Book Review: Thrifty Style

Review originally published on UK Handmade


Thrifty Style by Janine Chisholm puts the focus on reworking existing clothes and adapting vintage finds. She has a background in Costume Design and has worked for the Vancouver Opera House and on a period drama for the BBC. These theatrical flourishes can be seen in the clothes and styling for the book.

From the styling and photos I would say that Thrifty Style is predominantly aimed at the late teens and early twenties woman. If you’re a crafty student with a keen eye for a bargain when you’re thrifting then this book is going to be perfect for you! There are no duds hidden amongst the projects in Thrifty Style. Coupled with the sewing techniques section Chisholm gives you all you need to get going on updating your wardrobe.

Contents | Thrifty Style Review |

The book is divided into three chapters: Embellishing, Reworking and Reconstructing. There are over thirty-five projects in the book. Of course the beauty of these kinds of upstyling projects is that once you’ve learnt the skills on one project it’s easy to then adapt the skills to another project. What you create will have your own unique touch to it.

Following the trend of recent sewing books, there are three patterns included with the book. These are for a pair of hot pants, a sunshine skirt and 1970s cape. There is a nice range of projects for the beginner sewer who just wants to embellish her clothes. There are also projects for someone with more advanced sewing skills who wants to upcycle existing items, and for those who completely want to reconstruct their outfits.

Cape | Thrifty Style Review |

Maybe you’ve got a vintage dress tucked away that isn’t quite right as it is but you love the fabric? In Thrifty Style, Chisholm takes you through the step-by-step process for turning a dress into a pencil skirt and top. She even turns the excess fabric into ruffled cuffs for a pair of gloves. Very thrifty!

Back-Cover | Thrifty Style Review |

Chisholm describes herself as an eco-designer with a focus on sustainability. She runs workshops on sewing and customisation from her harbourside studio in Bristol. I fully support anyone who is trying to keep clothes out of landfill and who is sharing sewing skills and providing inspiration. She has a blog at where you can find out more and keep up to date with her workshops and other news.

If you know someone who wants to start customising their own clothes but she’s not sure where to begin then giving her a copy of this book will definitely start her off in the right direction.

Thrifty Style
Janine Chisholm

RRP: £12.99
CICO Books

ISBN-10: 1908170891
ISBN-13: 978-1908170897

In accordance with standard disclosure guidelines, please note that a free book was supplied to me for review and that I was not paid for this review and nor did the company see my comments prior to my posting it on my website.