I was so excited to review this new Interweave publication.
According to Interweave, Cut-up Couture: Edgy Upcycled Garments to Sew by Koko Yamase is “a cutting-edge design book that teaches how to use the copious fabric in men’s clothing to make 34 innovative garments and accessories. The simple sewing techniques showcase how to turn men’s shirts, t-shirts, and sweatshirts into beautiful dresses, ruffled blouses, draping tops, and gorgeous jackets for women.”
The book is divided into chapters according to type of clothing you are using as your fabric. The first chapter uses sweatshirts and t-shirts to make everything from blouses to an evening coat. Chapter Two includes men’s shirts made into six different garments. The following chapter shows six different patterns using scarves and neckties. At the end of the book she includes pages on sewing tips and a sizing guide.
Here is a cute jumper made out of a t-shirt.
Detailed instructions and illustrations are included for every design. Being a Baby Boomer, I’m a bit old for a lot of the styles she includes, but they are really interesting and would be fun to wear for the younger set. (Oh, my, I’m sounding like my mother!)
Even with that said, I found several patterns I want to try and one I actually made. Here is her blouse with kimono sleeves.
Here is mine:
Making this blouse helped me to better review this book. First of all her directions are good. However, if you are new to making clothing or haven’t made any in a long time, you may have some trouble. I thought some of her steps were not explained well enough or in correct order. For example, I was surprised that she said to hem the sleeves last. It would have been easier to hem them before they were made into tubes and added the body of the shirt. I used the size shirts she listed (men’s large) but my cut measurements did not equal hers. The blouse still turned out, but I wondered why mine were different.
One thing I love about Interweave’s books is that the layout of the books is usually so easy on the eyes. This one was no different except for the chapter dividers. The pages to introduce the chapters are a beautiful magenta color background. However, the opposite page includes magenta stripes making a real “loud” page. That loud page did nothing for this book and didn’t seem to fit in. Because of my graphic design background I tend to pay more attention to the layouts than maybe the usual reader.
Even though I was a bit disappointed with the directions and I didn’t like those loud pages, I highly recommend the book if you’d like to try your hand at making some cute recycled garments. I love her creative ways to repurpose men’s clothing. I also loved working with the shirt fabric. As I mentioned earlier, there are several garments I plan to make. I love recycling and using these old shirts (I bought mine at Goodwill!) is so much fun.
Cut-Up Couture includes 112 pages and can be purchased at your favorite bookstore or through Interweave for $19.95.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher for review purposes. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review and received no monetary compensation.
what an interesting looking book! i am putting it on my library list. i make most of my tank tops from jay’s old shirts it may be fun to try something a bit more fancy. i love the kimono shirt you made; very cool!
Good review Lynda and cute shirt! In the photo of hers, I don’t like how the joining of the sleeves seems to land right over the boob area. That would not work for me. Actually, upon looking again, I guess you would call that the collar that attaches right over the boobs. It’s probably more noticeable on hers because she uses two different fabrics where on yours the contrast is very low and probably doesn’t stand out when you wear it. So, do you like wearing it? It is cute.
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And what is with the cupcake on her shoulder?
kathy recently posted..Paducah
Kathy, Don’t know. There are cupcakes in alot of the pics.
Looks interesting, thanks for the review! Though I have to say I find it harder to upcycle old clothing and still end up with something wearable. Sewing new from patterns works better for me. I really like your blouse though, looks heaps better than the one in the book!!
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Kristina, I thought about you when I was making this blouse. I think you would really like the styles in the book. I really loved working with the shirts. The fabric was so soft and easy to work with. Thanks. I wanted to find light colors like hers but the only shirts I could find were darker.
Mandy, I think you would love this book and look ooh so cute in some of these tops!
I have to second the comment that your shirt is so much better than the one in the book — and may I say infinitely so!!! It’s the difference between a truly elegant, avant-garde version and one from an afternoon effort of giggling, inexperienced teenage girls.
I’d love to try some of the sweatshirt patterns but want to drop a few pounds first — and I’m 58!
Anna, Thank you – That’s so sweet. And thanks for dropping by.