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4.7 out of 5 stars
Chic on a Shoestring: Simple to Sew Vintage-style Accessories
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2011
Love this! Dozens of easy-to-make projects which I can use to revamp my wardrobe and update old items. I've already made the ribbon corsage (pg 83) which took about 15 minutes and have found an old tie to transform into a purse. Next on the list is customising an old cardigan with lace (looks amazing in the photo on pg 37) and maybe a Floribunda brooch to brighten up a t-shirt. Might also try the elegant shoelace necklace. I used to enjoy making and customising clothes when I was a teenager, and now Mary Jane Baxter has reawakened my creative instincts. The ideas are imaginative and useful, and use materials which probably already languish in a drawer or wardrobe. Instructions and illustrations are easy to follow, and you don't need a sewing machine for most. Recommended for anyone with an eye for fashion, for unusual presents, and also for those "I'm bored!" school holiday moments.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2011
Fantastic book - beautiful artwork to compliment loads of great ideas. Most things can be made with bits lying around the house, or easily picked up in markets or cheap stores. There are easy step-by-step guides and some patterns in the back for drawing round. I've tried some of the ideas in the book and always got compliments! I've also bought this for people as presents and it has always been well received - the chic cover alone allows it to grace any stylish coffee table! Fabulous!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2011
I bought this book as I wanted to revamp my wardrobe - it is full of great ideas and has brilliant images/text and easy to follow!
I have a big cupboard full of ribbons, feathers etc and am so delighted as have creating some unique gifts.
A great gift for friends and family.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2012
I wish I just borrowed this from the library. Some of the items in this book are pedestrian at best, some are genuinely pretty. But to be honest they all have a crafty look about them. Call me picky but I like my accessories to look shop bought or really elegantly handmade and this book didn't really deliver, although the models were gorgeous, that gives it an extra star (I know, I'm superficial Dx).

I would advise you to borrow it from the library before actually buying it yourself, I was really annoyed when I found it in my local one days after I bought it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2011
This is a beautifully produced book and lovely enough just to sit and read. However, the aim of the book is to get us all to start making things out of bits and pieces we have lying around. This is the point where I realised Chic on a Shestring is not just a pretty face: the instructions are VERY clear and most of the accessories could be successfully made by someone who hasn't lifted a needle since their schooldays. Don't let the word 'sew' put you off - there's nothing too complicated and glue is used quite a lot too! For readers who already know their way around a sewing kit, this book will give you lots of ideas which you can then take further.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2011
Like this a lot; it's like a favourite recipe book with pics of haberdashery ingredients and mouthwatering fashion recipes. Although I love vintage clothing I am; a.not good at sewing and b. don't live near a great vintage market or shop, but I still managed to find bits and pieces and make projects in the book. I particularly liked the tie belt, and the felt based neck piece which would be a great travel thing - it would pack tiny and make a plain shift or cardigan look partyish at night. A good looking book with a friendly but informative voice that made me excited about making stuff. One of the best thing about the book is that the 'recipes' can be used as a jumping off point with the basic principles, techniques and inspirations clearly and gorgeously drawing you through the book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2011
I have looked at several books similar to this one but this one is fantastic and clearly the best. Lovely concise and inspiring projects. Beautiful photographs and full sized templates. Really easy to follow using many different materials that are often easily located ( i have started collecting buttons and ribbons) I especially loved the lace projects and look forward to jazzing up my tired cardigans. An essential item for anyone who likes funky vintage style accessories or anyone who is scrapped for cash. I look foward to a follow - up title from Mary Jane
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 December 2011
Books claiming to help you be fashionable and creative whilst avoiding the credit crunch seem to be mushrooming at the moment, but this one has to be one of the very best. None of the projects is unwearable or extreme, all are easy to achieve and it really is likely that you will have or can find the necessary materials without a problem or too much expense. The style is cheerful with clear explanations to help even those inexperienced with a needle and thread.
With most craft books I find one or two projects I want to make with the rest of it ignored, but with this book I'm spoilt for choice and my grandaughter couldn't decide where she wished to start on her list of wants.
Definitely recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2011
It is full of great and beautiful ideas to make, update, and stylise plain clothing and accessories. As well as making something from scratch, but all at cheap prices! Definitely a good book to invest in!
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on 10 March 2012
Chic on a Shoestring is a book packed with ideas to make vintage accessories with clear step by step instructions for everyone, whether you are handy with a needle or never thought to make something creative - like me.
I love the drawings that give it a true vintage feel. The whole lay-out makes this book so much more than just an ideas book, you don't have to read it cover to cover, but you will.
My favourite of all is the belt made out of a tie, how clever and so stylish is that! The pillowbox hat is genius and I am sure my nephews will love to make the pompoms.
I am also going to give the beanie a try, that's another of the great accessories I can see myself wearing next winter! There are such great fashionable ideas in this book, I am sure it is going to inspire a lot of women and girls to create their own style.
This book is going to delight every vintage lover. It's a great book to give but also definitely one to keep!
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