Sunday, August 29, 2010

Storybook Sunday : A Tale of Two Denim Books

This Storybook Sunday is for the refashionistas out there. I have recently purchased two books about deconstructing and reconstructing denim. You know my love for recycled denim, so it is natural that I would start collecting books about using it in fashionable ways.

The first book I ordered, a little over a month ago is called Jean Therapy and was written by Scatha G. Allison aka Miss Velvet Cream.
This hard-cover-coil-bound beauty of a book comes with four full size patterns. (Conveniently they are for my favourite projects.) But, there are also twenty one in depth and well illustrated projects for you to do and twelve more gallery photos to further inspire you.
You know how some refashion manuals are more inspirational then do-able? This book is not one of them, while there are a few projects you would not catch me making and/or wearing, there are more that I am looking forward to both make and wear. Like what? How about the grommet cuff or Pencil Skirt? Two very simple projects that are too simple to personalize.

The second book I ordered (and received almost creepy fast) this week. It is called Denim Revolution and was written by Nancy Minsky who also has a fabulous blog called Jean Repair about restyling denim. This book as a whopping thirty two projects and even a chapter on distressing your denim that I found fabulous. (I can't wait to take a hammer and nail to my jeans!)
While this book does not have the full sized patterns that Jean Therapy does, it does come with patterns and templates for you to trace,copy and enlarge.
This book, had fewer projects that I myself would tackle but I found it more inspiring than Jean Therapy. (Did that make sense?) My notepad has a few full pages after reading this one. I should mention though, I love Nancy Minsky's use of trims and patches. Particularly on the Alice in Wonderland Pedal Pushers.

Both books had some similar projects such as denim cuffs of both a romantic and hipster nature. Both books had projects for gauntlets, jeans to skirt remodels and the denim bag. But, in all fairness these accessories are the go tos for many a crafster who loves denim.
That is wear the similarities end though. There styles as designers differ greatly, so even the projects that are based on the same idea branch out very differently. Which was nice, I was worried I would end up with two books almost exactly the same.
The one complaint I have against both designers is there lack of finished edges. While I love a shabby chic look as much as the next gal, and I do appreciate denim for it's beautiful fray, not every piece has to have unfinished fraying edges. With a lot of the projects in this book, where jeans were deconstructed rather than embellished, I found almost all seams to be unfinished. And while it works for some pieces, I think other pieces could use more finishing. Such as the Pencil Skirt from jean Therapy. For this particular project, added measurements for finished seam are given, but wouldn't it have been nice to see a more polished finished project? Just saying.

That being said, I would recommend both books for any refashionista looking to expand both their library and denim sewing repertoire. I can't wait to actually get to some projects from both.