So I was inspired by the many many reviews out in blog land of Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. It’s the first time that I’ve earnestly thrown my hat in the ring for a free copy. Alas, I never won one, so Weekend Sewing has the distinction of being one of the half dozen books I will buy this year.  Let’s talk turkey first… I mean, project. My first one was the Smocked Sundress. I had a friend who recently started sewing in earnest sew some shirring like it was nobody’s business and felt duly chastened for being an elastic thread weenie. I am now no longer said weenie and think of myself more along the lines of shirring goddess, ok, not quite more like a shirring competent (loses a little something, no?).

Here is the finished product.


And on the model:

shirring on the model

About half-way through, I decided that my “guestimate” of what the size would be for my six-year old was perhaps not quite right, so I added a little insurance policy to the mix and brought in Erin’s Sunny Day Dress tutorial from House on Hill Road. Between the two patterns, I picked and chose lengths between stitching, dress length, and which shirring method looked less like my needing a double scotch afterward. (Hint: while I love Erin’s results, this made me cringe and I used Heather’s much easier technique). I did however use Erin’s view C for the straps–I don’t want to spend my whole summer hearing “mama tie this please”.

Tangent: Sadly dearest bunny’s first public wearing of the dress was at the funeral of my grandfather last weekend. Yeah, I get that white isn’t appropriate, but you go find a navy blue dress last minute in any mall in america the end of spring BEFORE fourth of july stuff is out. She wore it with a simple forest green cardigan and was entirely appropriate. Sad, but cute as a bug isn’t really the goal for the whole funeral thing.

Oh, and I embellished the straps with a fun built in stitch:

strapfancystitchAnd a close-up of the shirring for posterity’s sake:


I think I would also follow Erin’s easier method of just hemming the top of the dress before shirring. Heather had a great idea to be able to put the end of the straps inside the hemming after you have shirred, but shirring isn’t really fun to manipulate and has the very worst ability to listen to me as I prod it into place.

More on Weekend Sewing. Yummy pictures. I think I want to make nearly everything, especially for bunny.  But I get held up/put off by the fact that the patterns are for size 4 at the largest. Now, you and I both know that I can size it up, but as I mentioned before–I’m a weenie. I’m also lazy, and that makes me gripe a little bit that the patterns didn’t go to say size 6 or 8. Sigh. I’m itching to try out the flower girl dress–for which I already have fabric, but I see this happening realistically toward the end of June–after my billables are done (8 days!!!!!!!!!) and after my recuperation trip (Distant, tasty location!!!!!!!).