Pattern Review: Style Arc Gertrude Designer Dress
Style Arc: Gertrude Designer Dress
This midcalf-length cocoon dress has plenty of crisp, interesting details. It has a jewel neckline, dropped shoulder seams, and front and back diagonal yokes. Shaped darts originate at the front and back yokes and release into inverted box pleats. The two-piece sleeves have a dart at the shoulder and the option for three 1/2-inch-wide tucks in the underarm area. There is an invisible zipper closure at the center-back seam. Even though the different sizes are color-coded, our tester found the match points difficult to locate on the lines of this multisize pattern. The pattern instructions are limited but straightforward and contain only a few small illustrations.
- The instructions include a color-coded diagram indicating how the pattern pieces fit together. However, the lack of illustrations may make it more difficult for those unfamiliar with the inverted pleat method used.
- The 1/4-inch-wide and 3/8-inch-wide seam allowances reduce bulk but require precise cutting and stitching.
- Take your time tracing the pattern and cutting the fabric.
Our tester thought this design could be challenging to adjust for a full bust due to the shaped darts and tuck details. The pattern recommends silk and rayon, but our tester says these fabrics might be too drapey to highlight the inverted pleats. Choose linen, crepe, and lightweight suiting.
(Sized 4–30 for busts 33.13–61 in. and hips 35.38–63.38 in.)
—Tested by Janith Bergeron, Barrington, New Hampshire
Sewing Tip: Apply fusible interfacing to stabilize the zipper area, as the narrow seam allowance may fray or otherwise prove tricky to handle.
This review was originally published in Threads #210, August/September 2020. Have you made this pattern? If so, be sure to share pictures in our Readers Closet gallery.
Illustrations by Steven Fleck.
I made the dress recently in a workshop with Susan Khalje. I used a jacaranda blue linen, and underlined it with silk organza.
It's a great dress, and the seams enabled us to get the fitting just right - and I have a full bust. Make a muslin, get someone to help fit it, and it will be gorgeous!