Dressing the Dearloves
Published by HarperCollins, September 2018
‘Sparkling, engaging and thoroughly entertaining.’ – Bestselling novelist, Belinda Alexandra
Failed fashion designer Sylvie Dearlove is coming home to England – broke, ashamed and in disgrace – only to be told her parents are finally selling their once-grand, now crumbling country house, Bledesford, the ancestral home of the Dearlove family for countless generations.
Sylvie has spent her whole life trying to escape being a Dearlove, and the pressure of belonging to a family of such headstrong, charismatic and successful women. Beset by self-doubt, she starts helping her parents prepare Bledesford for sale, when she finds in a forgotten attic a thrilling cache of old steamer trunks and tea chests full of elaborate dresses and accessories acquired from across the globe by five generations of fashionable Dearlove women. Sifting through the past, she also stumbles across a secret which has been hidden – in plain sight – for decades, a secret that will change the way she thinks about herself, her family, and her future.
Romantic, warm, and glamorous, moving from Edwardian England to the London Blitz to present day London, Dressing the Dearloves is a story about the corrosiveness of family secrets, the insecurities that can sabotage our best efforts, and the seductive power of dressing up.
Kelly Doust, author of Precious Things, spins another warm, glamorous and romantic mystery of secrets, love, fashion, families – and how we have to trust in ourselves, even in our darkest of days. One for lovers of Kate Morton, Belinda Alexandra, Fiona McIntosh and Lucy Foley.
Published by HarperCollins, April 2016
‘Precious Things is a sparkling, feminine narrative, highlighting that what is lost can also be found’ – Kirstie Clements, The Vogue Factor
Normandy, France, 1891: a young woman painstakingly sews an intricate beaded collar to her wedding dress, the night before her marriage to someone she barely knows. Yet Aimee longs for so much more …
Shanghai, 1926: dancing sensation and wild child Zephyr spies what looks like a beaded headpiece lying carelessly discarded on a ballroom floor. She takes it with her to Malaya where she sets her sights on a prize so out of reach that, in striving for it, she will jeopardise everything she holds dear …
Precious Things tells the story of a collar – a wonderful, glittering beaded piece – and its journey through the decades. It’s also the story of Maggie, an auctioneer living in modern-day London, who comes across the crumpled, neglected collar in a box of old junk, and sets out on an unexpected mission to discover more about its secret and elusive past.
Maggie has a journey of her own too. Juggling a demanding job, a clingy young child and a rebellious stepdaughter, and with her once-solid marriage foundering under the pressure of a busy life, Maggie has to find out the hard way that you can’t always get what you want… but sometimes, you’re lucky enough to get precisely what you need.
This is a wonderful, absorbing and moving novel about desire, marriage and family, telling the story about how we so often reach out for the sparkly, shiny things (and people) we desire, only to realise – in the nick of time – that the most precious things are the ones we’ve had with us all along.
The Crafty Minx at Home: 50+ handmade and upcycled projects for beautiful living
Published by HarperCollins, April 2013
“A truly beautiful Minxy mix of charm, inspiration, practical advice, and pretty projects to simplify and beautify your life and home.”
– Jane Brocket, The Gentle Art of Domesticity
A gorgeous guide to creating an original, appealing and handmade home, The Crafty Minx at Home is all about the joy of making things by hand so as to create a uniquely personal home around your favourite people.
Sharing her passion for making and collecting special items for decoration and use within the home, Kelly Doust shows readers how to make and collect for a lifetime and longer, creating the treasured family heirlooms of tomorrow. Featuring 50+ immediately do-able craft projects and a wealth of advice on how to source beautiful vintage items and materials in flea markets, charity shops and auction houses, plus tips on how to display and use them in your home, The Crafty Minx at Home is a pretty, inspiring and practical guide to making, collecting and transforming handmade and vintage objects for the home.
Revel in the joys of a home-made life, times shared with family and friends, and the joy of making and feathering your nest with exquisite handmade or vintage items to feed both heart and soul, with The Crafty Minx at Home.
Minxy Vintage: how to customise & wear vintage clothing
Published by Murdoch Books, October 2011
Kelly Doust is a girl after my own heart, reinventing vintage finds to suit her personal style. Her book is a vintage vixen’s guidebook for the chic: just read, shop, recreate, and repeat. Her finds are exquisite and her reinvention tricks are inspiring and achievable for even the newest vintage shopper among us. You can’t help but get inspired by her vintage acumen.
– Janie Bryant, Mad Men costume designer
Kelly Doust introduces readers to her wonderful world of reviving and customizing vintage pieces, with tips on how to find, buy, clean, repair and salvage vintage clothing… Minxy Vintage is a great guide for anyone who wants to bring their crafting and sewing skills to create personal and individual pieces from budget vintage finds, while bringing a modern and unique twist to wearing vintage clothes.
– Dita Von Teese
Do you browse through vintage or retro clothes at flea markets and wish you had the knack to breathe new life into the dated frocks, skirts and smocks? Kelly Doust’s Minxy Vintage will help you transform these items – and indeed any item in your wardrobe, ripe for reinvention.
In Minxy Vintage, Kelly combines her love of fashion with creativity, transforming more than 50 damaged, ill-fitting and past-it clothes into modern, wearable pieces. This is not just a book about loving vintage
fashion: it’s about seeing the wonderful possibilities for updating all old clothes, and how to look fabulous doing so, no matter what your age, location or budget.
A Life in Frocks: a memoir
Published by Murdoch Books, November 2010
A Life in Frocks is about the ‘divine obsession’, a woman’s love for clothes. In particular, it is a personal, entertaining, joyous – and seductive – exploration of the significance of clothes, filtered through one woman’s lifelong sartorial infatuation.
Praise for A Life in Frocks:
‘There’s more to fashion than pretty frocks. Kelly Doust flicks through a wardrobe of memories conjured up by her favourite and not so favourite outfits to discover what makes us fall in love with clothes within a lifetime. Delightful and charming, with a sprinkling of sound fashion advice.’ – Kirstie Clements, Vogue
‘Kelly really takes the time to analyse fashion and style in an enlightened, informed and highly readable way…some extremely savoury food for fashion thought.’ – Melissa Hoyer
The Crafty Kid: projects for & with children
Published by Murdoch Books, June 2010
The Crafty Kid shows just how easy it is to make irresistible items both for and with children, from recycled or inexpensive materials. Written especially for those who want to hand-make their own beautiful gifts, and to help steep children in the creative life from an early age onwards, The Crafty Kid is full of fun, simple ideas for rainy day entertainment and passes on the sensible adage: make do and mend.
Including more than 50 projects, from cotton book bags, super-cute felt egg cosies and oilcloth aprons to deliciously soft lambswool cushions and practical picnic blankets, it offers new ways of looking at the treasures within our own homes, thrift stores and local flea markets, inspiring you to make gorgeous, functional items for every aspect of a child’s life.
The Crafty Minx: creative recycling & handmade treasures
Published by Murdoch Books, November 2009
The Crafty Minx is about making simply gorgeous things from preloved, remnant and vintage items. Written especially for non-crafters who are desperate to be more creative but don’t know how, author Kelly Doust shares the delicious rewards of living with and giving away beautiful handmade objects. Included are more than 75 projects – from summer beach bags and cotton apron tops to cosy lambswool throws and cashmere-covered hot water bottles – which give traditional crafts a modern makeover. Featuring innovative ways to get creative, it reflects the huge cultural shift taking place towards recycling and buying locally.
No matter what your craft skill level, discover just how easy it is to be a Crafty Minx.