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Tag Archives: Gertie

Wiggling in wool

20 Oct

A long, long time ago I finished a satin polyester muslin of Gertie’s Wiggle Dress. It fit – huzzah! I cracked straight into a wool crepe version and powered on through. Until it came to the hand sewing of the hem, zipper and sleeves. That all sat to the side for a good couple of months.

Anyhoo, it’s finished now, so I thought I’d share some pics with y’all.

Now I got a little editing happy with the photos, please excuse the frivolity! The man in my life told me I looked like an air hostess from the 50s, so I thought I’d run with it hahaha.

Gertie's wiggle dress by ZoSews

Please locate your nearest exit.

I find that taking pictures for the blog give a 30 year old lady an excuse to play dress ups – and what’s wrong with that ey?!

Gertie's wiggle dress by ZoSews

The lovely brooch I won in a giveaway from the delightful JuliaBobbin, shoes are from Wittner and pilfered from a friend just for these photos and I used the satin bias binding kindly sent to me from Alacraft to bind all the hems (skirt and sleeves). The binding was easy to sew and added a nice finishing touch compared to overlocking I think.

You can see most detail about the make in the previous version for this dress. Those darstedly gussets were just as tricky too!

Now I gotta run so I can insert my zip into Anna and finish up the Sewalong!

Z xx

PS – Anyone else doing the Anna sewalong? I’ve been trying to comment on the blog posts but no joy…

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Every day I’m wiggling

26 May

Well not everyday, but I couldn’t get that line out of my head, so down it went.

So the big news is that I have finished my wearable muslin wiggle dress – woot! And, I love it – double woot! If you follow me on Instagram you may have caught a little sneaky peak last week. There is one slight zipper related issue that we won’t talk about, but it’s really quite minute and no-one else would ever notice it. Well that’s what I tell myself anyway.

Gertie's Wiggle Dress 1

And as this was originally planned as a Mad Med dress for Julia’s challenge (watched that deadline fly on by) it was inspired by this Joan Holloway number.

Now you’ve seen my gussets, but there’s a still a few other things to talk about here.

Gertie's Wiggle Dress 1

Hems

Given the ‘wearable muslin’ status of this dress it was not going to be lovingly hemmed by hand. That said, straight sewn hems irk me, which made for a great opportunity to try out my blind hem foot and stitch. Again, sneaky peak last week on Instragram. However for you non-Instagrammers, here’s how it went:

Gerties wiggle dress blind hem
Not ahhhmazing, however, still pretty good I think. I was happy anyway. And, interesting fact, apparently blind hem stitch is quite good for knits because it allows for the fabric stretching. Yes, write that down.

I didn’t want to lose any length, so I attached some wide black satin ribbon to the bottom of the dress, and then blind hemmed using it. Probably breaking some sewing god law, but wot-effa.

Gertie's Wiggle Dress 1

Sleeves

Due to my bulging biceps (tuck-shop lady arms really) the sleeves were a tad tight, so they were unpicked and re-stitched with only a 1cm seam allowance. They’re much better now, but I think a smidge too loose towards the bottom. Oh well.

They’re also a bit shorter than the pattern, maybe by 5cms due to pattern matching requirements.

I did cave and do the sleeve hems by hand.

Gertie's Wiggle Dress 1

Facings

Front facing – perfect! Two back facings – not perfect. For some unknown reason my two back facing pieces were way too short. I slashed and added 3cms to the length of the pattern piece and then recut and re-interfaced. This made them a little long, but at least they reached the zipper this way and nothing a little trimming couldn’t fix.

Gertie's Wiggle Dress 1

Zipper

The zipper was lapped as per Gertie’s instructions. I haven’t done a lapped zipper in a garment before! The only time I’ve done one was back at calico square stage all those years ago during my first ever sewing classes. I again took the quick and dirty option here and machined it in as opposed to hand picking. At first, I hated how it looked, but it’s grown on me a bit now, and I can’t see my back zipper when I’m wearing it anyway 🙂

Gertie's Wiggle Dress 1

Overall, I must say that Gertie’s patterns really work for me. There were no other adjustments made for the wiggle dress, and it fits, like a glove! I think some of the pulling may have been avoided with underlining or a slip even, but again, wearable muslin = no underlining. Even when it’s not pulling, this beautiful polyester holds the creases from sitting etc.

Gertie's Wiggle Dress 1

Oh and I must mention this, today I found a pin in the dress. That alone = not funny. What makes it funny is that I wore the dress out a week ago for dinner and dancing, and washed it, with the pin in it. Didn’t get stabbed #ftw.

And, I’ve now cut this lovely lady out in the ‘real thing’ – a lovely royal blue wool crepe  all ready for sewing together. I’m just starting to get into Vine and have put a little video of the pattern cutting on there – anyone else using Vine? You can find me there at ZoSews, inspiring name I know.

Until next time… keep on sewin’

Z xx

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.

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2. Sew along sewing lines

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

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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. 

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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. 

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This is what it looks like from the right side.

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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. 
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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!

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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…

 

It’s gridlock out there…

26 Mar

So, Tessuti decided to run a competition, with 50% off the fabric and a pretty loose brief. And most importantly, no size specs! I could hardly refuse…

Gridlock Gertalex

I am so in love with my first Elisalex, that I decided to run her up again – of course with some changes 😉 PS – this is the first time I have EVER made a garment twice, so hats off to you By Hand London, you’ve hooked me.

Gridlock Gertalex

The fabric that everyone had to use for the competition, called ‘gridlock’, was nice and structured like my dotty Elisalex fabric, so I had a good feeling she’d come together well. The one key change being that I substituted the delightful oversized tulip skirt, for Gertie’s pencil skirt – the same pattern I teamed up with Sewaholic’s Lonsdale bodice – this time however I remembered to add in the skirt vent.

Gridlock Gertalex

I thought that with the pencil skirt the dress would be a bit more wearable and closer to the ‘daywear’ brief set by Tessuti. Further, I thought the clean lines of this ‘Gertalex’ would work and not compete with the strong fabric pattern. Oh, and instead of the skirt front darts, I created pretty little tucks that lined up with the princess seams on the bodice.

Gridlock Gertalex

Sooo, the rest of the details –

    • Lined in a cream cotton from Spotlight to play up the creamy background of the gridlock fabric
    • Navy blue grosgrain ribbon waist stay included to help control any zipper spreadage and maintain a clean shape
    • Hand picked zipper: Instead of focusing on neat, straight stitches, I focussed on invisible stitches, blending my stitches in with the blue pattern in the fabric
    • Blind hemmed by hand the sleeve and skirt hems

Gridlock Gertalex

  • A delicate little cream scalloped lace trim was added to the lining hem, it’s very sweet and just peeks out
  • The outer fabric hem was finished with a navy satin binding
  • Instead of sandwiching the zipper between the lining and fashion fabric, it’s attached to lining, ensuring it won’t show through to the outside. And there’s a hand sewn hook and eye at the top just to finish off.
  • Three navy and gold buttons were hand sewn to each sleeve. Just a little bit of shjooz to break up the pattern, without competing with it.

Gridlock Gertalex

Gridlock Gertalex

The team at Tessuti are simply going to pick their favourite garment as the winner, but I’m sure a few flash mobs/emails/smoke signals/telegrams telling them to pick the gertalex wouldn’t hurt 😉 Just kidding, good luck to everyone entering, can’t wait to see what y’all come up with, it’s been great so far!! You can check out all the entries on Tessuti’s Pinterest.

Zxx

Lonsdale & Gertie party dress mash up

1 Dec

You may have seen on my Instagram feed (@ZoSews, how original) a few weeks ago a sneaky peek at a hand picked zipper. This was the zipper for a dress I was planning on wearing for my (gasp) 30th birthday soiree.

This dress started last year, in my mind. I saw Sarai’s tweaked floral Lonsdale dress, and I fell in love. I wanted that one! This seemed the perfect opportunity to make it!

My birthday party consisted of cocktails at a Seamstress bar (how appropriate), delish dumplings in Chinatown and then the crescendo, hours of karaoke!

Unfortunately, I was having WAY too much fun to take any photos. Yep, that’s right, I didn’t take ONE photo lol… Luckily I was able to scrounge around and get a few from other partygoers. They all look something like this, so I won’t be repetitive and will just give you one. Don’t look at those creases, I’d been sitting down for a couple of hours before this was taken.

Lonsdale Gertie mash up

Dress details

  • This number combines the bodice of Sewaholic’s Lonsdale, and the pencil skirt (minus the high waistband) from Gertie’s book.
  • Amazingly, I didn’t have to make one change to the bodice! I made one size bigger in the skirt though to account for ease required due to no stretch in the fabric. 
  • Enlarged the front waist darts because it was puffing out away from the body.
  • Due to the long straps of the bodice, this chewed up a lot of fabric – just a note.
  • I made the dress out of a ‘vintage’ print cotton, and lined the bodice with a blue rayon, both from Spotlight. This lining is what started my love affair with rayon.
  • I hand picked the zipper – a new love, inspired by Neeno and her scandalous zipper porn 🙂 I followed a mix of Gertie’s instructions from the book,with Tasia’s.

If I had my time again I’d add a kick pleat to the skirt, there’s a lot of stress put on one little join at the moment and its already starting to show after only one wear. I only realised this would happen after cutting the skirt out – too late!

I am very happy with this dress! I love the shape, so I may even make it again.

I want to write a review for Pattern Review on this dress, but I’m not sure whether to list this as Lonsdale, Gertie’s skirt, or both (do a review for each). What do you think?

Here’s a few extra birthday pics, just for fun 🙂 I cropped others out to be polite because I am so unorganised I didn’t get around to asking anyone if they minded being put on the interwebs before writing this post.

Lol. I was surprised with a cake with my face on it - scary! (yet delicious)

Lol. I was surprised with a cake with my face on it – scary! (yet delicious)

We wore party hats!

We wore party hats!

That’s it!

Z xx