Little girls love twirling in dresses, and this one could not be easier to make. Follow these photos and instructions to sew a simple shirred dress for girls in no time!
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This dress makes an excellent gift for birthdays or Christmas. It is comfortable and versatile, and SO easy to customize based on your girly’s preferences.
You can buy shirred dress fabric by the yard, so it really couldn’t be easier. Let’s get started!
Materials to Make a Simple Shirred Dress
- 1 yard Shirred Fabric
- Matching Thread
- 3–4 feet Matching ¼-inch wide Ribbon
- Sewing Machine
- Measuring Tape
Shirred fabric is sometimes called ruched or smocked. That means the lines of elastic at one end of the fabric are already in it when you buy it, making this project even easier. Shirred dress fabric can be purchased by the yard in a variety of colors and patterns both in stores and online.
How to Make a Simple Shirred Dress
Measure the width of your little girl under her arms, around her chest. My two models were about 21-22 -inches around.
Mark your fabric at the width of your little girl plus 1-inch at the top where the fabric is shirred with elastic.
Then mark your fabric at the width of your little girl plus 3.5 inches on the fabric at the bottom where the fabric is not shirred.
Draw a line connecting the two marks from the top to the bottom, and cut along that line.
Now fold your fabric lengthwise with the right sides together.
Pin along where the edges meet.
With your matching thread, sew along the pinned edge with a 1/4 seam allowance. Because this fabric is shirred and has elastic threads throughout, it is recommend to sew a second line parallel to the first.
With right sides still together, fold the fabric up 1/4 inch. Then fold it another 1/4 inch to create a hem.
Pin the hem in place all the way around the dress.
Sew along the hem with 1/4 inch seam allowance. Then turn the dress right side out.
Now have your little model try the dress on, and measure the distance from the center of the top of the dress to the center of the back of her neck.
Cut two lengths of ribbon equal to your measurement plus 6 inches.
Fold over both ends of the ribbon by 1/4 inch, twice. Pin and sew in place.
Pin one end of each of the ribbon strips to the center top of the dress, where you measured from previously.
Now sew an “X” shape about the width of the ribbons where they are pinned to the dress.
Trim all loose threads, and your dress is done!
The pink dress features a ruffle around the bottom. Sometimes shirred fabric can be purchased that way. You can also find shirred fabric with pom pom trim or other embellishments to really make your dress stand out.
Don’t forget to pin this project for later, and check out some more sewing projects for beginners that are listed below.
- 1. Measure around the girl, under her arms.
- Add one inch and mark top of fabric (shirred end).
- Add 3.5 inches to your original measurement and mark bottom of fabric.
- Connect the marks in a straight line.
- Cut fabric along line.
- Fold fabric lengthwise with right sides together.
- Pin along edge.
- Sew with 1/4 seam allowance.
- Sew a second parallel line.
- Turn bottom of dress up 1/4 inch, then again.
- Pin hem in place.
- Sew hem with 1/4 seam allowance.
- Turn dress right side out.
- Let girl try on dress.
- Measure from top center to back of neck.
- Add 6 inches.
- Cut two lengths of ribbon.
- Fold ends of ribbon 1/4 inch twice.
- Pin and sew.
- Pin one end of each ribbon to top center.
- Sew in place with an X.
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