Gertie’s Shirtwaist Dress

gertieSWD_fullSo I’ve had Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing since it came out, and I’ve made some really cute things from its patterns. I LOVE shirtwaist dresses, and Gertie’s is especially dorbz, but I was afraid to try it because it looked difficult. I read some pattern reviews, and many people said that it wasn’t as difficult as they had thought. I have a nice stash of fabric right now, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

One thing I did this time was I used a trick for marking darts that I saw somewhere else, but had never actually  used. I took a piece of carbon paper, folded it in half, sandwiched it on the wrong sides of the fabric and used a marking tool to make the dart markings. This kept all my markings equal to each other. So that’s pretty exciting. 

I’ve also never shirred before, and I’ve never before made pockets. These were the reasons I was so afraid to try it, but it turns out they were super easy to do.

I can’t begin to describe how excited I am about this project actually turning out, and further fitting more-or-less. I did not make a muslin because the fabric I used for the project was less than $2 /yard so I opted to just “go for it” and deal with the repercussions later.  I feel like the back and shoulders are too large for my body, but fits everywhere else just right. I may grade the pattern down for the back and shoulders.  I may end up putting a couple fitting darts in the back and shoulders, but I haven’t yet decided if I am bothered enough.

I’m not entirely sold on the sleeves. I think they’re too puffy. I prefer more smooth lines, but I don’t hate them and will wear this dress gladly even with the puffy sleeves (but honestly, will likely wear a cardigan over them.

Here are some details & progress photos!


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