Gertie’s Basic Bodice – Space Dress

I had a vision of a gorgeous vintage inspired white collar combined with a dark moody fabric.  I thought this space fabric would work well.  I like it, but something feels off.  Maybe my ridiculously square shoulders push the collar up too much or my narrow shoulders don’t allow for drama with collars.  I wanted a large dramatic collar.  It’s not quite what I expected.  Combine that with the utter failure of my second attempt with tulip sleeves.  I tried them on another dress a few years ago and made the same mistake again.


I’ll probably wear the dress a lot especially now with the “cooler” weather.  Oooo, 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit.  It should get cooler soon though.  I also have some leg warmers to make so I can wear under my boots, instead of having to wear tights.

I really wanted a circle or 3/4 circle skirt, but again, I did not buy enough fabric.  I only purchased 2 yards.

I do have 2 yards of very similar fabric that I hope will end up as a nicer dress than this.

I initially made a muslin of the Gertie basic bodice, in muslin fabric and it was loose.  The last two dresses I have made, using the same pattern, have been tight at the waist.  I’ve either gained a few pounds or I made a pretty big mistake with the muslin.  Oh well.  Time to fix the pattern for the now.  There’s also something weird going on at the bust.  I still think I prefer princess seams.  I might convert it to princess seams for the next dress.


The collar looks great on the hanger, but not on me.  The original Gertie Peter Pan collar looked even worse.  Oh well, that’s what fabric is for and learning is for, making mistakes and hopefully I’ll get it right one day.

This is my attempt at a self drafted collar.  The skirt is my go to box pleated skirt.  I’ve forgotten the pattern number it’s from.






Simplicity 8130 – Cherry Dress

I’ve always wanted a cherry dress.  I found the fabric at a remnant bin at Wal-mart, sad, lonely and abandoned. I had to rescue it.  It was only about 1 and a half yards of fabric.  I was concerned it wouldn’t be enough.  Well, it wasn’t enough for a circle skirt.  It was enough for my pleated skirt, more than enough.  I guess it’s a little long.

I left the front band as is, but with a smaller seam allowance.  It’s probably a bit larger than intended.  It’s cut on the bias and is not interfaced.


The red fabric is also from Wal-Mart.  The quality of it seems much better than the quilting cotton I buy from Joann’s.  When I buy solids from Joann’s they fade after one wash.  It leaves white lines at edges, good for jeans, bad for dresses.  This red fabric has held up well after multiple washes.  I can’t tell it’s faded at all.  It’s also cheaper than any of the Joann’s quilting cottons.


The whole dress was probably $7 of fabric and included the zipper price.  Awesome.  I don’t get lucky like that often though. I had purchased a bag of zippers at a thrift store many years ago and hoarded them.  I kept thinking when the heck would I use such a lime green color zipper or this pale yellow zipper.  Well, they have been used.


I seriously need to add hooks to my dresses.

New Look 6048 – Strawberry Dress

I ran across the strawberry fabric on clearance at Walmart.  I was super happy since it was $1 a yard.  I bought 5 yards.  I think I used 2 to make this dress.

I used New Look 6048.  I did modify it slightly just like my muslin.  I didn’t fold the contrast piece over, I just sewed it on top.  It would have been too low for me to sew it that way.

The sewing was quick and easy.  I used a size 10 and used a larger seam allowance where I needed and less where I didn’t.  I prefer a smaller seam allowance on my princess seams, otherwise they end up puckering and being weird, even if I cut them after they are stitched.  I also made this dress a lot more fitted than I usually make them.  Most of my previous dresses have about a 2-3 inch ease around the belly.  That is usually enough to make me look bigger, but, they are much cooler to wear.

Anyway, I am in love with the finished dress.  It is one of the few dresses the husband actually likes.




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.



Simplicity 2176 in Polka dots

I cannot tolerate heat and humidity.  When we went to Florida in August of 2012, I couldn’t be outside without my Simplicity 2176 dress.


I no longer have it.  This is the only picture I have of it, in a grocery store parking lot, after going to the beach.  That one, I modified to have an elasticized back.  I shirred the back.  I hadn’t done a lot of fitting and didn’t want to bother with a muslin.  I needed something to fit fast.  Plus, I was still breastfeeding, so, I really didn’t want to bother.

Anyway, I really loved the look of it, so I decided to revisit it.  This time with a proper fitting.  Now I usually use the lining of the bodice to check my fit, adjust my pattern, then cut out my real fabric.

I, again, had to modify the pattern.  I use the skirt part of this pattern for pretty much every dress, so I wanted to use a different skirt pattern this time.  I used Mccall’s 5804, an old pattern that was way too big, but the skirt wasn’t.  It fit the Simplicity pattern pretty well.  It also saved me from having to draft it from scratch.  I was about to.

I purchased a clearance fabric from Hancocks.  It turned out to be a heavy quilting cotton that fades pretty quickly, oh well.  Anyway, I did add my deep roomy pockets, because a dress is unwearable without pockets, or is it just me?

The dress went together like a dream, even though I did a full bust adjustment, narrowed the above chest area a bit and lengthened the bodice.  It’s such a dream to sew when things line up.  Anyway, It’s cute and airy.  It certainly helps keep me cool.

I will make a few more of these dresses.  They are great for summer.  I’ll likely mix up the skirts a bit more and maybe try one with the other bodice options.

Simplicity 2176 front
Simplicity 2176 back

Looking at the back, it seems I left the right side a little lower, oops.  Oh well.

Starry Dress

I have always wanted a dress with little stars on it.  I had seen a few dresses with stars and wished I had one.  Now I do.  I used my severely altered Elizabeth dress pattern from Burdastyle.  I also took the sleeve pattern from a Mccall’s pattern (5971).  I really love the sleeves.  I’ve been trying to perfect the fit of the pattern.  Every time I make it I notice something else that is off.  This is my latest make of same pattern different fabric.  It is my favorite dress.  The fit is pretty good and it is very comfortable.  A dress would be useless if it didn’t have pockets.  These pockets are huge, which is exactly what I wanted.

I lined the bodice and the sleeves.  I didn’t have any dark fabric, or fabric leftovers of the starry fabric, so I used white muslin, eep.  It’s ok, I think.  I does show a little on the underside of the sleeves, and, of course, my “hidden” pockets, aren’t very hidden. Oh well, whatevs.  I seriously miss Hancock’s.  That is where I would buy all of my lining from.  Boo hoo.

I always wear it with my petticoat.  I made the petticoat from cotton muslin.  Since it is cotton, it is nice and comfortable, and clings to the dress fabric.  This means, on windy days my skirt doesn’t fly up as much.  You can see it peeking in the front in the picture.  My husband took the picture at Balboa park in San Diego.  It’s so pretty there.

I want a few more starry dresses.  I see a constellation and hopefully a glow in the dark on my fabric wish list.

I do wish I had selected a different pattern.  After I made it, I had visions of something more interesting.  I’ll just have to hunt for more fabric like this.

This dress has the best fit so far.  Now I might concentrate on another Cambie wannabe, some princess seams, sun dresses or maybe I’ll keep making this pattern over and over.

I have already worn this dress for a while.  I live in these last four dresses I’ve sewn.


Pokemon Dress

I loved pokemon when it came out.  Or at least when we got it.  I must admit I was no longer a “kid” or even a “teen”.  I still loved it and played it a lot.  Anyway, I would see the pokemon fabric at Joann’s and always looked at it wanting to buy it and make a dress, but a little afraid of teasing.  Why oh why am I still afraid of that?  Well, I said who cares? Because I like pokemon and I like the fabric.  I decided to get it.  Unfortunately, they no longer had the red one I liked better, not even online.  I loved using charmander when I originally played and remembered being a little upset that he ended up evolving.  I was very happy that this fabric had a nice shade of blue to it and it had my little charmander.

I’m still trying to get the pattern right.  I have a little wrinkly mess going on at the shoulders that I think I have fixed.  We will see.  First I want to get this pattern down right, then I can start sewing through my stash, or maybe making patterns again.  I am getting a little tired of the high necklines.  I still used my modified Burda Elizabeth dress for this. I’m still not sure why I keep trying to use that one when the Colette patterns fit me so much better out of the envelope.  I’ll probably go back to them next year.

I was quite upset.  When I finished the dress and was pressing the skirt, I found a fairly large defect.  It took a while to make the dress.  I stabilize the neckline, line it, interface the waistband and add pockets.  Each of these steps takes a little bit more time and I was so angry that I did not check the fabric.  It’s Joann’s not SAS.  I pay a premium so that I don’t have to do that, right? Anyway, after checking the skirt, I saw additional little bits of defects on the bodice.  I only purchased two yards and both were defective.  Bummer.  I still love the dress though.  I obviously can’t return it anymore, ha ha. I do plan on adding some hand stitching to hopefully, fix it or at least have it last a little longer.

I never do any pattern matching, since I try to budget my fabric.  In my head, the print is so busy, you don’t notice, unless you’re staring at my back.