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Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing: A Modern Guide to Couture-style Sewing Using Basic Vintage Techniques [Hardcover-spiral]

Gretchen Hirsch
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Price: 21.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 2012
Gretchen "Gertie" Hirsch is a passionate home seamstress, an in demand sewing teacher and creator/writer of one of the web's most popular sewing blogs: Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing. The blog began as a way for readers to follow Gretchen's progress as she made her way through all fourteen fashions from her favourite 1950s sewing book, Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing (a "Julie and Julia esque" experiment for the modern seamstress). It quickly became a place for Gretchen to share detailed sewing tutorials and spirited posts about sewing as it relates to fashion history, pop culture, body image and gender. An extension of the blog, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing: A Modern Guide to Couture Style Sewing Using Basic Vintage Techniques is a hardworking reference book, packed with techniques our greatgrandmothers could have done in their sleep but have been forgotten over the decades, all shown in step by step photographed and illustrated tutorials. It is also a stylish, spirited pattern book featuring 14 customisable wardrobe essentials inspired by Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing, many shown in several different variations, for a total of 25 projects. Projects range from a pencil skirt and portrait blouse to a wiggle dress and suit jacket. All of the projects are modelled by charming Gertie, who has the proportions and curves of a typical modern woman, not a super model.

Frequently Bought Together

Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing: A Modern Guide to Couture-style Sewing Using Basic Vintage Techniques + The Colette Sewing Handbook: 5 Fundamentals for a Great Sewing Experience
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Product details

  • Hardcover-spiral: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang Inc; Spi edition (1 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584799919
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584799917
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 22.9 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Gretchen Hirsch is the sewing mastermind behind Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing (blogforbettersewing.blogspot.com). She teaches sewing classes and contributesto many sewing publications. She has 15,000 blog subscribers and averages 45,000 unique monthly visitors and 350,000 monthly page views.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely idea, a few issues in the making... 4 Oct 2012
By Penn
Format:Hardcover-spiral|Verified Purchase
As a follower of Gertie's blog & professional costumer, I was looking forward to seeing this book. Beautifully presented & with introductory chapters explaining techniques in detail plus exquisite illustrations. My only (slight) disappointment was the garments themselves. The Chantilly Lace Blouse is shapeless & uninspiring, & while several of the other patterns promise much Gertie's own samples look worryingly lumpy - the hemline of the suit skirt, for instance, & the side seams of the strapless Party Dress. Maybe that's just me being picky, though ...... Overall, definitely a book worth buying.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weak on technique reference 5 Jan 2013
I had to wait 3 months for my local bookshop to have the copy of the book I'd ordered shipped over from America, which may have coloured my feelings about it... but I'm not sure it's really what I wanted. Part of the big selling point was supposed to be the special line of patterns included in the binding, and I knew before I ordered that I was never going to be terribly interested in those: I've got a backlog of real vintage patterns in styles that I actually like, while I don't favour Gertie's close-fitting sheath dresses/skirts. And I've already got instructions for sewing techniques of the era: I don't need encouraging into 'vintage sewing' because having originally learned from second-hand books I never had any serger/fleece/knits/overlocker shortcuts in my repertoire to unlearn in the first place!

So I was really buying the book in the hopes of having the various directions in my assortment of elderly sewing texts assembled in one place in an easy-to-access and illustrated format, expecting the level of description that Gertie gives on her blog: any other useful elements would be a bonus. Unfortunately, as a previous reviewer points out, this is the weakest part of the book. The written directions for specific techniques are, in the absence of detailed illustration (there is generally only one general photo given), no more helpful than the very similar paragraphs in the period sewing books I already have... useful as an aide-memoire for someone who has previously learnt the technique, but hard to visualise in the abstract.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FABULOUS!!! 5 Sep 2012
Format:Hardcover-spiral|Verified Purchase
I follow Gertie's blog and have done a couple of her online courses at Craftsy so was eagerly anticipating the arrival of her book. If you love vintage sewing you will love this book. The accompanying patterns are scrumptious and I can't decide what to make first. The first part of the book has some good techniques and tips for sewing vintage including fitting and fabric choices but the piece de resistance are the wonderful patterns. Considering a commercial pattern now costs around 8 a time the 15 patterns included mean this book is great value. Well done Gertie's you did not disappoint!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book with beautiful designs 10 Sep 2012
For a while, I was eagerly anticipating the release of this book - however it came to my attention that our American counterparts - received their book at least a week before the release date, over here in the UK the book was received exactly a week after the release date even though it had been pre-ordered some weeks before! Amazon and UK publishers for this book - please sort out your inventory system!!

Moving on - the book has many beautiful patterns and useful vintage techniques - some of which are still used in couture sewing and a very useful section on pattern fitting, which gave a quick overview (books like either Fit for Real People: Sew Great Clothes Using ANY Pattern (Sewing for Real People) or Fitting and Pattern Alteration 2nd Edition will provide pattern fitting in more detail.

However, my concern was there was not enough detailed photographs for some of the sewing techniques (in my opinion the photos gave just a quick overview - in other words there were instances where just one photo was used to represent a type of handsewing, which was a bit disappointing. What would have been helpful would be to see several photos showing the stitch from start to finish, rather than just seeing the finished product. Moreover, the other methods that were used to construct the more complicated garments, i.e.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gertie's book 12 Sep 2012
By Mrs DP
Format:Hardcover-spiral|Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered and couldn't wait for this to arrive.
I would consider myself an experienced sewer and also cut my own patterns.
The styles in the book are good and you have good base patterns for adding your own necklines /collars etc.
This great for me as I'm inspired by the designs and don't have to start a pattern from scratch.

It would have been good to see technical drawings of each of her patterns and in some cases more photos of the finished garments.

I personally haven't learn't anything new regards to construction as there is more detail in books such as Claire Shaffers or Susan Khaljie.

The artwork and layout of the book is great.

I don't think it's for a complete novice but for somebody with some experience.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This is an absolutely brilliant book with so much detail and is easy to follow. I cant wait to start making some of the clothes in it.
Published 21 days ago by H C
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
lived up to my expectations, made three garments already as variations of the sultry sheath dress, cant recommend highly enough!
Published 28 days ago by yvette
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Gertie
Wonderful! Simply wonderful book, if you are into vintage sewing, or any sewing with good techniques well explained. Read more
Published 1 month ago by anja pagani
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a dream.
A clear and concise book that explains both vintage patterns and couture sewing techniques in a modern way for a modern reader. GET THIS BOOK I'm in love with it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Joanna Minch
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book!
As the owner of too many various sewing books (I'm addicted I think!), this really is a fabulous book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lorna R
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This book is probably the best in this area I have ever had in my hands.
The patterns are easy to adjust and look amazing once finished.
Published 4 months ago by Sabine Kindt
5.0 out of 5 stars Gertie's book is amazing
I love this book, very good value and full of wonderful advice. The patterns are great and I just don't know what to make first. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Karen
5.0 out of 5 stars A dressmaking whirlwind!
I absolutely adore this book. I only recently discovered Gertie's blog and have spent far too many hours reading it. So I had to get the book. It did not disappoint. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jenny
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Inspiring.....but be careful when tracing patterns,definitely make a toile. Do not forget the sizes are American.
The book is suitable for all levels of experience
Published 8 months ago by Anne Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, love, love it!
I couldn't wait to get my hands on this and was thrilled to open the package containiing it. The whole presentation of this book is just gorgeous, from the illustrations to the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Polly Peirce
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