How To Be Chic on a Shoestring
Yesterday Mary Jane Baxter was in store to launch her new book, ‘Chic on a Shoestring’, her step by step guide for making vintage style accessories that are easy to sew. We asked the author for a few of her top tips for looking good with a small budget.
Where’s the best place to find vintage bargains?
If you live in London, Deptford Market on a Saturday morning is my local secret. It’s full of fabulous bargains and I’ve lost count of the number of beautiful things I’ve discovered there. One of my favourites is a 50s style silver dress for just £3. It takes some effort though, I recommend wearing gloves and wellies for sifting through the stalls!
What’s the best way to reinvent some old vintage buttons?
There’s a really easy ‘Button Bag Remake’ project in my book. Take an old cloth bag, cover any logos with fabric and cut out a heart shape in your chosen fabric as a patch. Sew your buttons onto the heart and you’ll have your own customised button bag.
Alternatively, you could replace the buttons on a high street item of clothing with your vintage buttons for a quick update.
If you had 1m of remnant fabric, what would you make?
I’d probably recommend making a silk scarf top (also featured in the book). Hem the edges, tie 2 corners around your neck and attach 50cm of ribbon to the other 2 corners. Then wrap the ribbon around your waist and tie.
Do you need to be an expert at sewing to use ‘Chic on a Shoestring’?
Definitely not! My book is designed to be as simple as possible with no complicated sewing terms and no special expertise needed. If you can sew on a button you can use my book (and if you can’t sew on a button I even show you how to do this)! There are also some ‘No Sew’ projects if you are seriously terrified of a needle and thread.
Mary Jane’s book ‘Chic on a Shoestring’ is available in our Haberdashery Department on the 3rd floor.