Book Review :: Sweater Surgery!


I first saw this book quite a few months ago. I was instantly in love. A book after my own heart. A book I would write if given the chance. There are so many great aspects to the Sweater Surgery that I’ll just start with the physical aspect of the book itself. It’s spiral bound! I love craft books that are spiral bound! There is nothing more frustrating than trying to read directions, knit or crochet or sew, and keep a book propped open. And it also makes the templates in the back all the more easy to photocopy because it will actually lay flat without braking the binding!

This book was first published in May 2008 and is written by Stefanie Girard and published by Quary Books (which I completely wrote down wrong the first time! Sorry about that, I’m not sure how I made the mistake and thank you for correcting me!). It’s 160 pages of great information, how to’s, projects, and inspirations.


She starts out right where a book like this should, choosing a sweater. For me this is the most valuable resource in the whole book. It goes over all the different types of sweater styles, what to look for when it comes to what type of project, and then, how to take apart, use, and reconstruct each type. Sewing techniques, embroidery skills, and general how-to’s for using sweaters are all contained in this section.



Then the next section is all projects. Ranging from skirts to softies, there is much to tantilize me. And, this is the best part, for each project, there is a “Before” picture of the sweater used for each project. Do you see the little before sweater? And then the awesome lacy scarf! I would have never thought to use an unfelted sweater this way! A nice touch with the complimenting earring. Did I mention how well done all the photography is? Well, it is and I’m mentioning it now.


And then, even better, she invited many many designers to submit projects they have made from recycled sweaters, a whole section just to be inspired! That’s what I use most “pattern” books for anyway, so this is just what I love to see. And with the skills learned in the second section, one could easily make up their own items from the inspiration projects.


I really like this felted, sewn, semi-precious stone, rock necklace.


And these lovely dresses and accessories.


The general tone of the writing in the book is really upbeat and a “you can do it” attitude and I like that. It’s such a good read and such a good project book too. It actually made it into my permanent Craft Book Library and that’s saying a whole lot because I’m very particular and choosy about my craft books. This one made the cut no problem!

And if you want to go grab some sweaters to use right now, this day, this second – Sister Diane wrote up what she learned from felting sweaters and I wrote up this tutorial on recycling a sweater for yarn.

I’ve made a few things here on Craft Leftovers using felted sweaters:

Recycled Peace Ornaments

Stick a Pin in It – Needle Book

There are a couple of others, but these two are my favorites! And it makes me think, I should make some more recycled sweater using projects!


In other news, I’ve continued the “I’m going to update the shop every day this week and really get some great stuff in there this week and hopefully from now on!” campaign today. I relisted an older kit – the Vellus Needlepoint Kit.


Then I listed 3 Love Bug Clutch Kits! It’s the first time they’ve ever been in the shop before, so I’m really excited about them. They are such a great little project and for under $10 including shipping and handling are a great gift for yourself or, if you are feeling generous, a friend. And when I went to grab the link for it, I see that one has already sold! Sweet! That always makes me feel really good when something I list finds a home super quick!


I have something really fun for tomorrow planned, spices + reuse + bulk buying = good times. Trust me, you will want to check it out.

Craft Leftovers Monthly is going on sale this Sunday, so I’m going to end this here, pack up that order, and work on the Feb clm cover drawing. This issue is a little out there and only slightly valentine’s themed. I’m throwing a curve ball with this issue and I think you will love it, or find it slightly disturbing! Either way you’ll laugh, think Santa with Gout illustrated Story funny combined with Cat Hoodie funny. Have you seen all the cat hoodie projects popping up on Ravelry? Something really fun to check out. Which reminds me, I really need to work on getting all the new projects added to the Craft Leftovers Ravelry Design Page + Update the archive. I need an assistant. Haha.

See you all tomorrow!
Happy Crafting!

3 thoughts on “Book Review :: Sweater Surgery!

  1. Oh, I just looked at this book at Barnes & Noble last night! What a timely post! I thought it looked very neat, but seeing as I’m on a “craft/yarn diet” with a certain crafty buddy, I couldn’t get it. I’m glad to know you think this is a good one, I’ll put in on my wish list! And one day and all 3 Love Bug Clutches sold out! WOW!

  2. Hi! I am just listening to some Sister Diane podcasts, and you’re in my ear. Popped into your site to see what you’ve got, and Shazam! I see my work! How cool is that?
    I made the Felt Rocks necklace in the Sweater Surgery book. That was one of my first sweater jewelry creations and now there are many more. Check out my blog at and my Etsy store for others.
    THANK YOU for posting a pic of my necklace!

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