The Night and Day Dress from Gertie… where to even start on that?
Gertie has developed an amazing approach to sewing patterns where she designs pieces that are interchangeable with each other. This approach gives you a lot of freedom in designing and sewing your own dress.
For the Night and Day Dress pattern there are 72 possible dresses that you can make. If you want value for money, this pattern is it!
So far I’ve made two dresses with this pattern and used almost all of the same pattern pieces, yet I made two totally different dresses. One for fall and one for spring. I also had to make a few adjustments that I will discuss at the end.
The Plaid Fall Dress.
The first I made with this pattern was a plaid dress with a velvet collar. There is just something about plaid and velvet that matches amazing.
Me being me, the seams had to match. So I took a lot of care in matching the seams on the bodice center-back and matching the skirt seams in the front and back on and angle. (on the cross-grain, which is also how the “grain” of the skirt pieces is designed)
For this dress I used the following pattern pieces: round-neck bodice, scarf collar, 3/4 length sleeve and the flared skirt.
I bought both fabrics for this dress at my local fabric store Van Domburg Textiel. The plaid keeps you nice and warm. I lined the bodice with plain cotton for more comfort and to have a nicely finished bodice. I also used cotton for the under collar for less bulk and for the sleeve facings.
The Lemon Spring Dress.
I’ve had this fabric for almost a year when I got around to making a dress out of it! I wanted to make this dress out of the lemon print fabric (bought at Driessen Stoffen) with green details last year but it was already getting colder and this was definitely a warm weather dress.
For this dress I mainly used the same pattern pieces as the plaid dress. I only changed up the sleeve to be a short sleeve with a turn-up in the accent fabric.
The Skirt is also the flared skirt from the pattern with an added adjustment of slant-pockets with a green detail. I drew this pocket myself and I’ll make a separate blog post on how to do this soon.
I’ve worn this dress as my birthday dress and really loved it. I find it super flattering on me and absolutely love it.
Fit of the Pattern and Adjustments.
The Night and Day Dress pattern offers a big variety of sizes and it includes different cup-sizes! Cup sizes in patterns are very different then bra-sizes so always check the fitting instructions of the pattern to find the right size. For the plaid dress I used a C-cup and thought it fitted nicely. I did find this dress to have a lot of room at the back of the neck and the waist-seam was a bit low on me at the front.
Adjusting the bodice
Because I wanted my plaids to match on the center-back seam I couldn’t take a wedge out and make it fit better at the back. The extra room isn’t noticeable when I wear the dress but for the lemon dress I took a 3 cm seam allowance at the the top of the center-back seam, tapering it to the regular 1.5 cm above the waist. By doing this I removed 3 cm in the top of the back and the fit is a lot better. It did mean I had to adjust the collar, making it a little shorter on the center-back, this was very easy to do.
I also took another look at the finished garment measurements and opted for a B-cup on the lemon dress. This made the bodice a better fit and the waist-seam was in a better place on my body.
Adjusting the sleeves
Another adjustment I had to make to this pattern was on the sleeves. I have quite big arms and find myself enlarging sleeves a lot. On this pattern the underarm seam is quite high. I already red that a lot of people experienced this with this pattern, and so did I. It was digging a little into my armpit and that’s not comfortable.
To solve this I lowered the underarm seam by 2cm at the underarm, curving back to the arm-cycle around the notches. This made the seam no longer dig into the armpit, hooray! Because the underarm is now lowered, you have a bigger arm-cycle and have to adjust the sleeve as well (or your sleeve will be to small for the adjusted arm-cycle). I couldn’t find a calculation or method on how to do this. I measured some things and added 2cm on both sides of the underarm-seam of the sleeve. This made the sleeve fit in the adjusted bodice and made it fit my arms at the same time.
I do feel I got lucky doing the adjustment this way so please don’t refer to this as a good way to do a sleeve and arm-cycle adjustment.
These kind of adjustments is exactly why you should always make a muslin. It will show you where you need adjustments and you can fix these things before cutting the final fabric.
For the skirt, I added a little length at the seam-line but haven’t made any other fit adjustments to the skirt pieces.
I would love to make the square neckline next! It’s something I wanted to make for a long time but have to find a good fabric for. I also really want to make the bishop sleeves in a next version of this pattern.
Which dress is your favorite, plaids or lemons?