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Topic: Shirred-top baby dresses with tutorial  (Read 2391 times)
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eternallyeve
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« on: January 01, 2012 04:01:35 AM »

I wanted something special and handmade for my daughter's first Christmas so I drafted up a simple dress pattern. As complicated as they look they are really quite quick and shirring is totally addictive!

This is the tutorial for the shirring and it worked a treat. My only issue (that was ongoing for about an hour before I face-palmed at my oversight) was that the elastic in the bobbin was not feeding correctly, the elastic was pulled out of its little niche in the bobbin holder and this caused the elastic thread to bunch up on the underside of the fabric. Once I kept an eye on the bobbin, ensuring the thread was in place the shirring went like a breeze.

I kept my thread length at about 2 and had my bobbin tension around 2.5 on my Janome MyExcel machine. It took very little practise to find the thread length and bobbin tension that worked best.

I made 7 dresses in total and an extra top for Christmas day. The top is a little different and a bit fancier but once you have made the basic dresses, you will see how the top was made. The first dress was a bit long, my daughter is only nine months and not walking yet so I didn't want something that would catch her legs. My first attempt was also too slim. It fit fine in the chest but it was not roomy enough to accommodate a nappy bum!


This is my favourite fabric


All the fabrics I used


Here is the tutorial, it is also available via the Hand Made-n's blog if you have trouble viewing it on page.

I used clearance quilting fabrics for these. They are all 100% cotton and beautiful, vibrant prints; a far cry from the boring pastel pink numbers in store!

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Miss Jols
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2012 08:45:28 AM »

The dresses look really cool ! well done

This is the tutorial for the shirring and it worked a treat.

I've always wanted to try shirring but thought it looked complicated but looking at that tutorial it looks really easy ! might even give it ago !
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eternallyeve
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2012 11:04:57 PM »

Miss Jols, it really is easy! I was thinking for my first row or two 'crap, this isn't going to gather' but then viola! it started gathering. And the spray with water trick totally works, you can see the little gathers tightening up, it's so cool Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2012 09:36:52 PM »

These dresses are adorable. You make shirring look so "easy". Thank you for the tute.
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eternallyeve
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012 05:39:27 AM »

I found that once I made sure the bobbin thread was in threaded in the right place, the rest went swimmingly Cheesy

I think the trick is to adjust your bobbin tension, make your thread length a bit longer and stitch a row. If you can see the elastic is nice and straight with no nasty jumbles, just keep on sewing and it will gather easily. And when you wind your bobbin with the elastic don't stretch the elastic.

Give it a go!
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