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Little Green Dresses: 50 Original Patterns for Repurposed Dresses, Tops, Skirts, and More Paperback


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Little Green Dresses: 50 Original Patterns for Repurposed Dresses, Tops, Skirts, and More + New Dress a Day: The Ultimate DIY Guide to Creating Fashion Dos from Thrift-Store Don'ts + ReSew: Turn Thrift-Store Finds into Fabulous Designs
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600851215
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600851216
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 8.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #350,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“...a fact-filled and easy-to-follow guide for street-smart ladies who are interested in being socially conscious and looking good at the same time.”
--Faythe Levine, director of “HandMade Nation”
 

"Tina Sparkles' take on DIY eco-fashion is not only progressive, but also undeniably cute. "
--Stephanie Trong, NYLON magazine
 

"Newbies will love the chapters on illustrated sewing techniques as well as information on fabric types and how to determine and use the grain or bias… There are some great design concepts in here including the Genius Leggings with no side seams... ” --Embellish Magazine (Australia)

 

About the Author

A cutting-edge designer, Tina Sparkles is a former host of the show Stylelicious on the DIY network. Her work has been featured in many publications including Women’s Wear Daily, Elle Girl, ReadyMade, JANE, NYLON and the Wall Street Journal. She hosts regular fashion and craft events, and teaches sewing classes and holds workshops. She lives and works in Austin, Texas with her husband.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 28 customer reviews
The other thing I like about this book is that the pattern drafting information can also help someone fit their existing wardrobe better.
Shala Kerrigan
This book shows you great sewing techniques, how to create your own patterns, how to use patterns and shows you some great ideas on how to refashion clothing!
Eva Sugai
It also helps you to fill your wardrobe with clothes you love and that fit you well, whether these are minis (as in this book), or boho, or what.
A. J Terry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 117 people found the following review helpful By A. J Terry on September 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I bought my copy of Little Green Dresses, I expected a book on repurposing--creatively altering--used clothing. Instead, I received what has the air of a repurposed book. That is, I suspect that author Tina Sparkles wrote, or proposed to the publisher, a beginner book on drafting patterns for and assembling simple, kicky styles that appeal to teenagers and young adults. Then the editor said, "There are a number of such books already competing on the market, but eco-friendly is a hot new trend. Let's add an eight-page introduction that urges readers to consume responsibly, a twenty-page chapter on the most basic sewing techniques, a small handful of projects specifically on remaking clothing, and a sidebar explaining that used clothing can yield notions such as buttons and zippers readers can put on other clothes. Oh, and instead of telling them to use new fabric, just advise them to either buy lengths of thrift-store fabric, or to use big pieces like blankets. The techniques are exactly the same as for using new fabric, so you won't have to change the assembly directions."

Because, that's exactly what this book is. Don't get me wrong, I am entirely in favor of eco-responsibility. For all ages, not just teenagers and young adults. I believe that all home sewing is "green" to some extent. It also helps you to fill your wardrobe with clothes you love and that fit you well, whether these are minis (as in this book), or boho, or what. It is actually harder to draft patterns than to buy commercial ones (which you can probably find for all the styles in this book), but young beginners who want to just plunge in seem to feel that drafting patterns is somehow easier or more creative.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ugly Beat on September 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am a sewing book junkie, and absolutely love this new offering by Miss Sparkles. I live in Austin, and though I don't know her, reading through this book made me feel like she was a dear friend, guiding me patiently through all sorts of fun projects. Her explanations for building your own patterns are simple and clear and don't seem more difficult than ironing out a pesky tissue pattern and altering it to fit your body. With her instruction, you can actually make simple garments that are made based on your measurements, not that of a pattern company's idea of your size. She has illustrated each project with a sample garment so you know what the finished product will look like. A lot of the styling is not my personal taste (I love 60's), but it's easy to envision how you can make the clothes to suit your own taste. I also love how each project has a sidebar called "Mix It Up", in which she gives you more ideas to customize each pattern. Seriously, you could take one of her pattern ideas and do a bazillion different takes on it without looking like you're making the same thing over and over again.
I'm a big fan of recycling clothing and vintage sheets, etc. so this book was right up my alley. Not only are there instructions for making your own customized patterns, but also repurposing ideas for existing garments (along the lines of the Subversive Seamster books). I like the inspiration I get from this book...my mind turns into sewing overdrive and I want to sew til my fingers fall off. Seriously. I think my boyfriend is starting to look at me weird.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Shala Kerrigan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is themed around the very popular idea of making new clothes out of old clothes. There are lots of books covering this subject but this one takes a very different take on the concept.
Instead of being another how to turn jeans into skirts or teeshirts into shrugs type of book, this one is about actually drafting new patterns and creating very polished finished pieces of clothing. It's very in depth about how to make patterns to fit you perfectly.
For that reason, it may not be good for re-vamping an existing wardrobe of clothes that already fit you well, but it's a great use for thrift store and garage sale clothes and linens that will have the yardage necessary to completely remake them into something very wearable.
Most of the patterns are geared towards a younger audience, stylish 20 somethings, but the skirts and dresses are easily lengthened for people who more comfortable in more modest clothing.
The other thing I like about this book is that the pattern drafting information can also help someone fit their existing wardrobe better.
There is a lot of information in here and a lot of very nice clothing designs. Skirts, tops and dresses that have classic lines and are well tailored and fitted. The patterns you draft for yourself can be used and worn for years. In someways it reminds me of my Mom's old Vogue sewing book, but with designs that are a lot more current and suggesting use of salvaged table linens and curtains instead of buying new fabric. Although new fabric is completely usable as well. A wonderful addition to a sewing library, and a great resource for people who want to learn how to make clothes to fit them perfectly.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie on September 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
First, my main criticism is more about the style of clothes shown in the book. Yes, this is a taste thing. Some women are going to love them. I'll admit I'm a little old for the styles in the book at 42, but even at 22 I don't think I would have been crazy about these clothes. I always preferred more classic lines even when I was young and clubbing a lot!! Additionally, almost every skirt or dress is super short, like ridiculously short. The author admits that she just loves mini-skirts and her bias shows. But even when I used to wear mini-skirts, I wouldn't have worn them all the time, and I would have wanted some longer skirts and dresses mixed in. Yes, you can lengthen the skirts (that's the whole point of the DIY)...but many of the styles included are just not going to look great longer.

Still, I feel that a book about "green" dresses (versus a book about "green dresses for people under 30") should try to offer a few more variations in style, and not have every dress in the book look like something you'd wear out for a night at the bar. So that's why I give this book 3 stars...there's not enough variety of clothing styles and they are way too trendy. I'm sure this has to do with the age and experience of the writer...and I suspect as she matures she'll naturally start mixing things up more.

There are only a few projects in here that I might try...one that I love, which is the bell jar coat. Most of the styles would not be anything I'd wear personally.

On the positive - the author offers really *great* info on making your own patterns - and she's very thorough. I have this book on loan from the library, and even though I'm not inclined to make most of the projects in the book, I might purchase it at some point for the pattern-making instructions.
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