Thursday, February 16, 2012

Handmade Chic - Laura Bennett

Handmade Chic: Fashionable Projects That Look High-End, Not Homespun

In Handmade Chic, Laura shares simple strategies for creating 40 small luxuries and high-fashion accessories, from a smart leather iPad portfolio to a feather-embellished evening bag. With sections organized in skill-building order and based on type of accessory—small leather goods, agendas and notepads, electronics, bags and wallets, and evening items—Laura offers patterns, easy-to-follow diagrams, and detailed instructions for fabricating each glamorous project, whether it involves sewing from scratch or embellishing a prepurchased garment. While showcasing her own creative designs, she provides readers with the basic techniques and encouragement they need to come up with variations and create their own signature pieces.
Packed with Laura’s signature flair and finesse, vibrant four-color photos, step-by-step drawings, and a complete list of suggestions on where to purchase materials, Handmade Chic is an accessible guide to at-home crafting that is elegant enough for the most modern, fashion-savvy of women.

How can you make something hand made look high-end? Is there something wrong with all the crafts people do that makes them fall short of commercial stuff? To be honest, I've found the thing that counters this the creativity that goes into these projects. I love crafting and I've found that you can almost always create something on par with commercial stuff if you know what you're doing. Laura Bennett brings to the front is that the starting material is what basically gives your hand made stuff that extra special something that'll give you finished product the polish it requires. 

The material of choice for this book is (p)leather. I can understand it. Nothing speaks class as classic cut and sewn leather pieces and Laura is known for her classic cuts and designer pieces. 

I do feel, however, that other materials could have been included as not everyone is comfortable with the material she chose to portray. It would have been a better pitch if she had chosen some cheap polyester material and 'made it work', I guess. The other thing which I felt was lacking was that most of the stuff made were accessories which are fine but some old crafters would have preferred other items (or jewelry stuff maybe for kids so everyone can get on the bandwagon?) 

I did like the ideas however. The pattern is well explained. The thing are well made (no surprise), look expensive and yet easy enough to be tried. The ideas are aplenty and this book can and will serve as an inspiration to both novice and experienced sewers.

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