Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What I'm Reading: New Dress A Day

I'm running out of closet space, and I've only been sewing for a year and half. Can you image if you were making one new dress a day for a whole year? That's exactly what Marisa Lynch did, on her popular blog New Dress A Day. After completing her challenge, Marisa wrote a book with all her tips and tricks!

I've read a bunch of books about upcycling/thrifting/refashioning, but I think this one was the most fun. Not exactly the most practical/useful (that award goes to Little Green Dresses) but still fun. It's a pretty standard before-and-after here's-how-I-did-it book, but Marisa's energy and writing style make it worth reading, instead of just skimming the photos.

What made me snatch up this book was the section on refashioning bridesmaids' dresses. I find myself in possession of two such dresses and no ideas about what to do with them. After reading this book, I have a few thoughts other than "rip it apart".

Although there were some good ideas in here, I'm not thrilled with some of the methods. A bit of a rant: there are a LOT of books/tutorials/websites aimed at DIY fashion that promote no-sew methods. Why? You wouldn't attempt a home remodel without a drill, why would you try your hand at fashion without a sewing machine? Are we really all that lazy? You can buy a decent enough machine for the cost of one weekend of eating out, drinks, and entertainment. It's not that hard to learn, if you try. So why so much love for no-sew techniques that suck? This book shows how to hem a dress...with tape. No, not with fusible tape (although that's in here, too) with TAPE. Like, grab it out of your junk drawer and get cracking. What??

But I digress. Let's go back to the parts I liked. There was a great section on Halloween costumes, and a chapter on dyeing. Dyeing is something I haven't tried, but I'm definitely going to follow Marisa's tips and try it soon. I have a pair of almost-white jeans (ugh, I know) that are just DYEING to be emerald (har har, get it? dyeing?).

If you're an experienced seamstress looking for some fresh inspiration, you'll like the transformations in this book. If you're a beginner and want to practice sewing via refashioning, you'll find a lot here. And I think every blogger will appreciate Marisa's introduction where she talks about losing her job and starting her blog. Pick this up just for that : )

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