Sunday, October 1, 2023

Weekend Review: The Re:Fashion Wardrobe


The Re:Fashion Wardrobe / Portia Lawrie
Tunbridge Wells, UK: Search Press, c2023.
176 p.

I've been waiting for this one from my local library, and finally got a copy! This new book by Portia Lawrie (creator of The Refashioners blog challenge, for those who remember those peak blogging years) is a great find. 

In an interview in Seamwork Magazine, Lawrie stated that "I don't want my clothes to scream refashion. I just want them to scream 'nice clothes'!" I think she's really captured that here. The 11 projects are well conceived, meant to work together, and look like clothes you might actually wear. Sometimes refashions can be laudable ideas but not really wearable; this book is very conscious of making casual clothing that looks both in-style and wearable. 

The book is broken up into 3 main sections; first, a bit on the concept of the book, capsule wardrobes, thrift shopping and sourcing garments to refashion, and some info on notions and supplies. Then come the projects themselves, with lots of large clear photos and instructions. The book follows Lawrie's colour palette, which is cool and modern, neutral with blacks, tans, denims and so on. So there is a sense of cohesion in the projects and photos, and what will eventually come together as a capsule wardrobe. 

The book then finishes with a longish section on refashioning techniques, so that you can take these ideas and go further with your own concepts and garments, creating your own new versions. It covers a lot, from sizing, fitting, making pattern templates, adding buttons, pockets, or darts, finishing seams and edges and so on. There are lots of great ideas and examples, and I think if a reader made a couple of the projects here, and then looked at the technique section, they'd be confident in trying their own projects as well. 

These are cool clothes, ones that sewists would enjoy wearing, I think. They seem to match a casual aesthetic, and are fairly straightforward for anyone with sewing experience. I like a couple of the top refashions - a cropped blouse is especially interesting - and think I might see if I have any 'source garments' around the house to give it a try. This one is definitely worth checking out, especially if you're wary of the rough, patched together feel of many refashions. You will only find good finishes and classic lines here. 

You can see a full flip-through of the book at the publisher's youtube channel, too! 


  1. I have enjoyed many of the books you have recommend and this looks like another. Thank you for showing books I'd never have discovered without your blog posts.

    1. I'm glad you enjoy them! This book is a great find, I hope you can check out a copy.


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