Dear Prudence by SewPony and Tips on Shirring

I wanted to make the Dear Prudence dress when it was first released. I even printed and traced the pattern. It was supposed to be my youngest birthday dress. But then it just never happened. So I became determined to make it before summer started this year. I did, but didn't have a chance to blog about it until now.

I really like Suz's designs. She has such classic, timeless aesthetics, and her designs are very unique. The Dear Prudence dress is not an exception. It is really one of a kind. I knew I had to make it when I saw this beautiful dress

There are awesome pockets, just  a bit of gathering at the waist, but the best detail is certainly the shirring in front. Not only it adds a unique touch, but it also makes it possible to have no closures. Yeah! My rows are a bit off, somehow I didn't make them quite parallel at the top and didn't notice until I was done. Ugh. But luckily shirring is forgiving , and it's not noticeable unless you are looking for it. 

I love shirring, it's such an easy way to add gathers, without all the work. But I also happen to know, that not everybody is as infatuated with shirring as I am, mostly because they don't get the results they want. Here is what I do, and it works without fail every single time. First, hand wind the bobbin with the elastic thread, while stretching it. How much to stretch? Don't pull it to the max, but it should be rather tight. Second, start sewing. You can increase the stitch length if you wish, but I often forget and it still works. But wait, you might say, this is the worst shirring ever. Yes it is. At this stage. Keep calm and proceed. :) Once you are done with all the rows, simply hit the stitches with steam from the iron and watch the magic. Do not touch the stitching with the iron, just keep hitting it with steam. That's all. Enjoy the perfect rows of shirring. Easy peasy. (Mie of Sewing Like Mad added a helpful tip in comments. Scroll down to read.)

I will definitely make more Dear Prudence dresses. The dress is quite easy and quick to make and the results are so unique! The main fabric came from the clearance section at Joann's. It was a total impulse buy. The accent fabric is Nani Iro that came from Miss Matatabi shop. Not sure if she still carries it. I only had a remnant of it, enough for the collar and the pockets. 

Evelyn loves her dress and wore it quite a bit this summer. 


  1. Ermagah!! I love this dress! And I am one of those people who is afraid of shirring, so I will stand here and admire the beauty that is your dress (and your photography). Love the use of nani IRO as accents, too!

  2. The dress turned out lovely. I agree with Emi - lovely accents. I absolutely love this pattern. Miss R outgrew hers, so I need to look through my stash and choose nice fabric to make a new one :)

  3. Ohhh, this is such an adorable dress. I also love this design and your fabric combination is so lovely. And how freaking CUTE is E with her pigtails, gahhh! Can I add another tip to your great shirring tips....keep the fabric stretched out while you sew, don't let it gather up at that point because that can take the stretch out of the seams. Also I never hand-wind my bobbin with elastic thread, hehe ;-)

  4. Yes, great tip! I need to add that! And thank you!

  5. How pretty. Thank you Olga for your kind words. Wow-steam! I have to try!!

  6. So cute ! Gorgeous dress and cute baby. Her smile and style are awesome. I love it..I also love this design and your fabric combination is so lovely.
    designer salwar kameez


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