Wednesday, 31 August 2011


Hello everyone - just to let you know that I am in the process of setting up a new website and blog which will be launched shortly - that's really the reason I haven't been posting much lately. I'll let you know as soon as it's done - it would be great if you'd continue to follow me after I've switched over. The new name will be Mary Jane Makes - and the blog will be an integral part of a website which will include information about what's coming up and what I've been doing.

By the way - if you're free on Sunday 11th September and live in London - come along to my Peter Pan collar workshop at High Tea of Highgate. I'm going to show you how to make a vintage-style Peter Pan collar out of old table linen! There's going to be a fabulous High Tea included in the price too. At £28 it's  a good deal.

Contact me on if you fancy coming along. It would be great to meet you!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Monday, 1 August 2011

Mollie Makes features Chic

The lovely ladies at Mollie Makes magazine have featured Chic on a Shoestring in the September issue. It's a privilege to be included in this fab new mag which showcases crafts, vintage, makers, interiors and lots of inspiring ideas in a beautifully photographed format.

Vintage Festival at The Southbank

I was in my element over the weekend at the Vintage Fest on The Southbank in London. Forties-style fashionistas rubbed shoulders with day trippers, and festivites filled the air. There was a fab vintage village with stalls selling all manner of fantastic clothes and accessories, and an old-fashioned style fairground. Up on top of the Queen Elizabeth concert hall they'd even planted a pop-up garden where you could sip cocktails.

Everything seemed to sparkle slightly with magic and imagination. Even without paying to go into the actual festival there was tonnes of interesting stuff to do. I especially enjoyed boarding the pink bus - filled with everything charity shops can't sell. Although it was cluttered beyond compare (even for me!) I   got some real style tips. I just love these colours and the confusion of vintage shades.

If you did fork out for the paying part of the festival - you were in for lots of treats too: free champagne courtesy of British Airways which put on a great catwalk show of its cabin staff uniforms over the last 70 years, and lots of creative workshops - one run by the Seaside Sisters. I was very proud of my souvenir pennant rustled up with their help in under an hour.

My only regret is that I lacked my dancing diva friends - as the Royal Festival Hall boasted a different band and era on every floor. It really was a great day. Let's hope they put another festival on here again soon SOON SOON!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Shoelace necklaces from Chic

My fabulous God daughter and her super-cool Mum Helen have been busy collecting shoelaces to make flowers as advised by a rather good book called Chic on a Shoestring by MJ Baxter. Here are Ellie and her friend modeling their stunning accessories. I love the way they've used the multi-coloured shoelaces to make their designs, and they look equally good brightening up a pair of tap-shoes. 10/10 girls!

Monday, 4 July 2011

How cute are these!

I love these dolls by Jane Foster. So cute and beautifully simple.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Festival fashion

Yesterday I went to my first ever music festival. Given that I'm 40+ this is pretty astonishing, and I felt very much the festival virgin as the plastic wristband was snapped into place. I went with a couple of friends on a day pass to the Hop Farm Festival in Kent - nothing too seriously long-term for this festival commitment - phobe! Morrisey was the headline act, but great performances too from the Noisettes (fab headpiece) and Lou Reed (no headpiece). Have to say one of the best bits of the festival for me was checking out all the  fashion. For the men: bare chests and too-tight fur coats that actually worked a look; natty combos of check trousers and floral shirts that astonishingly made complete sense; and top marks to the guy who caught the eye in off-the-shoulder denim dungarees and squashed top hat!  For the girls: everything goes; short skirts, long skirts, vintage dresses, skimpy shorts with knee-length socks. I particularly liked a crochet square waist-coat and a great lilac poncho/shawl made of a very loose-weave crochet which incorporated 3d flowers slung over an orange mini dress. Long tanned legs and cowboy boots completed the ensemble. I could have people-watched for hours. Amazing array of hats on show - this is where secret hat-lovers can hang out in safety! A bit like a ski-resort in a way. People wear things here they wouldn't be seen dead in outside the perimeter fence! First prize though must go to the stilt walking candy seller whom I've since discovered is part of a quirky Dutch based group called Kim Brulee and the Flying Pans . An aeriel artist by training, she puts on food-theatre events at festivals all over Europe. Her costume deserves a home-made Chic on a Shoestring rosette!