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.

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

 

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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.

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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….

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With a lightly gathered cotton petticoat.

butterfly back

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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.

Simplicity 8130 – Pokemon sundress

I am in love with this bodice pattern.  I kind of knew I was going to like it when I first saw it.  Simplicity 8130.  I omitted the buttons, but added a zipper.  My sewing machine does not handle buttonholes very well.  I could see myself making this top as just a top and not attaching a skirt to it.  I can do so much with this bodice though.  I have one more idea, but it will have to wait until we return from our vacation.  My weekly project pledge will have to take a pause for a week.

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Full petticoat. Big skirt.

The skirt is Mccall’s 7626.  It is a 3/4 circle skirt, so it doesn’t take up as much fabric as a full circle skirt.  I had just enough of this pokemon fabric.  I had purchased all they had left at my local Joann’s about a year ago, about 1.25 yards or so.  I really wanted a dress so I held on to it until I found a good fabric that coordinated.  I couldn’t.  I wanted something summery and nothing looked good to me.  Then, I found the same fabric at another Joann’s and immediately purchased it.  It might not have even been on sale, gasp.

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Once I started sewing, I was a little disappointed.  The fabrics are not quite the same.  One is a little thicker and darker than the other.  😦  Plus, it looked like it had a bleach stain here and there.  Thankfully, the fabric is so busy it’s not super visible.  What is it with my luck at Joann’s?  It’s as if I have better luck at the National City Swap meet.

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More subtle on my monitor, or because of the camera, but a bit more visible IRL.
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Small bleach type spot by Eevee’s ear.

Anyway.  I used a straight size 12 for the skirt, and the pockets, oh my goodness, the pockets.  This girl’s dream.  So large and generous.  Exactly what I want, plus, they get sewn a little into the waist seam.  Now my side seams don’t get pulled on as much when I pack (seriously, it’s like a small purse if you include total space for both pockets) my Nintendo DS and various chargers in my pockets.  The skirt fit perfectly to the bodice, thank goodness.

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I also decided to add some soft horsehair braid to the hem.  It isn’t the super stiff kind, but it still adds a little drama.  It also makes it easier to hem.  I decided to hand sew the hem this time.  It took a while, but I didn’t have thread that matched exactly.

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Without the full petticoat.  I am wearing a lightly gathered cotton petticoat.

I had been debating between blue and black for the bias.  I am glad I went with black.

I got the horsehair for about $6, 25 yards of it!  It’s not the super stiff kind, it’s soft and a little floppy, but it does add enough drama for more casual dresses like mine.  I got it from here https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3-1-8cm-Plain-Veiling-Horsehair-Crin-Acc-25yard-lot-33Color/1469554359.html  I did contact the seller before placing my order because I noticed some review pictures had the string you pull and some didn’t. I wanted it with the string.  However, now I realize, I could have just sewn a row of basting stitching with the machine and used that as the string.  I am going to place another order very soon.  I want every skirt to have it.

So far, I have washed it in the washing machine (gentle cycle), inside one of the lingerie bags.  I folded the dress neatly in one of the larger sized bags.  I also dried it in the drier, gasp.  It was fine, and everything was intact.  It didn’t seem to move very much in the bag.  I’ll continue to wash it that way.

 

Simplicity 8130 – Purple Iris Dress

I am in love with this pattern.  The fit is fantastic.  It adds great shape.  I want a million of these.  I did not make a muslin, but should have.  I really messed up the details.  The flaps are all messed up.  My homemade bias tape is messed up.  The application of it is also messed up.  Oh well.  I used the bodice from Simplicity 8130, the straps from New Look 6048, as well as the skirt.  I used my own pockets.  The fabric was a gift from my Mom and Dad.  I also used one of my metal zippers.  They are my precious.  Much like most of my fabric.

I’m still going to wear the dress.  I really like the fabric.  I have always been scared of yellow.  I was told I should never wear yellow because it makes me look sick.  I’m not sure this shade of yellow makes me look sick though.  I think it looks very summery.  I really like it.

I used a size 10, but used a smaller seam allowance in most areas and a much larger seam allowance around the waist and above the chest.

The dress is so comfortable and a perfect fit.

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Last night, I was browsing through Pintrest looking for inspiration.  My husband is sitting next to me and well, conversation below…

Husband – That

Me – What?

Husband – Put a bow on it.

Me – What are you talking about?

Husband – The dress, put a bow on it, just like that one.

So, this morning, that is what I did.  It does cover up my mistake somewhat, and makes it look a little more intentional, and a little more girlie. So, essentially my husband fixed the dress by saying “Put a bow on it.”  I would have never guessed that would come from him.

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New Look 6048

The fabric… I got it on clearance at my local SAS fabrics store.  It was $1 a yard, so I purchased the entire bolt.  It’s nothing spectacular, but, it’s %100 cotton and a light color, so it’s perfect for my purpose.  The contrast fabric was a scrap piece I had from another dress.

I ended up lining the bodice in actual muslin fabric, but, forgot to pre wash it.  Oops.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  Anyway, the muslin shrank a bit, which explains some of the wrinkles on the bodice.

The fit… I’m not super thrilled with the fit.  I made modifications to the sewing of it and it ended up being a little high around the arms and is a little uncomfortable.  It is still wearable, but if I sit too long, I can feel it under my arms.

The pattern New look 6048… I love the look of it.  I have so many ideas for it, but not the fabric, boo.  It’s too bad, because I have so much fabric.  I’m a a bit of a sucker for a sweetheart neckline. It just adds more visual interest than a straight across neckline. It also came with a pocket pattern, but I used my own.  I can fit my DS, phone, wallet, charger and keys comfortably.  In other words, an entire purse in my dress.  Unfortunately, I did try to make pockets that integrated into the waist seam, but I didn’t like them.

If you look close enough, you might be able to see the DS in my right pocket.  There is a bit of a bulge that makes me look pregnant, but nope, it’s just my Nintendo DS.

I seemed to be making weird faces in all the pictures.  Oh well.  This is the best of the few we took, even though a tree is growing out of my head.

I do have a petticoat on, but you can’t even tell.  The skirt looks pretty flat.

Overall, I love the pattern.  Get ready for a million different dresses from this pattern.

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Simplicity 2176 – Stripes gone wild

I saw this inspirational pintrest picture from an etsy store.  (https://www.etsy.com/listing/161887437/24-hour-hold-vintage-1950s-dress-pink)il_570xN.498623420_r8kl

I had to make it.   I actually purchased it intending to copy Closet Case Files After Dinner Mint dress.  Have you seen it?  It’s so pretty, but I chickened out.  Instead I saved it for just the right dress.  Well, this was it.

I started out with the bodice of Simplicity 2176.  I used the width and length of the bodice bands, but not the actual pattern, since the originals were curved and I wanted straight lines at the center front.  I added stay tape also, and gathered slightly at the center front, to hopefully not have gaping.

I had a limited amount of fabric.   I think I purchased 3 yards, maybe 4, probably 4.  I did some measuring, but it was late at night and I did things wrong, oh so wrong.  Long story short, I ended up short on fabric, so I had to use tiny pieces of fabric and join them together.

Picture these joins on too many parts of the dress.  Thankfully, the skirt is so big, and there are so many distracting lines going everywhere, that you don’t notice too much… unless you sew and stare and the slightly crooked lines are like little knives that slowly cut at you.

So.. many.. things.. went wrong though.  The fabric was not printed on grain.  I started tearing and the stripes were off.  I decided to go in the direction of the stripes.  Maybe that’s why this dress is so shifty.  I forgot to add pockets.  Must have pockets, unpicked serged seams and reserged.  Serged and cut the skirt…. eek.  Went back and attempted to fix it.  At this point I was all blah, whatever, you lines here, will not match.  I refuse to let you beat me skirt.  I would have had to unpick the skirt and re gather it.  Anyway, the lines don’t match.  I guess the skirt wins. Ugh.

The bodice somehow ended up a little large.  I would love to make this again, but lower the waist a little more and add some boning, and a waist stay.  It tends to shift around a bit, especially since I left a bit too much ease.  Oh well.  I’m still pretty proud.

If you notice, the hem on the picture below, you can see I used a muslin hem facing.  I wanted to keep the length and in my late night wackiness, I forgot to add a hem allowance.  It worked out though.  It’s not a big deal.

 

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Simplicity 2176 Front, improvised skirt, of course.
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Simplicity 2176 back.
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That’s a whole lotta skirt.  Don’t try to find all the tiny pieces.

 

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With a full petticoat underneath.

 

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Literally, my scraps!!!!

So, I didn’t have enough for the bow.  Sure, I could have used a part of the skirt for the bow, since there is so much of it.  Sometimes, it’s nice to have a gigantic dramatic skirt.

 

 

 

 

 

Simplicity 1157 – Maxi

I don’t have any cotton maxi dresses, so I decided to make one.  Well, it was a cotton/linen blend from Joann’s, if I remember right.

I started with Simplicity 1157.  I made the back as drafted, but it kept exposing my bra, unless I only left it open like 4 inches, which looked silly.

I grabbed the back from Simplicity 2444 and forgot to check to see if everything matched up before cutting into my fabric.  Thankfully it did.

I kept the same skirt, but spread it a few inches at the hem and pleated instead of gathering.

I added 3/4 in length to the bodice and one inch FBA.  I also scooped out the back so I wouldn’t be drowning in fabric.  I think I still am drowning in fabric.  I left the bodice a little looser than normal and it makes me look a little bigger than I am.

I also feel like I stepped out of some Jane Austen novel.  I know it’s not the same, but it’s just a whole lotta skirt.  I completely lined it because the fabric was so sheer.  I’m torn, I might leave the length, but I might just chop it to the knee.

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