Review: Cut-Up Couture

I was so excited to review this new Interweave publication.

Cut-Up Couture

Cut-Up Couture

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.

Jumper from T-shirt

Jumper from 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.

Blouse with Kimono Sleeves

Blouse with Kimono Sleeves

Here is mine:

My blouse with kimono sleeves

My blouse with kimono sleeves

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.

 

 

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