Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and 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!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

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. Beautiful dress!

    Adin B

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

    I will do a shirring tutorial some day!

  13. Anonymous7/09/2011

    Really, really cute!! I love it!

  14. 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!

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




accessories alterations anniversary apartment appliqué baby baby #2 bathroom beauty bedroom blog swap blogging blogging tips books bridesmaid dress budget chairs cooking costumes crafty DIY curtains decor art demo denim dining room DIY gift DIY Wardrobe Makeovers dress dye e-design eco-friendly etsy exterior fabric family farm fireplace fitness food fur furniture garage gardening gifts giveaway glitter hair Halloween handsewing happiness headboard health hobbies holiday holiday party dresses home dec home improvement home tour How to Wear DIY Instagram home tour interfacing jeans kids kids' clothes kitchen knits lace lamp Lavender's Green Historic Clothing leather lighting living room maxi McCall's M6558 McCalls M5849 mending mod podge mood board motherhood my book my home nursery office One Room Challenge ORC Fall 2018 ORC Fall 2019 ORC Fall 2020 ORC Spring 2019 ORC Spring 2020 oregon organization paint Paleo parenting parties passions patterns peplum photography podcast Portland pregnancy project goals quilt recipe recognition recycled retro ribbon romper rugs scarf scraps sewing sewing circle sewing inspiration sewing room Sewing with Friends shopping Silhouette Simplicity 1355 Simplicity 1873 Simplicity 1913 Simplicity 2444 Simplicity 2584 skirt slipcover sponsor spray paint stamp Stanley 90's reno Stanley 90's reno weekly update Stanley Tudor Revived staple gun stencil strapless stress sweater table tee the pillow tutorials thrifting tile toddler top townhouse progress toys travel Tudor kitchen reno tutorial upholstery vacation vintage wallpaper wedding wedding dress weekend weekend inspiration what to wear
© Create / Enjoy • Theme by Maira G.