Gertie’s Vintage made Casual

I got the great new book by Gertie for my birthday – fantastic range of patterns along with a selection of pattern modifications to extend the selection.

As with her first book the descriptions are detailed and well explained. I enjoyed being able to follow the steps to alter patterns enabling you to create something unique.

This week I’ve tackled trousers – something I’ve not really done much of. First off I drafted a pattern for some shorts, similar to the Sailor shorts but longer. I used some leftover old fabric as it was really a muslin (although hopefully a wearable one!)

I made a few mistakes.. Missed the darts on the front as I forgot to trace them onto my pattern. Also messed up the length for my waistband, making it too short.

Having made them I used the book’s guidance to work out what modifications were required. Removal of droopy bottom, and baggy back.

Then I realised that what I really needed was light weight trousers not shorts!

Redrafted the pattern full length, keeping most of the extra width.

Success, a comfy pair of summer trousers. Perfect to fend of mosquitos.

To round off the evening I then rattled off a knit pencil skirt. Great idea to stitch in the ditch on the seams to hide the stitching for the invisible elastic waistband.


Next up was a long sleeve version of “the pin up sweater”. I found some rib knit fabric in Leeds market – perfect to emulate the jumper in the book. My fabric is green, so a little different from the blue in the book. I decided that as we’re approaching winter in the UK that full sleeves were called for. Drafted the sleeves by extending the short ones. Next time I might make them a fraction longer. They feel quite tight, but I think that’s the look. The only other modification I’d make is to widen the front slight around the bust. As there are no darts it could do with a little more room if you normally need a fba.


Overall, great book and patterns so far. Well done Gertie.


Tilly’s Delphine Skirt

This week I’ve finally got round to finishing my first skirt from Tilly’s book “Love at first Stitch”. It’s a great book – good for both beginner and more experienced sewers.

Although I’ve sewn lots of A line skirts before I decided to give the Delphine a go.

It’s a great skirt to make and the instructions in the book are great. Some nice tips for both new and old.

Worth paying attention to the advice to check the size before finally sewing the zip and back seam. I had to unpick mine and take it in.

I enjoyed learning how to stitch in the ditch. Carefully lining up the zip foot to your seam, then slowly slowly ( or pole pole as they’d say in Swahilli!)

In keeping with Tilly’s book I made the skirt my own – zipped in seam pocket. It’s great to have somewhere to put your phone.

The book has instructions for in an in seam pocket, but not a zipped one. I’ve only done this once before, which I blogged on this site. Having done it twice now I think I need to change the steps. It might work better to insert the zip then sew in the pocket in the seam allowance? Any suggestions?

I made a couple of changes to the instructions which I think help give my skirt a professional finish. Firstly I understiched the waistband, on the upper edge. I find it helps prevent the lining rolling forward. The other change I made to finishing techniques was to hand stich, using invisible stitches the heam. I love the clean finish that it gives.