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on 15 July 2017
I loved this book so many great vintage patterns that are easy to follow, as a beginner I found them a little difficult but I'm sure with time I'll get better at it. I've only had a go at one or two pieces as life has got in the way
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on 27 July 2017
Nice book with plenty of instructions for sewing and the patterns are very wearable.
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on 8 November 2017
Hands down one of the best sewing books I’ve ever bought (along with Gertie’s Ultimate Dress book!). The detail is fantastic and it’s a bargain considering how many patterns you get
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on 2 September 2014
Fantastic book!!!
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on 12 January 2014
As the owner of too many various sewing books (I'm addicted I think!), this really is a fabulous book. I don't normally write reviews as I'm a busy mum and obsessive sewing addict but feel this book really needs shouting about. I bought it along with a couple more sewing books with some Christmas money I'd been given.
I've been making my own clothes, bags, household items and loads of other items for many years but have lately got bored with the usual ideas, patterns etc.
This book is a such a refreshing change to the ususal dressmaking books. The information is abundant and very well written, easy to understand with fab diagrams too. And the projects (which all come with a pattern! - what a bargain!), are all gorgeous, I'm planning on making almost all of them. I really love vintage style patterns but they are expensive to buy and not as easy to follow as modern versions, but this book is full of tips on deciphering vintage patterns and constructing vintage style garments. And all of the projects are vintage style but with a modern twist which I love, and they will never date.
This is now my fave book, overtaking by far The Great British Sewing Bee which was my fave 2 wks ago!
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on 20 February 2013
But oh my gosh I want to buy the author a steam iron, lumpy hems from here to eternity. Please Gretchen take your own advice and iron as you sew.
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on 4 October 2012
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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on 10 September 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. tailoring and other vintage techniques were replaced by drawings instead and if you are a complete novice or an intermediate beginner to sewing, (unless you are brillant at instantly assessing the information in drawings), then you may need to seek other sources such as Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket,Couture Sewing Techniques, Youtube and Susan Khalije on craftsy dot com to supplement this. As for the intermediate to advanced sewers they may probably find it more easy.

Apart from that, I think the publishers should have allowed Gertie to include more photos showing indepth details of sewing techniques for her beautiful patterns.

(N.B. One of the patterns by Gertie - the suit jacket can be accessed via an online video tutorial on craftsy dot com, so more indepth information on its contruction can be found there)
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on 5 September 2012
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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on 31 August 2013
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. I have tried quite a lot of sewing books and generally find them basic and uninspiring. This book is completely different. I considered myself an experienced dress maker, but in this book, I found so many new ideas and techniques to try out. So far, I have made the portrait blouse and the pencil skirt, but I intend to make everything in the future. Hand picking a zip had never even occurred to me before (that's what machines are for, right?) but there is something so satisfying about doing it by hand. So far the patterns have fit me very well, which is remarkable as I tend to be a bit of a fitting nightmare. The layout of the book is lovely, with stunning illustrations and photos (although, like other reviewers, I did notice some unpressed hem issues...). Gertie's style of writing is informal, but extremely informative. And a ring-bound book has proved a godsend when you are in the middle of a project. I would say that to use this book, you would need to have some basic dressmaking skills, but it does cater for a range of sewing levels, with some straight forward designs to some more complex tailoring projects. Gertie is bringing out a new book next year, and I for one cannot wait for it's release.
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