or The Long Overdue Book Review Post!
I have a slight addiction to Japanese pattern books. It’s been reasonably well documented here.
My interest in Japanese style, design, arts & crafts spans much further back into my creative life when I made patchwork quilts. My first sampler quilt was inspired by a navy Japanese quilting cotton. Anyway that’s another story!
Last year Tuttle Publishing contacted me about one of their upcoming titles, Stylish Remakes by Violette Room.
Violette Room is a fashon company, founded by Bunka Fashion Institute Graduate Mari Hamano.
I was curious about this title, as in addition to my interest in Japanese arts and crafts, I also have a passion for ‘op shopping’ (secondhand/charity/thrift shops) and vintage clothing – well documented on my Instagram feed. My most recent find being a pair of Rock & Republic jeans for $1 – perfect fit!
Stylish Remakes is a soft cover book with a range of projects to “upcycle and reinvent your tired old clothes and thrift store finds into trendy new threads”.
This book isn’t your typical Japanese sewing pattern book. While there are instructions, there are no pattern sheets. It is more of a guide of how to go about the process of upcycling and embellishing your clothes or thrift shop finds.
While I generally sew up something from a book I review, for this particular review I didn’t see the point as every single experience is going to be completely different. Your outcomes are going to be dependent on having or sourcing clothes to upcycle and embellish, so I see this book as an inspirating starting point.
Some of the possibilities…
- Adding a fancy bow or collar to an old tshirt or sweater.
- Add ruffles or a peplum to a man’s shirt to create a more feminine silhouette.
- Sew a new skirt from a pair of old shirts (My teenage daughter thinks these are awesome – she’s a free spirit who wear the most amazing Doc Marten boots you have ever seen so I think she would rock this look… not to mention the fact she moved my second sewing machine into her bedroom… and whipped herself up a pair of flannel PJ pants this weekend).
- Pair up a skirt and top, sew them together and create a new ‘dress’.
- Use an old t-shirt to create a baby’s onesie.
- Create a dress or a bag from bandanna scarves.
The book has been organised into chapters:-
- Flannel Shirts
- College Sweats
- Gabardine Coats
All up there are 25 projects, all presented with lovely clear photography.
If you are at all familar with Japanese sewing books, the layout and presentation of the instructions is standard to these translated sewing books. The instructions are concise but sufficient – and accompanied by a number of clear and well captioned illustrations.
While I don’t think this is quite the book for me, as I can’t imagine myself dressed in quite so quirky a fashion, my daughter loves it! So it’s the first book in her personal sewing library. She appears to have inherited my great love of thrifting so I suspect she will be seeking out some clothes to refashion on our next thrift shopping expedition!
If you have never thought of thrifting or upcycling your clothes, perhaps Stylish Remakes might be an interesting place to start.
Comment below and tell me your best vintage find – clothing, pattern, sewing machine or anything else – I love a good thrift find! Giveaway closes 6pm, 24 April 2016 (Australian EST).
We believe that fashion can be made in a safe, clean and beautiful way. Where creativity, quality, environment and people are valued equally.
On 18-24 April, Fashion Revolution Week will bring people from all over the world together to use the power of fashion to change the story for the people who make the world’s clothes and accessories.
Fashion Revolution was born when on 24 April 2014, 1,134 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured when the Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Bangladesh – the worst industrial accident in the garment industry. I’m not here to write a blog post about it – however it makes for interesting read and will make you think about a whole range of issues. You can read more here.
Note: for this post I received a copy of the book Stylish Remakes from Tuttle Publishing to review. All opinions my own.
This post first appeared on www.sewbusylizzy.com