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Last September I attended Gertie’s, aka Gretchen Hirsch, three day workshop at Beetle and Fred in lovely Beacon NY.Gertie Workshop 4If you love vintage style sewing, I highly recommend Gertie’s sewing retreats! The classes are small and you get lots of individual attention. Gertie Workshop 0I was with this awesome group of women.Gertie Workshop 7We were required to show up with muslins ready for test fitting. Good thing since Gertie can really fine tune the fit of the bodices and she takes the time to make sure it’s right! I choose to make a dress from “Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book”. I used the Basic Bodice but used the Boatneck neckline to better feature the border print fabric and the pleated skirt. I used Gertie’s “So Fancy” Sapphire border print cotton from her line of fabrics she designed for Michael Miller fabrics. I got it from her website: www.charmpatterns.bygertie.comso-fancy-sapphire-border-print-cotton.jpgI fully lined my dress with a lightweight cotton. Gertie showed an easy way to combine fashion fabric facing with full linings. She just sews down the facings pieces right on top the lining pieces and then treats it as one piece. I used the bodice pattern pieces for the lining. This is much simpler than using the couture technique of trying to puzzle together facings and cutting the lining to go around those difficult bottom edge curves of the facings.

Gertie demonstrated how to insert a center back lapped zipper with facings, a really easy way to pattern match fabric designs, how to apply boning, and lots more.

I didn’t quite finish my dress at the workshop but all I had left was the hand sewing  to be done at home. Here’s the finished dress:Gertie's "Ultimate dress book" - boatneck 1For the skirt lining I used the A-Line skirt pattern pieces from the book. I didn’t want the box pleats to get too bulky.Gertie's "Ultimate dress book" - boatneck 2There’s funny wrinkling in the bodice back because I’m twisting and leaning back slightly. The back bodice actually fits very well. And I managed to do a close enough pattern matching on the back over the lapped zipper.ultimate-dress-boatneck-3.jpg

And here’s a stocking flashie with these cool blue stockings from What Katie Did.Blue Stocking Flashie