Rest a-shirred…

…I figured it out!  Shirring (pronounced sure-ing), or smocking, is a skill that I have been wanting to learn for quite some time now.  Erin has made some cute shirred dresses for the girls, and has expressed how fun and simple the technique is.  The idea is that you fill your bobbin with elastic thread while keeping regular thread up top, sew rows and rows, and watch it pucker!  I chose The Mendocino Sundress pattern, by Heather Ross, as my first shirred project.  As our blogger guru Rae often suggests, I made a muslin version first, before subjecting my special lawn cotton to this unfamiliar pattern.  I thought this pretty old sarong would be so-right for practicing (I know, so many puns, so little time).  The edges already with a rolled hem!

Pretty, yes, but also a pain in the you-know-what to work with!  It was like sewing with gauze!  Things didn’t go well in the beginning.  I think I had cut the pattern too small, and as soon as I got going I knew I would not be able to stretch this thing over my bust.  So, I chopped off the top, and that became a skirt for Avery!

Starting over,  I hopped online to watch some shirring tutorials.  After gathering some handy tips and visuals, I got back to my dress, er… tunic.  A couple of days, and a whole lot of elastic thread later, I was done!

Cute, right?  I want to live in this easy, breezy top!  It is so comfy and pregnant friendly!  Here’s a close-up of the shirring.

There are tons of flaws, but who can tell?  Shirring is evidently very forgiving.  Which is why I’m in LOVE!

In keeping with my tan lines, I opted for halter straps.  I can always change that later.  Thanks to my mom, who happened by as I was finishing, I got a proper shoot with a real photographer!

If only there were a tropical vacation in my future!   I am now fully confident in cutting up my nice fabric for the smocked sundress I have planned.  Be back with that in a few days!  Thanks for coming by.

~Caroline

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12 thoughts on “Rest a-shirred…

  1. Caro, you are such a hot preggie mama! Love the top (and your top knot)! Do you have to hand wind the elastic bobbin? I want to give something like this a try..my machine is collecting dust these days. xx

  2. So cute on you….Did you ever actually wear the sarong? Now all you need is a (virgin) piña colada in your hand, and your feet in the sand! Maybe I’ll take you to Chris Greene lake soon- that’s the closest you’re gonna get to tropical isle this summer lady! -Erin

  3. Super duper cute!! And I love being called a “blogger guru.” That’s awesome. :)

    Glad you figured the shirring thing out…I found it frustrating for a really long time!

  4. YES! better late than never. I need to check your blog more often. I LOVE the top. I love shirring, and have, for the first time, realized it has a name. So forgiving, so flattering, and… easy to make? gorgeous! you sisters INSPIRE ME. for reals. keep it going!

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