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.