Gertie Sews Vintage Casual: A Modern Guide to Sportswear Styles of the 1940s and 1950s


Gertie Sews Vintage Casual: A Modern Guide to Sportswear Styles of the 1940s and 1950s (Gertie’s Sewing)

  • Stewart Tabori & Chang Books-Gertie Sews Vintage Casual

The mid-20th century was an amazing time for American women’s fashion! Following the war, women started looking to American designers rather than French couture houses for inspiration and to demand clothing they could move in, even play in. In this follow-up to Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing, Gretchen “Gertie” Hirsch celebrates the classic casual styles that icons like Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, and Rosie the Riveter made famous—think wide-legged trousers, fitted capri pan

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3 Comments/Reviews

  • Ugly Beat says:
    65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    SUPER DUPER SEWING MAGIC FUNTIME!!!, September 24, 2014
    By 
    Ugly Beat (Austin, TX) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Gertie Sews Vintage Casual: A Modern Guide to Sportswear Styles of the 1940s and 1950s (Hardcover-spiral)
    I just adore Gertie’s blog and just about squealed out loud when the mailbox contained her book! This book does a great, I mean, GREAT job of explaining vintage casual techniques for both knits and wovens. There is a ton of information on fitting pants, fitting knits, and flat pattern adjustment as well as patternmaking techniques such as changing necklines, waistlines, pockets, collars, darts, etc. This is not a beginning book for someone who has no idea how to sew—there are plenty of those already on the market, so if you don’t sew at all, don’t expect to learn how to use your sewing machine. I would suggest Tilly’s “Love At First Stitch” if you’re a complete beginner and want to learn how to sew cute clothes using a pattern.

    The wardrobe is10 included patterns on nice, thick paper—only part I dislike is they are printed on both sides so I have to trace. Hate that, but suck it up, self! Sizing starts at a 32″ bust all the way up to 46″ (hips 36–50) The 10 patterns are 40’s style blouse, flared skirt, knit sweetheart top, cigarette pants, easy knit pencil skirt (looks like a breeze!), pin-up sweater, shift dress, wrap dress (looks a little frumpy on the model, don’t know if I’ll make this one!), zip-front dress, and halter top (fitted with bust cups and side ruching, which I’m really excited to try!) EVERY SINGLE PATTERN has at least one variation, some with multiple variations, so you get a total of 35 patterns. For example, the Cigarette Pants have variations using patternmaking skills so that you can make a 40’s style wide-leg pant, pedal pushers, flared shorts, sailor shorts, and jeans (which look like Freddies of Pinewood jeans). The super cute halter top can be made as a romper if you attach the top to the previously mentioned shorts! (and, gracious, is it ever cute in the book!!!!) There are models of various sizes—nice to see real world people and, of course, lovely Gertie.

    I wish I could provide a review where I’ve made a few of the patterns, but I just got it today so that’ll have to come. I just wanted to provide you with some additional information in case you were wondering whether you should get this book. I’m super excited to start sewing and make some sweet wardrobe basics, vintage-style!

    Okay, I HAVE MADE TWO THINGS! I made the sailor shorts which are awesome—in fact, I have made them about 5 times now since it’s Texas here! I have also made the Halter Top with ruched sides, which is fantastic and I plan on making it again with better fabric. It was a bit big on me but I have a reallllly tiny top so I took it in on the sides about an inch. The bust cups I had to adjust as well since I’m an A cup, but I did a quick mock-up and it wasn’t that difficult. Next time I will make sure I enclose the boning better since it pokes me in the sides!
    THREE THINGS NOW—-the knit sweetheart top as well. Made it twice and it fits like a dream. Very cute and my first knit top.

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  • Karen Hughes says:
    15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A good book, but……, December 25, 2014
    By 

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Gertie Sews Vintage Casual: A Modern Guide to Sportswear Styles of the 1940s and 1950s (Hardcover-spiral)
    If you need to do any fitting or pattern adjustments I suggest using a different book in conjunction with this one.
    The adding width and pinching out the neckline instructions are high school beginner sewing, so if you are looking for how to fit these, you aren’t going to find it here. That is the reason I’m giving the book 4 stars. Well, that and the photo’s, all done against a blah background, and occasionally in downright ugly fabrics.
    The patterns are cute, and the instructions are for the most part clear. The writing style is fine, warm and easy to understand. The illustrations are clear enough, and sometimes quite nice.
    One of the real values of this book is seeing the variations on the patterns and seeing how they were handled. I always enjoy that and felt that yes, I did learn something from those parts of the book.
    I’ve heard a lot about sizing on these being unique. Gertie uses a different size number (10-12-14 etc) but these are still big 4 sizing for the most part. An 18 for example, is still a 46″bust and a 38″ waist. The hip sizing seems a little generous but that is the style of the garments as well.
    There aren’t any really new patterns here, there isn’t anything you can’t find somewhere else, but having them all together is a great value.
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  • Nancy Lindquist says:
    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    I really love this book, and am working on patterns in it., July 9, 2016
    By 
    Nancy Lindquist (Ann Arbor, MI) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Gertie Sews Vintage Casual: A Modern Guide to Sportswear Styles of the 1940s and 1950s (Hardcover-spiral)
    I really love this book. It is what it is, making really authentic vintage casual clothing, with the exception of some armseye placement, not as far towards the back as in the fifties, but that is a good thing. The lapped zip information, the ideas, the pattern layouts that you trace in the back are all very clear. I know people do not like the hand drawings, but I find them to be no problem. The Knit Sweetheart Top, on page 150-153 are well done, even down to how far to place the pins a part. I have found changing up the patterns, so far, to be easy and grading my hip to waist ratio, very different sizes, easy and reasonable. As of today, I have traced and am tissue fitting a pattern for The 40’s Style Wide Legged Pant. I can see the proper lines through the tracing paper with no problem at all.

    I really enjoy that her models are all sizes, and shapes. All in all this is my favorite Gertie book, for now. Next week it will be the dress book. I have all her books and enjoy them very much.

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