Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thrifty Style: Clever Ways to Revamp Your Wardrobe

I was delighted to receive an email about Janine's new book Thrifty Style: Clever Ways to Revamp your Wardrobe and was doubly delighted when I was asked if I would like to review it.  Of course! I love getting emails from readers and I'm especially happy when those among us are entrepreneurial sewers--like Janine who has created this amazing refashioning book!

This book is all about taking what you already have and repurposing or refashioning it with small tricks and ideas so that you have a wardrobe you love.  The book presents a perfect balance between vintage-inspired and modern looks and combines both of those influences in each garment presented.

Thrifty Style is FULL of lots of goodies.  I absolutely love the layout of the book and feel like I could read it for days and still find lots of new things!  The book includes 44 projects with detailed step-by-step instructions for refashioning your wardrobe. 

Reading through this book stirred up my creativity.  That is one of the things I love so much about refashioning or the 'make do and mend' attitude--there's so many possibilities!  One of my favourite projects in the book is the silk doily top pictured above and below.  I always see so many amazing vintage linens, doily's and embroidered handiwork at charity shops.  Wouldn't it be great to rework some of these into clothing, such as what Janine has done with the silk doily top?  I always feel so bad walking by the piles of doilies and embroidery knowing how much effort and love probably went into creating them.  I am really excited to try this out--and hopefully give those beautiful pieces of art another life!

A similar project creates a doily 'cut-out' or 'peek-a-boo' section to an otherwise completely vintage-looking blouse.  This is such a neat way to mix modern and retro influences into what I think is a very pretty blouse:

Another series of projects, show you how to use scarves to create fun summery tops and blouses.  I think I live in the wrong climate for this type of blouse but I do love wearing things like this when I am on holiday:

The book comes with three pull-out patterns, one of which is for the capelet with the fabulous collar below:

The back section of the book covers all the basics in sewing with really great illustrations.  It even includes a step-by-step guide for making your own dressmaker's dummy or dress form:

I really enjoyed reading Thrifty Style.  I haven't really delved into refashioning yet but it definitely got me thinking about my current wardrobe and those pieces that are just not working and how I can spice them up a bit.

What about you?  Are there pieces in your wardrobe you never wear?  Have you tried your hand at refashioning?


  1. This looks like a great book for inspiration! I, too, love the doily shirt! I just recently did a refashion of a bad early 80s style skirt to a pencil type, and I really like how it came out. It was reasonably fast, and I didn't have to do the hem or buttonholes, which made it feel like cheating.I have also been trying to re-work any things that I sewed that I haven't been wearing for one reason or another.  I definitely see myself getting into some more restyles or refashions. I'll check this book out!

  2. oranges_and_applesOctober 07, 2012 9:07 PM

    this looks great! The blouse with the whole doily is my favourite!

  3. Such a great looking book! I love the idea of using a vintage doily to refashion a piece of clothing.

  4. I love to refashion!! And I love thirft shopping. The two go together so well. People often donate items that can easily be reworked or mended. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

  5. Debi, you should try refashioning, it's so much fun!
    Looks like an interesting book - the silk doily top is my favourite of these. 

  6. What a great idea for using a lace doily! I always see them at thrift stores and antique shops but never buy them because I did know what I would do with them.

  7. Oh, the doily tank looks really good! I've never tried a refashion but I quite like the look of that one...  Oh, dear- not another hobby!

  8. This looks like a wonderful book for vintage lover-me!   Thank you for such good photos & for reviewing it.  Have seen similar books, but with different focus and therefore not of interest.

    Yes, we girls grew up refashioning things!  That's why the stash of ribbons, etc., is so plentiful.

  9. Sounds like a wonderful source of inspiration! I've seldom refashioned a garment, only altered length and fit of some RTW pieces (like two of my favorite cardigans), which is a shame. I love what for example Zoe from So, Zo does with old clothes, so inspiring!
    On a totally different subject ans a bit late: a huge congratulations on your new job! I can totally understand how rewarding it must be to work with important issues, and know your work truly will make a difference for those who needs it the most. Congrats again and good luck in your new position!

  10. I usually start from scratch, but I have been considering a refashion or two for the colder weather.  Thanks for the inspiration <3

  11. Anne Sofie Wang PedersenOctober 29, 2012 6:15 PM

    I really like the idea of refashioning clothes I allready have. I have a lot of second hand clothes, and love to browse in seconhand stores.. I just need to get better at sewing and all that jazz..


I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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