Gertie's Sweetheart Tee Turned Dress

Well my dearies, I have one of my favorite projects to share with you today. I'm not gonna lie, this wasn't always such a winner, but more on that later! This is the sweetheart tee from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual that I made a few minor modifications to and turned into a classic little black dress.


Since I have made this pattern several times in the past, I knew it wouldn't be too hard to turn it into a dress. The first thing I did was shorten it so that it would hit my natural waist instead of my high hip. To do this, I measured from my shoulder to my natural waist, I think it was 16", and then transferred that to the front and back pattern pieces. That was the only pattern change I had to make!


I used a self drafted half circle skirt and attached the bodice to it with some clear elastic for stabilization. Since this was my first time using clear elastic, I messed it up a little by stretching the elastic too much as I was putting it in. Because of this, the waistline is kinda gathered/bunchy, but I used a serger to put it in, and there is no way I am ripping out all those stitches! Besides, with a belt, you can't even tell.


I used a black ponte knit from that you can find here. I purchased three yards, and still have enough left over to make another small project, possibly a t-shirt. Ponte knit is much less stretchy than other knit fabrics I have used. I kinda knew this since, but I was too lazy to think about it for very long. (Shame on me!) This makes the dress a bit snugger than the t-shirts I have made previously, but, thankfully, it isn't too tight to wear comfortably. For the most part.


The different stretch factor really threw me for a loop when it came to the armholes. I cut strips of fabric about two inches wide, and just sewed them on as sleeve binding. Unfortunately, the armholes didn't stretch quite enough. They dug into my underarms and made this dress extremely uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. I kept meaning to cut off the arm bands and redo them so I could wear the dress without getting painful red marks. I finished this dress in March or April. I just fixed the armholes this past week so that I could wear it as my final outfit for OWOP, and I'm so glad I did! I love how this dress looks, and now I can wear it without cutting off underarm circulation.


This last picture makes the fabric look navy. Now I want to make a navy sweetheart dress! Ah, well. Maybe after I finish all my Christmas makes. . .

Jolly day to you!