18 September 2012

Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing


I'm seriously gutted to have missed Winnie's Knickerbocker Glory this weekend. My immune system decided enough was enough and confined me to my bed for the last few days (I'm still in my PJs as I type this - oh the glamour!). But on the plus side my review copy of Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing arrived - and no illness could stop me from reading that!



If you haven't got your copy yet, you're in for a treat. The first thing to note is that this book is very much about Gertie. The introduction begins with the story of how she began her sewing blogger journey, and all the garments are modelled by her gorgeous self. As a fan, I LOVE this aspect of the book.

The second thing to note is that the book is MASSIVE!! I dread to think how many late nights Gertie must have pulled to write it all. The focus of the book is vintage-style sewing, including specialist stitches, insertion techniques and finishes - pad stitching, boning, bound buttonholes... Slow sewing, if you will. Not for the fainthearted, but certainly impressive, and lots of techniques I'd like to tackle. Considering it's clearly aimed at intermediate and advanced level stitchers, the introductory sections on tools, washing fabric etc seem a bit superfluous - I'm not sure why so many sewing books (editors?) insist on including them. But that really is a minor quibble, and they're certainly not a chore to read :)

 

 

The second part of the book is absolutely amazing - the garments. 10 patterns are included, with variations outlined for most of them. These are classic, mainly 1950s styles that Gertie is known for wearing, inspired by Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing - the book which her blog focused on in the beginning. They are seriously drool-some. Many of them won't suit my petite frame unfortunately, but there are still quite a few I'm itching to make, including the Sultry Sheath, Wiggle Dress and Shirt Dress. One of my favourite aspects of the book is that it pulls back the curtain on construction and reveals what the insides of the garments look like. It's really helpful to take a peek at how another stitcher finishes her seams and keeps the whole thing hanging together - a very clever touch.


I really love this book!!!

Disclosure: This book was sent to me to review. Rest assured I only give my honest opinions.

26 comments:

  1. Me ancantaría tenerlo , pero claro será en inglés
    pero bueno aunque solo sea para ver sus paso a paso

    Anilegra Moda Para Muñecas

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  2. I just got this book in the mail - I cannot wait to make something from it, the only dilemma is where to start!

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  3. ~ * ♥ * ~

    Wow, this book sounds amazing. I think I need to put it on my Amazon wish list right away!! :D

    xox,
    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * ♥ * ~

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  4. I got mine in New Zealand just days after it was published (thanks Book Depository) and that pencil skirt is top of my list. Love the whole book!

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  5. I, too, have this book. And I love it. It's the best sewing book I've bought in ages...so comprehensive.

    I don't think it's necessarily aimed at intermediate to advanced sewers, though. The impression I have is that it's for anyone that wants to take a more "traditional" approach. And there are options for how far a person wishes to take this. The pencil skirt, for example, gives more than one alternative. And she does say the patterns range from easy to advanced.

    I really believe this is a book a sewer could enjoy at any level. That's why all the basic stuff is included, too.

    I hope you feel better soon, by the way. I am coming down with what seems to be quite an evil bug right now as I type. It's that time of year...yuk!

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    1. Sorry...I also meant to say I appreciate your honest reviews. I recently bought the Pattern Cutting book (don't know if that's the correct name) because of your review. And it's the best book of that type I have bought. Exactly what I wanted.

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    2. Glad to hear it!

      I wouldn't want to say that beginners shouldn't use the book, but I definitely think it'd be challenging and far more involved than most of the sewing books out there that are aimed at beginners (ie. that start with how to stitch and end with how to make an elasticated waistband skirt). The fact that the pencil skirt has a lining and boning option means the book is definitely not aiming for the same target market as those other books in which I'd expect to read about essential tools etc. I just felt like I needed to point that out in case anyone makes a decision whether to buy it or not based on my review!

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  6. This books sounds right up my alley with my newly found penchant for slow sewing :) It's on the christmas list!!

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  7. i really love this book - it's very inspiring to give "proper" tailoring a go. so glad i bought it as i am autumn/ winter wardrobe planning and hardly need to buy any patterns now (well maybe just the new colette ones!). hope you feel better soon!

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  8. I am super excited about this book. I think it's a great way to step into more advanced finishing techniques and the sheer number of patterns in there is awesome. Ten in one book? It seems almost criminal how affordable it is... :D

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    1. I know, it's crazy, isn't it? Especially because they're all so gorgeous!

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  9. I'm still waiting for my copy - COME ON, AMAZON! - and I'm so looking forward to getting my hands on it! Even more so now.

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  10. This book is high up on my wish list. Especially the Shirtwaist Dress. Even though I refuse to wear anything which hinders my free movement & breathing, I am also looking forward to reading how to construct what I won't wear ;)

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    1. Hahaha! Yes, I skip over the boning sections...

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  11. Everybody has this book! few minutes ago I was almost to order it! not sure if I will ....perhaps for Xmas hehehe

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  12. I hear so many wonderful things about this book. I wasn't sure if the style was for me but I really like the picture of the Wiggle Dress you posted. Thank you! I'll be ordering the book very soon :)

    By the way, are you planning to make something out of it? I can't wait to see it if you do!

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    1. Of course! I wish I could start right now but I have three billion other things going on... but soon!

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  13. Mine just arrived this week. I think it looks really interesting and I am excited to try the techniques she describes. But is it just me--in the photos, I see what appear to be some serious fitting issues in the clothes. Please tell me it is just me.

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    1. I didn't notice any fitting issues screaming out at me when I read the book (and they often do!). Although I don't have it here right now to look again... To be honest, it wouldn't surprise me though, considering how many garments had to be made up (slow sewing stylee) in addition to all the writing - so much work!!

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  14. Get well soon! I went to Gertie's book release party last week, it was a lot of fun.

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    1. Oh wow! I'm so jealous, that sounds amazing!!

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  15. Thanks Tilly, for sharing this. I am also trying to get that book. One of my friend got the book and I am really impressed by the patterns.
    Fabric Companies | Readymade Garments Producer

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  16. Hola Tilly,
    Te escribo desde Madrid, España.
    A mi tambien me gustan mucho los diseños de Gertie, estoy deseando hacerme el vestido verde de manga larga.
    Un saludo.
    Almudena.

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  17. this book sounds wonderful! i should grab it for myself, it could be useful. as your blog is,I found very interesting topics around here. lovely!
    Stop Whispering

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  18. i love the shirt dress. i put in to win a copy of the book but if i don't...i definitely need to!!!

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  19. I've just finished sewing the first skirt from the book. I didn't add the boning (can't find a local supplier and don't feel confident with such things). I also didn't line it because I'm lazy. lol! So found it quite easy.
    Its the only book (out of quite a few I've bought) that actually has my tastes in 'retro' when it comes to patterns as well as putting in the details I'm interested in like how to make pattern alterations and hand sewn finishes. I like the whole mix & match element of the patterns in the book. there were several commercial patterns I was going to buy, but now I look at the book pattern sand think if I just make a few alterations 'bingo' I'd have what I wanted without buying another pattern. Only thing I thought was missing was something about drafting sleeves or fitting trousers.

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