March 7, 2011

The Shirred Shirt Dress

Can you say that name ten times fast?

To shirr means to gather fabric and make it pucker by using elastic thread for the bobbin. Here is a great tutorial from Ruffles and Stuff if you're interested. It is such a simple technique and I love the look of it. I've been wanting to shirr something for awhile now, but couldn't figure out what to make. Then I came up with the idea to turn a men's button down shirt into a dress for Miss A. This dress turned out exactly like I pictured and I love it. It just may be my favorite project to date. And it was SO EASY!

Want to make one? Here's what to do:

You'll need a men's button down shirt. Paco's shirt was a Goodwill find.

Decide how long you want the dress, measure from the bottom of the shirt and cut straight across. You need to make sure you have a shirt long enough that you are able to cut below the armholes. Don't cut off the bottom, this will become the bottom of your dress. 
Open the shirt and hem the top. 
{Please don't judge my completely uneven hem line... luckily in the end it doesn't matter at all}

And it's time to shirr. With the shirt open start at the top and shirr in a straight line all the way across the shirt. And repeat every 1/4" as far down as you want. For a size 12 month dress I shirred the top 3.5 inches.

When you are finished sewing spray the shirred area with water and press with a hot iron. This will make the elastic tighten up even more. 

At this point if the dress is still too big it can be easily taken in at the side seams. I had to take another 6 inches off of Audrey's dress and just used the Serger to serge down the sides, it was quick and easy, and you wouldn't know I did it after the shirt was already shirred. 

Now button the shirt back up and sew the shirt closed.

The only thing left to do is add straps.

It is such a simple process, but makes such a cute dress. I can't wait until it is warm enough for Audrey to wear it!

Posted at:
Made By You Mondays on Skip To My Lou
Get Your Craft On on Today's Creative Blog
We Did It Wednesday on Sew Much Ado 


  1. Emily, your sewing skills are impressive.

  2. I love this, so cute! Another to add to my must make list!

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  3. Wow!! that turned out adorable! I really like this idea!

  4. I know two little girls at my house who would love one of those! I'll have to get cracking! Thanks for the tute!

  5. Super cute! I love shirred dresses!

  6. I love this! I was worried about how to go around the buttons but realized at the end you didn't even have to go near them. On my to do list!