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Little Green Dresses: 50 Original Patterns for Repurposed Dresses, Tops, Skirts, and More

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Never shop retail again with this chic and sweet collection of DIY patterns from a former host of DIY Network’s Stylelicious, Tina Sparkles. Joining the green movement was never so easy — and cost saving! With Sparkles’ stripped-down approach to patterning and sewing, the delightful dresses, tops, skirts, and pants in this fashion-forward project book will not only raise y ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Taunton Press
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Average rating 3.42  · 
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 ·  79 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Alicia Bayer
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
I got this from the library in the hopes of finding some inspiration for my novice sewing skills (for my kids too) and reusing some clothes in fun ways. It won't work for me for a dozen different reasons. The sewing skills needed are above my level, the clothes look like they're from the 80's, and they don't redo the clothes in a new way but rather just have you take apart really big items of clothing or blankets and then make them into her designs -- which aren't very flattering or suitable for ...more
Oct 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
who exactly was this book written for? Slutty-fashionistas-who-care-about-the-environment-and-by-the-way-also-sew-really-well? How is that more than 15 people? There are maybe 3 dresses in this that are cool and the rest look like a curtain. A slutty curtain.
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had this book years ago I would have been at my sewing machine all day long. Now don't get me wrong this is a book literally for any age.
"Little Green Dresses" promotes recycling of clothes that you either have saved for too many years or purchased from a second hand shop, we all have done it at least once. We see a dress we like at a recycle shop and say "it won't fit" so we buy it anyway and take it home to resize it or to add a belt from a different outfit. You may have found a very
Haley Mathiot
Oct 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Little Green Dresses is a very creative interesting craft book. The instructions are good, and Tina has step by step instructions for how to cut or create your own patterns, or make your own based on the ones in the book.

As far as the dresses themselves: They are all very unique. It's hard for me to visualize how I personally would wear some of them. Some are really cool. I like most of them. Some are just odd.

But then I was never much of a fashionista. My sister used to match my clothes for m
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
I love the idea behind this book, but was expecting something more along the lines of taking pre-existing clothing and refashioning it into something else. Instead it was aimed more at using the patterns from the book with the suggestion of using fabric from your old clothing or clothes purchased at a thrift store.

The other thing that bothered me were the "pattern pieces" in the book. Sorry, but instead of trying to use a two-inch pattern included on the page of a book to draw my own, it would b
Nov 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: costume
Points (stars, whatever) for having lots of good information about sewing and pattern drafting.

However: although she mentions the importance of reusing and repurposing, most of the dresses require enough yardage that one wouldn't be able to make them out of existing thrift store-type purchases. So it ends up being a book that's more about pattern drafting and sewing specific dresses she's designed patterns for, than about repurposing clothes.

Also, none of the dresses were anything that I would
Nov 22, 2011 rated it liked it
I love the idea of this book that explains about helping the environment while saving money and still being able to dress fashionably. 'Little Green Dresses' does a good job of explaining how to use old clothes, both from home and bought from charity shops, to refashion into more stylish items. It shows the techniques step by step, which as a novice I find helpful. Where the book slips up for me is with the designs as I can't see myself wearing most of them. They seem more suitable for the young ...more
Miss Dandy
Oct 05, 2010 rated it it was ok
I sew. A lot. I love working with vintage clothing to repurpose into new designs so I thought this would be a perfect book for me. I borrowed it from my library to see if it would be worth purchasing but was ultimately disappointed with Tina Sparkle's designs. I've read several reviews here about the awful styling and I have to agree - kind of trashy and not flattering. It's too bad because I really, really wanted to like this book! ...more
Dec 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
Adult nonfiction; sewing clothes. [reviewed from e-galley.] Most of these creations look like something somebody made, and not in a good way, though there are a couple of cute designs in here and plenty of fodder for experimentation, if that happens to be your style. I didn't have the patterns and so can't judge the clarity of the instructions, but the sewing technique tips at the front of the book looked helpful (for beginners, at least). ...more
Oct 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crafty, non-fiction, green
The photo styling for this book was really off-putting. Almost trashy looking, and not in a fashionable way. And there was very little detail or explanation of the original clothes they used for repurposing.

The only two creations I liked were on page 83 and page 152.
Jan 06, 2021 rated it liked it
Good for inspiration and would love to have had this when I was a sewing-mad teen. A great concept, it would have been nice to see what the original clothes were that got turned into new clothes, though i suppose that could potentially limit the imagination of the reader... a good book but better for those who can already sew well.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it
funny pictures. whimsical dresses . simple design
Cana Elene (
This book shows readers how to re-use/harvest cloth from old clothes, and how to refashion clothes. Chapter 1: Sewing introduction, with the 4 levels of sewing
Chapter 2: Using and Creating Patterns
Chapter 3: Tops (Patterns)
Chapter 4: Skirts (Patterns)
Chapter 5: Dresses (Patterns)
Chapter 6: Bottoms and Rompers (Patterns)

When I read this title, I was like, "Yay! Finally a way to re-use all those clothes that have become too big for me to wear!" Which, this book is good for giving ideas on how to r
I love the idea behind this book--taking outdated and unwearable fashion and making it fresh, new, and wearable. Tina gives great advice in this book about how to create your own patterns, how to fit clothing to your body, as well as some truly eye-opening statistics about how much wearable clothing finds its way into landfills each year. This book is full of pictures and diagrams and chock-full of tips and techniques. That said, however, I really don't think I'd find myself using much from this ...more
Christie Hagerman
Sep 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Back in the days of living in a country with thrift stores on every corner, I was quite enamored with refashion--taking an ancient muumuu some granny deposited at Goodwill and making a little stitch here, a rip or two there, a button or some ribbon over there, and VOILA! Instant cute dress. Now that I'm living in ultimate conserve mode, it's even more appealing to me.

Enter this nicely designed book, Little Green Dresses, 50 Original Patterns for Repurposed Dresses, Tops, Skirts and More. The gi
Aja Marsh
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I checked this out awhile ago from the library and just got it again as I really liked a couple of the ideas-- I'm generally, at this point anyway, more curious about how to fashionably alter existing articles of clothing into something actually wearable, or repurposing fabric in such a way that it can be used again. some of these ideas are a bit out there, but there are some definite winners, and she notes each of them by level number, the breakdown of which is based on having mastered certain ...more
Mar 15, 2011 rated it liked it
A fabulous idea for a book. A very practical way to contribute to the environment. The directions are step by step and are easy to follow. The author did a wonderful job of writing something that is logical and easy to understand for beginners as well as experienced seamstresses.

The designs though I found to be a little interesting. I have never been much of a fashionista, but I have difficulty visualizing myself wearing most of the designs shown. Although, the thought of reusing old material fr
Dec 31, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I thought that the Introduction and the first 2 chapters were very helpful in terms of explaining fabrics and pattern creation (some stuff was review for me and some were new info). However, it all went downhill once I looked at the projects. There is no way in hades that I, at the age of 47 (soon to be 47 anyway), would be caught out in public wearing any of these creations. I don't think I could have pulled them off even in my late teens, given my vertically-challenged stature, let alone as a ...more
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
No, not every dress in here is exactly my style. But isn't that the beauty of this book-- it's what you need to know to find something and put your spin on it? Too short? Too seventies? Your pushing that pedal to the metal on the sewing machine and you get to diy!

I happen to love the style of Tina's designs and the examples of upcycling. It looks like she hasn't published much and she doesn't appear to have a social media presence though I'm eager for more of her work.

There are absolute gems in
Isa Lavinia
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sewing beginners
Shelves: arc, netgalley
I'm a beginner, so take that into account when reading this review, but this book was a life saver! I finally found a pencil skirt tutorial that made sense!
All the steps are clear and there are a lot of fun and imaginative patterns in the book.

I only have one tiny thing to point: the order of the pictures and instructions. It would be much easier to follow if the finished piece always preceded the patterns and instructions. It was still easy to understand, though.
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is an interesting book and I enjoyed reading it. It is clearly aimed at someone much younger than me, the styles seem to be for teenagers and my teenage years are well behind me! However, there are useful sections of techniques both for sewing and designing patterns. It gave me lots of ideas for sewing projects, I was especially interested in the patterns involving redesigning an existing item of clothing. I look forward to using some of these ideas to create my own outfits.
Michelle Hoogterp
Jan 04, 2011 rated it liked it
I really liked the book and thought the ideas for skirts were very cute. Not all the fashion suggestions are ones I'd wear, but definitely the pencil skirts--it has me thinking about different items I have in my closet in a new way. The instructions were pretty clear to me and I'd love to take some of the patterns and try them. ...more
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An excellent stepping stone for those wanting to repurpose clothing, but looking beyond the Generation T-type books. Provides lots of instruction for measuring, constructing garments & gives lots of ideas for personalization & veering from the given pattern.
Contrary to the name, there are patterns for tops, skirts & dresses to mix-and-match into different pieces.
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
solid sewing sense and instruction with really great patterns. i loved looking at the pictures in this book. it was easy to read and understand. each pattern is pictured and leveled and has lots of instructions. i am dying to try out a few of the dresses and skirts. now, if i can just get over my fear of my mother's sewing machine... ...more
I'll have to try out the projects before I give a rating, but I love the ideas and the instructions for creating/modifying patterns seem pretty clear! Which isn't always the case with cute sewing books... ...more
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Love the idea; don't love the dresses. Maybe in different fabrics? Nevertheless, this book is a good source of inspiration for breaking free from traditional styles and dressmaking techniques. ...more
Nov 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
There was a couple of looks in here I really liked. The instructions for generating the patterns was easy to follow also.
Laroy Viviane
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great book with easy indication to make your own pattern.
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
I like the concept of this book, but none of the patterns are things I would want to wear!
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it
There's some weird and very homemade looking things in this book. It's a good exercise in DIY and imagination, though. Brainstorm for what's possible. ...more
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