I'm a sewing enthusiast in Beacon, New York, with a love of all things retro. This site is all about tutorials, tips, inspiration, and lots of spirited discussion about sewing as it relates to fashion history, pop culture, body image, and gender. My first book, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, is now out from STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books! Also look for my line "Patterns by Gertie" from Butterick.
May I approach a delicate topic? It's a commonly held belief that women don't sweat; they "glow." Not me, readers. I sweat. This is all well and good; it's a natural bodily function after all. But it's a little distressing when one is sweating all over a handmade silk shantung dress.
Like a lot of people, I sweat under pressure. The other day at work, I had to make a phone call that required me to be particularly charming. And convince someone to agree to a fairly major book deal. With my boss watching me. On speaker phone. (I don't know why, but I find speaker phone to be particularly stressful.) I was a little nervous, but it all went splendidly. I don't believe I showed any signs of nerves, but I could feel an anxious, clammy armpit sweat taking over. (I told you this was delicate!) Of course, I was wearing a plum silk shantung dress that shows every little stain.
I later sealed the deal (yay!) and my boss went to give me a high five. It was so one of those "Raise Your Hand If You're Sure!" moments. Readers, I was not Sure.
I started pondering dress shields, which I've seen for sale at the notions store. These little sweat shields come in a surprisingly large variety (sew-in, adhesive, sleeveless, ones that strap on to your bra, etc.). Did you know that dress shields have been around since 1869? They've been made by a company called Kleinert's the whole while.
You can probably guess my question by now: Dear readers, have you ever used dress shields? Are they effective? How do you put them in—by tacking them to the sleeve seam allowances? Help a girl out!
(It's also worth mentioning that Claire Shaeffer writes about dress shields in Couture Sewing Techniques, saying you can make your own by sandwiching cotton flannel between layers of lining fabric.)
Anyway, I'm going to pull a Peter and leave you with a video today. Enjoy!