Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book – Secretary Dress

I started making this dress.  I have dreamed of having a dress with a Peter Pan collar forever.  They always look so cute. The Peter Pan collar did not look right, so I removed it.

I traced out the pattern.  I even made a muslin.  The muslin fit fairly well.  I took the shoulders up a little, making them more square.  I also took 3/4 inches from the center back for swayback.  That’s it.  I used a straight size 6 for the bodice.  I think I went up 2 sizes in the skirt.  I did not line it.  I used a self drafted facing because the shoulder slope was very different.  The only other adjustment was lowering the neckline by a bit to make it more comfortable.  The size 6 was very high and tight for me.  However, I might have traced the wrong one. I didn’t bother to go back and check.

The fabric was a very cheap crepe type fabric I bought from Walmart in 2007 I think. I am almost out of it.  It doesn’t press well.  I also kinda melted it a little by the zipper.  Thankfully, it was only on the inside.  Phew.

Anyway, I really love this bodice.  I see myself making more dresses from Gertie’s Ultimate dress book.  The horizontal balance line for me is absolutely perfect.

Sheath dresses are my biggest fear.  In order to wear this in real life, I’m going to need to find some comfy shapewear. Even then, eek. So this is my attempt at making myself a little uncomfortable.  I’ll try something new.  It’s not my favorite.  I like big full skirts better.



With a necklace my little sister gave me.  Combined with some crazy hair, again a windy day.



Simplicity 8130

Ok, I couldn’t resist Simplicity 8130 again.  I had a different picture in my mind of how I wanted it, but I ran out of precious fabric.  This fabric was from Hancock’s. I loved the Hancock’s novelty fabrics.  They always felt nice, and often resisted wrinkles even though it said they were 100% cotton.  I sat on this dress for what 6 ish hours on 2 airplane rides on our way to South Carolina and hardly had any wrinkles.  I was very impressed.  I have never tried the burn test on them though.

I do wish I would have enjoyed these fabrics a little more and truthfully purchase more, if not all that they ever offered.  Boo.  I’m still sad about it.


I wanted something Cambie-esque but with my fantastic Simplicity 8130 bodice.  Anyway, long story short, my vision did not work.  I needed a tiny bit more fabric, so I had to scrap the idea.  I wasn’t even able to put the adorable flaps or as they are called by the pattern “Band.”

I added the same McCall’s 7626 skirt, that I love, still.  I also used horsehair braid at the hem.  It is still the same “soft” horsehair, but I am seriously tempted to buy the more expensive “stiff” horsehair.  I will eventually, it’s just a matter of time.

I just had to try to make this dress before we left on our trip.  What I should have made was a bathing suit.  Ok, next time. We do make many trips to San Diego, so I’ll likely make a playsuit or two.  I do already have a dress I like to wear while on the beach, but, I want something even more fun.  There are so many options, so, why not, right?  Plus, who am I kidding, I have enough fabric I could open a shop.

It wasn’t what I wanted, but, I wanted another dress to take on our vacation.  I rushed and ran out of this fabric, so….

butterfly front
With a lightly gathered cotton petticoat.

butterfly back

butterfly petticoat
With a petticoat.

Please excuse the crazy hair.  It was a windy day.  I really do like the boob flaps.  They help minimize the bust on me.  Perhaps the flaps give the illusion of a better proportion on that part of my body.  I think I will make a lot more dresses with the flaps.