Shirtwaist Dress, Gertie New Book for Better Sewing

This is me playing catch up with a make that’s a few months old. I recently wore it out to a Nigerian musical Wakaa and the amount of African wax print outfits on show made me release that my stash/wardrobe is not yet complete without some more of these gorgeous fabrics.

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The Pattern

Not being too much of a pre 1960’s vintage girl Gertie was never one of my sewing blog crushes but I was making this with Gabby who has all her books. We chose this pattern from her book Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing, I think a shirtdress is such a wardrobe staple and I really like effect the shirring on this one had.

Plus, trying shirring and making buttonholes, new techniques I hadn’t tried before.

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Fabric

THIS FABRIC. Hands down the best fabric I’ve bought in my short sewing life.  I initially was going to go with a more sensible fabric but I just kept on coming back to the chickens.

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Ever since I’ve been visiting Walthamstow market, Goldhawk Road fabric shops have been upgraded to being on the pricey side. Desperate not to spend too much money and too lazy to pop down to Walthamstow,  I took a tip from a friend that the market there has super cheap fabric shops. So I went into Shepherds Bush market, just next to Goldhawk Road. The prices are just as low as he said and I got 6 metres (the fabric was pre cut) of this for £9. Bargain.

Alterations

I made a size 12 (if I remember correctly…it was a while ago)..and, for me, the proportions on the sleeves and bodice are really off. The shoulders (and if you read my blog regularly, you know I have a thing about shoulders) where so puffed out it turned this pear shaped girl into a square. I took away at least an extra 5cm off the upper sleeve.

Also the pockets. The pockets are far too low and even Gabby (we made the same size)  who is taller then me (so must have longer arms!?!) struggled with this low pocket placement. We both brought the pockets up but I didn’t do it enough for it to be comfortable when putting my hands in my pocket.

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If you are attempting to have a go with this dress Heather does an extremely detailed post on how she tackled the sleeve/bodice alterations here, which are definitely more helpful than what I can provide. I did a lot of guesstimations…and no toile..bad sewer me.

I’m probably going to take off the sleeves and have it as a sleeveless dress and I hope that will solve a lot of the issues I have with it.

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This is the original dresses length,I’m 5’3, I was going to shorten the hem but these days (since I crossed over to the 26-35 category) I’m liking the longer look. When I put on the pearl earrings and necklace my mum said I looked like I came from the 60’s and I feel in love with this dress.

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Now, newly opening chicken shop, thank you! 5 minutes after leaving my house I saw this wall, shouted ‘CHICKENS!!’ Tried to ignore the many people walking past and became the ultimate chicken woman I was apparently destined to become.

This is another vlogged make and as you can see on Wednesdays we wear stripes.

Thanks for popping in and reading,

Meg x

Knit Boxy Tunic, Kommatia Patterns

So, is it too soon for co-ords to make a comeback? My sewing is only fairly recently yielding wearable items so the co-ord trend, plus Ada Spraggs two piece setacular, came and went too fast for me to take part in it. I love the style. The uniform like cohesiveness and how it automatically cuts down time thinking about what to wear. Such a good trend!! I thought it would have the skinny jeans effect and never go away but it came and went in a season. It’s time for it to live again!…through me.

The pattern

This is Kommatia knit boxy tunic. I overlocked everything and I couldn’t be more in love with that machine. The instructions are more sparse and effecient and this pattern won’t hold your hand. At first I psyched myself out, I usually want a pattern that almost tell me how to breath through sewing! but the shape of this top is exactly my style. Big girl pants went on and it sewed up with only a few mistakes. Is this sewing progress?

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The skirt I just traced off a H&M jersey skirt I wore a lot. I put it together checking a bit online but mostly by guessing what to do. Sewing with knit fabrics gives me a feeling that nothing can go wrong, I would never have done that with a woven fabric!

When a friend told me the clothes looked straight out of Urban Outfitters, I was ecstatic, Urban Outfitters was my jam! These are the first clothes I’ve made that someone confused with RTW. I even got the ‘really!?! You made that..’ 🙂 #sewingwinning

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Fitting

This top is so comfortable but looking at the pictures I think going with a size bigger would have been a better bet. My measurements are size small but I usually always factor in my shoulders and go bigger. I thought jersey would be more forgiving!!

I didn’t adjust the length and it stops at the biggest part of my bum/hips, making pear shaped me pretty conscious of my arse if no tucked in. To wear this as a tunic I would definitely lengthen it. I’m 5″3 and would not be able to get away with wearing this with leggings only. For my next version (yep, I’ve already bought the fabric for a second one) I’m going to either lengthen or shorten it, so it hits a more flattering point!

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Untucked, sorry it’s hard to see where the top ends.

The Fabric

I only bought a metre of this fabric, I would have bought more but the price was so inflated. I got this when I was in France, sadly not Paris, after a two hour drive to the local fabric store. I wasn’t gonna leave empty handed.

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I need to thank my husband for the pictures, he’s even demanding a meet the team page on the blog to recognise his efforts. I think he’s right!