On-Trend Titles: DIY Style and Fashion Books for Tweens

by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Photo credit: Stephen Simpson, Iconica/Getty Images

My middle school years were a time of style discovery (and multiple fashion faux-pas). I was keen to “express myself” and used iron-on patches, permanent markers, neon, and plenty of fabric glue to re-fashion, create, and embellish. Okay, I admit it: I still am.

The middle school years, when many become style- and self-conscious, can be a wonderful time for kids to develop their creative spirits. My daughter, now in 7th grade, is a constant doodler; she spent an afternoon coloring a pair of plain white sneakers, and is now launching a shoe-doodling business. She fell in love with the “regular people” feel of “The Great British Sewing Bee” on TV, and she and her friends sometimes engage in thinly disguised variations of the dress-up play from their younger days.

For all who embrace handmade, or who just want to express themselves and build creative skills along the way, there are all kinds of DIY style and fashion resources. (Though I do wish there were more equitable gender representation in books on the topic.) Here are a few great ones for today’s makers.

Featured in I Spy DIY  is a quote from one of my favorite NYC spots for handmade and refashion inspiration, M&J Trimming: “Sometimes, after growing up, we often forget what it felt like to be creative in our younger years. It brings back great memories and often helps relieve stress.”

Whether it’s by using fabric paint to add polka dots to tights, or a pair of scissors to turn a t-shirt into a tote bag, or a sewing machine to create haute couture, we have a world of opportunity to go forth and make. As for me, I’m going to send my kid these “41 Awesomely Easy No-Sew DIY Clothing Hacks” right now.  And check them out myself.