The top of the dress is shirred. Some people call it smocked-I am not sure what the difference is between the two. I found two really great tutorials that explain how to do this, and it is really very simple. The trick is to use elastic thread in your bobbin. If you are at all interested, check out these two blogs for amazing tutorials!
I have to say that the hardest part of the whole project was putting the straps on. I decided to wait until the end to put them on because I was so excited to shirr. But in retrospect, I will put them on during the shirring process so that the stitches will be hidden within the shirring stitches.
This was a very easy project...seriously it was! Shirring is really very simple, and if I say that as an inexperienced sewer, then you know it is true. This is definately a great beginner sewing project, and a lot of people make a shorter version as a shirt so I might be making some of those!