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The Shirt off his Back: 30 projects for transforming everyday shirts into a range of home accessories [Hardcover]

Juliet Bawden
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £18.99 Eligible for FREE UK Delivery Details
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Book Description

1 Oct. 2011

The Shirt off his Back provides crafters with the ultimate thrifty, creative project. What happens to men’s shirts when they are no longer worn? This book puts them to excellent use and shows how, with a little imagination, it’s easy to transform them into beautiful, useful objects -– from bunting to bags, doorstops to duvet covers, cushions to chairs and much more.

Successful blogger and craft expert Juliet Bawden reveals how to re-invent men’s shirts to make an array of charming, pretty and functional projects -including things to wear, accessories, toys and a host of ideas for your home.

Charity shops are always brimming with men’s shirts in a wonderful array of styles, patterns and colours. Whether you’re on the hunt for stripes, checks, florals, retro prints or plain brights or pastels, you’ll have little problem sourcing inexpensive, good quality material with which to create fabulously stylish items.

Each project is beautifully photographed and features clear instructions as well as either painted illustrations or step-by-step photos. Juliet Bawden’s book caters for the absolute beginner and the veteran of creative recycling alike: you’ll be surprised and inspired by how many inventive ways there are to utilise every part of your shirt – from the smallest button to its sleeves, collars and cuffs.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Jacqui Small LLP (1 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906417644
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906417642
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 2 x 25 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 694,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This is the perfect guide for those of you looking for sewing projects that are a little bit different.


'Beautifully laid out on a project by project basis, with easy to follow instructions.'

(Craft Focus magazine)

'Brilliant projects to transform your man's cast-off togs'

(Mollie Makes)

‘Fabulous new book…you’ll be surprised by how many inventive ways there are to utilise every part of an old shirt!’

(Simply Homemade)

‘This practical title is just bursting with great ideas. Beautifully photographed throughout and with clear instructions, these inspiring projects demonstrate recycling at its best!’

(Sewing World)


(Handmade Living)

‘Explores how shirts can be upcycled…A great gift for the thrifty crafter’


‘Innovative upcycling book’


‘Brilliant…the photographs are all gorgeous, which makes the projects enticing’


About the Author

Juliet Bawden is the author of numerous successful craft and sewing books, including The Shirt off his Back, The Art and Craft of Papier Mâché and The Art and Craft of Appliqué. She lives in London and runs a successful interior locations business and workshops as well as a craft blog.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Top Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I expected 10 April 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was just up my street. I've always found old shirts to be a great source of material for projects, providing nice flat pieces of usable fabric without too many seams. This book takes the concept a stage further and uses pretty much the whole shirt from tail to squeak. Button bands, pockets, collars and cuffs are incorporated into a range of items to great effect and minimum cutting and reworking. The teddy's nightshirt and the collar-tab owl doorstop are just inspired for their use of scrap fabric which would otherwise go in the bin. Projects are photographed both to encourage you to have a go and to give a clear idea of what you are aiming at. There is a balance of simple things like table mats which any beginner upcycler could tackle and more adventurous items and interesting ideas for the more experienced. For instance, I'm not sure I would make the sports-shirt bedhead but I can see how the idea could be adapted to make a wonderful floor-cushion or beanbag for a boy's room. The book is arranged in sections according to the type of shirt - business shirts, sports shirts, chunky weekendy shirts. You don't even need shirts to make many of the projects and could substitute fabric off the roll or fat-quarters from your stash... but that would kind of defeat the object. If you are lucky enough to have access to a few shirts past their useful life as shirts and a desire to do something more creative than stick them in the charity bag, you will like this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 6 Nov. 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I did enjoy reading this book. There were lots of interesting projects to make. There are plenty of pictures and lots of instructions. I used the book as a starting off point and ended up with a few very personal projects.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great ideas 12 Oct. 2011
By Sewing Directory TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This innovative upcycling book makes use of a material we all have around us - Mens shirts. Those of us with men in the house will undoubtedly have no longer used shirts lurking at the back of wardrobes. Those who don't have a shirt wearing male to acquire shirts from can pick them up fairly cheap from the charity shop. Plus of course there is no reason why women's shirts can't be used for these projects either.

The projects in this book are cleverly categorised by type of shirt used to make them: businessmen's shirts, creative men's shirts, outdoorsy men's shirts and sporty men's shirts. The projects include soft toys, quilted duvet cover, a beach bag, storage boxes, and a pretty peg bag and they make use of the whole of the shirt including, cuffs, collars and buttons.

The instructions for each project are set over several pages with large step by step photos to guide you as well as a photo of the finished project plus any templates you need are at the rear of the book. The book is easy to follow and would be suitable for all levels of experience.

This review originally appeared on The Sewing Directory.
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