I'm going to take a quick detour to talk about this book, which I've been really enjoying. It includes a bunch of patterns that I'm looking forward to trying. Vintage casual seems to be just the ticket for my dog-walking, retired-person lifestyle.
The book is organized a lot like Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, with a beginning section talking about her inspiration for the designs and discussing the kinds of tools, materials and skills you'll be learning (including a section on sewing with knits).
In the second section she has patterns for the following pieces, along with instructions for some very cute variations:
- a 40's style blouse with tucks, which you can turn into darts if you want a sleeker look
- a flared woven skirt
- a knit top with neckline and sleeve variations
- cigarette pants, with variations including 40's style wide-leg trousers
- a knit pencil skirt that you can flare, or gore for even more drama
- a pin-up sweater, with instructions for tweaking to a very cute, basic cardigan. I'll be trying that one for sure.
- a shift dress
- a wrap dress designed for woven fabric. I'll be giving this one a whirl too.
- a halter top (if I were 30 years younger...)
- and the zip front dress you see above
I toyed with the idea of doing some flat pattern measurements to double-check for size, but take a look a the shape of this bodice piece:
The bodice back and front are cut as one piece, with the kimono sleeve shaped with a pleat in the shoulder. Looking at it all traced out I had no idea how to measure, let alone how to sew, but Gertie's instructions are clear and the size worked out pretty much just as I'd hoped.
I used a chunk of cotton I got at IKEA because I thought the beetles were cute.
|The fabric is really navy and white, as it looks here. Not the brighter blue in the outdoor photos.|
Gertie advises you to secure 3 yards of 60 inch wide fabric. I had probably 2 1/2. I got the end of the bolt. It required two minds and about 30 minutes to squeeze on all my pattern pieces. Turns out this is a directional print, but no way I could take that into account, so my beetles are climbing up my dress on the front and down my dress on the back.
There are some cute design details that are lost in this print, like patch pockets with little pleats. The collar would be really fun to do in a contrasting fabric. Gertie gives instructions for adding piping to the sleeves and pockets, which I bypassed for this version but will totally try out on my next.
|Hand in patch pocket|
My pattern review is on PatternReview.com here.