Vintage Style, your way! With Gretchen Hirsch

It’s time to meet the designer behind your stunning Gertie for Butterick 6412 dress pattern, included with issue 60. We caught up with the super talented and oh-so glamorous Gretchen Hirsch to discover all about her life as a pattern designer with a penchant for vintage fashion. You’ll find her gorgeous buttoned bodice dress design in the full size range 6-20 included with issue 60 on sale now.

Hi Gretchen, how are you.? We’re so excited to be offering your Butterick 6412 dress as our free gift this issue! What’s currently on your sewing table?

I’m wonderful, thank you! We’ve recently finished shooting my autumn 2018 pattern design for Butterick. It’s a beautiful 50s-inspired day dress in jade green. I might make another version for myself. You can pick up a copy here.

What’s been your favourite pattern you’ve designed so far and why is this?

Oh that’s a tough one! I’m very proud of my Charm Patterns Lamour Dress, because it’s based on an authentic Hawaiian convertible halter dress design from the 50s, it has separate cup sizes up to a DD, and the instructions go over some of my favorite high-end techniques like underlining and using spiral steel boning.

Do you find it helps to teach workshops where you can use your own patterns?

Definitely! I know my own patterns so well, that it helps with fitting and construction to use them in my workshops. I designed my next Charm Pattern specifically for use in workshops,
since teaching is so important to me. 

What is it you enjoy most about sharing your skills?

I love seeing how excited my students get when something fits them perfectly! It’s also very satisfying seeing them learn new skills like making pattern adjustments for their body.

Recently you launched Charm Patterns by Gertie with two fabulous designs, the Rita blouse and Lamour dress. Do you have any plans for more designs that you could share with us?

Yes! I recently released a new design – The Day and Night dress; it’s very ambitious and gives tonnes of options for both design and finishing. It’s one dress with 72 variations. I hope to release five new Charm Patterns this year, and I have some very exciting garments in the works, from beachwear to outerwear. Stay up to date on Charms Patterns news here.

What’s your favourite part of your job and why?

I like that every day is different! Since I do so many different things (designing for Butterick, Charm Patterns, fabric design, and teaching and travelling), it’s never boring. Find out more about the fabric range here!

Vintage style is such a large part of your aesthetic, if you could have anyone’s wardrobe throughout history whose would it be and why?

Probably Marilyn Monroe! I constantly re-watch Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire for the costumes.

Finally, are you working on anything exciting over the next few months?

Yes! I’m launching my own online learning platform called Charm School, with a comprehensive Lamour Dress class. I’m also releasing two new lines of fabric designs, and working on several new Charm Patterns.


Make your own glamorous vintage-inspired dress with issue 60 and Gertie’s design Butterick 6412, out now!

Click here to learn about the ways you can buy the magazine.


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Categories: Dressmaking, Exclusives and Offers, Interviews Tags: , , , , , , ,