Wednesday, September 21, 2011

in stitches. little spring

I have been having a little trouble finding great vintage sheets for my stash. But pillowcases, I've found stacks! I also absent-mindedly threw a roll of shirring elastic into my basket a few months ago. This weekend, the two came together in a beautiful epiphany. I present you: my



 Want to make one? Go on, it's easy. You can do it.
You will need:
  • a lovely pillowcase from an op shop, freshly washed
  • a roll of shirring elastic
  • some pretty ribbon
  • some sewing thread
  • a sewing machine
  • some elastic for the waistband- half a metre would be plenty, I used 1cm wide stuff
  • scissors
1. Lay a dress that fits your baby on the folded end of the pillowcase, to get an idea of the length and width you need. Cut the excess fabric away. This job is made more delightful if you say "chomp, chomp, chomp" as you cut. Don't cut the folded side! You should end up with a long rectangle.

2. Do a very nice little rolled hem on both the long sides of your rectangle. 

3. Roll some shirring elastic onto an empty bobbin. Not too loose, not too tight. Got it?

4. Using the elastic in the bobbin and thread in the top, sew a few rows of straight stitch. It's worth having a practice with your machine first. I found that increasing the tension and using a smallish stitch length worked for me. A distance of about 1.5cm between the rows looked good to me.

5. With right sides together, sew the side seam (the short sides of the rectangle). Finish with a zig-zag stitch, or overlock if you are fancy.

6. Sew some lengths of ribbon to the front and back.

7. Marvel at the cuteness of chubby baby shoulders.

Seriously. Marvel.

And if you want to, you could make a little pair of bloomers from the leftovers. I followed this tutorial for a diaper cover, only instead of elastic casing for the legs, I used the shirring elastic in the bobbin on a tiny roll hem.
I hope you have a go, really so easy. I am now considering adding shirring elastic to all manner of fabrics. Tea towels?
more creative spaces here


  1. What a brilliant idea! I am all inspired. Well... as soon as I get up the guts to hunt down and conquer a sewing machine! (And such a lovely photo!)

  2. It looks great - I am yet to use shirring elastic (too scared of messing it up)

  3. Wow! How gorgeous (both the cute chubby shoulders and the dress and bloomers). I haven't tried shirring yet, but may have to be brave and give it a go one of these days...

  4. I, like Kylie, am a bit scared of shirring elastic but your little outfit (and your little person) are just sooo cute. I may have to face my fears and give it a go...

  5. Oh my so sweet! A beautiful epiphany indeed!

  6. A brilliant upcycle. Lovely! You really scored a great pillowcase there. Ace.

  7. Very sweet - your girl is so cute!

  8. So beyond cute it's almost made me clucky again! Eeks!! x

  9. Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous! I recently made a shirring outfit when I made my girl's nightgowns and was surprised at how easy and effective it is. So love your fabric choice.
    (Visiting from rewind)

  10. I read this during the week and haven't been able to get your gorgeous baby girl out of my head. She is a delight! Great job with the dress. Thanks for Rewinding x

  11. I can't tell what cuter the dress or the divine baby!! I'm gonna go with the baby, but that dress is cute! Nice to meet your blog x

  12. You make shirring look so easy!!! Love the little outfit and SO cost effective.

  13. Oh my, this is just divine. Bravo you! If only my pixies were as little again...J x



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