Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Pink and white summery dress with shirring

With all the wedding stuff I've been doing, it's been a little tough to sew for myself... but of course I still need cute summer stuff!!

A while back I cut out a bunch of dresses for myself, several using this, my old standby favorite pattern.  It's out of print but the idea is pretty basic--strapless, princess-seamed bodice and whatever skirt you darn well please.

I used a lovely cotton lawn that my mom had extra of.  It's almost sheer, very nice quality, thinner and crisper than a quilting print.  I cut out the bodice of a sturdy white twill as the lining, and actually boned it a little, just on the sides, to keep it up better.  I cut the front and back pieces out larger than I thought I'd need, and on the bias, and then gathered and shirred them over the lining.  I tacked it all down by hand since I didn't want the seams showing on this one.  Sometimes I don't care, but it's nice on this to have the anchor stitches hidden.
For the skirt I didn't use a pattern--it's just a bias-cut skirt to the length I wanted, scooped a little at the top for the waist.
Here's a close-up on the bodice.  To finish the top of the dress I used bias tape and hand-sewed it down, too, so it's a little thicker than it would be if I just sewed right side to wrong side.
It is super easy to wear and doesn't feel like it's falling down at all!!  Part of that could be that it won't fit if I gain 5 pounds, though... it's quite snug.  But in a good way.

I miss sewing for myself more!  Especially when it's summer, and time to wear cute dresses!  Have you made any great ones recently?


  1. That it such a cute dress! And I love that you say it won't fall (I've had that happen once before - not fun at all). I'm so jealous of your skills!

    xo katie elizabeth

  2. The dress is fantastic and I love the fabric. You are very talented.

  3. that is such a beautiful dress! Maybe you could sometime show us a step by step how you did the bodice? Its pretty amazing that you did that without a pattern

  4. woow
    woow. so amazing, so feminen, so cute...

  5. Love the fabric, perfect for summer.

  6. Okay, first off, your skin is like porceline. I couldn't help but notice how beautiful it is. Hope that's not wierd, I promise, I mean it in the best way...
    The dress is gorgeous! I love the bodice, ti's a great fit on you and the gathered fabric just adds so much!
    Great job. You can wear it on your honeymoon!

  7. Love it! I'm always in awe how you just whip up a dress like it was nothing. That dress is beautiful on you!!

  8. Cute dress! Great shirring detail.

  9. Anonymous7/07/2011

    Lovely dress. It looks store-bought!!! I'd love to be as neat as you are when sewing. But well, baby steps...

  10. Ooooh I LOVE this dress!!! I want one!!! Great work :)

  11. Aaw, thanks, you all are so sweet! I love sewing simple cute dresses like this.

    I will do a shirring tutorial some day!

  12. Anonymous7/09/2011

    Really, really cute!! I love it!

  13. I made this dress without a pattern recently, which was really difficult since it wasn't my usual simple pattern with stretchy fabric...I definately need to get a go-to pattern for stiffer fabric.

    Love your dress, especially the pattern!


  14. This dress is adorable. The boning on the sides is a great idea. Time for me to find some cute cotton lawn, I think. :)



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