straps by hand. Finished!
This project works perfectly with checked fabric. It creates a beautiful effect on the shirred part.
This book includes 8 beautiful projects, and each one is provided by clear step-by-step instructions. The sizes go from 100 to 140 cm. Each project has two versions of it (a "basic" version and an "applied" one), so you can try to sew different variations of the same garment. I'd recommend this book for both beginners and experienced seamstresses. I really loved this book and I'll probably try many more projects!
, by Gioia -Dotta-