Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing--and vintage dress lovers!

Today I get to share with you my review of a super fun new book about vintage sewing, by who else but Gretchen Hirsch of Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing. I remember being impressed by Gretchen’s projects and blog years ago when I first started blogging, and it’s so cool that she’s put her knowledge into this great book! A lasting collection of ideas and tips for all of us--I can't wait to show it to my mom, who taught me to sew.

Here it is--Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing: A Modern Guide to Couture-Style Sewing Using Basic Vintage Techniques. It's available for sale September 1st, but you can pre-order a copy now!

It's a beautiful book with high quality paper patters in the envelope inside the cover, and I love the spiral binding--means you can lay it flat while you're sewing, and don't need to worry about it flipping closed on you.

The book is divided into two main sections: Skills and Wardrobe. The Skills section is really amazing, such a comprehensive list of retro sewing techniques. Lots of great methods and tips for creating high quality garments, regardless of what you're sewing! And then of course there's the Wardrobe section, which you'll love if you love vintage style--using several basic patterns, you can make any of the projects or use the tips you just learned to modify them how you please! While using antique and vintage patterns is fun, this way you know you'll get the right fit and size, and you really can modify to get the exact look you want.

Here's just a few of my fave resources in the book so far!

In Skills...

Photos and descriptions of seam finishes, using vintage sewing techniques. Back before there were sergers and so many mass-produced clothing... there are several great ways to finish seams as a home sewer, and Gertie shows you how with great descriptions!

There's also a great section on tailoring, making it seem really not that terrifying. I think a retro-inspired jacket or suit would be a great introduction to making tailored garments!

Maybe my faaavorite part of the book is the Vintage to Modern dictionary. If you ever use vintage patterns or shop for vintage or retro-ey clothes, you'll love this spread!

Another element of the book that's useful for everyone are the parts about fitting, modifying, and otherwise customizing patterns. If you read and learn from these sections, you'll hardly ever need to buy new patterns--you'll just be able to tweak the ones you already have. Great skill!

In the Wardrobe section, there are several cute vintage-inspired blouses, skirts, and dresses. Some for summer, some for fall and winter... and all cute!

Thanks so much to STC Craft for sending this book to me, and I hope you readers get a chance to pick one up soon! You can can pre-order a copy now!


  1. Oh I am so jealous that you got to see the book before the rest of us! I cannot wait to put my hands on a copy. I like the range of skills in the book and of course, the patterns! I will have a hard time deciding witch one to make first! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Haha, yes, it was fun! Would love to hear what people make out of it first!

  2. Anonymous8/15/2012

    Thanks for the thorough review. Like Joelle, I am jealous that you have a copy already! I'm hoping to attend her book release party next month since I live close to New York, so I'll probably wait until then to buy a copy. Can't wait. Thanks again for the great review and gorgeous pictures.

    1. Sure, thanks! Wow, how cool to attend her book release party! Have fun!

  3. I can´t wait to buy this book! Maybe it´s time for me to start really learning how to sew. Suzannah are you gona do something from this book?

    1. I hope so! It's hard to imagine right now, with moving, but I totally should! If you buy it, you can first and show me! =)

  4. wow, awesome article post. Much obliged.

  5. Jealous! I preordered the book and have been waiting (relatively) patiently for Sept 1. Now after seeing your review I am both super impatient & delighted the book turned out to be as good as it was in my head!

    1. Very cool! Can't wait to see people making some of the projects from it!

  6. Do you have the complete collection of Vintage Spoon? You can find it all here!



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