A Plethora of New Sewing Skills with Gertie and Twinkle (& a Freebie)

Twinkle Sews and Gertie's Sewing Books OutfitSewing BooksI have completed my makes from Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing by Gretchen Hirsch and Twinkle Sews by Wenlan Chia.  For both of these projects, it was my first time utilizing a variety of sewing techniques, seven to be exact!

New Skills/Techniques

  1. Invisible Zipper
  2. Skirt Yoke
  3. Inverted Box Kick Pleat
  4. Lining a Skirt with an Inverted Box Kick Pleat
  5. Side Lapped Zipper
  6. Hand Picking a Zipper
  7. Hand Stitched Invisible Hem

So, for January’s Monthly Stitch: New Year = New Skill 2014_01_badgechallenge, we are all trying our hand at new (to us) techniques.New SKills Outfit10

Twinkle Twinkle, Little Skirt

I used the Masculin et Feminin pattern from the Twinkle Sews book for my skirt, which I made from a lovely stretch silk fabric that I received from Kristin at Sew Classic.  Thanks Kristin!

Since the fabric was a stretch woven, I opted to also line it with a stretch woven.

Skirt Lining

Skirt Lining

The skirt hem was bound with fold-over elastic before hemming.  This was my first time putting a yoke on a skirt as well as inserting an invisible zip.  Having the zip extend below the yoke meant I had to make sure the fabric change points were exact.

Invisible Zip and Yoke

Invisible Zip and Yoke

This was also the first time I’ve used an inverted box kick pleat.  For the skirt, it was not too difficult, although tricky to remember which way to fold and iron.

Inverted Box Kick Pleat

Inverted Box Kick Pleat

However, when it came to inserting the lining, this is where we entered a bit of a grey area.  The pattern pieces for the lining were different from the skirt and the instructions did not seem to correspond to these pieces.  She wants you to “stay stitch a V of reinforcing stitches the length of the kick pleat as indicated on the pattern piece [it wasn’t].  Carefully cut a slit in the lining to the point of the V.” This somehow did not make sense to me since there were 2 back lining pieces that you sewed a back centre seam.  So, why would you cut a slit?  And where?  And then what on the skirt are you sewing these two sides to, since this is a closed inverted box pleat and not an open vent.  There were no pics of the completed lining in the book. I had help from a volunteer sewing instructor and she did not understand these instructions either.  If anybody has made this skirt, please do share how you did this!

I ended up altering the back lining pattern pieces to be mirror opposites of the skirt back pieces and sewing an inverted box kick pleat in the lining.  I then sewed the line of topstitching that lies horizontal to the top of the pleat to include all the layers of fabric of the lining and skirt, to hold the lining in place.New SKills Outfit Back2The book divides the projects according to difficulty and this skirt was classified as a ‘beginner’ project.  I’m not sure I agree with that as there were many aspects (yoke, lining, inverted box kick pleat, invisible zip, waistband, lace overlay, working with slippery satin fabric) that are not necessarily beginner skills.

Another noteworthy aspect of this book is that there are:  no construction pictures; no technical drawings of any kind; no diagrams, just text.  This does make it more challenging to follow along if you are a beginner or a visual learner.New Skills Outfit8The book includes a cd with all  the patterns included in pdf form.  One thing to watch out for:  sizing.  To find your size, according to the author, you need to measure your hips and then add 2″ for seam allowance and then 1″ to 2″ for ease.  (For tops, you measure your bust, add 2″ for SA, then add 3″ to 5″ for ease.)  Now the thing is, I did not realize nor do either of these measurement add-ons before cutting my skirt!  I found my measurements on the measurement chart and printed out that exact size.  The skirt fits me rather well, and, while it’s true I made the skirt from a two-way stretch woven with a small to moderate stretch and the pattern called for a non stretch, I still think the skirt would have been really huge if I had added on an extra 3″ to 4″!!??

I plan on making one of the tops next, but I don’t think I am going to add the extra 5″ to 7″ (for tops) as specified in the book. This seems really extreme, especially since the skirt fits without my adding any SA or ease.

The book, however, does have some simply beautiful garments in it.  They are all very creative and interesting, constructed from a variety of different fabrics and styled nicely, as well.  This is what immediately appealed to me when I bought the book.

Some exciting news:  Threads magazine has one of the dress patterns from the Twinkle Sews book available for free!

Click here for the free pattern of this dress.

Click here for the free pattern of this dress.

So, if you don’t have the book and are interested in sampling it, here is the link to download the free dress pattern and instructions.

A Portrait of Gretchen’s Blouse

The top I chose to make from Gertie’s book was the Portrait Blouse.  The pattern was fairly easy to put together and included some nice touches, such as hand sewn invisible hems

Hand Sewn Invisible Hem

Hand Sewn Invisible Hem

for the sleeves and bottom as well as a hand picked side lapped zipper.  It is sewn with a wool / cashmere blend, or at least that is what I was told by the vendor at a sewing expo where I purchased it in the ends bin for $5.00.

Hand Sewn Invisible Sleeve Hem and Bound Seams

Hand Sewn Invisible Sleeve Hem and Bound Seams

The instructions for the side lapped zipper did seem a bit lacking, as I could not completely understand how to insert it just using them alone, so researched online to find tutorials.  I noted that each tutorial was a bit different in their approach.  Does anybody have a favourite tutorial or way of inserting a lapped zip?  Please do share it!

Side Lapped Zip

Side Lapped Zip

The zip was ‘hand picked’ or hand sewn using what is really a very tiny back stitch.  I also hand sewed the hems, using a slip stitch.  I really enjoyed the hand sewing aspect; time moved nice and slowly and precision was so much easier to achieve than by machine and the stitching did, indeed look invisible afterwards.

Hand Picked Zip

Hand Picked Zip

Gertie’s book includes drawings for each step within the instructions, as well as a one or two sentence synopsis of the written instructions.  It includes paper patterns for all the garments.

The book also provides a plethora of information regarding pattern alterations, sewing techniques and, because this book is a take on the 1952, Vogue New Book For Better Sewing, it gives you a lot of insight into vintage patterns.

I thought that this top would be ‘untuckable’ due to the zipper at the hem, but actually it tucks in fine and the zip is not bothersome!

Tuck in your shirt!  And, stand up straight!

Tuck in your shirt! And, stand up straight!

Road Testing With the Sewcialists / Spoolettes

I also ‘road tested’ the skirt at a recent Sewcialists / Spoolettes meet-up.

The Twinkle Sews Skirt in Action

The Twinkle Sews Skirt in Action

Spoolette Meetup

Yours Truly, Gillian, Clare, Sara and Andrea. Hi there, Sewing Sisters!!  Cheers Clare! ‘clink’

small spooletteSewcialists

This was not the first time I’d seen these fantastic lovelies in person and each time it gets better and better.  I can’t wait till the next outing.  Who knew that my new-found hobby/past-time would bring me such joy, not only in solitude, when sewing, but socially as well, through social media, the blogs and, the best part, in real life!!

And, look how happy we all are! 🙂

I leave you with Wonder Woman…

Da na na na na na na Wonder Woman!!

Da na na na na na na Wonder Woman!!

104 thoughts on “A Plethora of New Sewing Skills with Gertie and Twinkle (& a Freebie)

  1. Jilly says:

    I love that outfit! The shoes everything. I have Twinkle Sews and I just haven’t gotten around to sewing anything. But, these look so cute on you, it may just push me over the edge to do something. Thanks for the tips too, something to think about when I finally do get one of Twinkle’s designs started.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Hey Thanks Jilly! This skirt is the first thing I’ve sewn from the Twinkle Sews book and the top is also a first from Gertie’s book. I do love the designs in the Twinkle Sew’s book, but do miss diagrams, construction photos and technical drawings, for sure. I have her ‘Dark Secrets’ top selected to sew next, but may change my mind. It happens. A lot. LOL.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you Bec! I am most definitely making the blouse again, and that is saying a lot since I’ve actually never sewed a repeat pattern yet! I’m going to sew it in a thinner, drapier fabric for something different.

  2. aem2 says:

    I knew I recognized that skirt. It looks great! Sometimes I wonder if they road test instructions on people who don’t know the technique; as a teacher I know I often write instructions I think are completely clear, but I always wind up having to clarify for the students.

    The DC got me Gertie’s book for Xmas, and the portrait blouse is on my list. I like the way it looks on you. BTW, I’ve used this tutorial for lapped zippers: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3728/sewing-in-a-zipper/page/all.

    But… but… where is kitty?

    • Gjeometry says:

      Yup, that’s the skirt! And, thanks! I know what you mean about instructions. And, since I am certainly not a ‘seasoned’ sewist, I assume most of the time, that it is simply me that does not understand. But, when I took it to the community centre and the sewing instructor also did not understand and I also googled info on it which did not come up with instructions like the ones in the book, it did lead me to believe that something was amiss (or perhaps correct but simply very unclear) with either the instructions or the lining pattern pieces or both.

      Yay, to getting Gertie’s book! This is my first make from it and I just love it! I think it will suit you as well, for sure. I will definitely check out your link for lapped zips, thanks for posting it.

      And, I know….Kitty was off doing some important feline work this evening. I debated disturbing him and having him in the post, but alas, you can not ‘make’ a cat, ESPECIALLY Kitty, do anything unless they want to. Ever. And, that’s why we love them! 🙂 Don’t fear, he’ll definitely be front and centre in the next post which will be for Jungle January. Seemed like a more natural fit anyway.

  3. sewhopeful says:

    Fabulous fabulous outfit and beautifully made too. Gorgeous. What fabric is the blouse? And how did you find Gertie’s sizing? I’m asking as that top is in my to do list and seeing yours massively makes me want to get to it.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you thank you Janelle! The blouse is made from a wool/cashmere blend fabric (according to the vendor at the sewing expo I purchased it at for $5.00). It has a nice soft feel and substantial body to it. I’ve just added this to the post as you reminded me I forgot to add that!

      For Gertie’s Portrait top, I made it exactly like the pattern with no alterations in a straight size 2 (the smallest size). I think it fits well once on, but it is a wonderful shimmying exercise in order to pull it on. I blame this on my rather wide, model-esque shoulders (yup, that’s how I’m calling it, you live in your world, I live in mine 🙂 ). Once on, it fits like a glove although there is ample room in the bust, but it looks fine because the fabric has a lot of body. For my next make, I am going to use a thin drapey fabric and sew a size or half size up (4 or between a 2 and 4) and do an SBA. I’ve never done one so it will be good to learn how to do it on this blouse as I really like the way it sews up and I also prefer the tucks in the waist rather than waist darts.

      Can’t wait to see yours!

  4. Sew Melodic says:

    I love the Twinkle Sews book. Your version of the skirt is to die for! Your pattern mash up with the two fabrics is stunning. Wow that is a great list of new skills and worth every minute; your garments are fab!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks very much Melody! It was pretty satisfying being able to add a few more sewing technique notches on the ol’ sewing machine. Have you made any items from the Twinkle Sews book, and if you did, how did you find things like the sizing and instructions? There are definitely some beautiful patterns in that book.

  5. Brooke says:

    Looks like you got a really good fit. =) And good grief! That’s a lot of extra inches to add! Nice that you happened to overlook that because it turned out so much better. I really love the shirt tucked in with your skirt – shows off the nice waistband and side seam details!

    When I sew lapped zippers, I just fold each side of the fabric the appropriate amount (start with the under side of the lap) and stitch it in. Zipper instructions make it unnecessarily hard and confusing. Just put it in. (I hate all the instructions that come with a zipper.)

    hehehe – Wonder Woman spin!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Right?! I know my skirt is stretch woven so will affect sizing outcome but even still, it is not tight at all.
      You are likely right about the zip instructions. I can sometimes over think it and then require more and more clarification to try and figure it out.
      The Wonder Woman spin was an accident. I used the auto-timer option and it captured that pic. I simply had to share it. Wish it had sound effects. 🙂

  6. hamilton chicklets says:

    Looking fabulous, Catja! The skirt is almost as awesome on the inside as it was when worn the right way out! Where on earth did you get that lining?!? And thanks for the book reviews. I’ve had my eye on both but have yet to take the plunge. Overall thoughts? Worth the money? Will you be making more from them? Now… where is kitty?

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Sara! I do have a bit of a ‘thing’ for garment insides. I find myself inspecting all the RTW items I own and being mildly appalled, lol. That lining, you will never find because…..it is not really lining! It is stretch woven polyester blend with a very shiny feel that I purchased at Fabricland. It’s thicker than lining fabric normally is, but worked fine for this skirt.

      I was lucky with Gertie’s book as I got it at the Sewing expo a few months back for $12! I do like the way she describes techniques and offers up pattern alterations and changes to a basic pattern, etc. But, you have to like that ‘vintage-y’ style as the patterns do reflect that in their design. I also wonder what cup size the patterns are designed for, as the Portrait blouse did seem roomy, but, so far, it’s the only thing I’ve sewn from it. Not positive if I’ll sew more since the sizing doesn’t seem to favour me and not all the designs are really my style. I do LOVE the designs in the Twinkle Sews book and is why I purchased it way back when before I even began actually sewing. They are most definitely not vintage, but have a very modern, funky vibe, much more my style and I will be making more, for sure. As I mentioned in the post though, I did have some difficulty with the instructions for the one skirt I sewed and I do really miss the diagrams and construction pics. it is the same as a Burda magazine in that respect.

      Ah, Kitty, You are the 3rd requester for Kitty. Sigh. His fans are definitely disappointed. I opted to let him do his important feline business to rest up for the Jungle January post. And, also, this post was more technical rather than research project and fun, so Kitty tends to like to make an entrance in those types of posts.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Heeee, thank you so much Amanda! It feels gooooood to master some of the sewing basics and gives me more confidence to take on new patterns. (Although, don’t tell anyone, but I actually sewed the skirt in December and only the blouse in January 😉 )

          • Amanda says:

            Dare I mention this….. I put navy squiggle dress on today ( with the hand picked zipper) and it has a hole in the zip where I hand sewed it! Aaagggghhhhhhhhhh! I had to safety pin it! I think I will be back to machine zips!

            • Gjeometry says:

              OH NOES!! I wondered about the stability of the hand picking. But, for my top, I actually machine sewed the zip to the seam allowances, than hand picked the overlap in place. So, the overlap and tiny hand picking stitches hide the zip and the machine stitching, but I think it is much more stable this way. Your dress is a centre zip, so seems more difficult to make it stable with the hand stitching. I hope you can fix it!!

              • Amanda says:

                Oh that was a good plan! I am not sure I will do another hand picked. I always have issues with zips and keep hunting for the zip insertion I can do easily and well. Still hunting! I love concealed zips so think I need to keep practising with these!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Carmen! Isn’t the Monthly Stitch Challenge a blast?! I’m having a really good time and learning a lot about my own sewing by participating. Every month is something different. Join us next month, if you like! February’s challenge is Pants Party, where you will have to sew a pair of trousers. I already have my pattern and fabric (stretch snakeskin twill) picked out.

  7. Kirsty says:

    Where have I been? I’ve never heard of twinkle sews. I must get onto it as I love your skirt – or maybe it’s just the styling with the stripey stockings! Regardless, definitely love the skirt.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Kirsty! I am definitely one for mixing patterned fabrics, I really like the variety of effects. I have not really seen Twinkle Sews makes or the book around on the sewing blogs. I’ve had the book for months as I got it before I actually began sewing, but this is the first time I’ve sewn anything from it. But, now that I’ve posted it, I see a lot of sewists coming out of the woodwork saying how much they like the book! It does have some really beautiful designs in it that range in difficulty but are still very doable for anyone who is not a master in sewing.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Hee hee hee, ‘snappy’, thanks! I want to start making entire outfits instead of just a top or a skirt, because I don’t want my wardrobe to become ‘all skirts’, and etc. so this will make sure I have a nice balance. And, the meet-up was fun! I am so thrilled to be able to meet the sewists and hang out in real life!

  8. Dana says:

    Beautiful work! My favorite lapped zipper tutorial is in a book called Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide to Women’s Wear be Cabrera. It’s actually full of great techniques with easy to follow written and visual instructions and it’s available at the Toronto Public Library. I use this book as a guide when constructing my self-drafted patterns and I’ve been really happy with the results!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Dana! I have not seen that book in the libraries I’ve been to but am off to the library to look for it, for sure, thanks for the tip! Sounds like a very helpful book if you can use it to help you draft your own patterns!

      • Dana says:

        I have to confess that I have the only copy in regular circulation right now. I think there’s a copy at the reference library. The best way to get ahold of this book is to put a hold on it on the TPL website. When it’s available, they’ll ship it to your home branch and let you know.

        • Gjeometry says:

          Ha ha ha! So, YOU’RE the one! Whenever I go to any branch, I immediately make a beeline for the sewing section, so would have seen this book if it were there. I will go online and put a hold on it and see what comes out of it. Thanks!

  9. marie says:

    Love both top & skirt. In spite of all the problems with the lining the skirt looks terrific. And of course the lining is perfect. My daughter in law mentioned how all your outfits look so great on the inside as well as the outside. Good to know that Kitty is resting up for the big jungle scenes to come.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks! The lining did work out just fine the way I did it. I’m still not sure how the book wants it done. Kitty is not only resting up, but planning and designing his OWN Jungle January make.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Yes!!! Nobody has ever told me to Rock the hula and I don’t know exactly what it means, but I LIKE IT!! 🙂 Thanks Sarah, I am definitely having fun on all counts. I feel pretty stoked to have found sewing and only wish I had found it sooner.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Shanni! The fabric Kristin sent me definitely set the tone for the whole skirt and it is a really unique and beautiful fabric. So, I tried to follow with the theme of it without being too ‘matchy-matchy’.

  10. jagodas says:

    Well done, my lady! Love your knack for combining patterns and fabrics. How is your new sewing machine performing for you, I don’t think I heard much gushing about it?

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Jagoda! One of my favourite aspects of sewing is getting to select the fabric type, colour, pattern, design and then combine them. Such a thrill, although I often change my mind A LOT before the end result, LOL. Oh, yes, I was going to do a post on my new sewing machines, including the new one. It is a Janome 2030 QDC. I do like it! The computerized aspect is fun, I’ve only ever had manual machines before. I like the precision and different settings that you can’t get with a manual. I also like that the feet are interchangeable with my and my mum’s Kenmore since Janome also makes Kenmore (saves A LOT on having to buy all new feet). I also got a good deal on it, since I bought it at the sewing expo. So, conclusion: I do like it, for sure, but, so far, it doesn’t make me swoon with delight or anything like that. I probably have to use more of the functions to be more impressed with it, as I’ve not done all that much sewing on it.

  11. lainie132 says:

    Have loved your postings, particularly Kitty’s away team report. 

    Great to see the final skirt. The invisible zipper and the work-around on the pleat are both well-done. The top also looks great with the bound edges and the hand-picked zipper. BTW, at the last class last year, did you leave behind a plastic bag with bobbins, snips, marking pencil, etc? Let me know and I’ll get it back to you.  Elaine

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

    • Gjeometry says:

      Heee! Kitty does write a mean Star Trek Log, doesn’t he? Yes, I was hoping you’d check the blog and see the skirt! The lining did work out fine and the invisible zip was actually really easy to do especially with the Janome foot I have. I am slowly becoming a fan of hand picking / hand sewing. There is a certain calmness about it and you can really get the stitching precisely where you want it.

      I do not recall leaving behind a bag with that stuff in it. Has the class started up again for this year? I am actually going to a community centre right near me for a winter class until March, then was hoping to join your class for the spring-time session. Thanks for stopping by the blog, Elaine, nice to hear from you!

      • Elaine says:

        Yes, we started up last week. Are you ready for this – we have a male student this time. He doesn’t appear to be intimidated by the women.. Have fun in your winter class and we can catch up in the spring.
        Two points on earlier posts:
        – most patterns a drafted to a B-cup so learning to do a SBA in different styles will be very useful
        – adding ease – measure a favorite garment and use the difference between the garment and your actual measurements. Always err on the conservative side, you can always make it smaller.

        • Gjeometry says:

          Nice!! Yes, I think an SBA will be a brilliant thing to master as most styles of tops, especially fitted are not going to work for me. I wonder what cup size Gertie’s book designs for? I just found out that the Deer and Doe Belladone dress I was working on (the one made out of silver and gold silk), her patterns are drafted for a C cup. D’oh!! That would be why I had so much ‘tweaking’ to do on the bodice.

  12. Andrea says:

    Wow – both blouse and skirt look lovely and look at all the new skills you learned from making them. I have taken a look at the Twinkle Sews book before and did not realize the patterns come with no SAs or ease – good to know. As for the portrait blouse, I use Gertie’s book as a sewing reference but had not thought about making the patterns until I saw your blouse. Very cool, Ms. Catja!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you very much Andrea! Yes, these two projects were jam packed with new (to me) techniques. That’s one of the reasons why I was surprised that the skirt I made from the Twinkle Sews book was classified as ‘beginner’ since it had so many different and new techniques. It feels good to be able to know how to do them now.

      Yes, check the beginning of the book for sizing (page 12) to see where she explains how to choose your size. You don’t have to actually add in (i.e draw) the SA and ease to the pdf patterns, but rather you are supposed to add both of these measurements to your bust size or hip size, and then select that measurement from the chart as to what final size you are. It does seem like an excessive amount of ease though, if the skirt I made is any indication of the rest of the book, since I did not add either SA or ease to my size.

      I’m not sure if I’ll make any other of Gertie’s patterns from the book since they are not as much my style, but I do think it’s a terrific sewing reference resource as well. Although I do think I will make the Chantilly Lace Blouse (a variation of the Portrait blouse).

  13. crab&bee says:

    I’ve always been intrigued by the Twinkle Sews projects but never followed up. And I just love the design lines of the Portrait Blouse. Way to make a lovely outfit and up your skills all at once!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Morgan! I loved the Twinkle Sews book when I bought it but had never sewed anything from it till now. I think the projects just looked too advanced for me back when I purchased it and the lack of construction diagrams is definitely not for a complete beginner. I’d love to see what you’d make if you decide to use the book as I find a number of the projects really lovely and different.

      I really like the Portrait blouse as well! It has a nice shape to it and is a good mix of loose and drapey around the upper bodice, but also fitted at the waist and shoulders. I have plans to make the other version of it, the Chantilly Lace Blouse.

  14. Caroline Joynson says:

    Wow, I love the portrait blouse it has very flattering lines and looks great on you. Onto the beautiful skirt and it has a definite couture look to it becuas of your delicious choice of fabric. What a lovely outfit – and new skills for life too!!
    Hey this is the first photo-shot I’ve seen for a while sans-Kitty – Hope she is enjoying the New Year as much as you!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Caroline! I really like the Portrait blouse too. It’s funny because my version looks nothing like hers in the book, as she sewed hers in a larger size with a very thin drapey charmeuse. It looks like an entirely different top, so I’m also going to make one like hers and hopefully have an entirely new look for my wardrobe. Isn’t that skirt fabric great? I’m so glad Kristin sent it to me! I liked the yoke fabric with it as well, as it kind of has a ‘lace’ pattern printed on it. And, I know….I’m actually sad to not see Kitty here as well. This was just such a technical post with not a lot of fun pics, so Kitty opted out. He will be back in animal print style for our next post for Jungle January, however (where he will have his own make!) Happy New Year!

  15. smittenness says:

    Absolutely lovely pieces and always such fun to read. I was skimming over the comments and saw you suggested machine sewing the zip to the seam allowance and then hand pick the overlap, great idea!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks so much! Yes, I followed both Gertie’s directions for a hand picked lapped zip, from the book, as well as looked up some information online. So, between them, I came up with my zip. It seems pretty strong, won’t rip out too easily. Oh, I also only used a ‘single’ thread for hand picking it, not a double thread as is usually suggested. I figured it was only holding the lap closed, not holding the zip to the top, so no need to go double and the thread was truly invisible this way.

  16. Born To Organize says:

    I love the skirt. The fabric works really well with the yoke material. You’ve also done a really nice job on the finished seams of the the blouse. It looks quite professional.

    I’ve sewn for years, and often find instructions lacking. I feel your pain.

    I wonder if the back lining was meant to be one piece instead of two (on the fold rather then a seam, hence the need for the reinforced stitches and the v. Confusing either way.

    Well done on all the new sewing skills. I agree, that was not a beginner pattern.
    You look adorable as always.

    Waving to all of you, above {waving, waving] Hello sewing sisters!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Alyss! Yes, I wish there was even just ONE pic of the construction process for the lining of the skirt to help explain what she meant. It does seem like she is referring to one piece since she mentions slicing it, but in fact, the 2 back lining pieces are both different from each other, so it couldn’t have even been cut on a fold. ?? Still a mystery for me.

      (waving back). Isn’t it fantastic to be able to meet bloggers in the real world? The best!

  17. Eleyna says:

    Wowee!!! That’s a LOT of new sewing techniques!!! Amazing job!

    I loooove your makes! And soooo jealous of your meet up! I’m going to meet up with you Torontonians one day!

    Also, thanks for the freebie link – I love it!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Eleyna! Yup, I thought why just learn one new sewing technique in an outfit when you can jam in seven?? 🙂 I would LOVE it if you’d come up north to meet up! Do for sure give a shout if you are up this way to visit family. And, you’re welcome for the link! Let me know if you are going to make the dress, and I can sew it at the same time! We can be twinsies. (And, I can ask you questions, in case I can’t figure out the instructions).

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you Laura!! I love the portrait blouse as well. Have you made it before? I actually could not find a tonne of folks online or the blogs that had sewn this blouse.

      • laurahoj says:

        I have not made it, but I have the book and it is the pattern that I like best. I should make it! I know Jo from Sew Little Time made it. I don’t know of anyone else, though.

        • Gjeometry says:

          Oh, I will pop over and look at Jo’s blouse. I’m not sure why its not more popular. It’s great and pretty simple to sew and I think it would look good on all kinds of shapes.

  18. Boomdeeadda says:

    Every inch of your new outfit is wonderfully stylish and I also loved the stockings and shoes. I bought very similar stockings in San Francisco but Seafoam and Black. I had them on one night but Mr B wasn’t feeling the vibe. Honestly, I need to ‘Hippy-fie’ that guy, he’s a wee be conservative. It must be true, in romance anyways, opposites do attract, LOL

    I really love those two fabrics together, similar enough to complement one another perfectly. The tiny floral print is so classy, yet with a hint of disco shine to it. I always think how you choose just the right fabrics for a project, it’s a real art I think. I love your individuality. By standing in front of your delightfully cheery wallpaper, your photo is a giant bouquet of Fun.

    I don’t think I’ll ever be sewing from a book with no photo’s or tutorial, that’s pretty top notch stuff. But I did have fun with my simple little peasant dress and thought, I really should do this more often. It’s also fun to actually wear something that was flat fabric on your desk once (or in my case a whole year, LOL)

    Thanks for including the wonderful photo with the Spoolettes, I can tell that’s a fun group. You look as cute as ever and you’re so right about hooking up with Blogging friends. Now, go spin Wonder Girl…spin…spin…xoK

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks so much Kelly! And, duh, ‘seafoam’ and black, LOL. I call these my Wizard of Oz Wicked Witch stockings. As long as you and Mr. B agree on the things that matter, he can voice his opinion all he wants over stockings. 😉
      The skirt fabric is really ‘reversible’ in that the other side is all of that shiny coppery brown with the flowers in black (you can see it in the ‘skirt lining’ pic) I had SUCH a hard time deciding which side to use. But figured, like you say here, this side has just a hint of disco shine.

      Yes, when I bought the Twinkle Sews book, I had not even begun sewing clothing. So, didn’t realize that no pics, diagrams, technical drawings etc. would be a problem. I’m so glad that I waited till now to try one of the patterns or I fear I would have been totally turned off the book and sewing garments because it would have been too challenging earlier on. Isn’t it great to be able to wear something you sewed?? I just love your peasant dress. It’s hippie, for sure, but not so loose and long that it doesn’t also look very modern.

      Go, go gadget – meeting up in real life!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Doooooo Iiiiiitttt Gail! The blouse is a fairly easy pattern, but the tucks and hidden away lapped zip and invisibly hemmed sleeves and bodice make it look very luxurious and like it took much more time than it really does!

  19. symondezyn says:

    Great job on both makes! I was JUST thinking about you and your pledge to make something from each of these books, because I’m almost finished my Gertie pencil skirt! 🙂 Your Masculin et Feminin turned out spectacularly – the fabric is perfect and you did a stellar job on the construction! Yes, I agree, it’s not particularly ‘beginner’ is it… the book I think assumes you at least know your way around a sewing machine, and have some common sense. I really love that aspect of it but I can see it being misleading for a ‘true’ beginner.

    The main difference in doing a lapped zipper, (in my VAST experience of only doing two ever LOL), is that the seam allowance on one side is left a little bigger than the other so it overlaps the zipper teeth. There’s a separate chapter in the Gertie book that explains it pretty well, but her Craftsy class on the Bombshell dress is where I learned to do it first, and that’s the best way – seeing it in full motion! ^__^ There’s nothing more satisfying or beautiful than inserting a hand picked lapped zipper, IMO 🙂 Although I too like to machine stitch the underlap part and hand pick the overlap as well, on areas that will receive a fair bit of stress ^__^

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you Amanda! Yup, I finished my sewing book makes. They were actually supposed to be blogged for The Monthly Stitch’s Sewing Book challenge in November, but I didn’t get them finished, so since I ended up learning SO many new techniques, they fit in perfectly with this month’s challenge.

      Yes, the Twinkle Sews book definitely does not assume you are beginning to sewing, at least not garment sewing. Just the lack of construction pics/diagrams alone make it not for a true beginner.

      And, that’s how I ended up doing the lap zipped! All the tutorials I looked up, have you sew the seam, then stop and just want you to fold the zipper allowance with one side wider to fold over, but I found this made a small bump above the zip where it attached to the rest of my seam. This could have been because my fabric was thicker. So, I unpicked the whole seam and made one side wider than the other. I don’t have the Bombshell dress course, but realize that I do have the zippers course from Craftsy!! It’s actually free if you don’t have it. I forgot about it and wonder if they would explain and show this kind of zip? I will go have a look.

      Looking forward to your Gertie pencil skirt! Besides the portrait blouse (which I’m going to make again, but the Chatilly Lace version) the pencil skirt is also on my list to make. Can’t wait to see what you thought of it!

  20. foamofdays says:

    Love both the skirt and the blouse! Perfect fit and I love your combination of fabrics!
    I heard mixed reviews about Twinkle sews book, but designs are cute, I especially like the cover dress..

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Julia! Do you recall what the mixed reviews for Twinkle Sews book were about? I’m curious if they thought there were problems with the actual patterns or with the directions, etc. I do love the garments, so want to sew more, but don’t want to be frustrated if the pattern pieces are not ‘jiving’. The cover dress is fabulous!

        • Gjeometry says:

          Yes, I noted the sizing and adding SA and ease seems to be not only confusing but would have ended up with an inappropriate size. But, as long as the pattern pieces fit together and it sews well, then it’s easy to just measure the paper pattern and size it that way. Of course that involves your number 2 point, which is that you have to print off each size separately and then tape the pages together. Can’t win ’em all. LOL.

  21. Laurie says:

    Fabulous outfit Catja… I love the mix of the fabrics you chose. You are very talented at putting things together! Both of these are items I would sew- I already have Gertie’s book and one of these days will get to it! Twinkle Sews definitely has some unique items! I am afraid the freebie pattern would not be my style- but one of my girls could rock it!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Laurie! I put a lot of thought into my fabrics selection (too much, as often a project is pushed back weeks with my ever changing mind of fabric/notions pairings, LOL). I think the Freebie dress is adorable, I love the neckline and sleeves. Your daughters would definitely rock it! For me, I would definitely either lengthen it to a maxi dress or wear it as a halter top.

  22. My Sewing Suite says:

    I love the fabric you used for your skirt, and the portrait turned out lovely. I had not heard of Twinkle Sews..another new book to check out. Thanks for sharing.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks very much Jennifer! I love that the skirt fabric has that sheen/sparkle to it. I have had the Twinkle Sews book for a while but this is the first item I’ve sewn from it. I havn’t seen a lot of garments from this book on the sewing blogs but I think the designs are great and will be trying another pattern from it.

  23. KristinKristin says:

    Gahhh I can’t believe it has taken me this long to comment! I love the skirt and I’m so happy you liked the fabric and found such a wonderful use for it! That said, the construction sounds like a nightmare but you seem to have overcome the potential problems because it looks gorgeous – I especially love how you finished the skirt inside. It’s so brilliant!! (What’s not brilliant is adding all of those inches onto your size – why would you want something so huge?)

    • Gjeometry says:

      Yay, thanks so much Kristin! I think the fabric worked deliciously with this pattern! I definitely had some difficulty trying to decipher the instructions and pattern pieces for the lining, but, I think the way I did it worked out just fine. And, I’m glad I used stretch knit for the lining as well, because it really adds to the comfort of this ‘pegged’ shape of skirt. And, yes, I still don’t understand the sizing and adding the SA and ease. Seems a bit extreme. Thanks again for the fabric!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Mel!! Yes, I’m fully aboard the sewing skillzz train now, and moving towards the front car! Mostly, though I stop a lot in the bar car, but still……soon…the front car!! 🙂
      And, I wear dresses rarely, so for, me I prefer to make a whole outfit with separates.

  24. Anonymous says:

    That is such gorgeous skirt! the mix of fabrics you chose is totally what makes it! I just love how you’ve styled it with the stripe-y stockings too; so cool!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you Becca! I like the blouse style too and will be making more. But, likely do a bit of an SBA to help it fit better. I have not made that free pattern Twinkle Sews dress, let me know if you do, I’d love to see it!

  25. Chuleenan - C Sews says:

    I have Gertie’s book, too but I haven’t made anything from it. Your skirt looks great and goes nicely with your top. I’ve done a kick pleat on a vintage dress I made a couple years ago. The dress had two lining panels for the skirt so it wasn’t exactly fully lined. That part was the easy part of that pattern (it had a tricky neckline). If you’re interested I can IG photos of the inside lining for you to see.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Hi there! You can easily contact me through any of the social media icons located at the top of this blog (LET’S CONNECT section), or you can also email me through the email form located at the right hand side of the HOME page of the blog. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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