Saturday, April 23, 2011

Gertie's Week in Review {4.23.11}

Readers, as I've become more consumed with working on my book, I feel like there's a little less of my daily doings on my blog. As you may have noticed, I've had to switch the focus here to more general information-based posts rather than updates on current projects. And this has all resulted in me feeling like there's a little less of me on the blog. Now, for some of you, this may be a plus! But for me, it feels like I miss chatting with my best sewing buddies. Hence, the idea for "Gertie's Week in Review" was born. Here I'll give you some Doogie Howser-style reflections on daily life. Here we go!

The sewing machine has been quite busy this week. I spent several days working on the pencil skirt that will be in my book. My time at Susan Khalje's couture sewing school really inspired me to make each piece very special, so this one has a silk organza underlining, a hand-picked lapped zipper, and a high waistband with boning. However, the book instructions give you the basics of construction and then there are sidebars on how to up your game if you're ready for the next level.

Mid-week, I had to switch my focus. Have you all seen the Common Thread project that's going on at The Sew Weekly? Mena had many yards of a delicate ivory vintage lace that she sent out to seven sewing bloggers to make a creation in which the lace is used. I'm honored to be finishing up the series next week. There have been many amazing creations from this lace, which you should definitely check out. I spent a lot of time agonizing over what to make, and then it suddenly came to me mid-week. I don't want to ruin the surprise, but I can tell you that I draped the pattern myself and it's inspired by a costume worn by one of Hollywood's most beloved starlets—of all time.

Today is a rainy day here in Queens and I'm finishing up that project, and later going to get my hair done. I've decided I want my bangs to be a little more dramatic, in the u-shape that was popularized by non other than Bettie Page. I'm bringing along this picture of Gretchen Mol playing Bettie.

Later on, Jeff and I have a date at a new restaurant in the neighborhood that has a very old-school vibe. Perfect for showing off a new 'do!

In terms of blogging, this week has been a good one. I am really enjoying writing The Daily Dress, perhaps more than any other feature. Which is ironic, because some of you have been quite vocal in hating it! I hope you'll continue to give it a chance. Like anything else, it's a process. I'm working on the voice and style of it, and trying to make it as sewing-focused as possible by adding patterns and pondering construction techniques used on the dresses.

The granny panty discussion was quite spirited and fun, wasn't it? I was pleased that the post got picked up by Jezebel, my favorite ladyblog of all time. I joked to Jeff that I'm going to become known as that granny panties lady from now on. (Kind of like Elizabeth Banks in Zac and Miri Make a Porno. Anyone else see that?)

Well, I suppose that's it for now. I feel much better now that we've had a good chat. What's been going on with you, readers?


  1. this girl did a great comic about granny panties, but it's in french:

    the girls basically say: 'oh just look at those granny panties...'
    'don't move, i'm putting on my girdle!'
    'haha, too ugly!'
    'no, really people, thongs exist'


    'love from granny diglee'

  2. Hi,

    I just came by to say a quick thanks for your lovely and nice blog.

    I'm a stay at home mom of 1,5 year old twins (and a part time ER-doctor) from Finland. Not much time to sew myself, but love reading about it on your blog! Your topics are so varied that it's never boring here!

    regards: Outi

  3. What's been going on with me? I finished an orchid double knit cardigan - love it!

    And I've been searching and searching for a textile reference about comfortable fabrics for hot weather. I know that linen is great, but I want to understand the science of why. Is there room for this sort of thing in your book or blog?

    As always, I really enjoy reading your blog. Even the uninteresting topics are interesting to read about.

  4. I think I'm going to enjoy this feature, as I'm nosy :)
    Sounds like you've had a good week. I can't wait to see your new hair cut! I'm contemplating getting a fringe/bangs, but can't decide what.
    Well, this week I got most of a blouse finished in a cute cotton birdie print fabric! And it's been wonderfully warm too, so we've had a few lazy days in the sun :)
    Ashley x
    ps. I love the daily dress feature! :)

  5. Hey Gertie! I love your blog - I've been following for a few months, now. You have inspired me greatly - esp. to post every day on my own blog. I teach sewing to beginners. Posting every day has really helped me and that I credit to you. I know you are far beyond it, but come visit some time, anyway.

  6. I have loved reading your blog since last year and love your new features, but it wasn't until you pointed it out that I missed hearing what you were working on during the week. Thanks for adding the weekly update!

  7. Boy, I really, really hope that anyone who says they HATE The Daily Dress loses their internet connection! I LOVE this theme and have encouraged others who sew to check in and get informed. Gertie, don't let a few naysayers spoil the fun.

  8. Hi Gertie,
    I'm new to your blog, and I love it!!
    Thank you!!
    I am so inspired to sew clothes again (it's been about 10 years), and I appreciate your commentary on patterns you've used.
    Last weekend I tried out the Sencha blouse pattern, and I was so proud of my hand stitching ;)
    This weekend I'm doing it again with some silk fabric. It's going much faster the second time around.
    Happy Easter, and Happy Sewing!

  9. I also love, love, love the daily dress! We don't always (or even often) agree but it's my favorite over-coffee contemplation, especially when the rest of my RSS feeds are depressing news!

  10. Gertie, I love the daily dress posts! Its a little dose of window shopping every afternoon. :)

    Also, have you seen the new McCalls patterns? This one totally reminded me of the "yellow dress" that you drafted!!

  11. I'm just really happy to see you've been able to create interesting daily posts while being able to still focus on your book, not to mention your job in publishing! I love the opportunity to look at a dress and see that fashion and technique trends are all cyclical, and that inspiration and reflection are essential steps in the process of creating, and that online sewing community exists full of diverse and creative people who can talk about these aspects of sewing.

  12. Thanks for the update! I'm still poking along on a Butterick dress using a purple cheetah print. It's either great or hideous, can't decide which as yet.

    I'm one of the Daily Dress lovers. I like having you single out a dress, that I've likely overlooked. I actually spend quite a bit (inordinate, maybe?) of time thinking about the styling and how I would interpret it. In fact, my only thought about the feature as a whole is that because it goes up late in the day (at least for those of us in the US), perhaps there isn't as much discussion about details as there could be. I know I don't always post a comment, or at least a detailed one just because it's 4:30 and I need to head home, make dinner, run my kid somewhere, etc, etc, oh and try to get in my own sewing. Maybe it could substitute occasionally for a regular post if you think there's a dress that's particularly discussion worthy.

    Oh, and thanks for the style dictionary. I'm enjoying that feature as well.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  13. I have to admit I've been wondering how things are going with you since the book project has taken over things (understandably!). ;)

    I cannot wait to see your new 'do! I really love that look and think it's going to suit you to a T.

    I said this on FB, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the Daily Dress feature. I make sure I check my feed reader every evening to catch the latest one! :)

    ♥ Casey

  14. First I'd like to say how much I've been enjoying the dress feature. I love any excuse to look at and mentally de/reconstruct dresses and clothes. Your dictionary features have been very informative. I've learnt so much from your blog, and I'm so grateful. I'm also so pleased for you about your book deal. I'll be front of the queue when it comes out. I'm already counting the days. I feel like one of my own friends has been published.
    That said, I have missed hearing from you. I've missed the more personal aspect that first drew me to your blog. Plus, VoNBBS for a while. Understandable, but still missed. Nice to hear from you :)

  15. I like the dress posts, too! I am always willing for some schooling on fashion. Glad to hear your projects for the book are pleasing you. The skirt surely sounds quite nice and quite tempting.

  16. don't you dare stop with the daily dress. don't even think about it.

  17. the Vintage SeamstressApril 23, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    Hi Gertie,
    I can't wait for youe book to come out it sounds like its going to be a cracker. Its amazing, really , that you still have time at all for blogging, but for that I am grateful. I really enjoy the style of your blog and all the interesting things you come up with, its very entertaining and informative! I guess all modern girls are trying to juggle busy lives with work and/or children whilst still trying to find the time to be creative so your blog comes as a breath of inspiration. Thankyou.

  18. I love the daily dress feature, it's fun to see other things than just pictures of vintage pattern drawings on blogs. If a daily dress is too much, even just a weekly dress would be fun

  19. I was wondering if you had a a zipper tut? or knew of a good one?

  20. I love the daily dress too! I always look forward to reading your blog, you always have some interesting and fun things to read. Just keep doing what you're doing, and I'll keep reading :)

  21. I love the daily dress feature - keep it coming!!

  22. I love the daily dress!! The more posts, the better :)

  23. I like the Daily Dress, tell those nay sayers to go away.

  24. I'm enjoying the Daily Dress too. Nice to see fashion through the eyes of an expert sewist. Also you seem to be enjoying writing them.

  25. I loved Zac and Miri make a porno! Such a fun movie. And very romantic, too :).
    But I have to admit, I´m not a fan of these u-shaped bangs, and I liked your hair more without the bangs :). Anyway, good luck! Jana

  26. Well, since you ask... I just finished some projects for my mom's birthday, and am currently working on a blue linen tunic for myself, and a yellow t-shirt with blue zigzag stitch trim. If I ever finish those I have lined up a pintucked linen blouse, and curtains for my room, and a few other summery tops. And in the fall I'm planning a navy corduroy skirt with inverted box pleats. 'K?

  27. The biggest sewing project I worked on recently was Princess Aurora's dress from Sleeping Beauty! It made me cry to see it constructed by magic in the film when I had been tearing my hair out over it for weeks! Argh! I could have used a fairy godmother or two!


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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