Shifting Along with Gertie

I received the Gertie Sews Vintage Casual book for Christmas last year.  I’ve often picked it up and browsed the pages, but I’ve always put it back down again.  I think I was a little scared as I originally thought the instructions were a little vague and the instructional pictures didn’t show ‘real’ fabric!  I had talked myself into getting a little more sewing experience before making anything out of the book.


I had made it one of my June goals to make a garment from this book.  My organised little self wanted to start with the first project, which was a shirt.  However, a shirt was something that I didn’t currently need or want.  The next few projects were skirts and I have currently fallen out with skirts, so I knew that I wouldn’t be making one of those!  So I decided to do something rash and I flicked right through the book and chose the collared shift dress!!   I love dresses, and wear them a lot.  Plus, this one would allow me to make a neat peter pan collar; something that I hadn’t done before.

As I was making it, I did feel a little silly as the instructions were not difficult and were actually quite easy to follow.  My initial ‘vagueness’ thought was put aside, as a lot of the techniques were  fully explained in the front of the book.

I chose a bright pink patterned fabric for the main dress, with a grey patterned collar.  I only had a fat quarter of the grey so I decided to make the lower part of the collar out of a plain pink cotton, to match the facings.  I really liked how the facings weren’t flappy and were attached in one piece.


The collar was the longest part of the make as I made sure that my notches were near perfect to achieve a decent shaped collar.



The overall fit is good; it could possibly do with being a little wider around the middle to disguise my tummy.  The collar could do with a couple of stay stitches at the back as it has a tendency to stick out, or maybe I could put a button on each side.  We shall see!  I will now say, that I’m quite looking forward to getting stuck into the Gertie book.  I’ve already picked out a couple of projects for July. 🙂


The tree that we are stood in front of is known as the Hiding Tree, and is within Blakeley State Park. The tree is known for being used in the civil war as a hiding place for Confederate soldiers during the Battle of Blakeley in 1865.

13 thoughts on “Shifting Along with Gertie

  1. looks great on you.

    I’m still learning to sew, bought fabric and patterns but daren’t use them yet as i don’t want to ruin anything. Think i need a bit more confidence.

    1. Thank you 🙂 my tip would be to try and find some really cheap fabric and use that first, then it won’t matter as much if mistakes are made! I’m quite glad I’ve made mistakes whilst sewing, I think that’s how I’ve learned lot 🙂

  2. Lovely. That collar is perfection. I like the waistline as it is – I generally avoid shift dresses on myself because I feel like they are kind of shapeless and not flattering… if you widened the middle you might lose your figure in a box of fabric… Could just be an issue with my body type though! Looking forward to seeing your July creations 🙂

  3. Looks fabulous! I always find with my sewing that I can find flaws or something I could do better or different but I tend to think the general public never notices these details I fixate on.

    1. Thanks! I’ve worn it twice more already too 🙂 I haven’t planned another one of these yet, but will definitely make another! I’ve got my second jumpsuit on the table today 😀

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