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.
,Hope your week has gone swimmingly! This vintage style blouse pattern is made by the queen of vintage sewing herself, Gertie. Her books, patterns, blog, and now Patreon are all things made for the retro styled sewist! If you don't know who she is, click here. You'll fall in love instantly, I promise.
Real quick, here's a little back story. I learned how to sew right after my oldest son was born. Baby blankets, curtains, pillows, I made all the things. I took a group class upstairs in a small vacuum and sewing shop. I was the only one who showed up, so I was lucky enough to receive a one on one class from the sweetest lady. Fast forward a few years and I was making bags, more pillows, PJs, and Halloween costumes for my kids. You know, regular mom sewing stuff.
While channel surfing, I stumbled upon our local PBS station and saw some sewing shows! I DVR'd them all!! I would wake up early Saturday morning and watch as many as I could until my kids woke up. Super sewing nerd alert! LOL!! Nancy Zieman was amongst a few others I got to know through television. Then, one day this gal with pink hair had a short segment. I can't remember what she made, but I was in love. She was young, had pink hair, and sewed!!?? Whaaatt!??
Got out my laptop and Googled her name and found she had a blog and you tube channel. I soon realized that I could sew things for me. Making things for my kids and gifts for friends and family was all I ever did. Gretchen Hirsch a.k.a. Gertie opened my eyes and my spirit. The rest is history.
All of her books, a lot of her fabric and patterns adorn my shelves. Saying I LOVE her, is an understatement. Not in a creepy stalker way though, I promise.
As parents and adults, we sometimes lose ourselves. We get caught up in the day to day life and just join everyone else in robot mode. Once I started making things for me, I enjoyed life and found myself again. If you feel like you're in a funk, I encourage you to find someone that you find inspiration from. Hopefully, it radiates beauty and positivity like she does, for me.
So, without further ado, here's the step by step process of making her Rita Blouse. Click that link to take you to her website to grab this pattern.
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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