A couple of weeks ago I was browsing the sewing section at Chapters. I’d estimate that at least half of the 5 shelves of sewing books were ‘how to sew’ books aimed at beginners. It was so refreshing to come across Mend & Make Fabulous by Denise Wild, of the Sewing Studio (where I learned to sew, holla!), LoveSewing magazine and BurdaStyle. Mend & Make Fabulous is packed full of tips and ideas for mending as well as revamping your wardrobe or vintage finds.
As the title suggests, each section of the book has step-by-step instructions for common garment fixes, and then dives into different ways you can spruce up tired or basic garments.
For the “Mend It” pages alone, I think this a terrific book to have in your library. Here is a peek at what those sections look like:
Most of these techniques don’t require a sewing machine, just a few stitches or interfacing, so even non-sewers could use them. Honestly, I think the instructions are clear enough that my husband (who does not sew, surprise surprise!) could follow along without a problem. Denise writes in a way that is non-intimidating and would inspire anyone who would rather mend something than throw it out. In addition, the ideas for “making fabulous” are pretty fashion-forward — there are a few techniques in there for everyone! (Although those jeans with the pearls… maybe not for me.)
I love how this book demonstrates what a practical skill sewing is and that it can be used by everyone to maintain and extend the life of their existing wardrobe. Mend & Make Fabulous would really appeal to a wider audience than just the crafting community, which is pretty commendable. I personally don’t have many friends who sew, but I’m pretty sure everyone I know has at least one garment in their closet that they’d love to wear again, if they would just get around to getting that zipper or hem fixed, or taking it in/out/up/down a bit. Anyone who has read Overdressed by Elizabeth L. Cline would appreciate this book since mending and making do is a great alternative to disposable fashion (see our review of Overdressed here).
I’d love to see more books on revamping clothes or easy alterations, rather than the same old ‘learn to sew’ and forgettable quilting books — hear that, Chapters?