Today, I finished my first item from Gretchen Hirsch’s book, “Gertie Sews Vintage Casual” (GSVC for short). I’ve never seen a book of patterns like this, but I don’t have a whole lot of experience, so I don’t know if this book concept is groundbreaking or not, but I think I like it!

Gertie Sews Vintage Casual

Part one of the book teaches you skills to construct the garments within, and is pretty handy for learning sewing in general.


Part two features 10 basic garment patterns and variations to produce other garments, totalling 35 possible garments.

List of Patterns

In the back of the book is an envelope holding the basic patterns, multi-sized from sizes 2 – 16.

Pattern Envelope

The measurements are tucked away inside the book, but they seem accurate so far. I sewed a size 6 pant for my 28″ waist and it’s spot on.

Size Chart

For my first project, I decided to sew the ’40s-style wide-leg pant, a variation of the cigarette pants pattern. It would probably have been easier to start with the basic pattern, but I never said I made things easy.

40s-Style Wide-Leg Pants

The patterns are printed on heavy paper on both sides, sometimes overlapping, so the patterns must be traced for use. I used clear vinyl sheeting (often used to protect delicate tablecloths) and a sharpie to trace the size 6 pattern for the cigarette pants.

Cigarette Pants Pattern

I then traced the pattern onto my pre-washed fabric and followed the variation directions to widen the legs for the ’40s-style wide leg pant. The instructions then refer you to previous sections of the book to draft the waistband and cuffs to your desired width.

Pants in progress

From there, I followed the detailed directions for the cigarette pants to assemble the pants, jumping back to the variation instructions only when it was time for the cuffs and waistband, which were not part of the cigarette pants.

Although I did a fair amount of improvising on the waistband and cuffs, the instructions were clear and I sewed my best centered zipper to date following the book’s instructions!

Waistband & centered zipper

The pants came out pretty nice, and I’m looking forward to my next project from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual!

Wide-legged maroon pant