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Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing: A Modern Guide to Couture-style Sewing Using Basic Vintage Techniques Hardcover-spiral – 1 Sep 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing: A Modern Guide to Couture-style Sewing Using Basic Vintage Techniques
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  • Gertie Sews Vintage Casual: A Modern Guide to Sportswear Styles of the 1940s and 1950s
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  • Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book
Total price: £51.28
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Product details

  • Hardcover-spiral: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang Inc; Spi edition (1 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584799919
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584799917
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 3.5 x 25.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover-spiral
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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Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
Here you are encouraged to buy second hand patterns and alter them to suit you, or use the enclosed patterns. The instructions are really good, full colour illustrations of each step with more details both of the skills at the start of the book, and of which skills you will need for each project. This makes it easy to decide if you want to do a project with just one more skill to add, or something you can whip up in a weekend.

The book is based on Gerties blog, so i suggest you google this to see if you like her style of instruction and tone before buying. Although it is so clear that i have loaned it to a friends daughter for her textiles GCSE project where she is making a coat, and it is really helping her :)

The patterns cover a good range of clothes around a slightly retro style great for the curvier amongst us. That said the patterns are a size 18 max, shop size, so take care if you want patterns and are bigger. However the guide to altering the patterns to fit would work on the enclosed ones, so don't let a great instruction book go to waste just for this. The patterns are full size, and buying them this way is much cheaper than individual patterns. They cover skirts, dresses, shirts, coats etc. and are all modelled by the author.
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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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Format: Hardcover-spiral
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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