Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Shirred Back Sundress Tutorial

When shopping for the princess sundress material, we also spied a lovely turquoise and purple coordinating collection.  We picked out three prints and I searched around for pattern ideas. After finding many great tutorials out there, I decided to copy the bodice from a dress we have and then add shirring to the back. Giving it a full skirt was also part of the plan. 

I started tracing the dress bodice. After it was all done, I think I allotted too much for seam allowances and it would fit a bit better smaller across. I took pictures along the way and will share them as a basic tutorial. This is about a 3T. 

1/2 yard of each fabric would be plenty

2 front bodice pieces
1 back 3.5" wide by 16" long
2 straps 4.5" wide by 12" long
1 main skirt panel 14" long by 44" wide
1 bottom ruffle 4" by 60" 
1 strip for the bottom edge totaling 60" long by 1.5" wide 

Take back piece and hem top edges by folding in the raw edge twice and top stitching. 

Next with a hand wound bobbin of elastic thread and coordinating top thread using a long stitch length, sew rows of stitching close together the whole width of the back piece. Steaming the elastic afterwards brings the shirring together further. Sew down each short edge securing the elastic thread. 

Prepare the straps.  Fold each strap over right sides together, sew the long edge in a 1/4" seam allowance. Turn and top stitch. Because the straps are wider, I decided to add a little pleat in the strap before sewing it into the bodice. 

Position each strap at the top edge of one bodice, right sides together.  Then add the other bodice sandwiching the straps in. Sew across top edges catching the straps. Leave sides open.

Turn and press.  
Open side seams and press under 1/4" on the front bodice side seams.

Attach the back to the bodice front slipping the back between the turned under side seams. 

Take strip and fold in half, then fold long edges into fold, press.  
Prepare bottom ruffle, sew together to make up about 60".  Finish edge with serger or zig zag.

Sew strip onto bottom edge so the raw edge is enclosed. 

Gather top edge of bottom ruffle.
Prepare the skirt.  Sew ends together, right sides together. Finish edge with serger or zig zag.  Add ruffle to bottom edge of skirt. Finish edge with serger or zig zag.
Gather top edge of skirt and attach to bodice. Stretch out shirring while sewing the gathered skirt. Finish edge with serger or zig zag. 

Check size of straps and positioning, adjust and sew to back. I zigzagged the strap edge after attaching it. Final step is to top stitch on bodice front. 
Sundress front
Sundress Back with shirring

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