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Gertie at STC Craft

Hello there! I’m Gretchen Hirsch, but I’m better known as just “Gertie” in the blogosphere. I write Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing, where modern seamstresses come learn and share sewing tips and tricks. We also discuss vintage and contemporary fashion, body image, and feminism, and recommend good cat videos on YouTube. (Who doesn’t love a good cat video?)

I’m thrilled to be here blogging for STC Craft. I’m lucky to call this my publishing home, and now it’s my freelance work home too! Melanie Falick took on my book project last year, and I’m looking forward to its release in fall 2012. And if that weren’t enough, she also gave me the courage to quit my day job by giving me editing work at STC Craft. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of hers.

Last week, I spent my first couple days in the office. My inaugural task was to do a “cold read” of Natalie Chanin’s new book, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, which will be published in spring 2012. This meant lending a pair of fresh eyes to the proofs in their late stage, and bringing a seamstress’s perspective to the instructions and projects. As someone who has read and loved both of Natalie’s previous books, it’s kind of hard to believe that this is called “work.” If you haven’t read Alabama Stitch Book or Alabama Studio Style, it’s high time you did. They have something to inspire every type of seamstress—whether you love sparkly embellishments, deconstructed fashion, or the art of hand sewing.

And Natalie’s new book is just as wonderful, filled with the beautiful garments and amazing embellishment techniques that her brand is known for. There are lots of patterns for garments and accessories, like a glamorous long dress with a small train and an adorable bucket hat. All the projects are gorgeous, but one of my favorites is her ribbon embroidery, done with cotton tape.

Which brings me to my next task here at STC Craft: blogging weekly about techniques from STC Craft books. I’ve decided that my first project just has to be the cotton tape embroidery from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. So I’m going to be gathering up my supplies and getting ready to do some stitching. I can’t wait to share the results with you.

Until next time!

Reader Comments (9)

Isn't it great when your work life collides with what you love to do? Congratulations on your upcoming book and your new gig with STC Craft!


July 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

Sounds like a fun project. And that's an interesting technique in that last photo! I have (and love) Alabama Stitch Book, and I'm looking forward to checking out this newest one in the future.

July 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTasha

The book looks interesting.

I am not a "seamstress."

July 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSewer

Congratulations on your new endeavor. Enjoy the heck out of it!

July 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLynneW

YAY Gertie! So much looking forward to your weekly posts here!!

July 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebi

I am *such* a fan of Natalie Chanin and her work. How lucky you are to get a sneak peek at the book!!

July 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRose

Gertie, You really DO have the best job in the world!

Truly, you have taken your natural talents and your work experience and your many interests and created a wonderful career out of the mixture. And we are grateful for it every day!

Continuing good luck to you. And I look forward to delving into the many offerings at STC while I impatiently await your book.

July 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

Congratulations Gretchen/Gertie. Fun job. I'll look forward to reading more of your posts.

July 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermichelle edwards

I am a quiet follower of your blog, Gertie, and equally quietly followed you over here to check out the sew-along. I'm so glad I did for my personal edification, but I'm not sure my pocketbook is as thrilled because now I. Want. Books! So many great things in the catalogue. Guess I know what I'll be asking for for Christmas.

July 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMiquela

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