Sunday, 12 October 2014

Book Review: Gertie Sews Vintage Casual by Gretchen Hirsch

"Gertie Sews Vintage Casual" was a birthday present from my husband. How did he know?  Must have been because I put the book in the shopping basket on amazon over and over again for a month beforehand!

What a book.  To say I love it is an understatement!  This is Gertie's second book, I haven't read her first, but am now tempted to ask for it for Christmas. 

The illustrations are aesthetically pleasing; so much so, that I am thinking about tearing some out and framing them, to hang in my sewing space for inspiration.

Gertie guides the reader through the history of vintage casual clothes, which is so interesting; it's like a lesson with a really exciting and engaging teacher.

The book also comes with 10 patterns, each with suggested variations, so you could get a whole wardrobe-ful from this one book.

These are my two favourite patterns, the 40s-Style Blouse, and The Cigarette Pants:

What makes the book stand out above other sewing books (and I own MANY) is that it is not aimed at absolute beginners but at those who want to improve and modify their sewing.  There is not page after page wasted on "how to thread a sewing machine", but instead there is useful advice on fitting, or how to solve those problems of pooling excess fabric, or gaping fabric at the waist or neckline.

I would thoroughly recommend this book, perfect bedtime reading.  Although these fabulous patterns are primarily aimed at curvier women than I am, I am very tempted.

Hope you find this review useful.  And if you can recommend any other titles that I might like as much as this, I'd love to hear about them...


  1. This is on my birthday list too, so glad to hear it's as good as it looks!

  2. Thanks for the illustrations Lousie, I can't wait to see which one you make up first! Well done hubby ;)

  3. That photo of the "pants terminology" is great! If that's what the rest of the book is like, it sounds great! Looking forward to seeing what you make!

  4. It is indeed a great book. Really recommend it.

  5. Thanks for the review :)I suppose the sixth and seventh pictures in your post summarize the patterns included in the book right ? How many of these patterns in the book are for stretch garments?
    And you are lucky to get this as a gift ;)

    1. There are a couple from memory- all tops I think. I love this book, but I read a really negative review of it it from Roobeedoo so not all sewing bloggers think alike!