“Hacking” our old clothes is not a new concept. I remember as a teenager “hacking” your old t-shirts to make them into something new being very popular. I remember cutting t-shirts that didn’t fit and piecing them together in different ways and making bags out of old clothes. But something I had never seen during that boom of recycled fashion was crochet hacking. When the opportunity to take a look at Crochet Hacking: Repair and Refashion Clothes with Crochet by Emma Friedlander-Collins came up, I was really interested in checking it out. I was really interested to see what crochet hacks Emma had come up with and how refashioning clothes had changed.
Thanks to David & Charles for providing me this book for free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.
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My first impressions of the book were that it is bright, colourful and fun. Crochet Hacking starts off with some details about how much clothing is purchased and subsequently sent to landfills every year. The number is alarming. I knew it was a lot but… wow. I don’t personally buy a lot of clothes but just seeing those numbers makes me really rethink any clothes purchases that I do make.
Crochet Hacking is broken down into sections by the fabric that you’ll be working with: Denim, Jersey (i.e. t-shirts) and Wool & Other Fabrics. Each of these sections begins with some information about the fabric, a breakdown of the tools you’ll need to work with it as well as some techniques to use. Each section is accompanied by clear and helpful photos to help your understanding of each process.
Watch the video version of my review of Crochet Hacking here:
The patterns in Crochet Hacking are written in the UK terminolgy but the US terminology is provided with every pattern so you aren’t going to have to go searching for it. Most of the patterns in the book are more like recipes. The general guidelines are provided on how to execute the project instead of a standard crochet pattern where they tell you exactly how many stitches to create (i.e. CH 57, SC in the 2nd CH from the hook). This doesn’t mean that you’re on your own though. You’re provided with the instructions so no matter your size or shape, you can use the instructions to make something unique to you.
There are 17 projects in the book to make. Some of the projects in Crochet Hacking include:
- Not Your Granny’s Bomber
- Sashiko Stitched Dungarees
- Eezypeezy Zipper Jacket
- Bikini Bird Beach Dress
- Ikea Bag Hack
- Magic Granny Slippers
- Summer Breeze Wrap
- and more!
Although some of the projects in the book aren’t necessarily something I would personally wear, they do spark ideas and provide techniques for how I can apply crochet hacking to my own wardrobe in a way that works for me. I will be making the Sashiko Stitched Dungarees for my daughter. She is growing like a weed and she has jeans that still fit her around the waist but she’s just gotten too tall for. Because the project instructions are there to accommodate any size, I can apply the same techniques to her jeans and she can have a super cute pair of dugarees or dugaree shorts or a skirt. See where I’m going with this?
Most of the instructions were clear and easy to follow. There were a few instances where I had to re-read something to really understand what was needing to be done. There is a general techniques section in the back of the book. The technique section was clear and straightforward, accompanied with illustrations for each stitch/technique. In my personal opinion, this book is best suited for intermediate level crocheters or adventurous beginners.
Overall, I enjoyed Crochet Hacking and will be looking at my wardobe in a whole different way moving forward. Armed with the techniques in the book, I’ll be trying my hand at a variety of different ways to breathe new life not just into my wardrobe, but my kids’ wardobe too. This book is a great resource for crocheters that love clothes and want to limit the impact they have on the environment or those looking for a way to have more crochet in their wardobe without the time investment of crocheting a new garment from scratch.
Find Emma Friedlander-Collins on Instagram HERE. She shares tutorials and crochet hacking inspiration on her feed and is definitely worth the follow.
Check out some more of my crochet book reviews available for free on my blog: