|As a retro-lovin' dressmaking gal, I've followed Gertie's blog for a couple of years. I was delighted when she launched her Sew Retro online course at Craftsy: Perfect Fit Bombshell Dress. I had planned to simply watch Gertie's videos, but realised I needed to stitch along to get the full benefits of the fine-tuned fitting lessons.
When I found a fabric with a retro Hawaiian vibe, I thought it would suit the brief perfectly, and ploughed into the 15 lessons. I watched the first few lesssons, then went about downloading the pattern, piecing it together, and working on the muslin.
The Burdastyle pattern we use as the basis for the 50s-style bombshell dress is a little er, impoverished in the bust coverage department (the bra cups would barely accommodate cupcakes!), so the lessons on adjusting for a "full bust" were so helpful. It's a very step-by-step process to tracing your pattern, making and adjusting the muslin, then transferring the adjustments to your pattern before ever taking the scissors near your fashion fabric.
Gertie delivers the lessons in a chatty, lemme-walk-you-thru-it style, making everything easy to understand. I became quite accustomed to her NY accent accompanying my sewing sessions! Even if you're an experienced home dressmaker, you will pick up great tips and methods. I've sewn for many years, but I hadn't previously worked with marking the seamlines (rather than working in from seam allowances) but this method can save time if you are likely to need tweaks and/or adjustments.
The Craftsy platform is very easy to use. You can watch previews of the course, and there's a link on Gertie's Blog for a 50% discount on the price, which included the cost of the pattern. I thought that was good value.
The lessons are divided into chapters and you can make you own notes at any point in the videos and they will be bookmarked for later. This is helpful, because at times the videos could perhaps have used some judicious editing.
So, do take your time and enjoy the process. Don't set a deadline to complete your dress in 2 days for the annual Tiki Tour, as that could end in tears! The most valuable thing I took away was the confidence to make detailed pattern adjustments and create a very fitted, comfortable, retro-cool dress.
Edit: Here's a pic of my dress.