Upcycle Your Wardrobe: 21 Sewing Projects For Unique, New Fashions

by Gio

upcycle your wardrobe

My wardrobe, back in Italy, is full of clothes I haven’t worn in years. Some of them don’t fit anymore. Others have become quite worn out in places. And, of course, my tastes have evolved too. When I see some old pieces, I can’t help but think, “I can’t believe I ever thought that was pretty!” *cringes*

Before I moved to London, I gave some of them away. But some (too many – I hadn’t become a minimalist yet) I kept, with the intention of one day bringing them to a seamstress who could alter them and give them a new lease of life.

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Then, Upcycle Your Wardrobe: 21 Sewing Projects for Unique, New Fashions by Mia Führer landed on my desk (actually on my Adobe Digital Reader). And I’m starting to think, I could do the alterations on my own.

The book contains 21 sewing projects that are, according to Führer, quick and easy to do even for beginners. Want to turn an old pair of jeans into a mini skirt? Lengthen a skirt? Jazz up a boring sweater with some feathers? Now, you can. These are just some of the cool ideas shared in this book.

Each project features step-by-step instructions and clear pictures to make the process easy to follow. And, at the end of the book, you’ll also find a glossary to understand the weird fashion jargon (notching and lockstitching, anyone?) Führer uses.

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I admit I think the book is more challenging than I had first anticipated. I never attempted anything more with a needle than sewing a loose button on a shirt or coat. And the result was quite poor. Thank goodness my mum was on hand to help me out.

So, adding inserts to shirts or changing the lapels of a jacket sounds way too difficult for me, even with such clear instructions to follow. Maybe I’m too much of a newbie? Maybe the beginners Führer had in mind already know how to hold a needle?

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No matter. I’m still keen on giving these projects a go. I’ve always wanted to learn how to sew. It’s such a handy skill to have. So, when I next go to Italy, I’ll practice on some of my old clothes. Even if I mess up, no worries. They would have gone in the bin anyway.

If you’re a little more advanced than me, and already know how to make small changes to your clothes, like adding a button here or shorten a hem there, and maybe even own a sewing machine, do give this book a try.

The projects are really interesting and would turn your old and boring clothes into fashionable and stylish pieces. It’s a great way to revamp your old wardrobe on a budget.

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If you’re as bad as me at sewing, you could still give this book a go. Just practice on very old clothes first, so that you can mess up (cos how else can we learn?) without wasting money.

The whole point of this book is to help you recycle, ooops I mean upcycle, your wardrobe, not go buy a new one because you’ve mangled all your good clothes!


Pros: Lots of fun and stylish ideas to upcycle your wardrobe; Clear step-by-step instructions with pictures; Useful glossary at the end.

Cons: May be too challenging for beginners who still have to learn how to hold a needle.

Summary: just like the title says, Upcycle Your Wardrobe: 21 Sewing Projects For Unique, New Fashions features lots of ideas on how to revamp your wardrobe, complete with easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and pictures.

Price & Availability: $17.27 (hardcover) on Amazon

Rating: 4/5

An e-copy of this book was sent by PR for consideration. The review contains an affiliate link.

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BebeTaian August 2, 2015 - 12:21 am

It looks like this book was made for someone who already has some garment-sewing experience, or who have the type of mind that understands… hnn, I don’t know how to say it, structural engineering of clothing? That blue skirt, once finished, is to die for! Maybe practice on some thrift store finds til you get the hang of it.

Gio August 2, 2015 - 6:28 am

Bebetaian, I agree. The blurb made it sound like everyone, no matter how inexperienced, could easily do these alterations. But I find lots of them too advanced for beginners. And that skirt is gorgeous indeed!

Janessa August 2, 2015 - 5:02 am

I can sew stuffed animals (by hand and not machine) and I would rather just donate my old clothes and buy new ones haha.

Gio August 2, 2015 - 6:29 am

Janessa, lol. It’s hard to resist a good shopping spree, isn’t it? I think it’s great that you can sew stuffed animals. That’s something I’ve always wanted to learn.


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