Sunday, February 7, 2016

Gertie's Roses

I am a fan of Gertie, her sewing books, and her Simplicity pattern line.  When she first started working with Joann's Fabrics last spring to create a fabric line, I stalked our local store waiting for her fabrics to arrive.  When her fall line came out, I bought some lovely red rose yardage.  Because it was a knit, I wasn't sure exactly what sort of a blouse I wanted to use it for. After all, modern knit fabrics didn't start appearing until well into the sixties.. Something modern, maybe, instead of my favorite fifties vibe?
Then, brilliant and lovely Gertie released a killer pattern using the self same fabric I had purchased!  I didn't even wait for the pattern to go on sale before buying it.  And bonus, it had an amazing skirt included in the pattern as well.

Butterick 6285
Before using my red rose fabric, which was on the pricey side even on sale, I made a muslin from a similar weight knit in black.  I love Gertie's creative patterns, which often sew together in nontraditional ways.  This pattern was no exception, and I had a great time sewing it up.  Sadly, the end result proved to be unwearable for me.  Gertie's patterns are designed for a curvier figure, and I have run across fitting difficulties with them before.  I wrongly supposed that the wrap design would be very forgiving.  My test version came out quite short-waisted and because the ties are long, they have some weight to them.  End result, the back of the blouse was constantly sliding up out from under the ties in the back.  And I had a slice of flesh showing with even my high-waisted skirts and pants.  As is, it is unwearable.  Sigh, not every pattern is for every girl.  I do think the pattern could be altered to fit me better, but I decided I didn't want to use my red roses fabric on it.

So, what to do?  I looked to vintage patterns for ideas.  I decided on a gently draped, cowl-like neckline.  Not being a curvy gal, a full cowl overwhelms me, but a little cowl appears all over the midcentury fashion landscape, and it was calling to me to give it a try. 

I used a modern pattern designed for knits, McCalls 6963, purely for that neckline, and was introduced to Palmer/Pletsch Fashion That Fits pattern line.  In Love!  A bunch of specific alteration suggestions tailored to the specific pattern you are working on.  My standard alterations for my top half are hardly rocket science, but I can't wait to try out a pants pattern from this line.

Success.  I am happy with my Gertie's Roses top.  Definitely a retro influence, but from a modern fabric and a modern pattern.  

Not to mention that red roses are right at home in the month of February.

Thank you, Gertie, for your inspiration!

Who inspires you when you sew?

Xx Piper

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  1. I so appreciate your thoughtful observations. Though I'm not a seamstress, you are inspiring me to consider it. Thank you, Piper!

  2. You are so welcome. Sewing is great fun.

  3. This is absolutely beautiful! I'll always have such a soft spot in my heart for dark red and black tops. I wore one the day I first met Tony in person (we meet online and corresponded for about 2.5 months before that point) and as such will always associate it with that exhilarating, wonderful day.

    I hope that all is well on your end and that you're having a great spring so far, lovely lady.

    Big hugs,
    ♥ Jessica


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