Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Shirred Summer Joy; 3 Video Tips to help tap your inner sweatshop

~So I have had this shirring post in my head for a month or more. First I thought I would do a tutorial for my 2010 moo moo dress(later gator), then I decided i needed to address the shirring first.
~There oodles of tutorials on shirring so I decided after carefully devouring them I would share links to my absolute faves and offer what I believe are some key tips to finding shirring happiness; on video?! I will also show you my lot of summer frock designs thus far this summer . But first a little ramble thru the scramble or "how I got here from there"....
~ I first started shirring years ago; This was long before I surfed the Internet waves of knowledge. I have no idea even who told me you" just put elastic thread on the bobbin". I just remember that when I put that bobbin of elastic thread in my machine I ascended to a new level of sewing. That was a magical summer of shirred blouses and dresses. It was however, bitter sweet; I loved the result but not the process so much. My dang thread just kept breaking, or the rows would come undone and I could never get it to look quite as crisp as those lovely machine shirred frocks. Well I moved on a bit. I shirred maybe one or two garments a summer, for a the next 3 summers . I learned lots of other techniques and kinda forgot the shirring madness. However, early last summer, I got Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing, and...a sweet simple shirring tutorial. Up till then, I had not thought to check for online shirring tutorials (even though at this time, I was a well versed digi-geek), for some wicked reason! How had I had never spayed and pressed???!!!!Well probably because back then I would sew without an iron(gasp)...for shame.
So, please fast forward to the spring 2010; while coming up with my summer dress I decide to revisit some of my early dress and blouse designs. I must say I am thrilled as peach pie about this summer frock, but this is not about that specific pattern so I promise to share the pattern later. For now I am gonna show you several different dresses I have been churning out this summer that all employ the shirred technique in different ways. I wanted to show you these dresses as examples of the usefulness and versatility of this easy technique.

~This is the first sheet dress of the season and the first incarnation of the 2010 moo moo

~This dress is a pattern I made from and old navy dress I got that had a tie neck. I changed it up a bit to make it more comfy. It is made from all re purposed fabrics. I shirred the waist and the back panel, and used FOE on the neck line. and bias for the criss cross straps.

~This is my ode to " My Neighbor Totoro" dress ( also the first dress of post) the entire bodice is shirred and the whole dress is lined.It is made from a sheet.

~This one uses an altered men's muscle T as the top and sheets for the skirt, then I shirred the waist line to cinch it in.

Here are my favorite shirring tutorials
Weekend Sewing (the hard copy)by Heather Ross
portabellopixie( awesome downladabale instructions)
pritty ditty
ruffles and stuff

Here are my multi media tips ....bear with me

Tip # 1 wind your bobbin carefully

Tip # 2 machine shirring ; slow and steady

Tip #3 water and heat

Before Tip #3water &heat

after Tip #3water&heat
....Burger and I are heading to the Rio Grande Valley for a Donda visit and what will probably the last somewhat normal gulf beach visit for our lifetime. See y'all next week.... love ya to itty bits


Laura said...

girl you're lookin so cute! love that red red hair! such a bad penny xoxoxo
gettin sooo many compliments on yer dress, will send a pic soon

Alex said...

Wow, thank you for this! I have seen that Heather Ross dress around on-line and was wondering about this very thing. I will definitely remember to come back to this post if I ever try shirring--yours looks fantastic! I especially like the yellow and white dress. Hope you guys have a good trip!

Brian b.markham@gmail.com said...

Wow, you look so hot in these dresses, showing off some ink and ... well, I just think you're very cute.