Sew Inspired

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One woman’s journey of creativity and inspiration translated through a book of craft projects.

When crafter and former BBC correspondent Mary Jane Baxter bought an unloved 1980s Bedford Bambi campervan, she dreamed of turning it into an upcycled mobile craft studio packed with everything a girl might need to sew on the go.
A few months of hard graft later, Mary Jane heaved her hand-crank Singer sewing machine on board and set the satnav for France. She was on the road in Bambi for six months, exchanging her make-do-and-mend skills for board and lodging, organising pop-ups and running workshops to help fund the journey.
She made it down to the Cinque Terre in Italy and up to Durness in Scotland, seeking
inspiration wherever she went. Like creatives the world over, she decided to see where her trip would take her and returned with plans for a travel-inspired crafting journal.
Entitled Sew on the Go, her new book is packed with projects inspired by her travels and using found and preloved materials, including paper decorations crafted from vintage books, a simple-to-sew dress and top (inspired by a thrifted French pillowcase) and a wonderfully kitsch cushion (made from a retro souvenir tea towel).
Unlike her previous two titles, Chic on a Shoestring and The Modern Girl’s Guide to Hatmaking, Mary Jane is planning to crowdfund her new book with UK publisher Unbound. It raises money for books to be born by pre-selling the hardback edition to as many people as possible. If the goal isn’t reached, the book doesn’t get published.

• To become a part of Mary Jane’s unique project, visit www.unbound.com/books/sew-on-the-go. As well as ordering a copy of Mary Jane’s new book, you can also pledge for an exclusive tea towel from her Mobile Makery, a one-to-one sewing lesson in Bambi or a 10-person craft party. There’s even a day out thrifting and making with Mary Jane in her local Deptford flea market.

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