Gertie's B6453 Sundress Sewalong

Well hello's been a while.

Nearly a month has passed since I last posted anything (this little dog jacket by the way) and even that was a scheduled post... I'll not get into it but this month has been less than fabulous and that's an epic understatement. It's also strange how we sometimes don't do the things that are good for us in the times we need it most. Not only is sewing a hobby but my stupid brain also forgot its healing mindfulness properties as well - so back on the bandwagon we get and creativity is the way forward.

Enter my latest girl crush Gretchen Hirsch and this beast of a pattern.

Last year I searched high and low for the perfect sundress but to no avail, however not too long ago Gretchen Hirsch solved this mystery and set the sewing world on fire with B6453 - which if anyone else has been following on the Facebook Group, can see that it's got out of control! People are making hundreds of these!
 If you take a look at the line drawings the design of this is gorgeous. Princess seam bust, fitted darted back, amazing soft V backline, lapped vintage-look zipper and the option of two skirts (view A has pockets people). Best of all in my book - the straps have adjustable sliders!!! No more straps falling off my one weird shoulder! (I may steal this method for the Ogden Cami)

The sewalong really did go into a lot of detail and for this I was thankful as some of the construction was quite fiddly and complicated, despite the simple look of the dress. However, all the separate elements and effort go towards making this a lovely wearable piece.

Muslin tests were recommended and I'm so glad I took the time to do this. The sizing is crazy and Gertie herself told everyone not to bother with the packet. Butterick has 2.5" of ease around each seam!! If I'd have gone with the packet size, I would have been an 18 or 20. It was recommended that the finished measurements on the separate pattern pieces should be used as a size guide instead, I THINK I cut a 14 but in all honesty I can't remember now as I did this quite a while ago, and I took it in a bit as well when fitting.

 Surprisingly the bodice fit with little trouble! I just had to taper down from under the arm slightly to get a snugger fit and avoid a bit of arm gaping. Oddly it was the skirt that was a nightmare. I just could not get that SOB to fit my shape. First it was too small and tight so I added width to the hips; it then pooled fabric everywhere so I tried out a Full Butt Adjustment; which was then too big - it was like Goldilocks and the 3 Pencil Skirts. In the end I cut a giant version and had to just pin and fit it everywhere then cut up the muslin to trace a pattern piece. The skirt is a little roomy however I prefer that as I can actually sit down comfortably!

The fabric here is an anchor print black viscose from The Textile Centre via eBay which is beautifully soft and drapey for summer. I found the bra strap rings and sliders from eBay in gold, although there are some rose gold ones on there that look wonderful too.

 This is far from perfect as I struggled with the soft viscose and lapped zip - more stability required next time (or just sub an invisible zip in there). My iron then decided to shoot limescale all over the back of it so it looks a bit mucky. It wasn't until I put the dress on for some pictures that I also realised I'd done the straps completely wrong (despite watching Gertie's very informative video clip) and they did not in fact sllliiiddeeee. Fortunately that was a quick fix after inspecting a bra and seeing how it was supposed to be done!

This has got to be one of my favourite makes purely due to the fit and construction - it feels really classy but could easily be thrown on for day wear as well as dressed up. I will absolutely be making more of this pattern!

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  1. It looks lovely. Classy and stylish!

  2. Yours may be my favorite.

    1. Thanks Kerri :) that is a huge compliment! There are so many versions it's great to see all the variety x