The Gertie B6453 Sew Along View A sews up within a couple hours.
As long as you have your ducks in a row when it comes to your pattern pieces (see my last video about those), you can really quickly make View A because of its simple gathered skirt.
I personally love View A for a few different reasons:
- View A of Butterick 6453 very similar to a popular Pinup Girl Clothing Jenny Dress, which is basic but can be dressed up or down depending on fabric choice.
- The gathered skirt is classic and you can reuse those pattern pieces again and again
- This dress crosses seasons, so you can wear it between spring and fall with no problem. Even for winter, with a cute bolero you’re good to go.
I make a note in my video, but I like to attach facings first to avoid any sort of stretching at the neckline. Even if you’ve done a stay stitch, there may be some warping going on, and I personally prefer to finish the neckline as much as possible before adding anything heavy (the gathered skirt) to pull at the neck
Of course, this cannot always be done, but on a pattern like this, it should probably be taken care of.
Note that in Gertie’s and Butterick’s directions, they did not do this, so for the purposes of my View A video, I went against my instinct and ignored attaching the facings. For View B, though, I’ll be adding them ASAP!
Before getting started
- Watch Redrafting a Facing (recommended for anyone who has had to do some drastic changes to their bodice pieces)
- Get your sewing machine ready
- Bobbins wound
- Test your sewing needles
- Test your stitch length and tension
- Get a cup of tea set up and pick a movie for some relaxing sewing time
Cutting facing is easy at this stage and is pretty straight forward. I also take care to clip my seam allowances, which is a tip I learned from my sewing teacher way back. Clipping the seam allowances help make sure you start and end your seam properly (especially on curved seams.)
Also, I used tailor’s tacks to mark any circles on the pattern. I prefer this method so I don’t have to make a big hole in my fabric and ruin the integrity of the weave (doing this contributes to unnecessary wear and tear).
Water-soluble pens are not a favorite of mine, either. I generally use fabrics that can’t be laundered in my sewing so using water to “erase” a line or dot is generally out of question.
So, definitely try tailor’s tacks!
As per Gertie’s instructions, stay stitch the neckline so it doesn’t stretch out. Also, I recommend finishing your seams bodice seams and adding interfacing at the center back for the lapped zipper later on.
Go slowly on the princess seams!
It can be really easy to speed sew your entire garment, but taking your time to go slowly over the curved seam is important. Clip your seams to make sure you can press your seam properly.
The original straps for this pattern are adjustable, with bra sliders. I decided to forgo doing adjustable straps for this version (will probably make them for my Version B dress) and instead decided to do ties.
The ties are easy to construct and were easily turned with a cheap loop turner.
Luckily, the gathered skirt for the B6453 sew along View A is super simple and easy to handle. The skirt is a rectangle, so the following steps are a short cut:
- Measure the pattern pieces so you don’t have to trace or cut out the pattern itself
- Trace notches on some scrap paper
- Cut your rectangles based on your measurements, clip the notches using your scrap tracings
Also, take care that your gathered ruffles point downwards and sewn straight!
Getting the B6453 Sew Along View A dress to this point is really rewarding! The dress is looking full and luscious- and at this point needs its zipper and a hem, which will be covered in a week or so.