I'm a sewing enthusiast in Beacon, New York, with a love of all things retro. This site is all about tutorials, tips, inspiration, and lots of spirited discussion about sewing as it relates to fashion history, pop culture, body image, and gender. My first book, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, is now out from STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books! Also look for my line "Patterns by Gertie" from Butterick.
Wow. Big news today, readers: it seems that I have gotten a book deal based on this little blog. That's right! It's with many excited butterflies in my stomach that I announce that I am very lucky to call STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books my new book publishing home. This has been in the works for some time, and I've been dying to tell you all about it. Now that I can, I feel quite overwhelmed by it! Let me start from the beginning and tell you how this all came about.
Earlier this year, I got an e-mail from a craft book agent named Caroline Greeven, asking if I would be interested in talking about a book project with her. It turned out that she's represented some of my favorite craft books, like the Built by Wendy series and the Alabama Chanin books. So, of course, I was eager to talk to her.
Caroline and I connected right away and then pretty much got right to work. And she was wonderful, helping me take the kernel of an idea and turn it into a detailed, 40-page book proposal. Fast forward to this July, and the proposal was ready to send out. I went on a series of meetings with craft book publishers, all of which were fascinating in their own way. I was especially excited to meet Melanie Falick at Abrams/STC Craft. Who doesn't love her gorgeous, beautifully made craft books? (Like Weekend Sewing, Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and Alabama Studio Style, just to name a few.) Melanie and I definitely hit it off, and she is such a pro at this kind of book. So I was absolutely thrilled when she was the one who ended up acquiring the project, with the deal sealed just this week!
You might be asking: but what is this book going to be? Good question! The tentatively titled Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing will be a modern guide to couture-style sewing using basic vintage techniques. I've always emphasized the use of good reference books on this blog, and that's what this will be! It is going to be packed with the kind of construction details that you see in an impeccably made vintage suit or dress: like hand-picked zippers, bound buttonholes, and padstitched collars. Secondly, it will be a retro-stylish pattern book, featuring 10 customizable wardrobe essentials inspired by Vogue’s New Book for Better Sewing (made and modeled by yours truly!), as well as instructions for adapting vintage and contemporary patterns. It will have lots of fun sidebars throughout, on everything from vintage sewing machines to feminism to retro foundation garments. Basically, all the stuff that you've come to expect from my blog, in book form!
I've got to say, it feels decidedly surreal to know that I'll be the author of a sewing book, especially from such a well-regarded craft imprint. My emotions flicker spastically between ecstatic glee and nervous incredulity. After all, I'm certainly not a sewing expert in the traditional sense of the word. But I hope I've proved that I'm a passionate and tireless student of the subject. And, above all, I hope my book will make you feel how my favorite sewing books make me feel: inspired and ready to tackle new challenges and create beautiful things.
The next year will be a whirlwind of creating the book and I couldn't be more excited. It will most likely release in fall 2012, which probably seems far away but I have a feeling it will be here before we know it!
So that's my big news, readers. I want to thank each and everyone of you! This wouldn't have happened without the blog's success, and the blog's success wouldn't have happened without you. Here's to an exciting new chapter!