I made this sweet set for my 11-year-old daughter last Christmas. She’d seen something similar in the window of a local shop and I knew I could create something along the same lines pretty easily.
Having said that, sewing it late on Christmas Eve and trying shirring for the first time added something to the intensity of the situation! (note the label from my KATM Countdown calendar 😉)
They are probably the most zero-waste items I have ever made. A three-tier gathered skirt with an elastic waist and a shirred crop top.
They are self-drafted, but are just made of a few rectangular pieces of fabric sewn together. I only had 135cm of the gingham check linen and after making it, I had nothing left! I lined the top half of the skirt, with off-white Bemberg viscose.
The piece for the crop top was small, and I wasn’t sure it would work at all, but I sewed a rolled hem on both sides to make the most of the small piece of fabric.
This is also something I don’t do often, but using the rolled hem foot on my machine is also quite simple and really effective.
I watched a couple of YouTube videos about shirring and dove in. You wind the elastic around the bobbin without stretching it, use normal thread on top and sew in rows, turning your fabric at the end, sewing down a few stitches and sewing back the other way. You end up with a beautiful crinkled and stretchy rectangle.
I sewed this together along the short sides and added small straps to keep it in the right place.
Voila! Cute summer set complete.
She loved it and wore it often on hot summer days, interestingly, always as a set.
The great thing is that, as it's crinkle linen, it doesn’t need any ironing and looks great even after it's been left in a heap on the floor!
We have lots of great crinkle linens in stock, you can find them here.