a shirred dress of my own

last time i showed you how to insert a shirred panel in a dress. i modified mccalls 5838 and made different versions for two of my daughters. i loved how these came out so much…

that i had to make one for myself! i really loved the silhouette of the bridesmaid dresses (new look 6776) i made earlier this summer and decided to use the same pattern in a different view for a shirred back summer dress. in gingham.


i love this dress so much… words cannot express.

so after my first shirring experience, i made slight changes to this. i inserted 1/4″ elastic at the top of the panel and at the bottom, out of the way of the waist SA. this worked out a little better than zig zagging in the skirt SA. i threaded the elastic through and secured it at the ends when i sewed down the sides of the panel (see my last post).

worked like a charm! in future dresses i would probably either shirr the entire back or insert a size zip. as is, it’s a little bit of a struggle to get the dress on and off. but once it’s on, it’s completely comfortable!

i cut the slide thingies off a cami and made the straps adjustable

i basically just guessed how much of the back i wanted shirred, and went with about half the back width, centered obviously. after some test scraps, i determined that 5″ of material would shirr down to about 3.25″. from there it’s a simple ratio math problem: take the desired finished width times 5 then divided by 3.25. then add about 1.25″ in width for a 5/8″ SA.

this worked for a medium weight material with a very light lining. if you do this, make up a small test on scraps first.

i love this dress so much i need to find a way to wear it into early fall.

jean jacket and boots? oh yeah, that’ll do.

—lisa g.

13 thoughts on “a shirred dress of my own

  1. Cherie says:

    This is great! I love the shirring… it would give all the looks of a super-fitted dress, but then give room to breathe. I am plotting my own version now! I see you even have a tutorial. Awesome!

  2. Keren Duchan says:

    I love your gingham dress! Great work. The shirring instead of a zip sounds like a great idea. I've recently been feeling constricted in my fitted dresses… Maybe I should give it a try as well! Anyhow, the dress looks lovely, well fitted, and flattering. Great job!

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