Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Handmade Chic by Laura Bennett

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.
 Despite the fact the subtitle is a bit insulting to handmade crafts, I was curious. Plus, some people do not like handmade crafts so I was wondering if this would be the book for them. Really all it is about is choosing higher end materials. Makes sense since materials can make the difference in anything that you make. HOWEVER, I think that you could still make things in this book without breaking the bank. Finding goods at Goodwill or things that just don't fit anymore could become material for things in this book. I can see scraps and refashioned products in any of her projects.

There were projects I can see people who read book blogs really liking. For example, there was a book cover made out of leather. This would be not for a general size of book (like mass market) but for a book you are wanting to preserve with a hearty cover.
You could easily buy scraps from leather craft stores.
There are also covers for ereaders. Specifically in this book there are dimensions and specifics for Kindle and iPad. 

I do have to warn people who simply hate crafting in fur. The author does use real fur, but if that doesn't bother you, just use faux fur. Honestly, I think it would be easier to deal with anyway. You could make not so costly mistakes that way.

I give this book 3 stars which are all for the type of projects within the book and not the writing. In other words, very interesting projects, but not so interesting that I can ignore the barbs to crafting which I always think should be fun! Being so uptight about your projects kind of takes away that fun for me.
I was given this ebook by NetGalley and the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.


  1. I love handmade items - they can reflect your personality and look really chic. Some of them are rather easy to make and, after one or two trials, the final result is usually better than any shop-sold item - like that leather book cover.

  2. Interesting book, though the subtitle is annoying. Seems like there could be some techniques in there that would make even "homespun" items seem cuter.

  3. I love crafty items but am no good at making things myself. This would however make a great gift for a friend, thanks for recommending it.

  4. Hmmm... Well, I LOVE crafts!!! But I'm not sure there's anything in there for me and the girls to do! Real fur? As in from like a real animal? I didn't know people really did that. Gross.

  5. I'm so not crafty, but now I kind of want to make myself an e-reader cover:) My poor Kindle goes naked and that's just unacceptable!

  6. I admit i love craft books. Especially something I can make from home that look neat and is cheap.

  7. I wish I could make things like that...but I can't :(

  8. @Anachronist... I also love handmade items. I don't think this author does tho. :( These don't look too hard to make as long as you had the right materials and tools.

    @Sonia... I agree about the subtitle. I think that this is a book that could start some thinking tho.

    @...Petty... Actually, I bet you could make it if you had all the right materials. :)

    @Ashley...I agree. And to be honest if you do it her way, it would end up being more expensive than if you bought it. That is why I said to use scraps and reused items. I think it's doable. And I agree about the real fur too...

    @Jenny... Oh I can suggest a few sewing patterns if you are interested!! :D

    @Savannah... I do too. Even if I wouldn't make what is in the book, I usually can get ideas from it! :)

    @Blodeuedd... Right... I don't believe that. ;)

  9. Homespun is the new black; didn't they tell you?

  10. Im so buying this book...how fun!!

    Just because I need yet another hobby to suck the time out of me...:D

  11. Oh, this makes me want to go dive into my crafting supplies again! Maybe I'll try to over Christmas break...Right now, I've got too many papers to write, lol.

  12. Real fur for a book cover????? Nooooooo!

    I have to agree that crafties should be fun!

  13. I am crocheter so I love to craft but trust me when I say you do not want me anywhere near a glue gun. I am DANGEROUS! :)

  14. Awwwwww.... This review reminded me that I haven't sewn or crafted in so long! Maybe I should check this out to get some inspiration!

  15. Wish i'd have thought of making a cover for my kindle before I spent the money on one!


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