I went to JoAnn's, thinking of a cute popsicle fabric I had seen last summer. Luckily, they had some! It is a really nice cotton poplin by Lisette. I wanted to make something with it last summer for Andy, but even I couldn't justify this as a boy's fabric!
I had read that the Dritz elastic thread doesn't work well, but it was all I could find (at first). I made a sample and it didn't gather much, but when I hit it with steam, it gathered up beautifully! Then I found Gutermann elastic thread, so I used that for this top. I found that it gathered much more when sewn, but didn't have as much reaction to the steam. I was surprised that I used a whole spool of elastic thread on this little top! I can't believe I was afraid of shirring; it couldn't have been easier!
I decided to shorten the dress to a top and make shorts to go underneath. JoAnn's had some really cute cotton twill prints, including this pink one. I used a bloomer pattern, but added cuffs to the legs instead of elastic. I love the way the outfit turned out, though it looks like it will be big for Ella this summer!