I was somewhat beside myself when I received Gerties New Book for Better Sewing. If there was ever...

Gerties New Book for Better Sewing Sultry Sheath

10:46:00 p.m. Sew Hopeful 2 Comments

I was somewhat beside myself when I received Gerties New Book for Better Sewing. If there was ever a set of patterns just made for me it's this one.

The first thing I made out of the book wasn't for me though. I helped a friend sew a 1950s inspired outfit for a 50s party. We made a circle skirt and then on the spur of the moment decided to make a top to match. We used the bodice from the sultry sheath.

This pattern is drafted for a well endowed lady (AKA larger than a B-cup/either of us) so I did a quick and simple SBA by redoing the darts during a muslin fitting, going from two waist darts to one and lengthening and slightly raising the bust darts.  Wow, I wish I had someone to quickly adjust a muslin for me when I am sewing, it really saves time and angst!!

I also removed fabric at the side, straightening the seam and taking it in a little. I also lowered the armsyce by 1cm at the underarm as it was a bit snug.  The neckline is beautiful and the bodice fits like a glove.

We also added a back button opening which allowed us the fit the back nicely. There was quite a bit of excess fabric in the back, allowing for a nice overlap of over an inch for the buttonholes without having to change the pattern at all other than adding on some extra fabric at the centre back seam to act as a facing.

I fully lined it using this method here (thank you Slapdash Sewist).


This dress looks pretty much exactly how I imagined it when I first brought this fabric from Sp...

Simplicity 2444

4:57:00 p.m. Sew Hopeful 5 Comments

This dress looks pretty much exactly how I imagined it when I first brought this fabric from Spotlight.

I made a size 12, grading out to a 14 in the waist and hips, which according to the pattern envelope I needed to do, however I ended up taking it in again when sewing up the side seams so I should have cut a straight size 12.

Like a few other ladies who made this dress I needed to take a wedge out of the centre front as the muslin gaped a fair bit.  I also did my standard sloping and narrow shoulder adjustment but I didn't need to do my usual sway back adjustment so that was good.   I did need to take it in a bit at the back seam when sewing the zipper, I needed a full 1" seam, but that is such an easy adjustment.

I underlined the skirt and lined the bodice, both of which I love.  The underlining makes the skirt sit really well without a petticoat needed.

Oohhh, pockets

I squeezed this dress out of 2.5 metres so didn't really have any spare for much pattern matching, but I did manage to get the back bodice reasonably matched.  The back skirt actually looks OK despite no attempt at all to pattern much, I think I just got lucky there.

The only problem is that this fabric has a terrible dye job, the colour run the first time I washed it but I didn't notice (sewing in bad light at night) until I was well underway.  The first time I wash the finished dress I will be using a colour-run fixer-uper-er and holding my breath!!

Other stuff: on the inside I catch stitched the hem to the underlining and love the effect. It looks like a cross-stitch/decorative stitch and was really fun to sew.

All in all, a total winner (aside from the disappointing fabric, which I am hoping to fix).  The side seams are the last to be sewn and this makes this dress really easy to take in in case of weight/size changes (on a bit of a health kick at the moment).  The diagonal darts at the bodice front are also really cool and the pleats on the skirt are flattering.  I did find that absolutely accuracy was needed to get both the darts and the pleats looking good.  In the photo's I have already been wearing the dress all morning so they held up well after sitting, standing and otherwise being crawled over by toddler (and yes, I was wearing those shoes and my feet were totally killing me).


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