I’m so thrilled some of you are finally able to shirr thanks to the little trick I shared with the Sweet Shirred Summer Dress Pattern.  I’m having so much fun shirring my heart out, I hope you are too!

Here’s a take on the traditional smocked dress for summer, made with another gorgeous voile from City Craft which is available online here.  Get the full DIY Smocked Sundress Pattern after the jump…

Smocked Sundress Free Pattern

1.  You’ll need 3/4 yard pre-washed lightweight cotton (i used a voile), some elastic thread, and some pom pom fringe.  You can cut the fabric down to the appropriate size, the smocking is very forgiving.  Mine is for my freakishly tall two year old.  You want the width about 1.5-2 times the chest measurement of the wearer.  Just add 1″ to the length and 1/2″ to the width for the seams/hems.
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2.  Along a long end of your fabric fold 1/4″ and iron, another 1/4″ and iron, and sew in place to create the hem at the top of your dress:
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3.  Now time to shirr!  For tips on shirring read this post.  So load your bobbin with elastic thread and your spool with regular thread.  I used a contrasting color just to be different.  We are going to sew our lines of shirring all the way across the whole panel 5/8″ apart starting 5/8″ after our hem line.  Here is the first line of shirring:
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the second:
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the third:
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and i did 9 lines for my two year old.  Do as many as you like!
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4.  Now fold your shirred panel in half, right sides facing, trying to make the shirring line up and sew together with a straight stitch:
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Finish the seam by serging, sewing with a zig zag or overlock stitch, or cutting with pinking shears:
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5.  Now for the hem.  You can just do a traditional hem, but I wanted to add some pom poms for a little flair.  I serged the unfinished edge, but you can just iron it in 1/4″ all the way around to start:
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Sew your trim facing upward to the front of the dress:
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Now flip the trim under the dress and iron (and pin if you want, i was in too much of a rush):
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Then top stitch it in place.  You’re trimmed hem is done!
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6.  Now for your straps.  You can make some traditional straps out of your dress fabric, or use ribbon or bias tape or what have you, but i wanted pom poms because i love them.  Line up your dress so the seam is in the middle of the back.  Measure two inches away from the seam on each side and pin your straps:
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Ideally you want to seam-rip your original top hem and slide the strap under it, then fold it back over and sew in place so you don’t get double-sewing lines, but you don’t have to:
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Repeat to attach the straps to the front of the dress (maybe after trying it on your model to be sure they are the right length).  Done!
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What do you think?  Are the pom poms too much?

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