Let’s make this Poppy Dress, shall we? The dress portion is very easy and sews together quickly. While adding the poppies takes longer, it’s a great touch!
-fabric (how much depends on your measurements you’ll get below) *I used white cotton fabric, but the turquoise you see pictured behind Miss B would look great with orange poppies! **Please note: thicker fabrics and doubled layers tend to shirr a lot less, so the thinner your fabric, the better it will shirr**
-thread matching fabric
-marking tool, optional
-felt (or other fabric—You will want to pre-wash your felt and see how it reacts to washing, and also any shrinkage that may occur. Mine was just the cheap stuff from Walmart)
-fusible interfacing (I didn’t use any, but it might be good to back the sewn-on poppies)
Take your measurements. B is 2 1/2, but a little large for her age. I’ll give you the information you need to make this dress for any size, but also the dimensions I used for my dress.
FOR THE DRESS PORTION:
First, measure around the chest, just under the arms. B’s was about 21”. This is for the large rectangle used for the dress portion. Add at least half that number. **Remember, it is better to add more than less, depending on how tight your fabric shirrs.**
Next, determine the length you need. I wanted to make a dress, so I measured from her neckline to her knee, giving me about 17”. You could shorten it for a shirt. Add about two inches to that measurement for hemming.
I only added one inch to the length measurement because I planned on using the selvage edge for the top of the dress.
SO, for the dress portion I cut a 32” x 18” rectangle.
FOR THE SHOULDER STRAPS:
Measure from just below the armpit in the front, to just below the armpit in the back. B’s was about 11”. This is for the shoulder straps. Add at least half that measurement to the length. Also determine the width you would like. I wanted 3” wide straps, so I cut my two strap pieces 4” x 16”.
If the top edge of your dress fabric piece isn’t the selvage edge, then fold over 1/4”, then another 1/4” and sew. You could also serge, then fold down 1/2” and sew.
Since I used the selvage edge, I just started to shirr. Wrap the elastic thread around the bobbin, not too tight, but not too loose. Research online to see if your machine is the best candidate for shirring this way. *Shirring is VERY easy! Don’t be afraid of it! HERE is a great tutorial for you from Disney of Ruffles and Stuff. Set your thread length to the longest stitch (mine is only a 4). You’ll want to sew on the RIGHT side of the fabric, so the elastic thread is on the wrong side. I just used my pressure foot edge to guide how far apart I wanted the shirring lines.
Shirr, shirr, and shirr some more. I left a 1” gap for design after shirring for rows. Shirr as far down as desired, and whatever pattern you desire. You might just want to do row after row and not leave a gap, how most dresses are that have shirring.
Wrap your now shirred rectangle around the person who will be wearing it and determine how much you need to take off. Do not cut it until you sew it! You don’t want to loosen up that elastic thread! After sewing, try it on again to make sure it’s how you like. Then cut away any excess.
I serged mine, but you could sew it and then zig-zag the raw seam edges if you are worried about fraying. You can see how I kind of slowly tapered out, so the bottom portion of the dress under the shirred part was a little bigger.
On to the straps. Fold over the long side 1/4”, then 1/4” again and sew each long edge. I serged, folded, and then sewed.
Shirr all or just a part of the sleeves. When you leave it like this pictured below, you get a nice ruffle on the edge.
Try it on and pin the straps in place, being careful not to poke them with the pins while taking it off!
I like the swiftly burn over the top of the circle as well. It makes it have more color, plus it starts to curl the circle edges more, making it look more like a petal, in my opinion.
Pin them on in place. (If you opted to use fusible interfacing, iron those on inside the dress where you will be sewing the flowers on.)
Sew a line through each poppy. If you are worried about them being pulled off, sew around each circle. You could add beads, but I was afraid it would make it less washer-friendly if I did that.
Thanks for letting me join in the Color My Summer series! Yay for COLOR and SUMMER!