I love all things vintage, so when I saw Craftsy’s class Sew Retro Perfect Bombshell Dress by Gertie I couldn’t resist. I scored a great deal on the class during one of their sales and figured I’d eventually get around to making it… that was in March.
Then I saw i heart fabric and Peneloping were having a Copy Cat Challenge and I instantly thought of this L.A.M.B. dress that I’ve wanted for so long but have never been able to find how or where to buy it. (L.A.M.B. is Gwen Stefani’s clothing line by the way – and yes, shocking I’d pick to copy Gwen LOL)
Here is the original and my version:
I have to say … this dress was a bitch to make, but I’m so incredibly proud of it. I feel like it is a work of art. The Craftsy class was fantastic and I really did learn so much from it. I loved seeing how someone else sews and the process they go through. It’s refreshing to see what they do when something doesn’t go exactly right and how it’s not really a big deal, just fix it and move on. This class helps you all the way through the entire process of making a truly amazing dress that will fit you perfectly (unless you are like me and lose 5 pounds somehow before wearing the dress to an event!).
The course is 15 lessons long and helps you with printing a pdf pattern, assembling the pattern, cutting it out, tracing the markings, making a muslin and the correct fit for the bust and all the way up to finishing the dress. Throughout the course Gertie is really great about giving little tips and tricks and helping explain why to do something a certain way. I felt like I gained a ton of knowledge and have a new appreciation for hand sewing – btw, there is a TON of hand sewing! It’s not so bad though, just watch some TV and sew
The hardest part were the bra cups – I made 3 muslins! I wanted the fit to be perfect so I forced myself to keep making them until it looked great. Gertie did a great job of explaining how to do a bust adjustment but it took a lot of trial and error. Now that I have the altered pattern I can remake this dress over and over and no more adjustments. Gertie recommends to use needle punch or cotton batting for stability in the bust cups but I ended up using molded foam bra cups. I couldn’t find the correct batting so I tried out felt at first and it ended up looking lumpy, I don’t know about you – but I don’t particularly want my boobs to look lumpy! I like the molded cups but I think next time I will cut off some of the height, so the cup part doesn’t look so huge.
For the skirt I drafted my own pattern and same with the peplums. Each side has 5 layers of peplum and the second layer has a hidden pocket. I love pockets and knew I’d need to incorporate some into this outfit. I just did a quick bound pocket and since I tend to have things fall out of my pockets all the time I slapped a zipper overtop.
I lined all the peplums with the same yellow that I lined my bodice with:
I also added gingham ribbon to the ends of each peplum:
The course requires spiral steel boning but I can’t get that around where I live and didn’t have enough time to order it off the internet, so I used plastic boning instead. I wish I would have ordered spiral steel though, mainly because it would have been more structured. I’m not unhappy with the plastic but steel would have been 100x better. Next time I will. Either way, I think the lining looks gorgeous:
There is so much detail and pure love put into making The Bombshell Dress. The black and white ribbon around the waist is the waist stay and it really does help keep everything sitting just right. It also helps when you put the dress on, you hook the waist stay together and it makes zipping up the garment much easier.
Speaking of zipper, I love this added touch that Gertie recommends – a zipper guard. I had never thought of doing this:
Gertie has a slight obsession with lapped zippers, so naturally that’s what goes on this dress. I have to say it is a really nice added touch, takes the garment up a notch.
This is the dress I wore during my sewing panel at the 2013 Husqvarna Viking Convention. I had so many compliments on it – thank you everyone!
Now, for pictures of me in the dress
Overall I think this is a great course and it really helped me learn more about fitting, structure and a few new tricks along the way. This course isn’t for a beginner and you may have a few random curse words come out of your mouth… a lot… but it’s worth it, I promise! Just remember when you start it that it will take time, this isn’t something you’ll finish in a few days (and if you do – you deserve a freaking award!). I don’t know if I care to admit how many hours went into this. All that said, i already have plans for another one
Oh, and what would this website be with some pet photo bombing?!
Lastly, I figured I should add the BurdaStyle pattern link here… duh http://www.burdastyle.com/pattern_store/patterns/52011-bustier-dress-with-draped-detail