Friday, March 23, 2012

Sewing, Shirring, Maxi's and Layers

Well, if you didn't already know I was gone this last weekend and I promise to show you all the fun fiber stuff I got while I was away.  However, I have some projects that I haven't blogged about and today is the day I blog about them.

First up is probably my all-time favorite dress that I have made.  I think that it is a combination of the fabric (a gift), shirring, and the length.  Something about Maxi Dresses just make my day :)  I put one on and BAM!  I feel instantly elegant even if it's just a long piece of fabric with elastic at the top.

What I love most about this dress (besides having a cami that matches perfectly so I can fake you with spaghetti straps) is how easy it is to layer!  I live in Washington State and winter here can be brutal (we just got snow yesterday & it's spring).  Still you can wear a maxi dress even in winter so long as you wear it with a jacket...

Or maybe a sweater...

Really I think the possiblities are endless!  I am still hoping to put some sleeves/straps on this so that come summer I can wear it as is...but until then I'm loving the layers :)

This dress is soooooo easy to make because it's just a rectangle with shirring at the top.  What I did was take my hip measurement and added 5 inches.  1 inch for seam allowance and 4 for ease...I sorta wish I had added just a bit more for ease but what's done is done.  Because my fabric wasn't as wide as my final measurement I divided it in two.  I then determined how long I wanted the dress to be added 2.25 inches (.25 for top hem 2 for bottom hem).  Then I cut out 2 identical rectangles from those two measurements.

Next I sewed along one long edge of the fabric, finished my seam with the serger and then set to sew a narrow hem at the top.  I only did a narrow hem because I don't have green or blue thread for my serger (yes I am a thread snob, no you can't talk me into buying the cheap stuff so I have to save my pennies like a hoarder saves everything to buy thread).  If I had matching thread I would have just run it through the serger and skipped the narrow hem.

The next step is to wind a bobbin with elastic thread.  Actually I wind at least 2...though I like to have 3 because when you get in your shirring groove it's a pain to stop and wind another bobbin.  There are lots of great tutes on shirring out there so I won't beat a dead horse over it.  I simply sewed a straight line on the horizontal every 1/4 inch for about 7 inches.  Then I sewed and finished the second side seam, added the hem at the bottom and wore it!  It took me less than 24 hours to make and I get comments on it every time I wear it!

I hope you love it as much as I do...honestly I think that it's a great first dress project for anyone as you can make it as long or as short as you want.  Add pockets, color blocking make it from cotton like me or from knit...the possibilities are as endless as your imagination!

As I look through all my pics of me I look so serious and somber...but really I ham it up when I take the practice shots....

I hope you all have a great weekend and get your craft on!  I'm going out with Husband tonight for an old fashioned dinner and a movie date!  So excited :)

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