Gertie's 'Popover Dress' & Sewing with a Vintage Bed Sheet!

by - 5/31/2019

She's back! For one afternoon only at least...It's been a while since I made something with a 1950s vintage flare, let along pin curl my hair and wear red lipstick. In hindsight, I wouldn't have called my blog what I did! Alas, every so often a pattern grabs my attention and I just need to make it.

I love Gertie Hirsch and everything she does, so when she released a new book 'Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses' I had to have it. But this time around the appeal was mainly the simple ethos of the retro dress designs in the book. I don't like sewing projects that I can't do in one go, simply because I get distracted and will never get round to finishing it or picking it back up. So when I saw the 'Popover Dress', an actual tent style dress you could sew in a couple of hours, sign me up!

Here's a peek at the pattern:

If you're interested in a sew along video for this dress, you're in luck! Gertie's filmed the process HERE.

The dress is made from one main pattern piece which you cut 4 times. It also comes with optional patch pockets and bow ties for the shoulders. I used both on my dress as I love a patch pocket. My phone is so big these days, it's perfect for that. Gertie also includes a more advanced adapted version with a sheered elasticated waist and I'd definitely like to try that too. 

Let's just take a second to appreciate this vintage bed sheet shall we? I've recently rediscovered my eBay obsession, it comes and goes in waves and this time around I came away with some great finds. Including a vintage 1960s double bed sheet and pillow cases in perfect condition. When I saw the fabric I knew it would be the perfect pairing with the popover dress pattern and luckily there was enough fabric in the sheet.

I spot prints like this in America regularly online with hefty shipping fees, but I never seem to find prints like this in the UK. So I snapped this up immediately for under £20! An absolute bargain. The colours are so pretty and fresh and the fabric is a lovely light weight cotton, perfect for turning into a dress. I've still got the pillow cases left over but I think I might just actually use those on the bed, they're too pretty to cut up!

Let's talk sizing! The dress was easy to make and easy to fit. The dress is essentially a big tent (without the shop bought belt) so the only measurement I needed to think about was my bust. I cut the pattern according to my bust size and I'm happy with the overall fit.

However I could size down in this pattern and I think I will next time just to see the difference. I like the fullness in the skirt so wouldn't want to sacrifice too much of that, and the fit across my bust is comfortable, if not roomy (which makes a nice change!). It's a little low for my bras, perhaps next time I would extend the centre front/back by 1cm, but that's only to be nitpicky. As it is, it's perfectly comfortable and it has a great 1950s vibe without the tight fit.

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: The 'Popover Dress' from Gertie Sews Jiffy Dress Book

Fabric: Vintage bedsheet!

Notions: Nothing.

Sewing time: A couple of hours.

Modifications: Nothing.

Fit: Generous and comfortable. Could size down.

Difficulty: Easy peasy. Perfect for beginners.

Watch out for: Getting tidy centre front points is the trickiest part. But worth taking extra time to sew neatly.

Make Again?: Yes! I can see myself making a few of these over the next couple of months to wear over summer. I just need to find some fabrics or thrift some more bedsheets!

For these photos I also wore my favourite petticoat and must have elastic waist belt.

Overall, the Gertie Popover Dress is my ideal 1950s dress. I can feel self conscious a lot, and increasingly in vintage styles which is probably why I haven't made very many recently. But the popover dress provides me with the solution I was looking for. It's quick and simple to sew, and the fitting was easy. Sewing something where I can just go by my bust size (knowing that the waist and hips are free fitting) took so much pressure off the sewing. It's so comfortable to wear and I like how it makes me feel.

Whilst I might not go full Mrs Maisel with the dress when I wear it next, I'll be pairing this with natural hair, pink lips to match the flowers, my straw bag and cat eye sunglasses with my black denim jacket in toe - coming soon to an Instagram near you!

Which is your favourite pattern in Gertie's new book? Have you made the Popover Dress?

Thanks for reading, pinups!

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.

You May Also Like


  1. Thanks for your great blog and pointing out Gertie's sewing videos for this dress. It's my birthday this month and been wanting to make something special but not too scary or advanced and this seems perfect. Your's is gorgeous. How much fabric did you use for the main dress? I've seen different people list different amounts....