Just released two days ago: this colorful book on turning recycled wool sweaters into new, beautiful garments and useful objects for the house.
The Sweater Chop Shop is my new favorite book on clothing recycling and wardrobe refashioning. It’s well written with clear instructions and illustrations. It has a wonderful balance of introductory information and let’s-get-started enthusiasm.
Ms ffrench’s basic method is to create felted fabric from good quality wool sweaters in your washing machine and dryer, and then using the resulting fabric to create garments and household items.
You can make the Renaissance Top with Bell Sleeves pictured on the book cover. Or a Basic Pullover, or an Empire Vest with Gathers. For the home, how about this:
The processes involved are so simple that one doesn’t even need a sewing machine. All the projects are designed to be sewn by hand; in fact, the hand sewing is a design element.
Also—and this is important—the designs in this book are just cool, fresh, and funky. Having now looked at several wardrobe refashioning books, I’m not interested in another way to cut up a t-shirt or make a halter top out of a scarf. Those might be fine for twenty-something women, but I need something more substantial and higher-quality. I found some truly new, innovative ideas here.
Crispina ffrench photo from her blog, www.crispinaffrench.blogspot.com
Best of all, the designs are adaptable to pretty much any body, personality, age, or gender. The author gives detailed instructions on how to make basic garments, then follows with a chapter on individual elements to personalize them, such as hoods, various pockets, etc. If you don’t care for the rough-hewn, handmade look that’s pictured in the book, it would be easy to refine the designs by using a sewing machine and hiding the stitching.
I’m sold. I have to run to the basement now, to get my four old sweaters out of the washing machine and into the dryer for the next step in the Sweater Chop.