Book Club: Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book ✄✄ - ✄✄✄

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The first book featured in our Book Club is Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book.

A modern guide to sewing fabulous vintage styles, by Gretchen Hirsch.  

Purchase a copy of the book when booking in or bring your own copy.

The book features all the info a sewist could need when it comes to fabrics, construction, customisation, closures, hems, inner structures, built-in crinolines, and more.  PLUS instructions for 23 dresses!  With the mix and match skirts, bodices, selves, cuffs and collars you can literally make hundreds of dress combinations.

Each week we'll cover specific sections of the book, with samples and demos to make sure you understand everything.

You'll also be making your choice from the 23 dresses provided in the book!

Book Club Class Outline:

Week 1 - we'll choose your dress design based on your skill level, select your size and make a bodice toile - then we'll look at the fit.

Week 2 & 3 - with your adjusted pattern you'll cut out your fabrics, prepare pattern pieces and commence bodice construction.

Week 4 - Bodice and skirt construction.

Week 5 - Inserting closures, creating structure and finishing for professional results.

Everyone in book club will read the same chapters each week so we can discuss all the techniques covered and look at examples and do demonstrations of trickier elements.

Techniques and skills you could incorporate into your dress - Seam finishes; overlocked, turned and stitched, French, bound... Adding pockets, sewing darts, pleats and gathers. Lapped or invisible zips, including linings or facings, bias edge finishes, underlinings and using interfacing. Collars, sleeves or even cuffs.Hand sewing techniques, hemming, using and creating decorative trims. Boning, waist stays, built-in bra cups,

Workshop skill levels explained – click here.

Grab yourself a Thread Den membership and take advantage of the discount - click here to read more.

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What you will learn
  • Learn the detailed techniques and skills from Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book.
  • Making a toile, fitting and adjustments.
  • Modern sewing techniques for vintage dress styles.
What you will get
  • Purchase a copy of the book when booking in or bring your own copy.
  • Pattern paper, calico and thread for your toile is provided.
  • A beautiful Gertie Dress - made by you!
Parking Info
  • We are located at Level 1, 329 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.  It's a red door on the street between an Afghan restaurant and the N2 Gelato Bar.  If you are putting this into your GPS for directions - make sure that the address is NOT coming up as North Fitzroy. That's a couple of kilometres down the road. Totally not where you need to go.
  • Parking near Thread Den: There is very little free parking. Brunswick Street is all ticketed and restricted to as little as 2hours during some hours of the day.  Surrounding streets can also be difficult.  However, you can park for longer in the paid Coles Car Park.  When you look it up online it is listed as Johnston Street, however access is via Argyle Street.  If you park on level 1 or 2 and spend over $30 at Coles, you can get your parking for up to 4 hours reimbursed in Coles.  
  • Catch the tram. Public Transport is the ideal way to get to Thread Den - jump on the number 11 Tram and get off near the Johnston Street intersection.

What to bring
  • You don't need to bring anything to your first workshop
  • We'll work out exactly what you need during the first workshop
What to wear


Appropriate for

✄✄ or ✄✄✄ We an choose a dress together that suits your skill level. You are expected to know how to use a sewing machine.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

On occasion, Thread Den is forced to cancel a class due to low booking numbers. We really don't like to do this as we love to teach people to sew, knit and crochet, but if we don't cover our costs we can't run the class. In instances where Thread Den must cancel a class, enrolled participants will be notified 24 hours or more prior to the scheduled class and will receive a credit for a replacement class or a refund as required.

There are no refunds due to change of mind.

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Terms & Conditions

Cancellations of Bookings Policy

  • If you provide notice seven or more days prior to the start of your course, you will need to pay an administration fee of $10.
  • Cancellations or changes made with less than seven days notice before the start of a course, will forfeit 50% of the paid class fee.
  • Cancellations or changes made less than 48 hours prior to class commencement will forfeit the full course fee paid.

If you miss the second or subsequent sessions of course, you cannot be reimbursed for that session. You are encouraged to come in and use the Sewing Lounge during hours so you hopefully still finish your project.

Transfers of your course or workshop booking to a friend or family are fine.

Payment Policy:

Classes at Thread Den frequently become fully booked, so we require full payment to be made at the time of booking to secure your place. 

Payment can be made conveniently online with credit card, or at the store in cash, EFT or credit card or even via credit card over the phone.

Unfortunately, we can't tentatively hold or pencil in places without payment.

Thank you for reading all the details.

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25 March 2018 • Book Club: Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book ✄✄ - ✄✄✄

I adored doing this workshop. I would do it again if it is run again and choose a different dress, until I have all the dresses that I like in the book. I enjoy sewing on my own, but nothing compares to the camaraderie of sewing in a group. Danielle is a gifted teacher and has endless patience.