I’ve been rediscovering my style lately, both revisiting old favourite patterns from my pre-maternity days and buying up patterns I’ve wanted to try for quite a while but knew they wouldn’t have a practical place in my wardrobe. With Henry approaching his first birthday and my having been back to work for a couple of months, my breastfeeding journey is coming to an end, so I don’t have to prioritise nursing friendly clothes anymore – saying that; the pattern I have chosen for this blog is pumping friendly, so I’ve been able to get about my workday and take meetings without anyone being any the wiser…
I discovered Schultz Apparel two years ago when I was at the height of building a vintage inspired me-made wardrobe; Amalie’s designs really appeal to my love of vintage inspired styles and silhouettes. They have a timeless elegance which, depending on the fabric option you choose, could be as modern or as ‘period’ styled at you like.
The Gerda dress is a vintage inspired pattern with a really beautiful feature collar and statement sleeves (leg of mutton sleeves in two lengths, one elbow length and the other full length). The pattern is semi-fitted, and the bodice is fitted with an invisible zipper, although – it is worth noting – you may not need the zipper; it would be worth checking this out when you make the toile because it speeds up the sewing process a lot to be able to omit the zip. The dress also comes with two skirt options; one is a vintage inspired knee length gathered skirt and the other is a tiered skirt. I’m not all that into tiered dresses, so I opted for the gathered skirt – a nice feature of which being that the skirt is not gathered around the stomach area so there is no bulk. Because the fabric is quite lightweight, I opted for the longer sleeves to make it a bit more appropriate for the cooler months, but this is a perfect transitional fabric which will stay in rotation throughout the seasons; it feels so beautifully soft and luxe.
In terms of sewing up this project, it is a straightforward make. This pattern would be a good choice for a beginner; as I said, I’m even able to omit the zip. The collar construction was also effortless so, if you’ve never made a collared dress before, this is a great starting point. Depending on the fabric you choose for this dress, it can be as playful or as professional as you want it to be – it has a bit of a suit vibe when made in structured fabrics; in this check fabric with its mix of pink, purple, orange and gold lurex, it is suitable for pretty much anything.
I made minimal adjustments to this pattern; I did have to do a full bust adjustment on the bodice (which creates a waist dart but does not detract from the look of the dress). The pattern is graded for a B cup and I’m a dressmaking D cup. Other than this, the only other adjustments I made was to take the shoulder seam in by half an inch and took three quarters of an inch off the length of the sleeves as I found them too long for me – for reference, I am five foot one). In terms of size range, I made a 16 graded to an 18 (my pre-pregnancy size); however, I’ll need to make a straight 16 next time as there is a little more ease in the pattern than my personal preference requires.
I will get so much wear out of this dress – it definitely feels distinctively me in style and colour.
Inspired to make your own version? Here's what you'll need:
[Disclosure: Mary-Ellen was provided with the materials for her project free of charge and received a gift voucher in recognition of the time spent on her project.]