Some time ago I bought a bargain piece of material on ebay.
Digression :- Got to love ebay and those buyers who don't try to rip you off for postage abroad. Just because I live in France I have not had all my brain cells removed and I KNOW one paperback book does not cost £15.00 to post!
It was a rectangular piece, 115 cm x 149 cm, in a nice light viscose but thick enough not to need lining for decency.
Left with a tube, too big to wear as is even with a couple of shoulder straps, I decided to have a go at creating a smock (shirred) top to this dress.
I am sewing all of the smock section on my trusty sewing machine - the first time I have ever tried this.
Hand wind the elastic around the bobbin taking care not to pull and create any tension in the elastic. I had to wind the bobbin about 4 times in total to finish the smocking, each bobbin did about 3 rows of stitching.
To sew the smocking you will be sewing on the right side of the fabric, so that your thread shows and not the elastic.
Remember to reverse back over the start and end of each row in order to secure the elastic otherwise it will just pull straight out as soon as you tension it.
As you move down to the next row, you will need to pull the material out flat as you go around, don't let the material bunch up with the elastic.
Sew several full rows around the top of the tube extending approximately 15 cms from the top hem line. This creates a shorter smock effect top with an empire line dress falling below. If you are graced with a more forgiving figure then you can continue smocking for another 15 cms to create a skirt that falls from the waist.
Now I think it is time to try it on, mix myself a cocktail and relax by the pool.
Take that Gok Wan!