Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Yellow Poplin Tropical Sundress

Dear readers, I'm writing this from Arizona! I'm staying with my mom for a couple weeks so I could do some serious sewing without distractions (of course, there have been all sorts of distractions including both of us getting sick, fires to put out at home, and shoe shopping). But the idea was this: my new book is coming out, and it perfectly coincides with the release of my new spring fabric line with Joann. So we'd spend two weeks making all new dresses from the book in the new fabrics, and in the meantime we'd break in Mom's new sewing room. What could be better? I've been doing regular updates on Instagram and Facebook, if you're interested in that kind of thing.

For the first dress, I chose this cheerful yellow and pink Hawaiian print poplin.

I knew I wanted a sundress silhouette, so I chose two of the mix and match skirt and bodice patterns from the book: the strapless bodice and three-quarter circle skirt.

It's similar to the Red Eyelet Sundress, but I used the sweetheart neckline option rather than the straight-across neckline. It's like a Choose Your Own Dress Adventure!
The construction is almost exactly what's described in the book, including a full lining. I used a lovely sunny yellow Kona cotton for the lining. The bodice is fully boned for support. Here it is in progress!

Incidentally, the hair scarf is made from this cotton lawn. I love how the two fabrics look together!

I had always intended this dress to have some sort of halter strap, as that's just something I associate with Hawaiian sundresses. So I made this easy gathered strap that snaps in.

I just made an 8" x 24" rectangle, and sewed it into a tube, then angled the ends so they'd sit properly when worn. I gathered the ends and the middle of the strap, tying off the bobbin threads. I finished off the ends with self binding, and then added snaps.


 I like the halter option, but I think strapless is my favorite for this dress, unexpectedly!
I'll have a lot more dresses to show you; in fact we've already completed several more. I'll tell you more about the fabrics as they ship into stores. Some of them are already available online though! Also, for you international readers, I will have fabrics available for sale in my etsy shop. More to come!


  1. Hi Gertie - The dress look fabulous with the bone but I have never sew one with bone, have not been brave to do it. Just a curious question do you ever feel lost without putting bones in your dresses? Does it make you feel your are missing something without bone in your dresses?

    Sincerely a Fan. :)

  2. The dress is super cute! When a dress is made with poplin (generally machine washable) but has boning and lining, how do you care for it? A part of me would like to try something like this, but I'd hate to ruin it later by not caring for it properly.

    1. I would suggest you hand wash all your handmade pretties! Just wash them in the sink and put them to dry on a drying rack in the shower during the day and you'll prolong their life dramatically!

  3. I cannot wait to get this! I have so many vintage fabrics I've been collecting that are itching to be made into dresses...

  4. The lovely fabric pattern caught my eye, but when I saw that the dress was strapless I nearly moved on -- no way can I pull off a strapless sundress. Well, I'm glad I scrolled down a bit anyway! The snap-in halter strap is a lovely idea.

  5. Congratulations on the new book!
    I'm also always curious about your new fabric designs, Gertie. I really love the jacks fabric in black (I made Colette Peony dress with it that I can't wait to wear). I was wondering if you were thinking of offering more designs of that kind -- minimalist with a slight retro flair. That fabric in the black and white color combination is just perfect.

  6. I love this! I just received your new book in the mail today (I preordered from book depository) and am so excited about it! I've been reading through it all afternoon and already have some dress ideas brewing.

    If I lived in the States, I'd be all over your new fabrics! Guess I'll just have to stalk your etsy shop. ;-)

    I can't wait to see more results from your mother/daughter sew-a-thon.

  7. I just wanted to let you know that as I was reading this my 5 year old daughter peeped over my shoulder and said "who is that? Is that Snow White?!" You are definitely channeling Disney Princess with this dress! In the best way of course :)

  8. Love the dress on you and really love that fabric!

  9. Love the Hawaiian print, just gorgeous!!! Makes me want to make one for myself. I have you first book will have to explore the possibilities in getting this one as well.

  10. What a lovely fabric, and lovely dress, and lovely news that you will sell fabric in your etsy-shop! Now I just need my sewjo-back...

  11. I love the optional halter idea!!! fantastic dress!!!

  12. I love the pink polka-dot cotton lawn. This dress is great.

  13. Snap in straps - what a great idea. I am going to be watching your etsy shop as I am in love with so many of your fabrics:)

  14. I am sooo happy that you will have the fabric at etsy for international buyers like me. I love a lot of your prints but I can not find them in Spain, so you have just make me happy.

    I am waiting for the new book and seeing bits and ideas of what I can find inside it's great. By the way, love the detachable strap idea!

  15. Dear Gertie,

    I can't wait to get your new book!! My baby bump is gone and I am eager to sew new summer dresses :)
    And I am excited that you will sell some fabrics in your etsy shop, as Joann's doesn't ship to my country and there is no one going to the US in the next few months!!

    Kind regards

  16. Gertie - I always look forward to seeing your new creations - you're a clever lass!
    Although I'm past the age to wear most of them, I look forward to being able to buy some of your fabrics on etsy - I need some summer blouses. I've got a pattern.

  17. What a beautiful dress!!!!!

  18. I love the fabric! This collection is the best you've had yet, I think. I'm definitely going to pick up some of the Hawaiian print!

  19. I can hardly wait for your new book to come out- I think this is going to be my favourite one so far, because I love dresses! That dress is gorgeous and the strapless is my favourite version too. :)
    - Nicole

  20. Wow, the fit on this dress is amazing, it's perfect! Love the fabric too.

  21. Just bought some cute seahorse printed fabric this weekend - can't wait to make this dress!


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

© Gertie's Blog For Better Sewing. Powered by Cake