Designer duds don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg if you have a sewing machine, needle, thread and some patience. Former season 3 Project Runway star Laura Bennett whose upscale, chic and urbane designs got her all the way to New York Fashion Week has released a helpful book for fashionistas and pregginistas on a budget. Can’t afford that fab mink sweater you eyed on your favorite model in Cosmo? No problem, Bennett’s book Handmade Chic (Rodale Press $24.99) teaches you how to create the look at home.
The majority of the book features easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, colorful illustrations, patterns and template for creating everything from feathered evening clutches, leather iPad cases to quirky and funky shoulder bags. I must admit because I have not a crafty bone in my body, I wasn’t too enthused that I’d have the gumption to pull it off or even make the attempt, but when I got to the end which featured embellished pumps and those glamorous furry slippers I had to pause and reconsider. I think I will start with the belts and bracelets which seem doable and work my way up.
Also, I wonder a wee bit though whether all the money spent on gathering materials to make these fab pieces could go towards a nice vintage find in a consignment shop or thrift store, but I realize you have to be lucky and have time and patience there too. *sigh*
In this book, any woman on a budget, especially in these tough economic times, who has a penchant for handcrafts or not can recreate the simple and distinctive items in this book. Now whether they come out looking as gorgeous as the pictures inside, that’s yet to be determined. The original run of the book (right), released last November 2011, featured 40 items but the review copy I received had a different cover (above) and was pared down to 35. I wonder what got axed.
Since appearing on Project Runway, the New York City resident has designed clothing for QVC and regularly appears on CBS’s The Early Show segments on crafts.
Get this book for yourself and gift it a whirl or gift it to that crafty trendy chic in your life!