March 26, 2014

What should I sew with Gertie?

Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing was the first sewing blog I ever followed, just when I was starting to sew duvet covers and getting myself overexcited about the potential of wrap dresses in my future. I followed her projects in total awe and also loved (and still do!) the body positive message she’s had throughout the years.

So just imagine my excitement when I heard about Gertie’s Sewing Retreat in Beacon NY….

Yes, dear readers, I am going to meet Gertie next weekend!

Compose yourselves, please.

I’ll be joining Lauren and several others for what promises to be a super fun weekend of sewing, chatting and Saturday afternoon tea.

The big question now is, what project do I bring with me? Much like Susan Khalje’s courses (one day I’ll do the French Jacket week, one day….) you have to bring along a muslin of a project, to get fitting advice and then finish it over the weekend. Obviously, I want to get as much as I can out of this experience, so no cheating! However, I’m a little unsure about what to do, so I’m looking for your advice…

Option 1: Trousers (pants)

Eek. I have literally never made trousers, except for children and sleeping in.  I’m pretty afraid of them because my waist-hip ratio isn’t standard (bigger waist and skinnier hips than most pattern slopers) and the whole, err.. well let’s just say that the potential for ill-fitting garments is particularly hazardous when it comes to that area! I’m also not sure what type of pattern would really suit me – I have proportionately slim legs, hips and thighs but a larger waist, and I’m around a 20/22 in the Big 4. Could anyone suggest a good pattern? I tend to prefer slimmer leg trousers, as is the fashion these days, sweetie darling. Perhaps these Burdas?

Option 2: Boned formal dress

Gertie is such a legend when it comes to tailored formal wear that I’m wondering if this is the way forward. I’m a bit scared of anything with seamed cups though because it’s pretty hard to grade them up to my size and they might be a little too…. in your face (Alana faced a similar issue although I LOVE her top!). Also, strapless isn’t an option. I love Gertie’s new Butterick designs but fear that they won’t meet the old bust requirements. Perhaps this one (without the ruffled bits)?

Option 3: Errrr…

I’ve run out of ideas!

Dear Cashmerette readers, I cannot let Gertie or myself down, so your advice is desperately needed!

13 thoughts on “What should I sew with Gertie?

  1. Miriana says:

    The dress. I think you should stick to your teacher’s area of expertise. I don’t recall many trousers on her blog.

  2. Bettina says:

    Being a Size 20/22 (well, ok, 22 plus seam allowances) in the Big 4 I would suggest something vintage-y, like Butterick 5748 or the eponymous Wiggle dress 6582- after all the start of the final Mad Men season is soon upon us…absolutely love the blog and will be checking back to hear all about the retreat! Love from Germany, Bettina

  3. Laurwyn says:

    Lucky you!
    To be honest, I would use this week end to suck in as much knwledge as possible. Gertie can bring you so much knowledge in vintage couture details. That’s the kind of garment I would go for. Your choice #2 is really good. I would go for that one or any vintage-y thing.

  4. Being similarly sized and unable to find anything in RTW or in the big 4 that fits my size, I’d go for pants when you have someone who can help with fitting. They’re easy to sew if you have a fitted pattern.
    But alternatively, I think this jacket pattern would be good. The vertical darts will give “essence of waist” and the upper area looks like it’s made for larger busts. It’s Butterick 5962

    Have fun!

  5. I’d go either for vintage or for tailoring. Gerties book is great on soft tailoring! How about her coat pattern? And I am so jealous – you’ll have an amazing time!

  6. Gail says:

    Does it have to be from an envelope pattern? Because I think you would look amazing in the wiggle dress from her book. Not sure how practical it is though for your lifestyle? But you would totally rock that look!

  7. How fun! I agree with some of the other comments that Gertie’s big strength seems to be in dresses, blouses, and girlie things – I suppose you could always just email her and get her opinion? My vote is dress….

  8. tanyamaile says:

    Definitely the dress! Especially since that’s Gertie’ s pattern and she knows it inside and out. Have fun on the retreat!!!

  9. Jenny says:

    Thanks ladies! I think you’ve all convinced me to do the dress 😀
    I just ordered some spiral steel boning…. gulp!

  10. I’d probably go with the boned dress, too, since we’ll have tutorials on that. I’m bringing one, too! I am starting on my muslin bodice now. Eep! I can’t believe we only have a week! So excited to meet you in person!

    1. Jenny says:

      Woohoo! I have totally messed up timings and I’m not entirely sure if I’ll have time to muslin before the weekend… Fingers crossed! Excited to meet you too!!

  11. Eliza Brown says:

    Whatever you choose to do I’m sure you’ll get the best of advice from Gertie. She has publish her own trousers pattern so if you went with that, I’m sure you would get the most amazing fitting trousers by the end of the weekend!!

    Eliza x

  12. Ms. McCall says:

    I agree that the dress is going to make the most of Gertie’s expertise, it will be so much easier to fit the bust with fit buddies around.

    However, if you get a spare moment, there’s no harm in making up a quickie pants muslin and bring it with you too. Pants are so super fast to sew, it’s just the fitting that can take a while. Just try them on before you leave and make sure that there’s enough extra seam allowances to make alterations. Fitting pants is so much easier when it’s a two or three person operation, it’s impossible to pin out areas by yourself. Why not see if you can take advantage of the other sewers around?

Let me know what you think!