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Comment: Hardcover without dust jacket that has some cover and edge wear. Inspection of the interior pages did not reveal any underlining, highlighting or notes. This book has been shrink wrapped to better protect it in the warehouse.
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Handmade Chic: Fashionable Projects That Look High-End, Not Homespun Hardcover – January 31, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Perfect for fashionable crafters who crave high-end accessories without the high-end price tag.” ―Library Journal

About the Author

LAURA BENNETT was a finalist on the TV series Project Runway. She has designed a line of clothing for QVC and appears regularly on CBS's The Early Show presenting craft segments. She lives in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609613007
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609613006
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laura Bennett wowed viewers of Project Runway's Season Three with her own politically incorrect brand of humor and sophisticated designs. She has a large and growing fan thanks to Project Runway, MSN's "Glam Squad" StyleStudio, and QVC, which sells her designs. Bennett's writes a Case Clothed comic strip for iVillage and a column for The Daily Beast. She lives in Manhattan.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book has 40 projects to tackle. The author describes them as "upscale, chic, and urbane". She is right. This is not weaving potholders. On the other hand, all the projects can be done with little difficulty, especially if one has any experience with sewing. The author uses leather to make her projects but she lets the reader know they can be done with denim, canvas, corduroy, or felt.

There is great detail on how to do the projects. Sewing terminology is explained well. There is a list of materials and tools needed for each project. Illustrations and patterns are provided. The author lets the reader know that all the materials for each project can be found online. This is helpful since she said most of the hardware can't be found in craft stores.

The projects are divided into 4 categories:

small luxuries- examples would be a business card holder , a key ring tab, and belts

fashionably organized - examples would be a book cover, various laptop holders, and ipad & kindle covers

bags and wallets - examples would be a shopping tote, a man's billfold, and a day clutch

evening extravagances - examples would be embellished shoes, a pullover, and furry slippers

When I skimmed through this book I thought that it looked too fancy. As I read it, I realized I could make any of these projects. I could use whatever material I wanted and even modify the projects. For example, I could replace the hardware with Velcro, buttons, or snaps. The author makes the reader comfortable with their own approach to the project. I would recommend this book to anyone who is satisfied when they complete a project. This book will get you from step one to the last step with ease.

I received a free copy of this e-book from NetGalley for my honest review.
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Format: Hardcover
I was looking for a book with simple, stylish leather accessories to make on my home sewing machine and this book really fit. Other books I've read about sewing with leather have made the process seem so complicated, but here the author lists a few simple tools with tips for sewing with leather on a standard machine, then goes right into the projects. The instructions are clear and the designs are sleek and gorgeous. I love the little leather accessories-- there is a business card holder, various small pouches, an iPad case, an Ereader case, a laptop case, and many others. I only wish there were more handbags, and I noticed the pink turnlock bag on the cover is not included. However there is enough other information in the book that I could probably make it myself. I also love that the author includes all kinds of closure hardware, with a resource list in the back for ordering the hardware online. Once you've put in a turnlock, you realize it is actually pretty simple to do. I am hooked on cool hardware, and this book makes the most of it. However, if hardware is not for you, as someone else mentioned, you could easily substitute other types of closures.
If you are a home sewist who wants to learn how to make designer-type leather goods without fuss, this book is for you. There are also some embellished projects for clothing, bags, and shoes, but it was the leather projects that sold me.
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Format: Hardcover
I liked this book, In looking at coach bags for the last 2 weeks and not loving the 400 dollar price tag-now I have the tools to create my own. This book removes the "home-made" look of leather handbags, wallets, belts, etc. The mink handbag in the book with the satin lining...is beautiful. I am a seamstress and have created my own bags before,(including a mink) but have not wanted to enter the leather area since I was unsure of the outcome. This gives all the tools needed, and gives you amounts of fabric(leather) in sq.footage, since no cowhide is rectangle shaped. I liked it that she included websites for the material list and gave explicit instructions along with detailed drawings and pictures. There is even details of where to get the hardware for the bags and which hardware to order. I am one of those DIYS people that like things to look elegant and chic. There are almost no books on chic DIYS styling. Most are filled with home-made country looking projects. The only addition I would make to the kindle and ipad cover, would be to line the cover with suede to protect the screen, then add loops to the corners to hold the device. The gel skin cheapens it, if goal is chic and high end. So I took away a star for that, otherwise a great addition to a craft library!
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Format: Hardcover
I happened to buy this book at a local store which was having a sale. The attraction was the cover; great looking accessories in fabulous fashion forward colors. At second glance as I thumbed through, I saw very professional looking accessories that I could make using leather. The project that sold me was the mink sweater. HAD TO HAVE IT!!! This is the first book I have purchased from which I plan to make EVERY project. Great job on the book, photos and projects Ms.Bennett. BRAVO, BRAVO!!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I've become a gadget girl. But with ereaders and tablets comes the need for good covers. What initially interested me about HANDMADE CHIC was that it's contents listed a pattern for an iPad portfolio and a Kindle cover.

The book is jam packed with really great project ideas and details on working with materials I've fantasized about trying to work with but never felt confident to guess at trying. The illustrations and instructions are nicely done. If I actually decided to take on one of these projects I don't doubt I could follow them to a nice finished product. In particular I--being a book blogger--was most drawn to the book cover and Kindle cover. Alas, the Kindle (and iPad) cover did not impress. It uses a clear gel skin to hold the Kindle when I was hoping for something less gimicky. It's attractive but far from what I had hoped to find.

While I love Bennett's suggestion of finding thrift shop leather (and fur) goods and giving them new life in the projects here I couldn't get past the overall snooty tone of the book. I get it... some people don't like thinking of accessory making as 'crafting' but I also cannot imagine those same people bothering to sew their own mink handbag or make a men's wallet when they could just buy them.

Overall, if you can get past the mild snobbery there are some exciting projects in leather, fur (faux or real), and even a nightgown made from a bra. It's a great book for learning a bit out working with leather--I'm much less intimidated now!--and is sure to inspire some really chic creations.

*ARC received via NetGalley.
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