Book Review: A Stylish Guide to Classic Sewing

by Kathie Bennett

The birth of Sarah Gunn’s walk in the book world began in 2011 with a decision to abstain from clothes shopping for a year in exchange for renewing her rusty sewing skills and creating her own wardrobe. To stay true to her pledge, Sarah launched the blog Goodbye Valentino and diligently posted about her sewing adventures. The blog quickly took on a life of its own gaining thousands of followers worldwide from women seeking creative inspiration.

In 2016, Sarah and fellow sewing enthusiast Julie Starr joined forces and co-authored their first book, The Tunic Bible (C&T Publishing), a fashion-forward handbook for creating designer tunics.



I’m delighted to announce the publication of their latest book, A Stylish Guide to Classic Sewing. This delightfully illustrated book featuring a conversational narrative chronicles 30 beloved classic silhouettes that lie at the core of women’s wardrobes. Bringing thoughtfulness to the wardrobe building skills of sewists and shoppers alike, the authors transcend the sewing world by offering historical perspectives of the garments along with chic variations, fitting and styling tips.

Each garment chapter laced with fascinating facts and trivia tidbits gives new meaning to why we wear what we wear. For instance, I never knew the Shirtdress was considered a revolutionary garment when introduced into Edwardian fashion. Why? The absence of back closures allowed women to get dressed without a dresser or husband! Just picture the suffragettes marching in those bustled shirtdresses! While you might know Marlon Brando made the humble t-shirt sexy in 1951, it was Karl Lagerfeld who demonstrated the genius of the iconic garment by pairing Chanel tweed cardigan jackets over white T- shirts for a hip-hop inspired Fall Collection.

Artist Beth Brigg’s charming illustrations ignite the imagination, and a modeled gallery of classic garments designed by the authors and colleagues complete this keen guide to creating a fresh collection of timeless garments.

By Kathie Bennett


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