Create Your Own Stunning DIY Shirred Dress With Katie Parrott
Spotlight has partnered once again with Katie Parrott to create this helpful guide on how you can easily make this beautiful and stunning DIY shirred dress. Using your own measurements, it will fit perfectly and quickly become a staple piece in your wardrobe this season. With easy to follow steps and everything you need listed down below, making your own DIY shirred dress has never been easier - or fun!
This fun DIY can be done by a beginner sewer using nothing but your domestic sewing machine!
Because it uses your body measurements, the pattern fits anyone and doesn't require any printing or fancy materials, it's just a great opportunity to learn some new skills and end up with a fun new dress at the end. Here's what you'll need and how you'll do it!
- 3.5m of Fabric - I used Premium Linen Suiting in Cocoa
- Thread to match your fabric
- 2 x spools of shirring elastic
- Optional: 2m of 5mm elastic for stabilising shirred pieces
Piece 1 - Body - cut x2
Width Bust measurement - 20cm
Piece 2 - Tier - cut x2
Width: Piece 1 + 25% of Piece 1
Piece 3 - Ruffle - cut x3
Width: Piece 2
Piece 4 - Straps - cut x2
How to make your own DIY shirred dress:
1. For Pieces 1, 2 and 3, sew the short edges together to create one tube of fabric. Use a zigzag stitch or overlocker to finish the raw edge. Then fold the raw edges on the top and the bottom of each tube over twice, 1cm each time, and sew. This will create a clean finish and stop the fabric from fraying. Do this double fold method on all four sides of your strap pieces as well.
2. With the tier and the ruffle, use the longest stitch length on your machine to sew a line of gathering thread around the top of the tube. For the ruffle, sew the gathering stitch in two lines (one for the "front" and one for the "back" of the circular tube) to make it easier to gather and attach to the tier.
3. Distribute the gathers and then pin the ruffle to the bottom of the tier, sitting the wrong side of the ruffle to the right side of the tier. This will create the exposed ruffle detail. Sew in place and remove gathering threads.
4. Put the skirt piece to the side, wind your bobbin with shirring elastic and place it in your machine, adjusting tension as required. For Piece 1, the body, you will sew 18-20 rows of shirring, depending on your bust size and how far down the body you would like the shirring to go. Each line of shirring should be approximately 1cm apart - a good tip here can be to use the right edge of your presser foot as a guide for sewing the shirring evenly. Once you've finished the body shirring, for the straps, sew four lines similarly spaced along one side of each strap. This will give you a ruffled look.
5. Apply steam heat from the iron to the shirring, not actually touching the iron to the fabric. This will cause the elastic to shrink, tightening the shirring to create even gathers.
6. Attach the shirred body piece to the skirt piece. Tighten the gathering thread on the tier level and sew onto the non-shirred part of the body. You've basically finished the dress! At this point, you should have a tube-top version of the dress. Now is a good time to quickly try it on and check you're happy with the fit. If it's a bit loose, which can happen with heavier fabrics, sew a line of 5mm elastic all the way around the top and bottom of the shirring and on the straps. This will help to stabilise the stretchy parts of the dress and give more support.
7. Sew the straps onto the dress.
With a style that is timeless, your new DIY shirred dress will have endless appeal - no matter the occasion. Make sure you have everything you need to create beautiful garments by exploring our huge range of fabric and sewing supplies, and check out our fun and inspiring sewing projects for more exciting sewing ideas.