Book Review – Thrifty Style

Book Review: Thrifty Style by Janine Chisholm, CICO Books

One of my favourite hobbies at the weekend is to take the car out to an antiques market and scour for hidden treasures, but I’m always a bit unsure of picking out good vintage clothes pieces. I can spot something but often don’t always see the potential in it, and what it could be created into. The costumier Janine Chisholm has put together a collection of tips and suggestions in this beautifully presented book, instructing the reader how to create one-off pieces from cast-off clothes.

Janine worked in theatre and television for many years in different costume departments, she’s responsible for many of the gowns in Lark Rise to Candleford. Then a few years ago, she decided to work with young people teaching them sewing and art, creating the Custard House Clothing company selling vintage pieces and offering an alteration service. Her book has put together all of her practical and teaching experience. It’s a glossy read with different levels of difficulty, you can start at level one and once you feel more of a confident clothes-maker you can move onto levels two and three.

I’ve always been a bit nervous of sewing and clothes-making, so was particularly pleased when I saw a whole section at the back of the book dedicated to techniques. There’s a useful page on how to take measurements, and an introduction to basic stitches. Janine really covers it all – she shows the reader how to embellish tops, changing sleeves and hemlines and fix zips! She gently guides you on how to re-work and re-construct charity shop and vintage finds. Janine is passionate about sustainability and recycling, she wants people to absorb clothes back into the environment once they’ve reached the end of their use. It’s a great attitude to have and we found the book an inspiring read!

All the images are from the book.