For my first make of 2019 I was very happy indeed to get back to something very ‘me’, and had lined up one of my favourite pattern designers, Patterns by Gertie for Butterick 6590, as I just can’t get enough of her wonderful vintage designs and easy to follow instructions. There are two dress options on the envelope – one with a fit and flare skirt and one with the pencil skirt, I opted for the first as I wanted that classic 1950s shape and it feels like forever since I’ve sewn or worn a big petticoat-worthy skirt!

When I was deciding on my fabric I think I was subconsciously influenced by the envelope illustration as I’ve gone for something very similar! I found a gorgeous floral print Cotton Poplin Fabric on the Minerva website and thought it would be perfect. The florals are in pink and purple (my favourites) with a bold black background, which gives it a lovely wintery floral feel, it is still January after all. To top it off there is a hint of gold glitter outlining the flowers so I knew it had to be this one!

I’m a big fan of dresses with a pointed underbust/waist design like this one. I just think the style adds a feel of couture because you can get such a good fit with separate pattern pieces like this. I did spend a fair amount of time making sure the bodice pieces were all correct and I would suggest anyone making this does too as it will make all the difference to the finished dress. I had to go back after I had sewn the front and backs together and alter the bust, as the v neck/triangle area was too gapey on me. I had fitted each piece on myself first but hadn’t clocked this issue so I had to go back and make the necessary adjustments. If you were ever wondering whether to make a toile first I would say this is a good dress to start with as you don’t want to make a mistake that costs you some of your lovely, ‘proper’ fabric.

Not many of the clothes I make have long sleeves and when I do I often have to adjust them quite a lot to fit, but as this is a cold weather dress I decided to add them. This fabric has got a fairly generous stretch on the bias for a poplin so I thought it would lend itself well to sleeves and I wouldn’t need to be too concerned about popping a seam when I lifted my forearms! I’m really glad I went with sleeves because they are really comfortable and, I think, suit the dress perfectly.

When I was cutting my pattern pieces I was surprised that there wasn’t a lining for the dress as Gertie usually includes this. I considered putting my own skirt lining in but once I had gathered and sewn my floral fabric I realised it was so full that a lining really wasn’t necessary so I didn’t add it. If however you were making this dress for a party and wanted to go all out, a tiered skirt lining would look amazing to puff the skirt out further. For fun, I tried on my pink petticoat on under the dress and felt like an absolute star.

Gertie suggests sewing a decorative button onto the fastening of the strap but I couldn’t find one in my stash quite ‘wow’ enough not to be lost in my wonderful fabric. I did have lots of brooches which I thought would look fantastic instead though, so I stitched the front and back strap together to keep them in place, and will wear a brooch on the fastening instead.

Oh, and I know this will impress a lot of you out there – this dress has pockets!

I’m really happy with how this dress turned out and think I’ll be wearing it a lot this year. I can imagine it with coloured opaque tights whilst it’s still cold and with a pink hair corsage and bag once the sun comes out!

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!


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