The Shirred Shirtwaist

During the summer holidays, I finished another (actually two, but more about that in a seperate post) garment from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing: The Shirtwaist Dress. One finds it towards the end of the book, because it features some techniques that might be new to a beginner sewist, like bound buttonhles and elastic shirring. Even though I would consider myself somewhere between beginners and intermediates, I had not yet tried any of these techniques before and was therefore a bit nervous! But the dress turned out just as I imagined it – it wasn’t that difficult in the end.


The pattern itself was really a dream to work with – I only had to make a forward-shoulder adjustment and the sleeves where a bit too baggy. I think I also shortened the hem a bit. I had some problems at first with the shirring, as the elastic thread just did not shrink, so I used elastic band instead – I just pulled while sewing the band on. It turned out a bit messy, but as it is all shirred, it’s not so obvious! :)


I’m really happy with my bound buttonholes, as I was really frightened to make them – but thanks to Gertie’s excellent tutorial, they turned out great! I even managed to match up the print on one buttonhole:



The buttons were the most expensive part of the whole dress: I got the fabric together with other pieces for 2 euros at some kind of studio-sale last year, so it only cost me about 25 cents! It wasn’t a regular piece, though, more like a long strip and I had to try really hard to have enough room for all the pattern pieces – the back consists of several pieces instead of one, but due to the print, it isn’t that visible..


While we were in Grundlsee, there was a fleamarket where they sold all kinds of traditional clothing: Dirndls, Janker, Aprons etc. I bought a jacket there, which matches the dresse’s colours perfectly. I am not sure, if I will wear it often because of it’s huge shoulders, but maybe it will also look good with a pair of skinny jeans – I’ll see!


One last picture of the dress:


I hope you all have a nice weekend!


4 thoughts on “The Shirred Shirtwaist

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