One of Syd’s favorite dresses is her ‘firecracker dress’ which is a Tea Collection sundress I picked up off a sale rack at Nordstroms a while back. Its a 4T but still fits her thanks to the forgiving fit. It’s a simple peasant dress with shirred bodice and halter straps. I’ve made a couple of knit halter dresses for the kids but Syd really likes her cotton ‘firecracker’ one so I sat down one morning and measured it out and made one from some light pima cotton I had here in my stash!
This dress is sooo easy; is literally 3 rectangles cut out and sewn together took me only a few hours to put together! There was a fair amount of gathering which can be fiddly and the elastic shirring isn’t too difficult once you know how your machine handles elastic thread. I actually bought a separate bobbin case that I ONLY use for elastic thread because you have to loosen some of the components for it to pull through. Once you figure that out, I use a longer straight stitch (3 mm) and increase my tread tension (around 7 on my machine) till I get the desired amount of gathering. The rest of the rectangles are just gathered using basting stitches and sewn together. I top stitched those seams down for durability but that step could be skipped if you want to save some time.
Of course once I made Syd’s I had a similar request from Ingrid… and I had enough fabric left over I figured why not! I took a few inches off of Ingrids to size it to fit her based on her height and chest measurements in proportion to what I did for Syd and it worked out pretty well! They sure like them and I have to say the relaxed fit with the airy pima cotton does look cozy for a hot summer day!