I recently received Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing in the mail.  Now, if you’re not familiar with Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing, let me tell you–she is amazing.  Her blog is extremely well written and includes amazing tutorials on sewing vintage.  When her book was released a few months ago, I was dying to get it, and finally it arrived at my doorstep.  Gertie has an amazing eye for vintage patterns and color, and I couldn’t wait to see how her book turned out.

Just as expected, the book is brilliantly written and full of gorgeous illustrations and photographs.  She discusses vintage techniques in a way that is understandable without being “dumbed down.”  The book also includes amazing patterns and variations to make 13+ gorgeous vintage staples.

Before I knew it, I was starting “The Pencil Skirt” with some fabric from my stash.  I chose a gorgeous houndstooth with a little stretch.  Having been in my stash since high school, I am embarrassed to say, I have no idea what the fabric content is!  After being laundered in cold water, it seems to be fine, so I am assuming it is a cotton/poly blend of some sort.


Unfortunately, where I live there are very few fabric stores and non with much fashion fabric selection.  Up until recently, I have been making various items out of “quilter’s cotton,” but I have learned the error of my ways!  I recently discovered Denver Fabrics, and ordered a few selections for upcoming projects–but more of that later!


Back to “The Pencil Skirt.”  I knew immediately that I would have to change the pattern.  Gertie is much taller than I am, and I believe her patterns reflect that.  Being only 5’4″ and having stubby legs, I had to chop nearly half of the length from the pattern.  But other than that, everything seemed great!  So far, I have sewn all the pieces together and attached the zipper.  Next I will be adding a button and buttonhole, finishing the inside with some hand-sewing, and hemming the skirt.

Wish me luck!



About Karen Sofie

I love sewing, knitting, cooking, and creating.

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