Gertie’s California Pre-Dapper Day Workshops April 2019 (Plus book signing!)

I’m thrilled to announce that I will be coming to California in April 2019 to teach two sessions of my sought-after dressmaking workshops. I’ve planned the dates to coordinate with Dapper Day, the most fabulous days of the year at Disneyland! Make the perfect dress to wear to this amazing vintage-themed weekend at the park (April 13-14).

Where: Atelier Mela, 109 East Commonwealth Ave, Fullterton, CA 2

First session: April 6-7 (Saturday & Sunday), 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Note: I will also be doing signings of my forthcoming book Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses at the Dapper Day Expo on Saturday & Sunday the 13-14th at the Atelier Mela booth, times TBA.

Cost: $550 (half due on registration; half due 6 weeks before course)

Class level: This fast-paced workshop is not suited to beginning sewers. Please be comfortable using your machine and reading a cutting layout. You should have completed several garment projects, including at least one dress. Feel free to ask me if you’re not sure if the class is right for you!

Workshop Description

Please join me for two days of intensive sewing and fun! We’ll be using my  Night and Day Dress pattern as the basis for our work. There are several mix and match options in the pattern, but for the purposes of this class, we will all be making a sleeveless unlined dress with the flared skirt. You may choose either the square or round neckline. (Limiting the design options gives us more time to focus on fit!) We will perfect the fit of the dress in the workshop, and then you will be ready to add sleeves, collars, a lining, and different skirt options on your next version! (Fun fact: you can make a total of 72 different dresses from the pattern!)

We will focus on fitting for much of the first day, and then move on to construction. You’ll learn all my tested techniques for sewing and pressing darts, creating a perfectly neat all-in-one facing, a lapped zipper and much more. 

Note: I recommend wearing the bra or foundation garments you plan to wear with your dress to the first day of class. You may wish to also bring a snug camisole if you’re concerned about modesty, as the tissue fittings must be done without a shirt or top on. (Though please don’t feel like you have to! I’m fine with doing fittings in your bra or however you’re most comfortable.)

Here is a list of supplies to bring:

  • Basic sewing kit: pins, cutting shears, paper scissors hand sewing needles, etc. 
  • notebook and pen
  • Pencils, colored pencils
  • 2” x 18″ gridded ruler
  • All-purpose sewing thread
  • Fabric (see below)
  • 24″ dress zipper to match your fabric (regular, NOT invisible)
  • 1 yard fusible interfacing (lightweight woven or knit; please do not use non-woven interfacing)
  • Scotch tape 
  • Curved ruler 

Fabric recommendations: fabric should be opaque with light to medium body. Keep in mind that dresses will not be lined in this class, so make sure it’s something that feels good against your skin. Medium weight cotton, cotton blends, linen, sateen, poplin, chambray, rayon challis, and shirting are all good choices.

I would recommend staying away from stripes, plaids or other tricky prints for your first version, as time is very limited in these workshops. 

Yardage requirements (please refer to Night and Day size chart)

45” wide fabric, sizes 2-8: 4.5 yards

60” wide fabric, sizes 2-8: 4 yards

45” wide fabric: sizes 10-16: 4.5 yards

60” wide fabric, sizes 10-16: 5 yards

Please contact me at if you have any questions!

“I got a lot out of the Gertie class because I use her patterns a lot and she’s obviously an expert at those. Actually watching someone in person with so much skill is very helpful. And having her next to you giving you little tips is priceless. I never struggle with zips or fitting anymore. She’s lovely and very kind. She kept us on task very sweetly while having fun at the same time.” –Belinda, Sydney workshop