Charm Patterns by Gertie is a new line of independent sewing patterns that brings real vintage glamour to the modern dressmaker. You may already be familiar with my patterns, books, and fabrics, and now I'm excited to create a new collection of pattern designs from the ground up, all inspired by classic Hollywood starlets, pin-up queens, and glamour girls. I will debut the line with two gorgeous new designs available in both print and PDF options.
The first two designs are both inspired by two iconic examples of midcentury glam: a fit-and-flare halter dress and a shapely peasant blouse. The halter dress has gathered straps that can be worn three ways: traditional halter, crossed in front, or tied at the lower back for a strapless look. (The trick is that the shaped straps are inserted into a special diagonal seam near the princess lines on the front bodice!) This design was directly inspired by a vintage dress I own, the perfect Hawaiian halter dress with a full skirt. Special techniques included with the pattern are underlining a bodice for stability, using spiral steel boning, and inserting a waist stay.
The blouse is an elusive design: a flattering peasant top that is fitted through the waist rather than blousy. The elastic at the neckline and armholes make the blouse comfortable to wear, and the midriff princess seams give it waist definition. Wear it to a music festival with snug pedal pushers like Dita Von Teese, or go classic Hollywood and pair it with a full circle skirt and high heels.
Both patterns will come in size range 2-16 (similar to my book patterns, which are comparable to US ready-to-wear sizes) and will include separate cup sizes up to a DD cup. When drafting my patterns, my priority is providing a vintage silhouette, which means the perfect amount of ease for each design.
I’m excited to be able to hand select my collaborators, like genius illustrator Gemini.H. I’ve been obsessively watching her on Instagram, and I think her work is a revelation, whether she’s painting Dita Von Teese, Dolly Parton, or classic Dior designs.
Social media will be a huge part of Charm Patterns. My recent sundress sew along was a smashing success, with over 3500 participants on Facebook. I will lead similar sew alongs for Charm Patterns, so that home sewists have support and encouragement each step of the way. Should I receive additional funding, my stretch goal is to start Charm School, a series of online video courses to assist you in the sewing of each pattern.
I love the idea of bringing a bit of glamour back to home sewing with a line of patterns that are very feminine and classic. I can’t wait to dream up future designs: sexy sheath dresses, perfectly tailored coats, and even sophisticated vintage-style lingerie. I hope you’ll join me!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge for this project will be releasing the designs this summer. Many different phases of the project need to come together smoothly: illustrations, grading, pattern testing, technical editing, and printing. My goal is to release the patterns this August, but of course there is always a chance that unexpected delays could push the launch back. Once the project is fully funded, I will be operating under an accelerated schedule to release the patterns on time. I will keep backers updated on the production of the patterns!
Luckily, all the other factors are in place to ensure the success of Charm Patterns: a built-in social media following, an experienced team, a detailed budget, and production plan.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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