Thursday, 25 October 2012

::Book Nook:: Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing

I've been reading Gretchen's blog Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing for awhile now and I still really enjoy it. It's a wealth of sewing knowledge and tutorials and is one of those blogs I have to read when there is a new post. I was pretty excited that she was going to have a book published, but I wasn't moved to order it on pre-sale. I'm a believer in instant gratification when it comes to buying books (well as instant as it gets when you order online and it takes a week for the book to get shipped to me :) ) I'm just no good at the looong wait.

As I mentioned when I first posted about this book I was drawn in by the posts other seamstresses where writing about the book. I saw all the rave reviews from other sewing bloggers. I. JUST. HAD. TO. HAVE. IT!!! I jumped online and did a bit of price comparison (Book Depository usually beats everyone else by the time you add in other online book stores shipping fees)

Gretchen's introduction really set the scene for the book and the design really tied in nicely with the whole 'sewing retro' theme of the book. I enjoyed how the book progressed through the various chapters in part 1, touching on the areas of sewing techniques; stabilising and tailoring; patternmaking; and fitting.

This was a fantastic lead in to Part 2: Wardrobe and wowzers what a great wardrobe it is! The pictures of construction steps accompanying the instructions for each of the patterns are a fantastic aid in visualising how each garment is put together. However I do wish there were a few more pictures with the instructions for some of the variations Gretchen has included in the book.

I found that I read the book fairly quickly, but I must admit I skipped over the instructions for the Suit Jacket and the Coat Dress at the end. I'm not really up to constructing a super tailored garment just yet.

Things I didn't like about the book:
  • The pattern envelope at the front. Not really related to the content I know, but it was a little annoying when reading the book. I think I'd prefer it at the back. My pattern envelope has come unstuck from the front cover :( - Oh well I'll just have to stick back on.
Pattern Envelope
  • There aren't enough pictures in some of the sections. I think that more pictures in the tailoring and fitting sections would be beneficial, however I should be able to find out more from fitting or tailoring reference books. I do wish that there were more pictures when it comes to the pattern variations, this is something I won't be able find anywhere else.

Things I liked about the book:
  • Fantastic patterns of course! I really like the separates and the dresses. You really can't complain about how many you get either. I mean there are 10 patterns in this book-TEN!
  • The weight of the pattern paper. It's really sturdy and looks like it would stand up to multiple tracings. 
  • I really enjoy the writing style. A reviewer on GoodReads commented that she didn't like it, however if you read the blurb on the back and the introduction Gretchen explains that this books is really an extension of her blog and therefore she has written in a similar style.
  • The book design and styling was fun and is pretty great too.
The Pattern Paper

Items I want to make (the important part : P ):
  • The Pencil Skirt; 
Would be great for work!

  • The Portrait Blouse; 
Wonderful for casual and work wear

  • and the Straight Waistline Full Skirt variation The Scalloped Waist Skirt
Would be great for social outings. Maybe work too.

  • The Shirtwaist Dress
Love, love, love - one for work and casual

  • and the Peter Pan Collar variation of the Bow-Tied Blouse.
I'll have to see if the high neckline works for me.

I'm really glad I bought this book and it is a fantastic addition to my collection.

What are you reading these days?

Until next time, I hope you're engrossed in a fantastic book
Vanessa xo

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

::Show & Tell:: Fabric Purchases

I've been meaning to show you some loveliness I bought at spotlight when they had a sale a while back.
As per usual I went there to buy something completely unrelated and ended up with an armful of fabric and other bits and pieces. It was cheap and lovely and at $5 a metre I couldn't help myself.
I originally went just to buy a snap fastener kit, some thread for a quilting project I've been working on for aaages and an embroidery hoop for a project that I was meant to have completed for my 'get-together' anniversary with the Mr-that was in April :(

Anyway, anyway, anyway while I was walking around I notice that there was a sign for fabrics for just $5 a metre. I thought what the hell, I'm new to sewing and if I don't like what I make it's of no great loss. While I was rummaging through the fabrics I came across these lovelies.

Vintagey Roses
celia ptd cotton viole 112cm-2m

These colours always remind me of old style china tea sets
flower press ctn blues large blue 108cm-2m

70cms! What shall I do with it!
Passion Rayn CHLS Paisley in Latte 144cm - 70cms
This post has been in the wings for sooo long that I've already made something out of the Paisley. You can see it over here.

And as a bonus this is some fabric from the Mr's Grandmothers stash. I think it's upholstery fabric, But I totally want to make this into a lined pencil skirt.
What have you been stashing away? Yarn, fabric, other crafty supplies? Tell me all about it.

Until next time, I hope you're surrounded by lovely things that you have stumbled upon, or been gifted.
Vanessa xo

Thursday, 18 October 2012

::Show & Tell:: IKEA Paper Holder

A couple of weeks back I went to IKEA in Logan with some mates of mine. There were a few things that I wanted, but I was also open to having a look at some other things. While I was looking around the kids' section I spotted this MALA paint/drawer storage. It made me think about this Miss P post from Portia.

Now I haven't really drafted patterns a great deal, but I thought it would be a handy and portable version of the setup that Portia wrote about in her post. And come on it's IKEA it's cheap as chips. So I went for it and scooped it into my trolled and went hunting around for paper. I went up and down the shelves looking everywhere... except what would have been right behind me when I was standing in front of the paper holding stand. Doh! So I grabbed a roll of this MALA drawing paper roll.
So I've put it all together and I've already used it! Woop! I'll show you in a coming post.

Have you recently been struck by someone else's fantastic idea and incorporated it into your life?

Until next time, hope you're being your creative best,
Vanessa xo

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

::Show & Tell::Book Nook:: New Sewing Books

I'm not usually the type to shriek with excitement about getting a purchase in the mail; but when I received a couple of books I'd ordered online in the mail I did. :)

I had downloaded the Kindle Sample of The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting earlier this year and I decided that it would be a really great resource. I didn't want to order it there and then because I often find I buy things on a whim and never use them. So my trick is to put off buying something and if I keep thinking about it I must really want it. :)

After reading the reviews on the blogasphere about  Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing I had to have it! I thought I may as well buy it and The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting at the same time seeing as the it was still on my mind.

I ordered them from Book Depository on  September 8th and they arrived at my office on the September 15th. Pretty good shipping time frame if you ask me; especially seeing as shipping is free. I would usually wait until I got home to open the packages, But I was so excited I ripped them open there and then.

I've had the books for a month now (wow time flies!). I've only just finished Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing so I'll post shortly on my thoughts on the book. I'm still making my way through The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting and I'm finding it really interesting and I think it will be really helpful in future too.

If you want to have a look at what I'm reading I can be found here on Goodreads. I've found Goodreads to be a really great way of tracking what I've read and what I want to read.

How do you keep track of your books?

Until next time, hope you are a reading a great book at the moment,
Vanessa xo