Gertie’s gussets

11 May

Lol. I am still making my Mad Men dress. Oops.

I’m using Gertie’s wiggle dress pattern with a Spotlight satin poly I’ve had for ages  – and I’m calling it a wearable toile (and a bit of a mother pucker to be honest – it’s pucker city here and no setting/needle etc change is helping). Next up I’ll be making the ‘real thing’ in a royal blue wool crepe. Ahhhh how I can’t wait to be back with a natural fibre.

This pattern has been relatively simple to work with, however a new technique for me was underarm gussets. Tricky little buggers. Made trickier by cutting before reading and discovering later that those lines I cut down were actually sewing lines – duh. Ah well, make it work ey! If I hadn’t been overzealous with the scissors, things would have been much easier. But anyway, here’s a light tutorial for the gussets based on my experience.

1. Attaching organza 

Organza pieces are attached to the right side of your fashion fabric. I used huge pieces that were trimmed later. If you look closely you can see that the outer fabric (under the organza) has already been cut – don’t do that! Refer aforementioned overzealous cutting. Mark your sewing and cutting lines too – you can just see mine in pink.


2. Sew along sewing lines

Sew along the sewing lines – but still don’t cut! 


3. Now cut!

Get your scissors out folks! Now is the time to cut up the cutting line – that you of course had previously marked on the fabric. 


4. Turn and press

Turn your organza through to the other side (i.e. the wrong side of your fashion fabric) and press press press. 


This is what it looks like from the right side.


5. Attach the gusset piece

Because of my early cutting incident. This was trickier. However, I pushed and prodded the fabric and got the piece attached ok. Just ok, not brilliantly. As you’ll see below. It’s a toile – whatever (crosses arms and sticks out bottom lip). Then edge stitch to reinforce. You’ll see that my corners/points aren’t that pointy, another ramification of me getting scissor happy. 

6. Stitch her up

When you attach your back dress pieces to the front you’ll be joining up your gussets – paying careful attention to matching up the seams. Then, they’ll look like this. Hopefully even better!


There you have it, Gertie’s gussets! You’ll be able to see these in action once the dress is finished. Don’t hold your breath 😉

Z xx

PS – Gertie has her very own tutorial too. I’d recommend reading it before you make the gussets. Not after. Like me. That was silly. Let’s be honest, I still haven’t read it…



20 Responses to “Gertie’s gussets”

  1. Blogless Anna May 11, 2013 at 6:50 PM #

    Love your honesty and I can’t wait to see the finished item – both the toile and the real deal!

    • ZoSews May 14, 2013 at 7:58 PM #

      hehe thanks Anna – I can’t wait to move fro poly to wool ;p

  2. Julia Bobbin May 11, 2013 at 7:16 PM #

    Can’t wait to see the finished dress! It’s so frustrating not being able to get a sneak peak every Saturday!

  3. Tia Dia May 11, 2013 at 10:47 PM #

    Hmmm…. I’ve never seen gussets inserted that way. I’ve usually attach the organza on the outside of the garment, slash to the corner and press all layers of the organza into the seam allowance. Then you sew the gussets and bodice right sides together. It’s a lot fussier than anything except bound buttonholes or perfect welts….

    • ZoSews May 13, 2013 at 8:29 PM #

      I’m confused – to me I think it sounds like that’s what I did? But maybe not 🙂 I followed Gertie’s instructions from the book though. Anyway, you’re so right, they were beyond fussy, made much worse due to fabric choice and overzealous cutting. I’m looking forward to repeating *properly* with wool crepe. I’ve never made bound buttonholes or welts, should give them a whirl! 🙂

      • Tia Dia May 13, 2013 at 10:45 PM #

        I think the edgestitching around the gusset made me think that you had done the gusset the way I usually do organza bound buttonholes, which is the simplest, cleanest way of doing bound buttonholes that I’ve ever tried. My mistake for just looking at your pics and not reading the words! 😉 But that said, perhaps doing a gusset the same way as the organza buttonholes would make it a lot simpler to do….. Just a thought! 🙂

  4. Vicki Kate May 12, 2013 at 12:59 AM #

    I’m just in awe that you’ve even attempted this! The fabric looks really pretty even if it is a SOAB to work with.

    • ZoSews May 13, 2013 at 8:23 PM #

      SOAB – took me sec, but I got there! Planning to incorporate to daily vocab 😉

  5. Kirsty May 12, 2013 at 7:56 AM #

    Wow, I’m so intrigued to see the finished dress. I’m going to be thinking about this organza insertion all day I think.

    • ZoSews May 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM #

      Better thinking about it than doing it 😉 Took hours!!!

  6. Sassy T May 12, 2013 at 9:57 PM #

    Impressive gussets lol.

    • ZoSews May 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM #

      How funny is the word gusset! ;p

  7. gingermakes May 13, 2013 at 12:22 PM #

    Lulz! I still think this is going to be fab!

  8. Inna the Wall (@thewallinna) May 13, 2013 at 4:55 PM #

    Looks like complex surgical process 😉 I love your fabric and can only imagine the outcome 😉

    • ZoSews May 13, 2013 at 8:18 PM #

      Thanks Inna! Lets hope the outcome lives up to your imagination! 🙂

      • Inna the Wall (@thewallinna) May 14, 2013 at 11:27 AM #

        NOOOO I am pretty sure the dress will turn out lovely! Although, do you think something can beat your Elisalex dresses 🙂

  9. MaciNic May 13, 2013 at 11:39 PM #

    ohhh, a real person who’s put gussets in – fabulous! Be prepared to be questioned, at length 😉 – maybe next year 😉
    Looks fantastic!

    • ZoSews May 14, 2013 at 7:59 PM #

      Hahaha, yep I am a real live person with gussets 🙂 Look forward to the gusset inquisition!

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