Roses on Black Shirtwaist Dress

vintage floral shirtwaist dress gerties new book

I made this vintage-style shirtwaist dress form Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. Like my bow-neck blouse from the same book (and made from the same stashed cotton-rayon blend fabric, incidentally), I thought I didn’t like it as I was finishing it up. However, I find myself having worn the dress several times already, so, fortunately,┬ámy initial opinion has been proven wrong!

faced buttonholes

As I wasn’t thrilled with the dress as I was finishing it, I didn’t take the time for perfection. I hemmed the skirt and sleeves with a machine straight stitch. However, I did make bound buttonholes for all of the buttons. I chose to make the buttonholes just larger than the buttons and so did not fold back fabric for flaps in the bound buttonholes. In retrospect, perhaps I should have made the buttonholes larger as it is a major pain to unbutton each button through a tight front buttonhole and a back facing buttonhole. Fortunately, I don’t have to unbutton it to put the dress on and take it off as their is a shirred back.

shirred waistband inside

Here is an inside look at the shirred waist. I used elastic in my bobbin to sew my shirring and I’m quite happy with the effect. It makes the dress very comfortable for all-day wear.

mismatched pleats

I sewed the dress with no changes to the pattern other than lengthening the sleeves and skirt a bit. I did make one major bonehead move while assembling the dress. Somehow, I got the pleats on one side completely off from the other. A simple fix with a bit of time with the seam ripper, but I remain confused as to how I managed to do it in the first place.

Rose Dress Closeup with red glasses

There are several changes I will make next time (and I think there will be a next time). The upper collar sits way too far back. The facings aren’t wide enough, especially through the open neck as they often try to peak out. I will lengthen the back bodice a bit and shorten the front so the waistband is a better height for me all the way around. However, I am overall quite satisfied with, comfortable in, and complemented when wearing this dress!

vintage shirtwaist dress and blue mural

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6 Responses to Roses on Black Shirtwaist Dress

  1. Cari Homemaker February 22, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Quite lovely.

  2. adelaide blair February 22, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    Yeah, that fabric is awesome, and totally suits the dress style.

  3. Foster February 22, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

    I’m stopping by from SewRetro. This dress is beautiful. I also loved your high waisted pencil skirt as well. Unfortunately for me, the skirt would look horrible on my short waisted body. Looks fab on you though.

  4. Dawn February 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    This dress is really pretty on you Erin.

  5. dottiedoodle February 23, 2013 at 3:21 am #

    Beautiful dress. I was reading Gertie’s book last night, thinking I really must make something from it, so you are inspiring me!

  6. Lindsay March 21, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    I just finished making this dress today and was searching for other people’s pictures to see how the collar was. I, too, found that it sits waaay too far back. Almost makes me not want to wear it even though I pretty much like everything else. (I also changed the sleeves because I felt the hung too far off the shoulders). No one else seems to have mentioned the collar thing though.