Made by Me!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Gertie Sews Vintage Casual - my new sewing purchase!

Very excited to receive my new sewing purchase from Amazon yesterday, 'Gertie Sews Vintage Casual'. I had pre-ordered it a month ago and totally forgot about it so it was a lovely surprise to break up a boring work day. And as I was working from home no-one saw me taking an extended break to browse through its pages and pick out a few pattern favourites. I always get so excited about buying things like this...even if I don't actually make much from these books buying them is a bit of an addiction and I have to admit to getting a little high from it!

I loved her last book although I have to admit I didn't make up loads of items from it. I love the idea of being able to mix elements of vintage style into my everyday wardrobe and this book is probably more accessible for me than her last one just because it showcases more relaxed clothing that I can imagine wearing on a daily basis. More of the items in her last book were a little too clingy and formal or dressy for me to want to make as I know I won't wear them, and sadly probably won't have a suitable occasion to wear them to. I remember when I was younger my friends and I would dress up every Friday and Saturday night, we would make almost a ritual out of it, but now I pull on a pair of jeans or a casual dress and don't make the uber effort of coaxing and preening myself. Plus I actually cant stand wearing tight clothes now, I realise this after making some of the items on this blog. Whilst I like the look of them and imagine how glamorous and girly I may feel wearing them they inevitably feel constrictive and uncomfortable and I look stiff and awkward in them. With this in mind I anticipated that I would find much more in this book that would suit my everyday mood.

I split the book between the items I love and the ones I really don't! I don't know know whether anyone else has this book yet but it would be interesting to know what you think of the patterns in here.

Firstly this is probably my favourite pattern - its a trouser suit made from combining the top of a wrap dress and a pair of wide leg trousers both of which I show below. Its really pretty, very simple and there is something quite elegant about it. I am really into my pant suits right now and this may well make it into the wardrobe sometime soon.

This is the wrap dress the top of this pant suit comes from. I couldn't decide if it was frumpy or cute but I think after deliberation I really like it and if made in wintry hues would work well with tights and boots.

These are the wide leg trousers. Now I have realised I rather like a high waisted trouser and I can see myself making these beauties. They look simple and elegant and possibly a good thing for an evening out or the office. Definitely up for trying these out sometime soon.

I really like this shift dress although I really don't think I would ever wear it, even if I lengthened it a little it still comes under the too clingy for me category.

The variation swing top made from the original design is cute though and I would love to have a go at it.

I am a little disappointed with the amount of items I really don't like in the book. I think there is a lot in here which isn't that special or particularly interesting. There is a  flared skirt we've all seen before from one company or another and a full skirt variation (shown below) that is nice but the only real difference is its made with quilted fabric. It feels like a filler and is the kind of skirt you can get a pattern for free off the Internet or just make your own.

There are also some ghastly fabric choices and really frumpy looking things in here. Both the patterns below come under this category for me. I think the jacket would have been so much nicer in something else other than this horrible  black and white check fabric. And the shirt is too boxy and I think something a much older lady would wear. It certainly doesn't do Gertie any justice.

Some of the facial expressions Gertie pulls in the images make her look as though she really isn't sure about whats she's wearing, which just makes the frumpy ones stand out a little more. This is possibly the outfit I dislike the most, flared shorts with the checked shirt above. And honestly I don't think Gertie looks too happy with it either...the expression on her face is a little pained...!

Overall there is more to like than dislike in this book but there isn't any wow factor to it really, well not from my point of view anyway. There are some nice knits and a few nice variations on main patterns. I do like that she takes the time to show you how to develop and adapt something from the original design but it would be nice to see something a little more challenging. The plus points are that it has a large reference section which is also really useful, covering everything from simple stitches to getting the fit right, I love the layout and I like the ring bound work book feel to this pattern book. It just feels a bit lack lustre to me unfortunately. What do you think?


  1. Thanks for the lovely review. I was considering buying it. I was eager to make some for the sew book inspired series on my blog :)

    1. Hi Diya. I have just been looking at all your lovely creations on your blog - what a great idea to do a sew book inspired series. I can't wait to see what you make from Gertie's pattern book. I will shortly be sewing up the wrap dress and am excited about my autumnal wardrobe...which I suspect may have a thing or two in it from here. I will follow your blog to see what you make. Happy sewing.


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