Gertie vs Tanya Whelan
Hi, here comes the promised review on these two books Gerties Ultimate Dress Book and Sew Many Dresses, Sew little Time: the ultimate dress making guide. They are around the same price on Amazon.co.uk Gertie is £1 more expensive.
I love Gertie’s Blog and this is a extension of that, it is written in the same breezy style, I will admit if it wasn’t for the fact that it was a Gertie book, I probably wouldn’t have bought it, there seems to be little point in having two ‘Ultimate’ dress books, because Gertie didn’t come out until March and I had already got the other one for Christmas.
Both of them having sewing tips and tricks, to be honest I prefer the photography style of Tanya’s book, the dresses look more shapely and there were a few different models, there were more dresses where I thought ooh I could wear that, in particular the halter neck dress. Gertie’s dresses looked a bit shapeless and unflattering.
Apart from the sizing issue on the pattern sheets, Gertie gives you the 3/4 circle skirt, where as Tanya shows you how to draft your own (I’m lazy I’d rather copy one than draft one) also Gertie’s sizes are ready to wear size and she has a different type of line for each one whereas Tanya has chosen to go from 1-12 in some ways this makes choosing a size more accurate as you are less likely to go for the size you think you should be rather than the size you are. Each set of lines are 1-4 is dark grey 5-8 medium grey and 8-12 light grey I’m lucky in that my size falls on the edge of a colour change.
I feel that Tanya gives you a better understanding on how to alter the basic pattern, the book is split up into different areas the first is bodices and she goes through how to manipulate the darts to get a different shape, and what to do with the necklines. the next is collars and so on, each section give you a photo of a dress then tells you where in the book it tells you about the pattern.
Gertie’s step by step is better and, if not for the drafting issues I would recommend it to beginners, Tanya’s book I think will get more use.
As far as I can work out from the books, Gertie drafts for a ‘C’ cup and Tanya ‘B’ and I had no trouble at all with the FBA for Liz’s dress. if you look at the two patterns together Tanya’s does have more shaping at the waist, of course it always helps if the waist part of the pattern is drafted correctly, which Gerties appears not to have been as it is 2 inches out on the size 6. (see my previous post)
You get four double sided pattern sheets with Gertie but only three with Tanya. If I had to send one of them back today, I would choose to keep the Tanya Whelan book, partly because the waist patterns appear to be drafted wrong, but mainly because I think I could get more out of this book and I like the pictures better. Luckily I get to keep both 🙂