I've sewn two dresses from Gertie's first book, and both required substantial fit adjustments. I was shocked when I did a muslin for this one, and discovered that the changes were minimal. I sewed a size 10, and only had to make four changes:
- Shorten the waist by 3/4".
- Remove 1/2" to the underarm at the sleeve.
- Add 1/2" to the upperarm at the sleeve.
- Took in the hips, 1" to start and tapering down to nothing.
Below was my one and only muslin, before any fit changes were pinned in place. You can see I'm already pleased as punch.
The dress has a kimono sleeve, so the underarms have gussets to allow for mobility. I hadn't sewn a gusset before this, and I found I really liked both the construction and the way it moves while wearing it. I did make one change to the instructions - I added a small square of interfacing at the point of the gusset for extra durability.
The pattern originally calls for facings, but I decided I wanted to do a full lining instead. It looks so much nicer, and is much more comfortable. I used a rayon bemberg, and it's so soft!
For the slit, I followed the pattern in the book, but I think I much prefer the method I used on my suit pencil skirt. It's more of a fan than separate pieces, and it's much less bulky when you have a lining. You can see the two vent variations in this tutorial from Tuppence Ha'Penny.
I did have one calamity with this dress at the 11th hour, and it had to do with hemming. I somehow managed to stitch the underarm sleeve seam of the lining to the upperarm seam of the fashion fabric. The result was a twisted mess. I realized it when I put on the finished dress, and couldn't get my arm in! Thankfully it was easily fixed, although tedious to rip and redo a lot of hand stitching. Minus that one hiccup, this dress was an absolute dream to sew and wear!
I predict there will be more of this silhouette in my future. I found my wiggle!