Recently, I visited San Francisco Japan Town’s Kinokuniya book store. My first ever garment upcycling / refashion book “Kakkoii Couture Remake” by Koko Yamase (pictured left) was there. Having done several projects from this book, I was swept with happiness. Koko Yamase‘s website Matriochka is both fashionable and home-y, and this book has that vibe. Undoubtedly, this is the book that got me into stylish garment upcycling.
The English version Cut-Up Couture: Edgy Upcycled Garments to Sew book (pictured below right) is now available. The project featured on the English cover is my favorite, and Carly Cais of Chic Steals shared her step-by-step tutorial of this convertible blouson tunic.
There’s no excuse for fellow DIY fashion lovers not to have this book. It’s really inspirational and straightforward. The projects encourage you to rethink and reshape men’s sweatshirts, T-shirts, and dress shirts into beautiful, fashionable home couture pieces.
My latest project from this book was the one on the Japanese book cover. The process was quite fun and painless! It took several hours to complete it. It could’ve been finished faster, but I didn’t have a dress form and had to go back and forth to the mirror to check the pieces’ alignments.
With that said, below is the up-to-date list of DIY projects I have done based on the this book. The page numbers noted below are based on the Japanese version “Kakkoii Couture Remake.”
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On Japanese version’s cover, page 29 – 31
Trompe-L’oeil One-Piece from T-Shirts
page 43, 68
Knit T-Shirt with woven men’s shirt sleeves
Featured in Knit T-Shirt with Dress Shirt Sleeves.
You’ve been warned. The projects are so much fun. So have fun!
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The garden has become a special place, especially during Covid-19 pandemic. During shelter-in-place period, I made garden decors by upcycling locally sourced items.
Notes from my first natural dyeing experiment with Japanese maple leaves in fall season. Three batches of dyeing using fallen leaves sourced from two different trees in the garden. So much to learn and enjoy afterwards.
A boro shirt made by accident, started with dipping a silk shirt in a bleach solution. Patched with various fabric remnants. From Fafafoom Studio.
First time making an outerwear from scratch! The sleeveless coat is made with altered tunic pattern and large neoprene remnants. From Fafafoom Studio.
Sewing this Every Body Tunic from Texture Clothing makes me wish I made this garment when I first started learning to sew!
Made following a Handwoven magazine’s 1996 article, the 6-square origami top only has square-shaped pattern pieces and very straightforward to assemble. The timeless top is easily adjustable and can be highly personalized depending on the sewist!