Review & Giveaway: ReSew by Jenny Wilding Cardon

The winner of this giveaway is commenter #82, Kim, who said:  “I already love to sew & recycle/repurpose, & this book appears to have some fresh new ideas I could really sink my needles into! Thanks for a great giveaway – & for some great new ideas!”  Congratulations, Kim!

In ReSew: Turn Thrift Store Finds Into Fabulous Designs, Jenny Wilding Cardon shows just how easy it is to transform rather ordinary or out-of-date garments into something new and exciting.

The 20 projects in the book use only basic sewing skills, which means that even beginning sewists can create these looks.    Those with more advanced skills will be able to complete them quickly or find ways to customize or add their own touch.

She makes use of existing details like button plackets and hems to keep the projects simple and easy to create.  Many of the projects use the print or texture of the fabric to create interesting design elements.  For example, striped fabrics are often cut and appliqued to create neat patterns.  Or soft edges of sweatshirt fabric create additional texture on an applique design.

And while some projects start and end as the same type of garment (a reshaped shirt, for instance), many others transform the material entirely.  For example, a striped sheet can become a sundress, or old denim jeans can become a rag rug.

In addition to clothes, projects also include bags, scarves, hats, and even a quilt.  Each project includes step by step instructions with plenty of illustrations.  The garments or linens that she uses are all readily available at thrift stores and rummage sales (or perhaps your own closet).

My favorite projects include:

Cuffed Skirt, which takes two pairs of men’s dress pants and makes a full gathered skirt.  The alternating stripes of suiting material is a neat design element, though for my full hips I’d probably make this a drop-waist skirt.  It makes use of existing hems, which means I can of my least favorite steps in sewing.


Diner Dress, which creates a vintage-inspired dress from one women’s button down shirt and three men’s dress shirts.  The waistband is cleverly created from a button placket from one of the shirts.  I love the interplay of the patterns on the shirting!



Newsboy Hat and Scarf Set, made from a sweater.  Dressing for winter always gives the blahs – all those layers!  While a striped sweater is kind of ho-hum, a striped sweater hat and scarf set is pretty fabulous.




You can see more photos from inside the book in her video sneak peek.

Now for the givewaway! I’ve got a copy of ReSew for one lucky Craft Gossip reader.  Could it be you? To enter, leave a comment here telling me why you’d like to try your hand at the projects in this book.   I’ll choose one commenter at random to receive the book.

Deadline is Thursday, March 10, 2011.


  1. Muireann says

    I’d love to win this book! I’m trying to cut down on spending at the moment, and am also acutely aware of the fact that our throw-away society is causing huge problems for the environment. I think this book would help kill two birds with one stone – I’d save money by transforming clothing I have already or that are available in my local thriftstores and I’d have new clothes without causing more pollution and waste. Wow, sorry for the long comment!

  2. Lisa Thornbury says

    This book would be awsome for my daughter, who I am teaching how to sew. She loves to shop at thrift shops and reuse things to make it her own. This is recycling at it’s best!

  3. Melissa W says

    I’m new to sewing and would love to have a book to help me make use of the stash of my husband’s shirts I’ve been collecting! Plus I would be able to justify my million other stashes I’ve started too!

  4. Nicole Gilfillan says

    this has been my go to site for crafty ideas! thank you for providing thrifty, creative ideas for this frugal mom! i hope this book is in my future!

  5. says

    I love thrift stores, and this would be a great way to broaden what I feel comfortable purchasing. Also – I think we throw too many clothes away! I’d love to learn how to make that rug….

  6. says

    I love thrift store shopping and refashioning, and I’d like to reduce my clothing budget, so this book would be great for me!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  7. TheresaE says

    I am a thrift store lover! I love finding things at a bargin anyway, then to be able to transform/craft them into something new and great is right up my alley. This is the best of both worlds to me!

  8. BethJ says

    I have really been into the refashioning of things since I read the a dress a day blog and others. It is amazing what you can do with just a pair of scissors and some thread.

  9. Heathery says

    I’ve been trying to come up with ways to re-use my clothes that no longer fit me, and I think this book would be a great help in that regard!

  10. dee says

    I have 3 tubs of clothes to refashion and then I got 20 mumus. This book would make reinventing myself fashion wise easy. I am trying to get past the jeans and t shirt easy way out phase…… and still afford to pay rent. :>

  11. Andrea Carson says

    I have been a thrift store monger for longer than I can remember. It would be very cool to have a book that gives me fresh ideas of what to do with something that I like, but is just a bit outdated.

  12. Kelly says

    I really love to repurpose, and I’m on a strict budget. Ideas like these really are awesome. I really like the diner dress.

  13. says

    I love the upcycling movement in clothing- I use to just give them to Goodwill, letting go of some of my favorite but worn clothes, but now I am looking into reinventing them! What fun!

  14. Rebecca says

    I would love this book!! I’ve been making my daughter dresses out of my old t-shirts and I need a new project. Thank You!!

  15. Jessica says

    This is my kind of sewing, I’m always busting thrift stores (or mycloset) and thinking about how to change or update!

  16. Karen Finchum says

    I would love, love, love to have this book. I’m addicted to thrift stores and refashioning, however just starting out so the ideas from the book would be great.

  17. says

    Looks like a fun book with lots of great projects! I’d love to learn how to be more thrifty and have my eyes peeled for thrift store treasures (or stop sending so many items to the thrift store, and repurpose them myself).

  18. Deanna says

    This so has my name on it!! I cannot follow a pattern to save my life! BUT I can make anything out of something else!!! Recycle! Resew! YES!!!!

  19. Cami says

    …I’d love to see if I can follow instructions and actually make something cute. My daughters are taking sewing lessons from my mom. After seeing a video about ReSew my 9 year old asked if she can take this old shirt and do something with it with those small pants. I’d just like to learn how to sew skirts to start with :)

  20. Pat Drown says

    My husband and I are both retired and living on a very tight budget so both thrifting and refashioning are a way of life for us!! So I would love this book to have new and refreshing ideas would be the greatest!! Thanks for the opportunity for a chance to win this awesome book!!

  21. Tiffany says

    ooh, this sounds like a great book. I’ve just put myself on a crafting budgets this seems like a great way to scratch my crafting itch on a budget.

  22. says

    I am always looking for ways to reduce, reuse and re-purpose. Having this book in my library will give me the much needed inspiration to tackle those “to-do” projects I’ve got waiting around.

  23. Rachel says

    Even though “Wardrobe Refashion” is no longer around, I pledged to not buy retail clothing this year. Everything I add to my closet over the next 12 months has to be made by me or thrifted/refashioned. Though I follow several blogs that have amazing ideas, new ideas would help me keep this challenge fresh!
    Thanks for the peek at the book! If I don’t win it, I will probably buy it!

  24. says

    I’d love to try one of the books in the project because store bought clothes are generic and expensive. And usually not at all very cool! Thanks for the giveaway.

  25. Nicole Berry says

    Sounds like my kind of book!! I love thrift store shopping and I am just starting to learn how to sew. I keep a budget on how much I spend on my clothing so if I can repurpose items my wardrobe will have endless possibilities!!! Great book idea!! I’m sure it will be amazing :)

  26. Kim Walde says

    I’m a poor student, and slightly clothing obsessed, things that don’t go well together. I pretty much know the cashiers at the local craft and thrift stores by name, and am always taking apart things to give them a new look. This book would be a great inspiration!

  27. Patricia says

    I visited Jenny’s blog and I am so impressed with her projects. I love the idea of taking something no one else wants and making something special with it.

  28. Rue says

    I’d love to win this! I’ve been trying to get back into sewing (I learned as a kid), and refashioning and upcycling clothes is a big part of what got me interested in trying again. This book looks like a perfect way to get inspired.

  29. Alicia says

    I’ve recently found so many clothes at Goodwill that show such potential for projects like these…I’d love to have this book to learn the know-how to actually pull them off! Thanks!

  30. Susan Mercer says

    Starting a home business called Seams Anew. This book would help me think of more of my own ideas. I am making purses out of felted wool sweaters and mens shirts. I have a closet full of things I bought at the thrift store.

  31. Ness says

    I could just delve into my closet for fabric – way too many clothes and not enough things to wear! This could change all that!

  32. Jacque says

    I’d rather shop the thrift stores than drop big bucks at the malls! I love this book – my daughter and I would enjoy using it to transform our “finds” into snazzy new clothing and accessories! Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  33. Arnnette says

    why I would like to try my hand at the projects in this book? Let me count the ways…I love to find ways to recycle clothing, like new out fits with sheets, Aprons from dresses, New sweaters from sweatshirts, Pot holders and quilts. I love Jenny’s book and would love to have ReSew with my collection of Craft and Sew books:)

  34. says

    Well, I’m keeping a lot of out grown clothes, my husband shirts that are not trendy anymore etc… So I’ve plenty of materials but no real ideas to use them, thanks to that book, I will be able to reduce considerably my fabric stash!

  35. Jan says

    I’ve been resewing for awhile – ever since discovering Wardrobe Refashion. I mostly resew beautiful blouses into “itty bitty baby dresses” ala Rae’s free pattern. I’d love to have this book.

  36. laura says

    I have been trying to do this on my own and it is not going well!! I would love to have a book to use as a guide! Thanks!

  37. Chrissy says

    I’d love to try this book because I’d shop my house first, then hit the thrift stores. With three daughters you can imagine how full our storage is with old clothes that just need new life!

    Thanks for the giveaway. Have a great weekend.

  38. Trina says

    OOOOO! Re-furbing thrift store finds! Brilliant! I could use this book to help me in my closet of outdated ill-fitting clothes.
    Thanks for the great review and opportunity!

  39. Karen says

    This would be a perfect addition to my collection of books to inspire my business REVIVE. I take found objects and vamp them into new useful and relevant items! Thanks for your consideration!

  40. says

    Oh, the idea of re-purposing clothing (especially wool sweaters) really intrigues me! I have made quite a few items out of wool sweaters lately, including a pumpkin grove, and Christmas stockings. So original and way cute.
    Your book sounds like something that I would LOVE to have in my library.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win it.

  41. Mila says

    NICE BOOK! I’d love to try these projects because I have a closet of Pieces of clothing that need that extra bit of ummmph to update into something different and fabulous! Great idea for teen girls to sew their own original pieces!!

  42. Teri Champine says

    Really have wondered what to do with all that lovely material I have which is made up of out-of-date clothing. Some of the material is so lovely I have saved it hoping the outfit would come back in style…(wishful thinking….probably wouldn’t fit anyway…LOL). You have made me think “outside the box”. This book would be well read and worn!

  43. says

    I am a GoodWill store junkie-love to look for items with fabric that can be used-linen, wool, etc. Even the buttons and trims can be plucked and transformed into something else!
    Would love the book for some fresh ideas.

  44. pattie says

    I love the idea of repurposing old clothes and have some at home I’d like to use Jenny’s ideas on to give them new life!

  45. says

    I try to repurpose items too much! But sewing and repurposing is terribly exciting…. I hope I win! I love making costumes too. If I mess up I can always repurpose my “repurpose mess up”! What fun!

  46. sarah noirot says

    I would adore this book! We try to be as green as we can! I repurpose a lot of accessories and jewelry….just got my first sewing machine and classes, would love some ideas to turn my thrift store finds into something new!

  47. says

    I love searching thift stores for items thathavergeat fabrics to use in quilts- this book would be great to use those items for revied clothing for my daughter

  48. Kim says

    I already love to sew & recycle/repurpose, & this book appears to have some fresh new ideas I could really sink my needles into! Thanks for a great giveaway – & for some great new ideas!

  49. says

    Altering a found garment is one thing, but refashioning and perhaps repurposing clothing into a totally new piece is truly “waste not, want not”. Your daily email, as always, has inspired me and pointed me in a new, fun direction. Thank you for the opportunity to win this awesome book!

  50. Laura says

    My 14 year-old just completed a class on deconstructing garments (and recreating!) She has drawn the whole family in with her new skill, and has given a new life to many of the “hand-me-downs” that were racing the end of the line. I’d love to win this book and share even more ideas that we could do together!

  51. Jennifer Cheek-Payan says

    Oh my Gosh – I **need** to get myself a copy of this book whether I win or not! But…Just in case you pull my name…I think I need this so badly because I’ve lost 70 pounds and can’t afford to buy clothes that fit me right because my husband is unemployed right now.

    Thank you so much for all of your awesome give-aways! I hope I win! :)

  52. Tammy says

    This looks like an amazing book! I’ve always been in awe of those women who can take one thing and turn it in to another. What a great chance to learn some of those tricks!

  53. Cyd says

    Starting to write programs for our Girl Scouts next year, this looks like it’s full of ideas we could use! Thanks for offering it!

  54. Cindy Nipper says

    This book looks AWESOME!!!
    I love the idea or refashioning your clothes but to even add to your wardrobe via the thrift store is recycling 101! Even if I don’t win this book, I’ll be sure to buy my own copy! This is a keeper and an inspiration to many new ideas!

  55. says

    i would love to get this book! i am really working on clothing refashions as opposed to buying new materials. i spend a lot of time at the thrift store, and i have a hard time making the visual jump from 80s jumper to pinup shorts or what have you…i would love some help!


  56. Susie D says

    As a newbie at sewing, and trying to use thrift store finds, and even my clothes that are old and out of style, having a chance to get this book would be so helpful.

  57. Ricki Duke says

    I love to go thrift store shopping. I have rubbed off on my daughter too! We go at least once a week too just to see what is new. This book would be great. Love to win it.

  58. Debbie Constable says

    I have a sewing machine, thread, and lots of old clothes that could use a face-lift! I’d love to try some projects / ideas from this book!

  59. CathyH says

    I have a hard time discarding items , even if they don’t fit anymore. This sounds like it would have good ideas to revamp old favorites

  60. says

    Our favorite fabric store is the “thrift store”. My children love looking through the clothing (regardless of size) for a fabric design they like. My daughter especially enjoys searching for “cool” jean pockets as she chooses the jeans that will be remade for her.

  61. Merry Jo says

    I first repurposed and remade clothes while in college a long time ago. I would love to see some fresh ideas from the younger generation.

  62. Carla says

    I would love to get a copy of this book for some new ideas on resewing fabrics into useable items. I regularly scour the thrift stores for treasures looking for items to make into useful things for my family. Thanks for a chance to win!

  63. Caitlin says

    I have a bunch of blue jeans materials, or fabric scraps and I would like to learn how to use those materials, and I also like to learn how to sew my own clothing, since I can never find anything in the stores.

  64. Jules says

    After the earthquake here in New Zealand, this book would be fantastic. If I won I’d be down the thrift store buying up some project’s from the book to make and then send them down to my friends in Christchurch who have practically nothing for nothing. I don’t have much money myself but this is a perfect way to help those is need while still being stylish. My fingers are crossed!!

  65. Sarah says

    I would love to have this book for inspiration in using 2 large plastic bins full of my family’s old clothing. I been saving everything we don’t wear anymore – sweaters, knits, suits, jackets, pants, scarves, belts, everything but I don’t know where to start.

  66. Lis says

    I would love to win this book. I am trying to cut down our carbon footprint and try to find clothes from garage sales, goodwill, craigslist, and freecycle! It would be great to have ideas how to turn other peoples throw aways into great fashion!

  67. susan says

    I love remaking old clothes into new ones. It is my latest hobby. I love the challenge of finding uses for old things.

  68. Adrienne says

    This is exactly what I have been doing recently: going to second-hand stores and finding great things to re-purpose because it it more economical. I love doing it and this book would be really great for some new inspiration on my designs

  69. Brandy says

    my friend and i love to thrift! we started to bond over our love of crochet and embroidery… i think we could make use of our creativity and thrifting with the help of this book!

  70. thepricklypinecone says

    I would love to win as I would love to make my own clothes but this far have been to scared to attempt it. This would be like dipping my toe in the water!

  71. Tamara says

    I would love to win this book because I can’t bear to throw anything away. I have drawers full of old clothes and material that is waiting to be transformed. This is just the book to get me going on those projects!

  72. Judith says

    My son outgrows his jeans so quickly. I’d like to read the instructions on how to turn his old denim jeans into a rag rug.

  73. says

    I started crafting about 2 years ago. After spending a small fortune on craft supplies, I realized most of the items in our donate pile where great for crafting with. Since then I have been obsessed with using as many recycled items in all aspects of our lives.

    This books would fit nicely in our house?

  74. Shari J says

    I shopthrift stores 2-3 times a week. I would love to make more clothes for my grandaughters – they live with us and it isn’t inexpensive dressing them. To be able to repurpose wonderful finds from the thrift shop and keep them dressed in style…..Wow! Please draw my name……thanks for the chance

  75. nangy says

    My granddaughter and I are learning to sew together,she is 8 and already can sew better than me!We have been going to thrift stores and buying clothes to repurpose and having sooo much fun,I would like this book for her because at her young age the talent that she is already showing is amazing,she draws out designs and we try to cut out and sew what she has designed,I am so proud! thank you for the giveaway.

  76. Morgan says

    I love turning my husband’s dress shirts into sundresses for my girls and really incredible barbie dresses — It would be great to have some fabulous new ideas for reusing items!

  77. says

    I’m somewhat new to the idea of upcycling (I like that word) and have been making all sorts of things from felted thrift store sweaters, mostly for my little girls. I haven’t been brave enough to do much for myself though and a book like this might be just the jumpstart I need!

  78. Annabel says

    I would love to try the projects in this book because I love the uniqueness of making your own clothing, and that in doing so you are actually helping the environment (especially if you used recycled fabrics) and not supporting the exploitative textile industry which uses (practically) slave labour. I think to tackle these problems, it takes one step, even if it is travelling back in time and making your own clothes.

  79. ~Heather says

    I always try to re-use fabric for my sewing projects – it makes them all the more one-of-a-kind. Plus there’s SO much excess fabric and unused clothes out there that, when you factor in the environmental costs of new fabrics, it feels sinful NOT to use what’s already available.

  80. Mel Pi says

    Ooh, I restyle sweaters often and have been wanting to try to turn some of the resulting scraps into a hat. I’d love to get my hands on this book and see how she does it, rather than noodling it out for myself!

  81. says

    I am the epitome of a beginning sewer and recently made my son a pair of PJ pants out of a pillowcase (from a step by step tutorial). I could SO use this book to improve my skills.

  82. Sarah says

    I collect bad clothing items in great fabrics to one day re-sew. With this book I will have tons of inspiration!

  83. Lynda Taylor says

    I would love to get this book. I have bags of clothes my kids have grown out of or other family memebers and I would love to resew them into clothing.

  84. says

    As prices soar I’m trying to find
    a way to cut bills and have peace of mind!
    This book I’m sure, will show the way
    to save some dimes for another day!

  85. Ruth says

    I’d like to try the projects in this book, because I’m a hopeless packrat, so maybe reinventing my stash of old clothes will give them new use again

  86. Evelene Sterling says

    I want to clean out my closet but I love the old items in it. I would love to use this book to re-sew my lovely knit dress that I’ve had since the 80’s.

  87. Sue DeMo says

    I have 3 grandaughters who would love to be a part of the “renew” projects. They are 5,7,8 and grow so fast that resewing recyled items into something new would be exciting as well as a plus moneywise since their parents are single parents. They all love for me to sew for them.

  88. Lynne says

    Recycling, upcycling, re-sewing the bags and bags of children’s and adults’ clothes in my house would be an awesome way to use them up. I can only make so many ‘memory’ items from our old clothes!

  89. says

    Wow! I have already made 2 cleavage covers to fit in to decollete type blouses from thrift store finds. I would love to see what I can rework using these ideas in the book.

    Thanks! onethess29 at yahoo dot com

  90. Sunshine-Spigot says

    I have this book saved in my Wish List on Amazon!! I just haven’t taken the time to order it, and now, I have a chance to win it!! This would be too too awesome! I love to repurpose old thing! Thanks for the chance to win!


Leave a Reply