Hi Barbie! Have you noticed the pink phenomenon that is spreading all over the world? It's a whole Barbie craze! And, I'm here for it. Gimme aaallll the pink. Have you seen the movie? I saw it twice. I made a dress and had to share it with you. Yay for Barbie sewing!
I grabbed the Barbara Bodice pattern from Gertie's Patreon. If you aren't a member, run, don't walk, and join now! She gives so much over there, even at the base level. The Barbara bodice is the updated version of her original Butterick 6453.
This, isn't a sew-along, but it's more of a show and tell. I want to show you the Barbie movie-inspired dress. If you've made a Barbie dress, shorts, PJs, or other inspirational item, tag me. I want to see what you made. I've seen a few goth Barbie outfits that are super fun too.
Let's dive in!
My thoughts on the Barbara bodice might not be the popular opinion. But, I much prefer the Butterick 6453. I like how the back fits me. It has a simple dart. The Barbara has a 2-piece back pattern. It's fine enough, but seems to be extra.
Barbara has different cup sizes, which is awesome!! No more figuring out your FBA. For the busty gals, this is a huge plus! However, my bodice didn't fit, as flawlessly as the Butterick 6453. I had some extra armpit room, which is weird. I like the FBA I created for the Butterick pattern better. I plan on making another Barbara (I didn't make a mock-up for my Barbie dress) and I'll play with the pattern, fit, and sizing.
Gertie included 2 strap options with the Barbara Bodice. Self-tie straps that are thin, and wide gathered straps, for bra strap coverage. I opted to use the thin self-tie straps, and they covered my wide bra straps well enough.
The Barbara doesn't have any facings, it's fully lined, which I'm a huge fan of! I definitely love the pattern and am a huge fan. Both the Butterick 6453 and Barbara come together so easily and are fun to sew. It's the perfect last-minute dress pattern. But, I'm still on the fence if I'm over the moon happy with the Barbara.
Have you sewn it? If so, have you compared the two patterns side by side? The general consensus I've seen across the interwebs is that the Barbara is wonderful. But, as I've gone down the pattern-making black hole, I've become more of a pattern snob kabob.
Gertie also created the Barbie movie skirt pattern to go with the bodice. It's a full box pleat skirt that uses aalll the fabric. When I ordered my fabric, I ordered 4 yards. However, the skirt alone uses over 4 yards. So, I went with plan B.
I opted to draft my own circle skirt, and of course, I added roomy pockets. I actually prefer circle skirts over gathered ones anyway. I have a fuller tummy and appreciate less fabric in that area. Plus, circle skirts are just fun!
I've been learning pattern making as I mentioned above, and I'm taking it one step at a time. If you're interested, check out Tricia, she's the best teacher! And, her motto is "You don't need to be good at math for pattern making". Which I'm all about because mathing is hard. Haha :D
Welp, that's it. Do you love the dress? I sure do. I feel so girly in it and it'll be a February staple as well. I plan on wearing tights and a sweater, or a long sleeve underneath it.
Not a Barbie fan? You can sew this 1950s-style swimsuit instead. It's the Bombshell and it's flattering on everybody.
Have you ever been interested in quilt making, but it looks intimidating? Read my blog post and you can sew one up in about a week.
Thanks for hanging out today. Happy sewing of all things pink!
The holidays call for fancy fabrics and sequins. Don't you agree? There's just something fun about wearing sparkle during the festive month of December, isn't there? Add soft velvet and, I'm in! If sewing velvet scares you, read this post. I share my sewing machine and tips for tackling tricky fabric.
These Gardner tops fulfilled my fancy holiday fabric needs. The fabric was originally for vintage-style turbans. I've wanted to make velvet ones for quite some time. I only had 1 yard of each and was lucky that the one yard worked out. Whew! I changed direction at some point and decided to make Gardner tops instead. The matching sequin fabric went with the red one, and the sheer floral went with the green one.
As usual, I don't go into depth with Gertie's Patreon patterns because I value her as a creator. However, I like to share tips and photos that show you my process along the way. If you're interested in this pattern, join her Patreon membership. She shares new patterns each month and so much more!
I made one Gardner top following the exact directions and another collar hacked version. This post is full of photos. Let's go!
Red Gardner Top (Original Version)
Start your top by tracing the darts onto the front. I prefer old-school wax paper and a tracing wheel system for this part.
Staystitch the front and back necklines. Sewing from the shoulder towards the center prevents the neckline from stretching out. Never skip this step.
After you sew up the darts, cut them open. If sewing your top with velvet, don't press the seam open.
The sheer fabric is full of glitter, sequins, and all the sparkles. Perfect for holiday festivities.
If you go slow while sewing and make sure your seams are clipped, you shouldn't get any puckers in the V-shaped front. If you do get puckers, unpick that section and re-sew.
My Little Red Raincoat
This hood is a Patreon expansion pack of Gertie's Princess Coat sewing pattern. Sew your own raincoat to keep yourself dry and cute.
Do you ever find yourself needing a garment, but you can't find one out there that suits your style? This is that garment. I have a few hooded coats but, they're wool or fleece. Not really a raincoat per se. And, I have two obsessions: coats and shoes. I need all the coats and I need all the shoes. Ha!
I think coats and jackets are the best accessories because they add warmth- especially if you're always cold, and fabulous-ness to your outfit. Imagine yourself wearing a t-shirt, jeans, flats, and red lipstick. A normal little everyday outfit, right? But, then add a black velvet coat with a faux fur collar and your outfit gets a major upgrade!
That's what coats and jackets do for me. I guess they're my jewelry. So, when Gertie came out with her Princess Coat pattern, I had to grab it. Then, a month later she rolled out her Patreon expansion pack to make a raincoat. I was sold! I needed a raincoat.
Fast forward 2 years and I still hadn't made my beloved raincoat. First of all, rainwear fabric was something I had zero clues about. And, second, I sew on a budget. I didn't have hundreds of dollars to drop on fabric for a coat I would wear maybe twice a year. Thanks Southern California for never raining. Living in the desert, we don't get a lot of rain but, when it rains, it pours. Hello flash floods. And, hello Little Red Raincoat.
"It never rains in Southern California"
This post isn't a How-to because it's an expansion pattern for Patreon only. Gertie is gracious enough to spoil her Patrons with all her marvelous patterns. If you're interested in making a vintage style raincoat, Grab the pattern here. Then, join her Patreon here. It's definitely worth it. We get a new pattern each month and honestly, it's too many for me to keep up with. But, I pick and choose which patterns are "need to sew now" and which ones are in the "someday" category.
Anywho, I did have a few little areas I ran into trouble with so, I'll share my input on those. But, other than that, enjoy all the photos of my Little Red Raincoat. Yes, I named it. :D
Why did I start sewing the raincoat after 2 years you ask? Well, remember this post on January Jeans? My sewing friend on Instagram was still talking with her jeans sewing group. They decided to do a #JacketJanuary. I was invited and thank goodness for those ladies! They welcomed me and I made new sewing friends. Yay!!
One gal finished her jacket on time and a few were waiting for the last touches by the end of January. We met every Monday for a fun Zoom call. the group kept me going and I was finally able to get my coat finished. It wasn't finished on time because I was undecided on whether to use buttons or snaps. In the end, I decided on snaps. Buttonholes and water don't go together so nicely
Snaps are usually easy but not this time. I put the first one in upside down. Cried (not really but, I wanted to). Then, put another one in wrong. Ha! I don't like snaps (anymore) or buttons. Face-Palm!
Do you have a fabric designer or pattern maker you simply adore? Maybe you have a few.
Gretchen Hirsch aka Gertie is one of my favorites.
There are quite a few fabric designers I'm obsessed with! Almost stalker-status. ;) I love almost every piece they design. And I must own it all. Insert fabric hoarding music. Haha!
As you might know, my favorite pattern designer is Gertie. She is a one-woman show and encouraged me (through her blog, tv, and books) to start sewing things for myself. GASP! Moms can sew for themselves? Yes, yes we can.
I was watching a PBS sewing show and she popped up. I can't remember what she shared on the show. But, I couldn't get past the fact that she didn't look like a typical sewing lady. She was young and had a fun style. I was instantly hooked! I found her blog, bought her books, and started a new sewing journey-sewing for myself. I still sew for my kids and shop, but I LOVE making my things more.
Gertie has her own pattern company, along with fabrics designed by her. She also has patterns with Butterick and Simplicity. Charms Patterns, Simplicity and, Butterick patterns. I love it all!
40's Style Blouse
The top I'm wearing above is from the book, Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. It's the 40's-Style Blouse made using the Sleeveless Blouse variation, pg 134.
The fit is great in this top! Why haven't I made more? I don't know but, I need to.
It was an easy afternoon project. I made this top a few years ago during a friendly sewing day. This was my first top with center buttons and a placket. As you can see, they should have been placed 1/2" closer to the edge.
Oh well. I still wear it all the time.
It's an easy style to wear over pants or tucked in. The darts are placed perfectly and make for a very flattering fit.
The fabric is semi sheer in black with pink bows and was purchased from Joann fabrics. It is from Gertie's fabric line.
I increased the armscye area. I don't consider myself to have large arms, but her patterns are usually tight in my armpits, so I size up with sleeveless patterns.
Yay!! I finally made Gretchen Hersch's Popover dress from her book, Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses.
Let me first start by telling you NOT to use a one-directional fabric. Holy moly, I learned that lesson the hard way. The book says you'll need 3 1/3 yards of fabric. I bought 3 1/2 yards to have extra to make a matching hair bow, purse, or accent on a bag, etc. As I cut into the fabric I thought, oh shoot, I'm going to need much more! A big face-palm moment there. Ugh!
I ran back to the store and bought another 1 1/2 yards- totaling 5 yards of fabric. OMG!! Thank the fabric gods I had a 50% off coupon to use for both shopping trips. Lesson learned! Next time and there will be a next time, I will buy a multi-directional, busy print fabric. Jebus! (If you get my Simpson's reference, I love you).
Aside from my fabric choice mistake, the dress pattern was crazy easy to transfer. It basically has 1 piece. I always use freezer paper when I trace patterns. It's a good-sized roll and you get a lot of bang for your buck.
The pattern has the main dress, an armhole facing, shoulder bow and ginormous pocket pieces to trace. Easy peasy! I opted out from using the pockets and shoulder bows for this particular dress, but I transferred the pattern pieces for future use.
After you wash, dry and iron your fabric, you'll cut it out. I usually like to trace the pattern while the fabric washes one day, and sew it the next day. But, this dress was so simple and quick, you could trace and sew it in an afternoon. It took me around 2 hours to sew- including making tea and a snack for myself and the kids. #momlife
I didn't let the dress hang for 24 hrs before sewing up the hem- I know, I apologize. But, it was going so smoothly I wanted to just get it done so I could try on the essential tent. And boy, is it a tent. Ha!
I stuck an elastic waist belt on and WOW! Transformation doesn't even describe it. When I put on my crinoline, it was a Wowsa moment! I was a 50's housewife goddess. Exactly what Gertie promised. Yep, I love the dress!!
I am planning on making a few of these dresses for the summer. Hawaiian print, polka dots, gingham, gimme all the carefree and flowy fabrics. I did buy 2 belts from Amazon- one black and one white. I figured they'd go with most everything because you do need an elastic cinch belt with this dress. She has an option in the book to make a shirred waist and I plan on trying that eventually.
Disclaimer: Many, many years ago I tried shirring a shirt and it was a huge disaster. Hoping to get the courage to try it again with the Popover dress.
I can see myself sewing up a few of these batch style in a day. So easy, so comfy and pretty darn cute too! Thanks for another great pattern, Gertie! You are amazing.
So, what do you think? Are you game for making the super simple Popover dress? What other dresses do you plan on making in her book? Let me know in the comments below.
Hi there, I'm Annette and I love eating and sewing. I usually have a cup of coffee or tea with me, but not next to my machine because I'd probably spill it. I am the reason we can't have nice things.
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