Butterick Patterns by Gertie B6354 - Wanda Woodward Wearable Toile

by - 8/01/2016

My wearable toile of my B6354 bustier to skirt pattern hack!

Hi everyone! This post is a little different from my usual for quite a few reasons! To start, it's my first 'pattern hack' post, my first fitted make and my first wearable toile! Also this post will lead on to another post with the final make and full instructions on my pattern hack. That's why this post will be a little shorter than normal as it's more of an introduction to the main dress - if that makes any sense...

But stay with me!

So here's a peek at the pattern I'm using:

So many awesome possibilities!

First things first, I should explain this make is for an exciting sewing blogger collaboration I'm working on with some fabulous vintage style sewing bloggers. We're all sewing this Butterick Patterns by Gertie B5654 tiki pattern, but all in different ways! For me, this tiki pattern is totally out of my comfort zone, but I've loved the look of it since I first saw it. So even though I probably wouldn't have chosen it on my own accord, it was great to broaden my sewing horizons and try something new.

Personally I felt like I wouldn't get much wear out of separates, and I didn't want to spend time and resources sewing pieces that would just sit unloved in my wardrobe. But I thought if it were a dress I'd be far more tempted to wear it. So I decided my take on this pattern would be a bustier to skirt pattern hack! Creating a super sassy, boned pencil dress.

Sewing Supplies from WeaverDee

If you've read any of my previous pattern posts, you've probably noticed toiles (or mock ups) are something I tend to 'forget' to do... Much to my later self's annoyance. But this time I wanted to do things properly, especially since the dress would be tight fitting.

My default choice for practice garments is always polka dots. I could happily make everything in polka dots forever. Then I spotted this super affordable black and white polka dot cotton on WeaverDee and I knew it would make such an awesome toile with some serious Wanda Woodward vibes!


Queen! (Wanda Woodward Cry-Baby 1990)

Wanda Woodward from the 90s Johnny Depp film Cry-Baby is a badass rockabilly style icon. And this polka dot, strapless pencil dress had her name written all over it, don't you think? As soon as I wiggled in to it and put on my red lipstick I was totally in character!

I'm not going to go in to detail on the construction and my pattern hack instructions as I'll be writing all about that in my upcoming main post: Butterick Patterns by Gertie B6354 - Bustier to Skirt Pattern Hack! #RetroTikiCollab. I also didn't want to overload my other post with images and I thought this sassy toile deserved a post all of its own!

But what I will say is, I totally loved this pattern and I'm such a fan girl for Gertie Hirsch I couldn't wait to finally try one of her designs. I've got 2 of her books but am yet to delve in! I'm also really proud of my pattern hack and the two dresses I created with this pattern. I hope you guys will love it too and be inspired to try it out!

Creating this dress has certainly had a boost to my dress making confidence and ability to play with patterns and designs. I did a lot of it at university, but lingerie design is a whole other game! It was also my first time sewing with boning since uni, so that took a bit of getting used to, but certainly isn't anything to be scared of.

It took a lot of trying on to get the fit just right, but I'm really happy with the final outcome. It fits my shape really well, and I feel totally supported. For these images I wore a strapless bra and a corset to create a 50s hourglass shape and the effect is perfect for this wiggle dress! I did go to make the halter neck strap, but I really liked the strapless look instead for this number.

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Butterick Patterns by Gertie B6354 - £8.00 - WeaverDee

Fabric: 4m of Polycotton Candy-Spot Fabric - White on Black - £2.99 pm , 1m of Value Interfacing - Iron-on Lightweight - £1.99 - WeaverDee

Notions: 1x Concealed Nylon Zip [580 Black] - 22" / 56cm - £1.38, 3x Cotton Covered Boning - White / 12mm - £1.75 pm - WeaverDee

Sewing time: A full day including my pattern reworking.

Modifications: Wait and see!! Stay tuned to see all the modifications I made to this pattern to turn the bustier and sarong skirt in to a pencil dress.

Fit: Tailored to my figure, with more detail in my next post.

Difficulty: Surprisingly simple.

Watch out for: Shhh... Details to follow.

Make again?: Yes and I certainly did! ....

Sorry for such a cryptic, un-informative post but I promise all the details will be in my next post. I hoped you enjoyed seeing my first toile for my first pattern hack. I can't wait to show you the final dress and tell you all about how I created it. Along with sharing some fabulous content from other vintage inspired sewists and show you our interpretations of this awesome tiki pattern!

Get this super sassy Wanda look for yourself at the fabulous online haberdashery Weaver Dee!

Thanks for reading, pinups!

P.S. I hope you like this new style of photography. I bought a photo back drop to shoot my new collection for My Retro Closet and thought this would be a good excuse to test it out!

The pattern, fabric and notions were my choices supplied to me free of charge by Weaver Dee. But all thoughts & opinions are my own

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  1. Fabulous job, I can't wait to see the finished tiki dress in more detail. I have never seen that film, I have to watch it now!!

    1. Thank you so much! The film is fabulous, even just for the fashion, definitely check it out! xo

  2. Wow you look absolutely fab! I love the dress - I can't believe it's only the toile, so great that it's a wearable one. I agree with the separates - I couldn't really see myself getting much wear out of them - so I love how you've put them together. Can't wait to see the final version :) x

  3. I didn't even consider a non tiki print! And it looks incredible!!! What a great toile, I only ever use calico, so a splendid change.

  4. Love the large polkadots! Can't wait to see the final dress :)
    The Artyologist

  5. Wowsers!! This is amazing!

  6. To be shared on SSB friday. Thanks for permitting. https://www.facebook.com/SassySewingBees