Monday, 13 August 2012

Crazy Couture

Soooo,  I have completed my first dress-making order for my lovely, if dinky, friend, Debby! And it wasn’t actually a dress, but a top.

We’d had the fabric a while, waiting for my craft room to be ready, and to find a pattern (of the free variety).  Anyway, last weekend, Debby finally found a pattern online, so all I needed was some shirring thread, and I was ready to get making.

So, off we toddled to the haberdashers one lunch time and got some shirring thread – that’s elastic thread, although my other friend, Sobia, still doesn’t believe me that this exists I think.  Then panic set in, as I googled shirring thread that afternoon – some things were telling me that I needed special equipment.  I consoled myself with the fact that, although old to the point of ancient, my sewing machine is pretty all-singing all-dancing, so would already have any special bits and bobs I needed.  As it turned out though, the panic was unnecessary, as further investigations confirmed that no special equipment was needed whatsoever.  The only concession required to using shirring thread was that the bobbin would have to be wound by hand, which is simple enough, and as shirring thread is much thicker than normal thread took next to no time at all – marvy!

So, when I got home one night last week, I set my sewing machine up, got my laptop to the right page and away I went.  These are the instructions I used:

As Debby is so skinny, only one meter of fabric was needed.  The instructions said that you could probably get away with ¾ of a yard, but unless you are eight years old or a doll, I don’t see how this would work.  Debby is only a UK size 6, and still a full meter was needed.  Probably three would be needed for me.

Anyway, the top is actually quite simple to make – you basically make a tube, and then using shirring thread in the bobbin, stitch five rows around the top of the top and five rows around the bottom.

For Debby’s top, I also made her some tie straps (the top in the instructions was strapless).  This was done by cutting lengths of fabric.  Folding both sides to meet in the middle, and then folding in half.  I think this was more time-consuming that the main part of the top.

I am happy with the result, and I think Debby is too, even if my darling fiancé thought it was a bag, and when I explained it was a top didn’t believe that it would actually fit anyone – he has yet to meet my skinny minnie friend.

I could be tempted to make myself one, but not sure it would suit me . . . hmmm.  I am taking orders for those that would like one though.  I can do them in almost any colour.  Please just email me –

I now have a dress to make for Debby, and a dress for me!

Happy Crafting!


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