Here, fishy fishy fishy!

Finished this week: A pair of summer tops for me and Elliot…too bad it’s already fall!

For Elliot I modified the basic boy’s collared shirt with a placket and mandarin collar (here’s the you-can-do-it tutorial), and added two pockets low down; I know it looks a little odd but this way he can stash his matchbox cars in there.

And here’s mine:

(I tried to do a cute mother-son photo shoot but most of the pictures are of him squirming out of my arms…)

I spent a couple of naps messing around tension, stitch length, and how tight to wind the elastic thread on the bobbin and I think I finally figured out the shirring thing! Hooray! Victory is mine!!! This has got to be the easiest top in the universe, it’s basically a tube of fabric that you shirr (is that a verb?) for about 8 inches down (or so) and then plop a pair of ties onto. I serged the bottom and top with a rolled hem so the most time-consuming thing about the whole deal was pulling out the extra shirring; I originally did about 10 inches which was too much. The Mendocino Sundress pattern came from Heather Ross, as did the fabric. This is the Mendocino line which you’ve seen on this blog before (click on the Heather Ross label at the bottom of this post to see more). I shortened the pattern so it’s a top, not a sundress.


I think it makes a great post-partum top, and doesn’t everyone have a little flab around the mid-section they’d like to hide? I would imagine this looks good as a maternity top too.
The funny thing about the shirred top is when it’s off, it’s actually narrower than the toddler shirt:


And here’s my little man showing his off for the neighborhood:

16 thoughts on “Here, fishy fishy fishy!

  1. Cute tops! Congrats on the "shirring thing." I…spent a late night trying to get the tension right, threw it aside, and never went back! Maybe I should…cute 🙂

  2. That shirred top is a huge success – it looks great on you! And there is something pleasingly retro about the one you made for the manchild. Love'em both.

  3. I have just mastered elastic thread, too! I've had great luck "repurposing" with it. Dana over at Dana-Made-It has some awesome posts about elastic thread. You should check it, out, there are some great little girl ideas, like transforming dad's shirt into an adorable little dress. I also chopped off some dresses, and shirred the top of them to make them into breezy skirts. Have fun!

  4. Love them! I want to try shirring on a skirt, but same idea, long tube, shirr the top and waa-laa! :). Maybe if I do it soon I can wear it with leggings for a few months before it's too bitter cold for a thin cotton skirt.

    Elliot is too cute … such a doll … and now the only thing missing from the post was pictures of little miss and her matching article of clothing ;).

    Happy Week!

  5. E's top is the cutest! And I totally understand the need for pockets to house the matchbox cars. I have always wondered about the whole shirring thing. Your top looks great!

  6. They look good! I've never tried shirring before and it kinda scares me. Completely with you on the mid-section 'areas', I had a baby 8 weeks ago and yeah, there's a lot I need to hide!!

  7. Love the tops, very cute material. I have recently discovered the wonders of shirring elastic. It took me a bit to work out the tension thing too, but once that was right, it was really easy. I love the boys shirt, great combination with the mustard dots (and your son looks very cute in it too).

  8. Elliot's top is fab, love the car pockets, every lad needs those! I'd love to see more people sewing boys things.

    You look really lovely in yours too. I made one a while back and when I dried it I scrunched into lines the way the fabric fell so it didn't even need to be ironed! These make great holiday tops.

  9. your tops are superb!
    as far as the season is concerned, and you probably already thought of this, but i would just get a gray long sleeve t-shirt to wear under (both)
    thanks for sharing your creativity

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