happy days: 50s outfit a la Gertie

I’m not sure if you’d call this my signature style but I do like the 50s vintage look. For this week’s project sewn I have had a go at two of Gertie’s patterns.

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I have long admired Gertie’s black and white taffeta dirndl skirt. Hers is made of silk and I haven’t been able to find anything like it. It’s not easy to find reasonable quality gingham so when I saw 100 per cent cotton with a reasonable weight at Lincraft I thought it would make a pretty good approximation of Gertie’s silk version.

I used this amazing looking foot. A gathering foot that can make a pleat every 1, 6 or 12 stitches. I bought the foot last year when I was making a multi-tiered ruffled petticoat. It makes gathering a breeze, no worrying about having gathering threads break. You need to take the whole foot stand off and attach this one. It looks scary but once you see it in action it’s ok. for this skirt I set it to gather every 6 th stitch.

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I found stripe matching tricky, even though a dirndl must be the easiest of all styles to ensure matching. Here you can see the very even gathers achieved by the foot, the seam stripe matching and the invisible zip placement.

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I also made Gertie’s portrait blouse, with the pattern from her book, in a red Liberty lawn. Gertie made it recently in a knit

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The whole outfit is easy to wear, easy to wash. I’ve even dressed the skirt up with a black jacket to wear to work.

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