Hello all! Today I have my new favourite summer dress to share with you for this months Minerva make. I’ve been looking for the right Broderie Anglaise Fabric for ages, and I when I saw this tie dye cotton I knew that it was the one. I then chose a fairly Light Cotton Fabric to back it with.

Lately I’ve become slightly obsessed with shirring (which is essentially done using elastic thread in the bobbin which gathers up the fabric as you sew) and when I finished shirring a new top I knew that I wasn’t done with this technique yet and immediately embarked on this dress.

After doing a shirring sample with both the broderie anglaise and the underlining fabric I found that shirring reduced the length of the sample by 1/3. So then I essentially did some maths to work out how much I needed to expand my pattern by so when it was all shirred up it would be the original length of my bodice block. For the skirt portion of the dress I just popped my pencil skirt block right below the enlarged bodice pattern, matching up the side seams and cut the dress out with 1 piece for the front and 1 piece for the back.

As it’s only front, back and sleeves it came together quite quickly! The body pieces are underlined but I left the sleeves slightly see through. The most time consuming bit was the shirring. I did each row a foots width apart, using a longer width and stitch length to sew with. I made sure that the fabric was pulled taut as I sewed and it turned out beautifully! I got through two spools of shirring elastic in no time at all though. The sleeve hems also have a couple of rows of shirring to form little cuffs.

I think the bodice is a little long, as you can see by the bunching in the back so I think I’ll take out the bottom couple of rows of shirring to sort that out.

I really love how much fun this dress is. The square neckline is very fresh to me and I’m finally on board with the big sleeve trend. I wonder how I can incorporate shirring elastic into my next project…

Thank you for reading and to Minerva for providing the materials for this project!

Lauren xx