Fashion DIY (Sixth & Spring Books)

Frugal fashionistas know that reworked vintage clothing is always chic—and here are 30 easy ways create a stylish wardrobe. Every chapter highlights a single embellishment technique for transforming garments from drab to fab, and every technique features three beautiful skill-building projects to take beginners from novice to advanced. Plus, these looks are designed to last: after all, if you’re going to put the time and energy into creating something beautiful, you don’t want it going out of style in six months! Deconstruct and reconstruct pieces with retro flair, using such techniques as hand embroidery, appliqué, trimming, felting, beading, silhouette alterations, and surface manipulations. This user-friendly guide covers all the basic how-tos and includes a fabric tutorial and web resources.

“For me, fashion has always been about evoking a mood –– whether it is intellectual, romantic, or both simultaneously––and Carrie Blaydes and Nicole Smith have isolated a myriad of different moods that we can all relate to. The art school skirt, my personal favorite, could work with a Victorian blouse and create a cool, brainy-gal look. Or, paired with a simple tank, the same skirt tells a bohemian story.

“In Fashion DIY Carrie and Nicole have addressed an enormous scope of different styles. Offering advice on how to achieve the easy elegance of a swing blouse, as well as the conversational Falling Leaves Scarf. These two ladies have made style and craft blend into a simple and accurate endeavor. They have created the perfect recipe for a Fashion DIY.” —Alice Roi

“What sets Fashion DIY apart from its counterparts is its refreshingly methodical approach to such a creative art, including practical guidelines and focused questions for the reader, offering strategy for beginners to better manage what can sometimes be quite a daunting endeavor. And while it covers all the necessary basics of embellishment, Fashion DIY is surprisingly inventive, employing the use of recent technologies in the creation of fun and legitimately unique additions to traditional alterations.” —Wenlan Chia of Twinkle by Wenlan

Nicole Smith is an author, editor, designer, and instructor who lives in Brooklyn, New York. Check out her latest book, Skirt-A-Day Sewing, out now at your local bookstore, or online.