Shoulder Tie Dress
This shoulder tie dress is the ultimate summer dress. It’s not much more than a big square of fabric, sewn together to make a tube. A bit of shirring at the top. And some shoulder ties. Tick. Done.
You need: –
- matching colour thread
- sewing scissors
- tape measure
- sewing machine
- shirring elastic
- spare bobbin
You do: –
First you need to get cut the right size out of your fabric. You want the measurement of the widest part around your body – plus a bit extra for room to move. And then you want the measurement from just under your arms to your preferred length – in my case – just below the knee. Again, add on a bit for hems at each end. My piece of fabric was 90 centimetres long and 122 centimetres wide.
My shoulder ties were cut 8 centimetres wide and 30 centimetres long x 4 pieces. It’s best to make a nice long piece so you have enough to work with when you attach these ties. Aim for 1.5 metres.
So the fist thing I want to say is I made this dress in a ponti fabric because I happened to have a LOT of it. You know how it is, your favourite colour fabric is on sale and next thing you’ve bought metres and metres of it. And now I have to justify the purchase so I use it to make stuff. This dress would have been infinitely better in a lighter fabric.
Start by sewing the ties and hemming the top of the dress. Press the ties and hem with an iron so the seams are nice and flat. Now pin and sew the centre back of your dress. And again, press that seam flat and open.
Next is the shirring. I wish I could tell you it’s easy. It’s an art getting the right tension on the bobbin. Too loose and you’re wasting your time. Too tight and it’s too scrunchy and pulls at the thread.
I will say, rather err on the side of loading your shirring elastic on the tighter side onto your bobbin. Also, the more rows of shirring, the better the effect. I made 5 rows of continuous shirring at the top of this dress. You can make your rows narrower to get in more shirring. Or, you could make the shirring longer so it covers the bust area. Maybe even take your shirring all the way down to just above the waist. More is more with shirring.
Start your shirring about 1.5 centimetres from the edge of the top of your dress. Don’t sew from the very edge.
Once you’ve done your shirring, tie or sew away the ends of your shirring elastic so they don’t come loose. And pin your straps to the dress. If you plan to wear this dress with a bra, make sure to fit it now before you sew the straps to make sure they are in the right place. Might need a bit of help pinning them at the back. Also pin hem and check you’re happy with the length,
Finish off by sewing on straps and sewing the hem. Press one last time with an iron. And just like that you have a new shoulder tie dress.
Have a great green week.