I have and just finished reading Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing. I bought her book after becoming a fan of her blog. While I have completed a couple dresses I am definitally a novice and I would like to share a few things I learned from reading her book. This is the second sewing book I've read. The first was Sew What! Skirts. Making these skirts was a good way to start sewing. I just wish I had read Gertie's book before I had moved onto sewing dresses. Here is why.
1. I know how to size my patterns. Like I said, I had never read any other sewing book before so I was creating my dresses exactly the size the pattern was written for. No wonder some of my patterns are large on me. I have since taken apart one of my dresses and made alterations.
2. Use tracing paper or other to create a copy of the originial. Yes, I commited a horrible mistake, I pinned some of my orginial vintage patterns. They are still in tack but to help preserve my patterns I will be using tracing paper going forward. It also makes it easier to create size adjustments right on the paper before even cutting my fabric.
3. Interfacing. I hadn't used it before and maybe was just intimidated. I now have some ready to go with my fabric before I sew my first Gertie pattern.
4. Another thing I learned from both Gertie and Lauren of Wearing History. Although I had seen it mentioned several times before I will finally head the advice of creating a muslin. This is one of Lauren's entrys, Tips to a Successful Finished Sewn Garnment. Gertie mentions in her book that if the bottom of the dress is full there is no need to create an entire muslin, just the bodice portion.
I realize these are some basic things many who have sewn before know. If however you are like me and want to start sewing, I recomment picking up her book to understand what patterns don't tell you.