I’ve had Gertie’s first book for about a year now, and while I’ve only made two patterns out of it (despite having big plans for the wiggle dress), I’ve got a lot out of it. I got the new book, Gertie Sews Vintage Casual several weeks after it was released, and here is my first version of the wrap dress:
Excuse my lack of smiles in these pictures – I was facing the sun and trying not to squint!
I actually wasn’t that interested in the pattern when I first looked through the book – lets just say the fabric choice for the sample was not to my taste. But when I saw the floral number Gertie put on her own blog, I was sold.
See the difference?
I sized according to the chart in the book, and traced off a size 10 in the bust and waist and 14 in the hips (USA sizes!). The only change I made from my muslin was narrowing the shoulders (I’ve learned I will ALWAYS have to do this, it’s just a matter of how much). I also used a sleeve piece from another pattern because hers tend to be very fitted in the upper arm and I was too lazy to slash and spread – but I should have, because I forgot the pattern piece I grabbed was slightly puffed, and it’s a BIT too much with the gathers at the shoulder. Otherwise, her patterns seem to fit me pretty well.
I bought this gorgeous floral lawn from Evans of Masterton on my way to work one day (I may have been a bit late to work because I was tossing up between two different colours… the second of which I’ve gone back and bought), pre-washed it and traced the pattern when I got home, and made it the next day. And I am SO happy with it!!
I’ve not really been one for wrap dresses in the past, so it’s somewhat surprising that I made three in one month (the Gillian, this one, and another version of this pattern). I still don’t understand why they’re so comfortable, but they are.
The pattern has gathers at the shoulder and front and back waist darts, as well as the collar. I like how the gathers stop at the front hip rather than coming all the way around the front of the waist. The wrap ties at the side (and one tie is shorter to accommodate this).
Because of the weight of the fabric I also decided to add some extra fullness to the back, so the gathers are more pronounced.
The fabric is also lovely to wear in the heat because it’s so lightweight – but it was also lovely to sew. No tendency to slide all over the place and it pressed really easily – which does mean it wrinkles quite easily, but I’m okay with that. I have sewn with lawn once before but I tend to avoid it because most of my patterns are quite structured/fitted and I didn’t think they would go well together.
The seams are all interfaced, and I just did a narrow hem on the sleeves and hem. I’m now pretty good at the whole clip-and-understitch thing for necklines (in fact it’s become one of my favourite things) so the collar and facing lie nicely flat. The only piece of handstitching required in the pattern is attaching the bottom of the facing to the waistband – this is a big change from her first book which suggests a LOT of handstitching.
As I said, I really like this dress. It’s pretty, and comfortable, and flattering – may not slimming, but it is flattering. The fabric is so nice to wear and I feel remarkably comfortable in it (except for when it’s exposed to the full Featherston/Wellington wind).
Pattern: Wrap dress from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual
Fabric: Cotton lawn from Evans of Masterton, 2.5m at $16.90/m = $42.25
Notions: Thread and interfacing from stash