sideshow sunshirt tutorial. quick & easy!

I'll admit it:  I get a little sidetracked from time to time.  Like right now, I


be planning for Sephira's 1st birthday outfit , and what do I find myself doing but planning Azriella's birthday dress!  Seriously!  The baby turns one on the 5th and Azriella's isn't until September (which consequentially is six days before mine!).  I guess I've gotten used to making for Azy that when it comes to the baby I just forget!

But I have been making a diligent effort to fix this.  It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that made her her first dress!  (I've mentioned before about my disdain for

crawlers in dresses


Since then I've made her two variations on the

Kawaii Magic Dress

minus the buttons (each took only about an hour and a half to cut and sew).

But sometimes, whilst in the middle of one


different project, I'll get sidetracked.  And this time it happened while I was making the Kawaii Magic Dress.  You see, I am in love with this fabric:

After finishing the waistband on the Kawaii Magic Dress, I had just a remnant left.  I was compelled to make something matchy for the baby... So voila!  The Sideshow Sunshirt was born!  It took about 30 mins to make maybe less.

 Here's what you will need to make your own:

  • 1/4 yard of lightweight cotton (anything medium or heavyweight won't shirr and it won't look right either)

  • elastic thread for shirring (or you could used 1/8" if you are shirring impaired and follow these instructions.)

  • sewing stuff

You may need more for non baby sizes, but my chubby little 11month old fit just fine in this one!

Cutting the pieces:

  • Body: 1.5 x the width of chest (in my case, her chest is 18.5" so my width was 28" but you could go round to 30" if you like. The shirring will be generous in either respect) by however long you like. Mine was 8" I believe, but next time I would lengthen it to 10". So my Body was 28"W by 8"L. Cut one this size.

  • Straps: this may need to be lengthen for larger sizes. I'd say add about an inch and a half to each strap for each year. BUT, for my little chub-monster, I used straps that were 2" wide by 10" long. Cut 4 pieces this size.



  • First, finish the edges how you please. I pinked mine.

  • Now press both the long hems under twice to form a narrow hem. Stitch close to the inside edge.

  • I choose to do my shirring next (you could do this after you sew the short seam, but I want to do a french seam for that so I thought it would look better to shirr now.) What you are going to do is handwind your bobbin with elastic thread and thread your machine with thread that matches (or contrasts if you want that look) your fabric. Increase your stitch length to its longest setting. Backstitch and away you go!! I use the side of my presser foot to keep a 1/2" distance between each stitching line. When you get to the end of your fabric, raise the presser foot, leave the needle in the fabric, pivot 90 degrees, lower the presser foot, stitch 4 stitches down the length, raise the presser foot, leave the needle in the fabric, pivot 90 degrees, lower the presser foot and start down the next line of shirring lining up the presser foot with your last line of stitching. Repeat until you reach your bottom hem.

  • So you could just sew the short ends together matching the right sides and be done with that. But I choose to do a french seam. What I did next was to sew the two short ends wrong sides together to form a tube. Turn your body piece inside out, sandwiching your seam, and sew a seam encasing your raw edge. Turn back right side out and stitch your flap down to one side.

  • Almost done! For the straps, iron the straps in half down the long center. Then press the long sides into the middle taking care not to overlap. Fold and press one short end 1/4" towards the inside. Fold again down your middle seam and press.

  • Starting at the raw edge of your short end, stitch along the long side with the two folds, pivot at the short end, then backstitch.

  • Find the center front and center back and mark them. Place the straps about 3" apart from each other (or 1.5" from the center on both sides and on both the front and back.

  • Raw edges inside, pin your straps about an inch in from the top. Stitch in place keeping your stitching on top of the hem line.

That's it!! Your done!! A perfectly sprinklerific top for your toddler!! Slap on a pair of lil swimmers and away she goes!! Happy summer!!!

 The shirt looks sooo stinkin' cute on, trust me!  Even with drool marks which she clearly has in the pics, hahaha.

Now back to brainstorming her birthday outfit!!!

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