Cheap Chic Tip of the Week

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 13:49

I received an e-mail this week from Sally a Chic on a Shoestring reader - who's been making things from the book with her daughter.

She asked whether I could suggest a simple way of making a Peter Pan Collar.

Well - here it is! 

Photocopy the template from p156 of Chic on a Shoestring and adapt it slightly as shown here to make the perfect Peter Pan collar.

How a book gets made

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 14:43

This has been an exciting week!

We started taking photographs for the new hat book in Hastings at the studio of fab photographer Claire Richardson. 

So I thought you might like to look through the keyhole and see what I've been up to!

Here's Claire shooting a page set-up with her lovely assistant Amy. 

The light was fantastic.

Hat block haul

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 14:18


Part of the reason I went to Brussels was to pick up a stash of hat blocks from Thijse - a lovely woman I've got

to know through another friend. Thijse trained at Antwerp's famous fashion school and went into costume design. 

En route - she wound up teaching millinery for a year under the auspices of a Belgian arts programme in China!

Brussels Flea Market

Cheap Chic Tip of the Week

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 21:51

Hankie Bunting! 

As spotted at Rag 'N Bone in Deptford (great vintage clothes too).

Great idea for when you're desperate for a bunting moment but have nothing to hand.

Even better with lots of vintage hankies. 

Bless you!



A Room of One's Own hits H&A

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 11:51

If you fancy reading about my experiences as a resident writer in the Warwickshire countryside earlier this year,

then grab yourself a copy of September's Homes & Antiques magazine where I've written a feature all about it.

I've also included details of other interesting opportunities for writers and creatives including a fab new

Hat spotting

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 19:56

If you're in London for the Olympics - then do see if you can spot these head-turning additions to the city's skyline!

Several of the capital's landmark statues have been capped with the work of our leading milliners.

Here's Lord Nelson looking dashing in a Locke & Co number.

New designs

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 13:52

I'm currently coming up with projects for my new hat book - due to be published next May.

This is one of my recent favourites.

You don't need an expensive hat block to make it - but you do need to lay your hands on a giant

wooden darning mushroom!

I've found two in antiques shops and a couple at vintage fairs.

Garage Gin

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 20:21

I seem to be tripping over myself with cutting-edge foodie experiences at the moment.

Yesterday I stumbled upon Ropewalk in Maltby Street not so far from the now over-popular Borough Market in London.

A clutch of small-scale top quality producers selling their stuff from rented arches under the railway....this is the former

The art of display

Wed, 07/04/2012 - 20:06

Thanks to Hawkes and Forman for getting in touch.

I spotted their fab fairy-tale window in a Birmingham branch of Oasis a month or so ago and featured it as a Cheap Chic Tip of the Week.


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Welcome to mary jane makes. Writer, maker, and hat-making adventurer.