Instagram is my favourite place ever (well at least virtually!) Where else can creatives from all over the world inspire each other without even having to know another language. It’s true that a picture speaks a thousand multilingual words.
Instagram is how I met Gaia Segattini, Italian fashion designer, craft blogger and author of “Handmade per imbranati-rinnova il tuo guardaroba“, which means “Handmade for dummies-Renew your wardrobe”.
Here she is looking super cute ⤵
Gaia sent me a copy of her book all the way from Italy so I could review it for you. The book features 28 tutorials on how to upcycle/customize old/unused or cheap/basic clothing into something cuter. It’s fully illustrated with step by step pictures which means you don’t even need to read Italian to understand it, if you have basic sewing skills, all the projects are very doable and very fun. Most of the projects are for women and girls, but there are a few in there that are unisex too.
None of the projects are very technically difficult but the ideas are very clever and can be adapted to many personal styles depending on your material choices. Another thing I thought was worth mentioning is that all of the projects can be made without a sewing machine, which is ideal if you are equipment poor or prefer to hand sew.
I really like how Gaia has added a bit of humor into her projects, so many craft books are just so serious, and this is the first one that has made me giggle. I don’t want to give too much away, but let me just say that cake is going on my essential craft supply list from now on.
I always like to try a project out from any book I review, and I thought this cute ruffled collar was a fun and easy idea to refashion an old singlet for Emma.
Gaia suggests some pre-ruffled fabric, but I thought it would be pretty to add some pink vintage lace that I picked up at the op-shop. It’s very easy to gather by hand with a running stich, but because I’m lazy I used my machine.
Make a ruffle with a sewing machine
To make a gathered ruffle with your sewing machine just set your stitch length to the maximum.
Sew a straight stitch leaving a length of thread at the start and end.
Then gently pull on bobbin thread and gently guide the fabric into a ruffle.
Sew onto your project.
It was so quick to do and the lace really transforms the old singlet into something whimsical.
Emma reluctantly modeled her new top, reluctantly because it was 38 deg. She’s a trooper.
A little bit girlier than what she normally wears, but it didn’t stop her climbing a tree.
Perfect for ballerina dancing too.
Gaia has also produced a fun video of the behind the scenes shenanigans during the book’s photo shoot. It gives you a great sneak peek into all the projects featured.
The book is available internationally here on amazon (affiliate link)