Monday 5 September 2011

Chic on a Shoestring

Helloo!!  I’m now back from my fabulous holiday, where I spent a relaxing week making sandcastles and not much else, pure bliss.  Now we're back though, I'm literally counting the hours until my two go back to school so I can get cracking with some sewing.  In the interim I’ve been catching up on my sewing book reading.  I’m a tad impulsive with sewing books and tend to order them in a mad frenzy; some of the time I’m disappointed, but I struck lucky with my latest purchase.

Chic on a Shoestring is the sort of book you can sit down with, cup of tea in hand and be inspired to want to try every single project in it.  The book is exactly what the title suggests.  Written by ex-milliner and vintage lover Mary Jane Baxter, it shows how you can give your existing clothes and accessories a vintage-style look with bits of haberdashery from your stash.  There are also tons of ideas for refashioning existing pieces. My favourites are the simple scarf turned into a halter neck top

and the glamour-puss turban made from an old T-shirt, both just gorgeous.

I’ve mentioned before on this blog how little vision I have when it comes to refashioning clothes, so this is the perfect book for me.  If you like vintage style or you simply want to breath new life into frumpy old clothes, then this book will almost certainly have a stylish solution.  Bored with your old cardigan?  Just change the buttons for vintage ones.  Easy peasy.

I’ve already completed my first project: a retro headband:

Once the pieces were cut out, it probably took about 15 minutes to sew together and although I think it would look better with a vintage buckle (which sadly I didn’t have knocking around) I’m pleased with how wearable it is.
I might add a buckle when I find one, to give this headband more of a retro look

Chic on a Shoestring is a lovely book.  Well written with clear instructions and packed full of beautiful, easy-to-make projects, it's definitely one for the sewing room bookshelf.  Happy Monday everybody. x


  1. Cute! Love that strawberry print - so sweet :)

  2. Great to have you back and I'm so pleased you had a relaxing holiday!

    I actually saw the scarf-to-halter-neck-top in last month's Mollie Makes and I thought it was sooo lovely! The book looks great and may well have to go on my Xmas gift list ;o)

    Loving your headband too, I really think the buckle will make a brilliant addition!

  3. hope you're feeling refreshed! This book has been reviewed by Molly Makes awell as yourself. Now there are 2 good reviews I have no bad feeling in putting it on the buy list!!

  4. Welcome back! I like your review on this. Might have to add to my wish list.

  5. Everyone has said what I was going to say about the book! I too am counting the hours/minutes... Partly so I can sew, but most cos my eldest is off to secondary school tomorrow. Not sure I'm ready for that yet - she seems fine!

  6. Love you headband!

    Pleased you had a good holiday, and thankyou for telling us about the book, I'm going to have a look....

  7. Nice review - I've see this book but not looked inside. ILike the projEcts you've chosen. Love the headband too! Just think of the use you can make of those scraps of your fave fabric :-)



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