Shirred sundresses with spaghetti straps are a fun wardrobe item. Whether you’re hanging out by the pool or just chilling on a summer day, this dress keeps you looking sweet and fresh all day long. The border print detail on the fashion model (ASOS Dresses) adds to the shirred bust panel with thin ribbon tie shoulder straps. This is a quick little dress that is easy to whip up in a day without a pattern and looks flattering on most body shapes.

You need:

  • Shirring elastic thread
  • Coordinating thread
  • 2 yds of cotton fabric (border print is optional), 44-45″ wide

1. For the fabric cut, measure the bust and double the measurement and this will be the width of fabric you will need.

Measure from very top of crease of underarm down to where you want the finished length to hit. (I usually prefer the knee or little higher). Add 1 inch to measurement. This will be the length of fabric you will need.

For example, for a size 10/12 and a dress length of 22 inches, the bust is 32 inches.

So fabric needed is approximately 64 x 23 inches for the dress.

From the excess fabric, cut a strip of fabric 1 ½” x 60″ for the ribbon ties.

2. To make it easy, I would find a border print that would work widthwise (44-45 in) as opposed to the usual lengthwise. Cut the length of fabric to this measurement. You are going to do this parallel to the selvedge to make effective use of the border (railroaded pattern).

On the other hand, for directional cutting on the straight of grain, cut 2 pieces of fabric (bust mmt. x finished length + 1″). This dress will have 2 side seams instead of 1 centerback seam.

3. Finish the raw seam edges of the length as desired. (I used pinking shears). Hem the top of the dress using a ¼” double rolled hem finish.

4. Begin shirring about 3/8″ under the hem stitch line. Continue shirring about 20 to 22 more rows down. Space the shirring about ½” or width of your presser foot parallel to your last row of shirring. Make sure to hand-wind the elastic thread onto a bobbin and use regular thread on the top, loosen your tension slightly and do some backstitching to tack the shirring so it doesn’t come unsewn.

5. With right sides together, match the raw edges of the back seam and sew it closed. Press seam flat. (I usually do some topstitching to both sides of the seam so it reinforces the seam).

6. Press the fabric strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Open the fold and align each long edge to the foldline and press. Refold the strip and edge-stitch along perimeter of the strip to create the ties. Cut equally into 2 or 4 pieces as desired for ribbon shoulder straps.

7. Try the dress on and mark the placement of the ribbon ties. Sew in place. (When you sew the ribbon ties, I like to sew them on the hemline of the top of the dress and I tack them so they are secure).

8. Hem the bottom of the dress using a ½” hem finish.