|My bargain book: £1.49!|
In terms of materials, shops such as Hobbycraft are wonderful but pricy. As you can imagine, I use all my usual tricks for materials (try poundland-style shops for sequins and cardmaking, Dunelm Mill, The Range, DIY stores, Ikea for fabrics - and of course only visit Hobbycraft after a major festival, to stock up on the reduced Christmas or Easter stock for next year). Another idea is to look around you. Have you already got something in need of re-use or re-vamp? An old shirt for fabric or a scuffed old chair to paint up?
|A project like this could use an old|
top you love but is too scruffy to wear.
So here is my thrifty tip for you. Next time you go to a charity shop, look in the oversized book section. Crafting was big in the 1970s and early 1980s. Very big. So were the books. You can pick up handicraft manuals covering everything from crochet to metalwork (interestingly, there is less twee-ness in these 70s books than in modern texts) with step by step guides. One of these manuals will set you back the same as a single craft magazine, with as much content as a year's subscription.
|Really useful basics: making and adapting patterns|
|This classic design could|
be styled retro or modern.
And if the designs are too retro for you*? Why not adapt them- the great thing about manuals is that they usually include instructions on how to adapt and adjust (rather than a step-by-step to one project). Yes, that raggy-dog looks incredibly of its era in green crimp, but if that's not your taste adjust the fabric and the cut of the ears into something more in keeping with your tastes. And with a simple shift dress, the fabric and accessories are everything. All the more satisfying than slavishy copying.
|The legacy of this photoshoot is that somewhere,|
a therapist has just bought a yacht.
*As you might have guessed, they aren't to retro for me, I'm making everything in its original form except perhaps the creepy matching family outfits.