Book Review: Customizing Cool Clothes by Kate Haxell

Revamp your closet with a host of budget conscious ideas ranging from beads to rick rack, buttons to pearls and all easy enough for the beginner to tackle with confidence. Geared primarily for the younger set, Haxell shows how easy it is to add a personalized touch by hand or with a sewing machine to make your wardrobe sing. Although most of the ideas presented have been around at least since the 70’s there are a few fresh projects like the “toggled cargo shorts” and “leopard jeans” to get the creative juices flowing.

After covering the basic tools and techniques the book is divided into four categories which include trimmings, buttons and beads, ribbons and stitching. Each of the projects is presented with before and after photos of the garment plus plenty of close-up views illustrating the foolproof, step-by-step instructions. Given the lack of colorfastness of many beads, sequins and some of the other embellishments shown here, it would have been nice to see adequate attention given to laundering considerations. Still, this is a nice introduction to an assortment of embellishment techniques.

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