It is my stop on the blog tour for Sew On The Go by Mary Jane Baxter. Many thanks to Mary Jane and Unbound for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Anne Cater at Random Things tours for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour.
- Have you ever dreamed of quitting your job and setting off on the open road to pursue your creativity? In 2016, Mary Jane Baxter did exactly that.
- Sew on the Go is an inspiring road trip and a practical guide to crafting wherever you find yourself, and is packed with easy, step-by-step instructions for craft.
- From decorating your own budget conscious bolthole, to achievable projects including clothes and fashion accessories, beautiful gift ideas and child-friendly makes, this book is the ideal companion for those who dream of devoting more time to their craft.
In 2016, Mary Jane Baxter quit her job at the BBC, rented out her flat and headed for the hills. Her home for the next few months was an upcycled 1986 Bedford Bambi campervan with a top speed of 60mph. She raided skips for vintage wallpaper and scoured second-hand emporiums to source stylish vintage accessories, creating her own travelling craft studio, packed with everything necessary for crafting on the road. She then set off around Europe searching for inspiration, travelling from Belgium right down to the Cinque Terre in Italy, then around France and up to Scotland.
Armed with her trusty hand-cracked Singer, she spent the summer sewing on the go. Like creatives the world over, she decided to see where her travels would lead her and returned with a head full of new projects. Fortunately, there’s no need for you to give up your job, wave goodbye to your family and rent out your house in order to reignite your own creativity; Mary Jane has done all the hard work for you. Sew on the Go is her guide to carving out more creative space in your life.
Taking off on a European craft adventure sounds wonderful and I must admit, Bambi’s unusual decorative style appealed to the quirkier side of me, although the bathroom situation puts me off more than a little – I am definitely more of a hotel kind of girl!
Although I would possibly only have a go at about 50% of the projects included in this book, there is something here for crafters of every level of experience, and working with many different techniques. The projects that did catch my eye though were wonderfully varied and the materials used for them would result in some deeply personal items.
I would have preferred a little more detail on the artists and crafters that Mary Jane encountered on her journey, and a little less about her wild swimming adventures, but this aspect is probably something that stronger swimmers than I am would enjoy greatly.
I loved reading about all the different places that Mary Jane visited on her adventure – the fairs and markets, visiting different artists and museums. Sew On The Go has left me with a long list of creative types whose work I want to investigate further and take inspiration from, and an even longer list of places to add to my travel bucket list.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mary Jane Baxter used to work as a BBC news correspondent and producer. In 2016, she set off on a crafting adventure across Europe in a mobile studio. She is the author of Chic on a Shoestring and The Modern Girl’s Guide to Hatmaking, and has presented on fashion and craft for the BBC, most notably bartering her sewing skills for board and lodging in a series of films for Newsnight. She lives in London and is available for interview, events, and to write pieces on commission.
Don’t forget to visit the other blogs taking part in this tour.