Form fitting yet comfy shirtwaist dress with back elastic ruching.
2-16 Gertie's sizing is more generous than the big 4. Usually I'm a 16 but for her patterns I needed a size 8.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, I only made fitting changes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Truth, I didn't look at the directions except for the elastic ruching part since that technique was new to me. For a experienced sewer this goes together logically.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
No dislikes here, this is one of those patterns I've been drooling over for months.
Quilting cotton with a lobster print from etsy seller HeartTugzs
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I needed to make a lot of fitting alterations to the bodice because my upper body is shaped much differently than Gerties.
1. Did an 1 1/4" FBA but removed the added length that the FBA adds to the bodice. I'm short waisted so usually the extra length is not needed.
2. The FBA made the side seam bust dart rather large. Decided to rotate this extra dart intake into the waist bust dart instead. This is more of a personal preference change, I just don't like big darts under my arms.
3. Gertie's armholes are very shallow and I seem to need a Big 4 style scooped armhole. Took McCall's 4767 and drew those armholes onto Gertie's pattern. Tried to use the neckline to determine the position for tracing which seemed to work out OK. This also resulted in more paper being added to the side seam just at the top which was graded out to nothing at the waist. This change was made to both the front and the back armhole.
4. Made my standard 1/2 forward shoulder adjustment.
5. Took in the shoulders 1/2".
6. Despite the changes I'd made adding an FBA and scooping out the armholes I was still getting pulling above the bust and my neckline was tight. Decided to make shit up and added 1/2" down the entire center front. (I've never seen this recommended in any books but it seemed quasi-logical and actually worked for me.) The under bust dart then needed to be moved 1/2" toward the new CF so that it would fall in the correct location.
7. I also scooped the back neck out 3/8" at the CB grading it to nothing at the shoulder edge. The collar than needed to be adjusted for these changes, 15/16" added to it's CB line.
8. Because of the additional 1/2" on the CF and the fact that I was going to drop the first button placement the front facings had 1/2" added to their CF.
9. For a little more arm movement I added 1/4" to the sleeve side seams and the sleeve hem band side seams.
10. Because of the FBA adjustment the front skirt needed 3/4" added to the side seam which was graded out to nothing further down on the side seam.
11. I must have made some sort of tracing error but the front skirt also needed 1 1/8" of extra length added to the waist seam to get the side seams to match up.
12. Made a 1 1/2" sway back adjustment on the back skirt. There was a lot of ease built into the back yoke seam line so instead of adding to the pattern to make the CB straight again, I just cut off a wedge of the upper back pattern. It was probably a 1" of ease taken out.
13. Dropped the button hole placement of the top button down 1". The other 2 bodice buttons were 3" apart from each other, the last bodice/first skirt buttons 3 1/4" apart and then the rest of the buttons the suggested 3 1/2" apart.
14. After getting the dress put together it seemed like the elastic ruching was a little too high. I took out the top 2 lines of elastic and sewed in two more below the existing lines.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I've got shirtwaist fever right now so I'm moving on to other patterns. However this is a comfortable dress and I've got the fitting worked out so I'm tempted to make it up in a lighter weight fabric.
I do feel a bit "costumey" in this dress because of my crazy lobster print obsession. Not sure this is going to be "hitting the grocery store" outfit, but sewing would be boring if everything you made was 100% practical. The dress design is comfortable and in a light weight lawn it would be nice and cool for summer.