Sunday, July 11, 2021

Weekend Review: Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses

Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses / Gretchen Hirsch
NY: Abrams, c2019
144 p.

This is another of Gretchen Hirsch's sewing books, but it's one in which the dresses are a bit simpler. She's well known for her vintage oriented style and with that some more complex patterns and techniques. 

But this book lightens up a little and provides 5 patterns for easier dresses. It includes a Popover, Chemise, Swirl, Boatneck, and Patio Dress. Each includes variations and ideas for adding trim or details that change it up. For example, the Popover Dress can be made completely A-line to be worn with a belt, or you can shirr the waistline (instructions included). Some skirts can be switched between bodices to create different looks as well.

The patterns are all on paper sheets in the back of the book and need to be traced off. The sheets don't have too many overlaying lines though, and aren't confusing.  Many of the skirt options are simply rectangles that you cut directly from fabric, which does reduce the tracing. 

The sizing runs from 2-16, which is a 32/36 Bust/Hip to a 46/50. Seam allowances are included. All of the finished garment measurements are also given so that you can evaluate your preferred fit as well. I fall into Size 8 by my measurements but might adjust to a 6 or 10 depending on the project. 

There are even some video tutorials to go along with this book if you like to have some visual guidance when you are making up the patterns! (the video shows a close up of the pattern sheets as well)

I like the aesthetic of these patterns -- they are appealing day dresses that seem fairly straightforward in construction and I would make any of them. As usual the photography is well done, and there are lots of sections on fabric choices, techniques, sewing kit, fitting  and so on. All of her books are good at including this kind of preparatory info. 

Overall I liked this one and think I am most likely to use it out of all her books. The easier styles really do appeal to me, but I also like the potential for variations and personalization. It was an enjoyable read.

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