Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing - A Review

At long last, I'm going to review Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, written by Gretchen of Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing.  It's been quite a while coming, since I got the book back in August.  I wanted to make something from the book before I came up with my complete review, and then the portrait blouse had some roadblocks.

But, here we are!

I've read the techniques section, as I said in my August pre-view.  It was very useful, it covered a lot of advanced techniques with simple instructions.  Some of the patterns require you to go back and use sections to develop pieces line facings or simple dirndl skirts.  I think that its a really good way of not only saving space on the pattern sheets, but also providing projects to use the new skills in.

I really like the designs in the book.  That was the main reason that I purchased it to begin with.  Unfortunately, I found the patterns to be a little bit difficult to work with.  Gertie has said that the sizing does not follow regular pattern sizes (from the Big Four), or ready to wear.  She developed her sizing based of her measurements as the median size 8.  While I'm sure this did simplify a lot of things in development, it means that any normal fitting adjustments you do won't work.

I also noticed a few flaws in the patterns.  Nothing huge, just things like pieces being slightly different lengths (like the front and back of the portrait blouse side seams).  As a few other reviews have mentioned, it looks like the darts in the sheath dress don't align from bodice to skirt.  Since the skirt is actually the same pattern as the Pencil Skirt, I'm guessing it just didn't get the double check it needed.

There were a few other things that I found made working with the patterns more difficult.  First, there are no finished garment measurements.  I think that since the book is filled with fitting advice that references the finished garment measurements, I think it was an oversight not to put it in.  It is also has no bust or hip markers.  Again, the book has numerous directions for adjusting fit that are based off the but or hip points, but they aren't marked.

Overall, I really respect Gertie.  She has accomplished quite a bit to go from blogger to published author and pattern designer for Butterick.  However, I don't know if I would say these patterns are up to the standard I would expect from a published book.  Conclusion:  The fitting information is wonderful.  However the patterns are not what I had hoped, or expected.

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