This giveaway is now closed. Thank you!

Update: We added sizing info for you below!

We have a treat for you! Gretchen Hirsch has a new book out, Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book: A Modern Guide to Sewing Fabulous Vintage Styles! If you love vintage style you’ll love the mix-and-match patterns in the book, allowing you to make 23 different dresses.

From the publisher:

    Every vintage-obsessed sewist dreams of having a closet full of gorgeous dresses. The follow-up to the popular Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing and Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book is packed with all the information and patterns you could ever need to create a wardrobe filled with stunning vintage frocks. The book begins with all the essential techniques for dressmaking and includes instructions and patterns for 23 dresses for a variety of occasions. Elements of each pattern can be mixed and matched, allowing readers to customize the bodice, skirt, sleeves, pockets, and details of each dress for a truly unique creation.

Gretchen and STC Craft have a free pattern from the book for you, plus a giveaway! Learn how to make the Floral Day Dress from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book: A Modern Guide to Sewing Fabulous Vintage Styles and be sure to comment for a chance to win a copy of the book. (U.S. + Canadian addresses only, please.)

The STC Craft blog has book tour dates where you learn more about the book and win Gertie-designed fabric. (There’s also info on a big contest too!– Don’t miss it.)


If you’re new to dressmaking, here’s a great first project (just don’t forget to make a muslin first to check the fit). This dress uses an easy-to-sew fabric, and doesn’t have any finicky inside details like a lining (though you can certainly add one if you’d like!). Despite its simple construction, this design gives off an elegant ease that will make it a favorite in your closet.

Basic Bodice and A-Line Skirt

Key Skills include:
– Sewing an all-in-one facing
– Sewing a narrow hem

Sizes: 2 (32″ Bust, 24″ Waist, 36″ Hips), 4 (34″ Bust, 26″ Waist, 38″ Hips), 6 (36″ Bust, 28″ Waist, 40″ Hips), 8 (38″ Bust, 30″ Waist, 42″ Hips), 10 (40″ Bust, 32″ Waist, 44″ Hips), 12 (42″ Bust, 34″ Waist, 46″ Hips), 14 (44″ Bust, 36″ Waist, 48″ Hips), 16 (46″ Bust, 38″ Waist, 50″ Hips)

Supplies:

  • 3 yds (2.7 m) 45″- (114 cm-) or 2 3/8 yds (2.2 m) 60″- (152 cm-) wide light- to mid- weight fabric. Suitable types include cotton lawn, shirting, voile, or heavier cottons like sateen.
  • Fusible interfacing
  • 24″ (61 cm) zipper
  • Thread
  • Six ¾” (19 mm) buttons (optional)

Pattern Pieces:
Print Pattern Sheets 1, 2, 7 and 8, and lay out following the fabric layout guide.
1. Basic bodice front: Cut 1 of fabric, on fold.
2. Basic bodice back: Cut 2 of fabric.
3. A-line skirt front: Cut 1 of fabric, on fold.
4. A-line skirt back: Cut 2 of fabric.
5. All-in-one front facing: Cut 1 of fabric and of fusible interfacing, on fold.
6. All-in-one back facing: Cut 2 of fabric and of fusible interfacing.

Instructions:
1. Staystitch bodice front and back necklines.

2. Stitch the darts in bodice front and back. Stabilize the zipper opening on the bodice back with fusible interfacing applied to the fabric’s wrong side.

3. Stitch the bodice front to the bodice back at the shoulder seams.

4. Apply interfacing to the facings. Finish the lower edge of the front and back facings.

5. Stitch the facing front to the facing back at the shoulder seams.

6. Pin the facing units to the bodice units around the neckline and armholes, folding the back zipper opening and the facings as for a lapped zipper. Stitch. Trim, grade, and clip/notch the seam allowances. Turn right side out by pulling the back pieces through the shoulder. Understitch the facings as far as possible at front and back armholes, and front and back necklines. Press.

7. Flip the facings up at the side seam, then pin and stitch the bodice side seams right sides together, stitching in one continuous seam from the bottom of the facing to the lower edge of the bodice. Tack the facings in place at the underarms.

8. Stabilize the zipper opening with fusible interfacing on both skirt back pieces. Stitch the skirt backs together up to the zipper opening notch. Stitch the skirt front to the skirt back at the side seams. Press all the seam allowances open.

9. With right sides together, sew the bodice to the skirt, matching side seams. Finish the seam allowances as one and press toward the bodice.

10. Insert a lapped zipper.

11. Turn in the facing seam allowances around the zipper and pin in place. Slip stitch to the
zipper tape.

12. Allow the dress to hang for at least 24 hours and then mark the hemline as desired. Hem
using a narrow machine hem.

13. Sew three decorative buttons to each shoulder, if desired.

For more guidance and lots of new patterns, pick up a copy of Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book: A Modern Guide to Sewing Fabulous Vintage Styles.

Posted with permission by STC Craft | An Imprint of Abrams.