6 Books for Recycled/Upcycled Clothing and Accessory Patterns

Making your own clothing and accessories is fun. Well, I think it’s fun, at least. If you are like me, then you probably hunt the internet and bookstores for projects you can create using your old t-shirts or jeans.

They’re great not only for the patterns but for the inspiration you can find. Some of the things Plaidypus sells were based off things found in books like these or on websites (someone remind me to do a post on websites…) So here are some of my favorites. You can find them pretty easily on Amazon.com, but I linked them for your convenience.

1. Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt

This is one of the first sewing books I bought. It looked like fun and I had a lot of old t-shirts and all the patterns looked really interesting. Still one of my favorites. You can freshen up old t-shirts or turn them into something completely different with the patterns in here, and they’re all pretty easy, too.

2. Generation T: Beyond Fashion: 120 New Ways to Transform a T-Shirt

I liked the first one so much, that when I saw they had just come out with a second book, I bought it immediately without even having to look inside. Was not disappointed. It’s more fun clothing and accessories.

3. Jean Therapy: Denim Deconstruction for the Conscientious Crafter

This one has some patterns as well as photos of more intricate ideas that they don’t give you instructions for but that might help inspire you to go further with the old denim. It’s nice because they tell you how many pairs of jeans probably go into the different patterns. I’ve used the patterns in this book directly, as well as tweaked the patterns for my own purposes.

4. 99 Ways to Cut, Sew & Deck Out Your Denim

There are options for everyone in a book like this. With 99 patterns, you’re hard-pressed to not find something to your taste. I haven’t gotten to explore this one as much (hey, there are a lot of patterns to look at!) but from skimming through it looks pretty awesome.

5. The Sweater Chop Shop

I like to use wool. You see, you can felt wool and it doesn’t fray. And I like fabrics that don’t fray, so I use felted wool a lot. Wool sweaters are a great source of material, because you can find them in your local thrift store pretty easily (check the tags to make sure they’re at least 80% wool if you’re going to felt it).

6. Sweater Surgery

This one has more accessories whereas the Sweater Chop Shop has a lot of clothing that you can make. So if you want smaller things, this one might be your best bet. It’s got some cute clothing patterns and ideas in it, too, though.