Gertie Sews Vintage Casual – Zip Front Dress

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This dress has been on my list to make for a LONG time! I put it on my Make Nine plans for last year and just got round to sewing it up a couple of days before 2018 ended. I had always known which fabric I wanted to use for it too so that made it slightly easier to get motivated for it.

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The fabric was from Joanns (yet again!) and was bought in the sale (yet again!) at $3 per yard. It’s a nice floral linen where the flowers almost look like they are handpainted on. I love the colors in this print and feel like I’ll wear this one a lot when Spring comes closer.

Gertie Sews Vintage Casual is a great pattern book and has such a broad range of patterns in it. I really love how diverse the models are, especially the ones who are a little curvier as it helps me to see if a pattern would look ok on a range of shapes and sizes. I’ve made a couple of other garments from this book and even though it was a while ago, I can remember enjoying the makes. The zipper front dress is a shirt style dress with a zip replacing the buttons.

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As I was tracing off the pattern I got so confused with the pieces but soon realized that the construction involved something I’d not come across before. The bodice is split down the center and each bodice piece has the front and back of the dress as one whole piece. It just seemed odd as the bodice pattern piece was SO long! I hope that makes sense! Rather than having a front and back bodice, like many dress patterns have, this has a right and a left bodice. This allows the kimono sleeve to automatically be created when the bodice pieces are stitched together and attached to the skirt.  I also noticed a slight fault in my fabric as I was sewing the back pieces together!  It almost looks like some of the pattern was missed completely and replaced with some of the background colors.  Hopefully no-one will notice too much when I’m wearing it!

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Another new technique learnt while making this one was the gathered pockets on the front. They are almost lost at the front of the dress with the busy pattern but I enjoyed making them. The top hem of the pockets is slightly gathered and the bottom/side hem is curved.

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I really like the shape of this dress. I didn’t have to make any bust or waist alterations at all and the skirt seems to drape nicely. I prefer the zip slightly open as it seems to suit my body type better. I’ve included a ‘zip fully closed’ photo too so you can see what I mean.

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Has anyone else made any of the patterns out of this book? I’d love to know what you think of them!
I think I’d really like to make this again but using a fabric that is slightly less busy.

Pattern: Gertie Sews Vintage Casual – Zip front dress
Fabric: Floral linen from Joanns
Sewing Level: Advanced beginner
Time: 3-4 hrs
Would I make it again?: Yes
Size made: 


6 thoughts on “Gertie Sews Vintage Casual – Zip Front Dress

  1. Lovely dress! Would consider giving it a try meself, but not enough impetus to buy a whole book for one pattern. Maybe if you make a few more patterns we’ll join your band wagon. 😉 xx

    1. Thank you! Yes, I know what you mean. I had a good look through the book and liked quite a few patterns in there so decided it was worth it. I’ve actually almost made everything. There’s a really nice pants pattern in it!

      1. There’s a copy in our library – wonder of wonders! 🤗 So will check it out in a few days. Fingers crossed the patterns page is still there. Thank you for the additional info!

  2. This looks great! It’s really flattering and fits beautifully. You’re brave taking on a centre front zip – I usually console myself with the fact my hair will cover up a centre back one 😆 It’d be great to see it made up in a plain fabric next to see the details more clearly 😍

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