Wow! Thank you so much for all the sweet comments about my Gina dress! You are just too kind. I will say that on our recent spring break I had the happy opportunity to wear it officially, and loved it! (And I did wear it with those bright blue flats I was telling you about....)
Several of you asked if this was going to become part of our ladies pattern line. Sadly, we don't plan on it. However, I'm going to give you all a blow by blow (or piece by piece--- Get it!?) account of how I made it. I will give you one small warning... some of it is semi free-handing, free-flowing, so it will take maybe a bit more work than another dress. But, trust me, it's absolutely completely worth it!
Now, let's jump in!
The Gina Dress ~
::I started out with these two Retro Butterick patterns -- the one on the left (B5209) for the skirt, and the right pattern (B4790) for the bodice. And, of course, I used this fabric.
::The Bodice -- Technically, the pattern is designed to be a wrap-around bodice (remember this darling dress of Abigail's??), but, I just didn't want to "settle" with that, as I really wanted it to be very, very similar to Gina's. However, the bodice did seem to be the right shape. So! I placed the back pattern piece 5/8" in from the fold of the fabric to allow for a zipper. Then, once I'd cut the piece out I just sliced the piece into two for the zipper space. I cut out the front piece all the way down past the long dart. Obviously, it ended up considerably longer than the back piece, and had to be trimmed up at the end to match up with the back, but I wanted to make sure that the dart laid down properly.
I piped out the sleeves and neckline with this Stella dot. And, I used this fabulous tutorial from friend Jona to make one fat quarter into 5 yards of bias binding. When it was time to "draw the lines" in the tutorial I chose to make the pencil marks only 1 1/4" apart (vs. the 1 3/4" it calls for). Gina's dress piping seemed to be on the smallish side, so I opted to make mine smaller too.
Once I'd sewn the darts, sewn up the shoulder seams, and placed the piping around the neck and down quite bit on the sides, it's time for the slightly more 'free-flowing' part. I had my lovely assitants - aka sisters (whichever one was free at the moment) - help me pin up the back seam at approx. 5/8" (zipper space), and then pin up the sides to fit me correctly. Once I took it off, I used a quilt marking water-soluble pen to make lines up the sides, and basted it. After trying it on again, chopping off some of the extra fabric, and fixing any other things that needed done, I sewed it regularly and finished the seams. Zipper up the back. Bodice done!
::The Skirt -- Really easy peasy. I used the pattern for the skirt exactly as they say to (it's four pieces... a seam up the front, back, and both sides). The only thing I changed was that I added about 6" to the skirt to give it the length I wanted. (Oh, and I didn't pre-wash my fabric, so the length did shrink up a bit.) When I attached the skirt to the bodice the first time, it really was missing some of the shaping I was wanting. Once we pulled it up to the more proper area - read in my natural waist - and I restitched it, and it was just perfect!
There you have it! I do hope some of you will give it a whirl. It really is a very fun dress! And, of course, I would love to see pictures of your very own Gina dress if you decide to make it!
Oh, oh, oh! And several of you asked about the hairstyle I was sporting in my Gina pictures. Abiah gets the credit for that one. Lord willing we'll have up some sort of how-to for it later on this week!
Have a beautiful night! xox Achaia