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Sweat Shop Paris by Martena Duss shares couture secrets from her sewing cafe with 50 projects for creating DIY homeware, fashion and accessories.

We've got three amazing sample projects from the book included a tulip dress, balaclava and the Martena hat.

Win A Copy Of The Book (Worldwide)

We've also got three copies of the book up for grabs and for your chance of winning, just leave a comment below telling us one of your crafty secrets or tips?

Congratulations to campaspe, Lauren and Sandra L.

Tulip DressBalaclavaThe Martena

You can pick up a copy of the book now from Andrews McMeel Publishing »




Don't sew through your finger tips it hurts
Emmyann07 · Sacramento, California, US · 49 projects
Learn by doing. When trying a new project have ready the supplies for second version, because chances are you'll be impatient and make silly mistakes the first time. Treat it as practice and move on to the next because the second time around always comes out perfect Happy
Leann C.
Leann C. · Batavia, Ohio, US
If you are making a pair of something and you mess up just do the same to the other one to make it look more purposeful.
Chocolate · London, GB · 12 projects
My most helpful tip to anyone would be measure twice, cut once. It seems like a cliche but it really is true. Also, always pay full attention to what you're doing, I'm often a victim of my own stupidity.
ArtyAshCrafts · Oakland, California, US · 1 project
Save all old clothes. I always have clothes that I don't want or that don't fit anymore, but I can never get rid of them, so I save everything, and harvest the wonderful free fabric for my projects.
Lauren · Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, ZA · 112 projects
When making dream catchers, instead of battling to make perfect circles with wire or twigs, recycle the little plastic hoops on bottles that form the type of "safety seal".
Cheryl · Missouri, Missouri, US · 161 projects
If you make something that is too small, cut it up and make something else with it! You can't worry about the little things!! Happy
campaspe · Toulouse, Midi-Pyrénées, FR · 111 projects
When you are crafting, a problem you might encounter is an inexpensive way to organize your supplies. Here are some ideas that can be decorated with fabric or paper:
1-Glass jars (jam, jelly, baby food…)
2-Tins: you can find on the market a smooth edge can openers that makes it easy to reuse the cans…
3-coffee cans
5-shoeboxes for big items
6-Cerealboxes for magazines
7-Pastaboxes with clear windows to see what you have stored
8-Egg cartons or plastic ice cube trays to sort small items like pearls
9-Paper towel holder (to wrap ribbon around)
10-Plastic food containers
11-Plastic bags
12-Baby wipes containers
13-film canisters or prescription bottles
14-old tackle box
15 Vintage finds: trays, postcard displays, cloth hanger for fabrics
Allie B.
Allie B. · 3 projects
If you mess up, just try again even when you think that it won't work, sometimes you get a different, but cool thing!
Audrey F.
Audrey F. · Kalamazoo, Michigan, US · 1 project
Never follow the rules! The best DIY I've done have been my own interpretations of patterns and tutorials- Your ideas might work better for you than someone else! That's the beauty of DIY!
Keep your glue gun sticks in the freezer, it stops them going all stringy!
Jennifer B.
Jennifer B.
Plan crafts ahead, so you can give hubby tasks to do while he's watching the game, or can pre-cut pieces to have your child glue on for you, for example. Then, instead of having to wait for a minute to yourself to craft (which never comes!), you turn it into family time!
Ellen H.
Ellen H.
My craft secret: No glue? Use rice.
I come from an Asian household that makes rice daily. I also grew up in a home that didn't always have the basic craft necessities to complete poster projects for school, like Elmer's glue. I can recall quite a few times where I used day-old rice to stick things onto my poster projects. It was also a way to use who rice we would, instead, have thrown out. Non-toxic & sustainable!
Sandra L.
Sandra L. · Newark, California, US · 38 projects
patience and spontaneous-ness are the best tools for crafting!
Olivia H.
Olivia H. · Indianapolis, Indiana, US · 32 projects
Cut out magazine pictures that you find interesting. Group them up and look for similarities. Is there a certain color that you loved? Or is there a certain style to all of your pictures. Turn them into a collage, and use it for inspiration for an item that is completely you!
Amanda M.
Amanda M.
Craft after the kids go to sleep.
Victoria W.
Victoria W.
Always, always, always have a portable craft project! My current one is a yoyo quilt, I have made more then 300 yoyos just waiting for school buses this year alone! Next will be a traditional cathedral window quilt!

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