I attended a discussion and book signing of the well-know television personality and author, Tim Gunn at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. My daughter works for the Commonwealth Club, the oldest and largest public forum in the U.S.
She treated my husband and me to premium tickets for this very special event. You can imagine that I was more than excited to meet Tim and listen to him speak so personally about his life, his experiences on Project Runway, and about his new book, “Tim Gunn: the Natty Professor”.
Tim Gunn, is the mentor and advisor to the designers on Project Runway. These designers go through grueling fashion design challenges each week. The outcome of the show is to see who will go to Fashion Week and who will earn some very awesome prizes to help them jump-start their career. Tim explained that it isn’t easy to complete the challenges in the time frame of the show. The judges can be pretty hard on any puckers, bad stitching, and finishes. He says that his roll is to listen very clearly to the designers, then advise and motivate them to “Make it Work!”
I had to make a new dress for this special event, so I chose Gertie’s vintage inspired Butterick 6094. It has a close fitting lined bodice and contrasting facings. Version A has a full circle skirt cut on the bias, and a petticoat.
It has the cutest back detail, with the contrasting fabric opened out above the zipper and decorated with buttons. I made a muslin of the bodice first, tweaked the pattern to fit me, and then cut and sewed it together. I wasn’t going to add the petticoat, but at the last minute I decided that I should just go for it and make the dress as directed. I drove to the nearest fabric store, 40 miles round trip, and bought 3 yards of lining and 3 yards of crisp veil-like fabric for the ruffle. I sewed French seams on the petticoat and machine gathered the 8 inch ruffle that attaches to it. I was able to roll hem the ruffle, the petticoat, and the skirt bottom on my serger. I used wooly nylon on the upper looper and it worked like a dream! I covered two buttons with the dress fabric, and inserted an invisible zipper. The lining was turned and hand-sewn inside the bodice and along the zipper tape.
At the reception, my daughter introduced me to Tim and we posed for pictures.
I told Tim that I had made my dress. He was impressed! I wore my RTW faster pin proudly and was delighted to explain that all of us fasters had pledged not to buy ready-to-wear clothing. Our goal is to make everything. You can see by his studious look that he was intrigued.