Behold, the final dress from my recent Makeathon! If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll already be familiar with my propensity for wearing bedlinen (evidenced here and here) long before the recent Sewing Bee challenge! I’ve had this single duvet cover – £2 from a charity shop – in my stash for a while, originally thinking I’d use it for a quilt backing. It’s a reversible job, and I only liked the brown side and didn’t think there would be enough of it to make anything to wear.When I saw this fab shirred sundress by Leila of Where The Orchids Grow though, I fancied having a go. I thought this might be the very thing for the purple batik bought on my recent Birmingham trip, but I wanted to make a practice version first. When I’d done my measurements, I realised I could cut the brown side of the duvet in half and match up the flowery band from the top and bottom to make a ‘border’ print.I didn’t do too badly matching up the pattern on this side, but sadly there wasn’t enough to do the same on the other!
I’ve never done shirring before but it was easy-peasey on Cosmic Lulu. I soon had the bodice shirred down to the recommended length, a couple of inches above the waistline. HOWEVER… my duvet cover was made of a cotton/terylene mix, and therefore quite crisp. When I tried the dress on, the gathered fabric stuck straight out in front of my already-quite-substantial middle, making it look like it was time to Call the Midwife!After much re-thinking, I decided the answer was to keep shirring the bodice until I had the gathers in a more flattering place. I ended up with 30 lines of shirring all the way around, plus a further 4 along the front only that I tapered in at the side seams to adjust for my sway back.
I also had to make one strap 1/4″ shorter than the other on account of my sloping left shoulder, and then I still needed velcro on the insides to stop them from slipping off! Although I am much happier with the final dress than the first version, I must admit it’s still not the most flattering shape for me and I don’t think I’ll make another. That said, it IS a very cool, comfortable, easy dress to wear. So I’ll definitely be taking it on my hols, just in case the sun should decide to shine. Plus, I won’t need to take a duvet cover, haha!Wishing you all a sunny weekend 🙂