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My August Minerva Make – Gertie Sews Vintage Casual outfit

August 25, 2015

This month for my Minerva Crafts Blogger Network project I chose to try something a little different – instead of a dress, a skirt and a top!  WHOAH THERE.  It’s mind-blowing stuff, isn’t it?!

Gertie Sews Vintage Casual outfit

Gertie Sews Vintage Casual outfit

I have quite a collection of sewing books and many of them contain patterns within them that I have wanted to try for a while.  This month’s project is two patterns from ‘Gertie Sews Vintage Casual’ book which my good friend and co-blogger Aileen bought for me as a birthday gift last year.  The patterns are for the ‘Knit Sweetheart Top’ and the ‘Easy Knit Pencil Skirt’.  This combination of fitted but mega-comfortable clothing seemed like the best thing ever to sew right now, after putting on about half a stone over summer due to having a picnic lunch with the children almost every day.  You always need more food than normal for a picnic – it’s the picnic law.  I’ve eaten a lot of bread and a lot of cheese and a lot of crisps and a lot of biscuits and a lot of chocolate and a lot of cake and a lot of pies.  It’s been pretty awesome.

Knit Sweetheart Top and Easy Knit Pencil Skirt

Knit Sweetheart Top and Easy Knit Pencil Skirt

Let’s start by talking about the top, then.  For the top I chose ‘black and beige wide stripe viscose jersey‘.  I really like the width of the stripes of this fabric, and I was really pleased with the quality of it.  Viscose jersey which I have used in the past has been slippery and drapey, but this one seems slightly thicker and more sturdy, which as far as I am concerned is a good thing.  The top was simple to construct.  I used my overlocker for most of the sewing.  I used clear elastic to stabilise the shoulder seams and I used a twin ballpoint needle for the first time ever to hem the top and also to sew down the neckline and armhole binding.  Having never used a twin needle before I was wondering how it would turn out, but it was great!  It helps that the fabric was really easy to handle.

At the park

At the park

The skirt – well.  IT IS SO EASY TO MAKE.  It’s just one pattern piece – front and back – cut on the fold.  An elastic waistband at the top, twin needle hem at the bottom, and Bob’s your uncle!  But the wonder of this skirt is not only to do with the ease of construction, oh no.  It’s the fabric: Ponte Roma heavy jersey – it’s the actual bomb.  Thick, proper, no-nonsense fabric, absolutely perfect for a pencil skirt.  It has enough body in it not to reveal every lump and bump of the ‘body’ in it.  AND SO COMFORTABLE.  I never want to wear anything else ever again.  I don’t even want to make more because this one is just THE ONE.  If you haven’t made one of these skirts then I’m telling you now if you can sew a straight line you can make this skirt in under an hour and then WEAR IT FOREVER.

A label sewn in the back so I wear it the right way around - and the twin needle hem.

A label sewn in the back so I wear it the right way around – and the twin needle hem.

The waistband elastic also deserves a special mention.  I chose ‘32mm non-roll Peterstretch waistband elastic‘ and it’s great.  Having recently made some pyjama bottoms with cheapo waistband elastic that rolls and folds and twists despite being strategically stitched down, this stuff is like the Rolls Royce of waistband elastic.  Excellent stuff.


Hiyaaaaa. I’ve got heels on for these photos but sandals for the park. Practicality won out.

Thanks to Minerva for sending me the supplies for these two garments – opinions as always are completely my own!

The back!

The back!


  1. August 25, 2015 2:45 pm

    Great outfit! Lovely and comfy, can’t beat that! 😉

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 29, 2015 7:23 pm

      It is the most comfortable thing I own!

  2. August 25, 2015 3:00 pm

    Wow love this! this is right up my sewing street! Definitely going to give both of these ago! Another excuse to by jersey yippee!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 29, 2015 7:23 pm

      Excellent – good luck! You won’t regret it!

  3. stitchedupsam permalink
    August 25, 2015 3:36 pm

    Fantastic outfit! I love the shape of the top, I might have to go and investigate the book now.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 29, 2015 7:25 pm

      Thanks Sam 🙂 The book has lots of good patterns in and variations as well.

  4. August 25, 2015 5:12 pm

    Lovely outfit and yet very practical. Must try a ponte skirt this autumn.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 29, 2015 7:27 pm

      So practical. I wore this a lot on holiday this past week and never needed to worry about it blowing up in the wind or anything. I climbed a mountain in it as well – testament to its stretch and comfort! 🙂

  5. August 26, 2015 3:22 am

    Yes, a great outfit. The first thing I thought was how different it was to see you in separates compared to your usual dresses. Of course, your usual dresses are always wonderful, but I like this too. It’s nice to diversify our sewing, right? 😉

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 29, 2015 7:28 pm

      Yes, it’s good to branch out a bit! My style has been changing a lot over the past year.

  6. August 26, 2015 10:56 pm

    I love this outfit!! it’s super stylish and cute… and I know exactly what you mean – a good basic knit skirt is priceless 😀

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 29, 2015 7:29 pm

      It really is!

  7. August 27, 2015 11:14 am

    Love ponte for colder weather – I think I wore nothing else last winter! I have this book but haven’t actually sewed anything from it (like several other books I own..)


    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 29, 2015 7:30 pm

      This is the first time I have chosen ponte and I’m going to be addicted to it now I think!! The book is good – give it a go!

  8. August 28, 2015 6:59 am

    You look fabulous…great combo

    That fabric looks like the same I used for a long skirt which gets a lot of use because it’s so flattering which I put down to the fabric version as the other one I made doesn’t make me feel so good

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 29, 2015 7:33 pm

      Thanks. Yes – it’s a brilliant fabric! I will be making everything in it this winter, which may make for very boring blogging but at least I’ll be warm and comfortable 😉

  9. August 29, 2015 10:25 am

    Looks great! The outfit looks really smart. I’ve still not dived into sewing with jersey put really want to and have some ponte roma in my stash so should just go for it.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 29, 2015 7:34 pm

      Oooh, don’t wait a moment longer! Good luck!

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