Gertie’s Fall Dress – Butterick (5953)

As soon as I saw Gertie’s new Butterick pattern – I knew I had to make it. I’m a such a sucker for vintage styles!

i really think those pearls are a tad too big though...

i really think those pearls are a tad too big though…

When this pattern came out I was swamped with my Bombshell Dress for the Husqvarna Viking Convention, so I started this a day after I got back from gorgeous Orlando, Florida (I seriously need to go back there!). For the fabric I used white with black polka dot stretch sateen and the contrast was black stretch sateen. Now, I know I’ve made about 100 garments with this polka dot fabric but I simply LOVE it and can’t help myself. I think it turned out perfect though.

front, back, and how the dress looks during puppy kisses

front, back, and how the dress looks during puppy kisses

I cut out a size 10, which should have been a bit tight in the hips but I wanted a tight pinup dress and I was using stretch fabric. Turns out a 10 fit just right (not tight) in the hips and everything else was too big, especially the bust area. Next time I’ll made the bust a 6, waist a 8 and hips 10. My measurements are 33-28-36 if that helps give an idea of sizing. This pattern is true to Butterick sizing (lots of ease). I know I have an awful time with Gertie’s personal patterns from her book, they don’t fit pear shapes well AT ALL!

Bear - I can't read the pattern silly!

Bear – I can’t read the pattern silly!

After moving my kitty cat off the pattern (a few times…) I finally got started. The directions are very simple and straightforward. I did have issues on a few here and there. First one was #9, it’s just a little confusing. This is where you sew the contrast bust collar flaps (whatever they are called) onto the bodice part of the dress. The issue is that you have to ease the bodice into the collar flaps, there is an extra inch or 2 of fabric so you end up with … well “boob room”. At first I thought I cut something too short but this is correct, and actually does help out in the long run (if you have bigger boobs, I guess).

This was the first time I’ve worked with a godet (the slit flap), it is kind of awkward at first but is actually very simple. I love how the contrast of the godet matches the collar flaps – so pretty! I realized afterward I probably should have understitched the godet on the right and left side, so it would lay hidden a bit better.



Other than those tiny details everything was smooth sailing! I did a blind hem on both the bottom of the dress and the sleeves. For the godet I did a regular hem with a second hem line above it. I did it this way because the godet hem is circular and I wanted to sew down any puckering from hemming. I do have to say this dress was gorgeous even before I put the sleeves on, so you could make it a sleeveless option too! I finished all of my seams with my serger so there wouldn’t be any fraying. You could also use pinking shears for a more ‘vintage’ feel.

Inside of the dress:

ribbon to tie the wrap dress

ribbon to tie the wrap dress

make sure the under layer is flat when you're putting it on - or you'll look bulky!

make sure the under layer is flat when you’re putting it on – or you’ll look bulky!

(Ignore my buttonholes please… my sewing machine isn’t equipped to do successful normal looking buttonholes – it rather make my life a living hell and look like a 2-year tried to do them.)

I had a hard time getting the bust collar flaps to stay down, but that could be because I’m using a cheap $10 iron (my Rowenta is at the iron hospital). I’m sure if I just pressed the hell out of it, it would have been better. Either way – it’s such a pretty bust area!



The pattern calls for covered buttons, but honestly I was being lazy. I love how mine came out, so doesn’t really matter!

So, for this post you get a brand new model! Meet Andrea, she’s one of my best friends! You may remember her from my previous Itty Bitty Baby Dress (Made By Rae) post. I made her some adorable baby clothes for her baby shower. Well, she’s since had the baby and now you get to see how cute baby Bailey is and how fashionable she looks in her dress that matches!

i love that mommy & baby match <3

i love that mommy & baby match <3

Andrea told me how Bailey was going to be wearing the Itty Bitty Baby Dress to her cousin’s wedding and I instantly started asking her to wear my newest dress and promised her it was super cute. She agreed before seeing it – that’s a true friend! I finished up the dress Friday night and met up her the next morning. She loved it and I think she looks gorgeous wearing it :)

making my dress look good!

making my dress look good!



And one more with Bailey it in, because she’s honestly too cute for words!



Overall I would recommend this pattern, it’s pretty quick (except cutting it out… but that’s any pattern with more than 2 pieces) and easy. The hardest part will be the bust collar flaps, but even that isn’t hard. I think it’s super adorable and very vintage. I wouldn’t use too heavy of a fabric since it is a wrap dress and the under layer might lay weird or bulk.

And what would this blog be without a picture of me telling Guinness I’m going to bite his face off and him mocking me?!

"my mom is crazy!" - guinness

“my mom is crazy!” – guinness

Related posts:

42 comments on “Gertie’s Fall Dress – Butterick (5953)

  1. Love it!! Make sure you tell your model I think it looks fabulous on her and the matching baby is just too precious!!!

    • Yay!! Thanks :) It reminds me of one of Cher’s outfits from the movie “Mermaids”… Which I LOVE!

  2. Pingback: Gertie’s Fall Dress – Butterick (5953)

  3. I’m honored to be your friend and help you out by being your model. Thankfully, we have the same style and love everything you make! Keep up the awesome work!!! <3

    • Thanks! You should give it a try – I don’t think it was the right size for the model or maybe the print used?

  4. Wow, this is gorgeous! This pattern has been on my to-make list ever since Gertie announced it on her blog. And I agree with the previous comment that it looks better on you than on the Butterick model – which makes me want to buy it even more! I just need to make some more time for sewing…

    • Aww thank you! It’s hard to have enough time, I know, work and trying to have a life LOL But when you get some time, make it for sure! At least by spring, that way it will be getting a little warmer and you can bust out in a cute dress!

    • I love all these flattering comments! Makes me feel like I used the perfect fabric :) Thank you!!!!!

    • Thanks! I feel like it’s just the right amount of flattering to look “hot” but not trashy in anyway :)

  5. Love, love, love the dress and the dots. I wasn’t too sure about the pattern when I first saw it, but now that I’ve seen your version I’m tempted to order the pattern.

  6. Thank you so much for posting your measurements as well as the size you used. I am about to start cutting this dress out and you have given me a much more accurate starting point. I just hope I can make it look half as good as you did!

    • You’re welcome! I am going to start posting measurements and the pattern sizes I used to help others out… picking a size is SO HARD!!! I’m glad it helped you out and I’m sure yours will look great!

  7. Hi Amy!

    I’m just starting to work on this dress myself, and cut out the muslin last night and noticed that the front darts go up and over my bust points. Did you have the same experience? Did you alter your darts in anyway? (I was taught that bust darts shouldn’t go over your bust point, but maybe this is a vintage style thing or something).


    • I didn’t alter mine at all but mine does go over my bust points. I just checked some “outtake” pictures and it’s well up the top of my bra cup where the bust dart ends. Even when I look at the model it goes over hers. I’m not sure this is a vintage thing or anything but just this pattern?

      • Yeah, I checked out Gertie’s blog and she said that the darts were made for a dress form rather than the model, but due the to beauty of sewing a sewist can make whatever fit adjustments she wants.:P I’m going to reassess my muslin tonight (mostly to make sure the waist falls at my natural waist) and make whatever adjustments I need to based on that… I’m contemplating shortening the length of the darts (but they go up and over my bust points by about 2″!) But it’s good to know that other people had the same issue too :P (And yours is the only review on so far too!)

        • Yeah, my darts are about 2″ above my bust point. I didn’t make a muslin so I just went by the directions and make sure it at least fell at my natural waistline. I think it ended up looking good but the bust part is a bit larger than it should have been. I have a lot of issues with Gertie’s patterns and the bust area anyways.

          • That’s good to know. I have similar measurements as you (well, a little more pear-ish ’cause I haven’t been to the gym in a while :P) and I have her shelf-bust dress in my sewing queue too… definitely going to muslin that one, too. Guess I’ll just make sure to wear a nice, padded bra with this dress :P

          • I should have made the wrap one a size smaller in the bust, if that helps! Also, that shelf bust one angered me so badly… I have a review on here under past projects. Just know that the part that is supposed to go under your bust to boost it up actually goes at your nipples and squashes them LOL

          • LOL! As it is now, it fits me fine (with a semi-padded bra) in the bust area, but if I shorten the darts, I think I might be in trouble, so now I’m hemming and hawing about changing them. Arg! Haha! Thanks for the advice about the shelf-bust… I’ll make sure about the positioning ;)

          • I’d do whatever ends up fitting you better, even if it means the darts are up too high. Good luck with it! Fitting is always the biggest PAIN!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>