Learn How SIMPLE
Digital Patterns Really Are!

Sign Up to Receive
The Ultimate Guide to Digital Sewing Patterns eBook + a FREE Skirt Pattern!


Hey, BurdaStyle members! I am so excited to be here guest blogging about my new online course, Sew Retro: Perfect Bombshell Dresses! The course was produced by Craftsy.com, and it features a fantastic BurdaStyle pattern.

Craftsy.com produces all sorts of online video courses that you can take at your leisure. When they approached me about teaching a class on making a retro garment with a downloadable pattern, I knew pretty much instantly which one I wanted to use. When first I saw this BurdaStyle pattern for a bustier dress with a draped sheath, it reminded me right away of the sexy sarong dresses that were popular in the 50s. The best-known designer of this style was Alfred Shaheen, and the gorgeous dresses are highly collectible today.


My dream was to make this a course with lots of intermediate to advanced skills, like a muslin fitting, using steel boning, underling, adding a waist stay, sculpting a padded bust, and more. It was ambitious, but we managed it in the end.

We filmed the course at The Sewing Studio in New York City. I teach there and the owner was kind enough to let us use the space, which is bright and spacious with an amazing view of the city. The crew was small, laid-back, and very fun and easy to work with.


We filmed the course over three days, and it was a lot to pack in! I brought a bunch of my handmade dresses with me to wear during the shoot, and they ended up decorating the dress forms on the set. On the second day, the filmmaker, Joe, had the idea that he wanted to create an animated “paper doll” opening for each lesson in the class. This meant taking a ton of pictures of my dresses on the forms and then on me, and sending them to an animator who made them into the fun opening sequence that you can see in in the course preview.


After the filming, I went back to my life while the editors were getting down to work. They did an amazing job turning the footage into a real class—in less than a month! I’m incredibly proud of what we accomplished, and I hope it will help you make the dress of your dreams.

We are so excited about sharing this class with you that Craftsy is offering 50% off so you can get starting sewing up the bombshell dress of your dreams! For more information and to sign up for Sew Retro: Perfect Bombshell Dresses head over to Craftsy.com. Happy sewing!


Gretchen Hirsch loves vintage fashion. She’s the author of the popular blog Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing and is writing a sewing book to be released in fall 2012 from STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books. She lives in Queens with her husband and two cats.


  • Cp1_cp1_1102090204_large

    Nov 15, 2011, 11.37 PMby darkemily

    Is the dress pattern included in the course or purchase it separately from burdastyle?

  • Marysia_at_the_bomber_ball_large

    Jul 29, 2011, 07.46 PMby smockerlady

    I bought the course and its great!

  • Missing

    Jul 27, 2011, 08.18 PMby sarh2379

    Its a fab course, I am not very far in yet I am putting off making the pattern larger to fit me, but the end results are beautiful. I am not an advanced sewer but as with all craftsy’s classes there is an interactive forum so if you get stuck you can shout out for help. Give it a go guys :)

  • Ghetto_girl_goes_to_colo__large

    Jul 19, 2011, 02.40 PMby turtlegirl00

    I love this dress!! i want to take the course but I think my skills are lacking… we will see though—I am getting braver and better everyday! :)

  • Beach_baby_ii_large

    Jul 19, 2011, 02.28 PMby seasidelaundry

    Clued into this GREAT class thru keren post the other day. Happy to see attention focused your way. I am about to add a project I copied from Gunne Sax II dress. Let me say, it is an S.O.S.! Wishing you much success!

  • Me_4_large

    Jul 19, 2011, 08.17 AMby FashionSewingBlog

    The best of luck with your on-line sewing course.

  • Fotoperfil_large

    Jul 18, 2011, 09.39 PMby Grnaomi

    I’ve enrolled myself in this course and it has been really good! I already have some knowledge about sewing, but I´ve learnt lots in Gretchen´s online classes. I particularly liked to see all details about nice finishing, muslin fitting, etc.

    I wish she would deliver more classes in other patterns in the future.

    ps. her voice is very clear and with all support written material in pdf, it is a great learning experience even if English is not your native language (which is my case)

    • This is a question
  1. Sign in to add a post


  • Editors' Pick
  • Pattern Collections
  • BurdaStyle Academy
  • Burda Challenge
  • Backstage Report
  • Fashion & Trends
  • DIY to Try
  • Tips & Techniques
  • Member Highlights
  • Sewing Projects
  • Outta Town
  • Contests & Competitions
  • Archive
  • Guest Columns
  • Videos
  • Meg's Magazine Mash Up
  • As Seen In
  • Podcast
  • Holiday