Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Tell us a bit about the book?
Based on my website A Pair & A Spare, DIY Fashionista shows people how to perfect their wardrobe using studding, beading, reworking, dying and many other sustainably minded and inexpensive Do It Yourself processes. It includes 40 projects which are a mix of sewing and non sewing, as well as how-tos for key techniques such as hand and machine sewing, insider tips on hunting down the perfect materials, thrift shopping and how to create the ultimate before & after projects. For the book I focused on creating projects that would stand the test of time, in a trend sense as well as a physical sense, and have tried to include projects that help fashionistas like me perfect their wardrobe with key items that can be worn over and over, and re-imagined too.
What was the inspiration behind it?
It's been a dream of mine to write a book ever since I was very young, about the same time I started reworking thrift store items! When the opportunity came up to write one based on my website A Pair & A Spare I couldn't say no.
Which is your favourite project?
I would have to say the leather collared denim shirt, or the feather hem skirt. Both are key pieces that I have worn over and over since making them at the beginning of the year. I even wore then while at New York and Sydney Fashion Weeks - I love it when you make something with your own two hands that fits in with high fashion so seamlessly!
What is your craft space like?
I work in an office with my boyfriend who is a restaurant designer and have pretty much taken over the whole space with my DIY projects, supplies, flat lay sets and sewing machine. I like to stay neat though so I change and organise my space regularly.
Have you always been creative?
I've always been creative when it comes to fashion, from an early age my mum taught me to sew and I started with reworking thrift store pieces into chic items I could, for example, wear to school dances. It has turned into an absolute obsession now - I recently realised I hadn't been on a major shopping trip for more than six months, other than to widow shop for ideas for my new projects.
When did you first start crafting?
I started crafting my clothes very very young but the first success I had were handpainted singlets. I cut the straps off and replaced them with ribbon and then painted 'bella' all over them in cursive handwriting. All the girls I went to school loved them and pretty soon we were all sporting our 'bella' singlets.
Who are your crafty heroes?
I am an absolute book worm and read so many authors, admittedly I read everything but am very critical! I am particularly fond of Tim Winton, Louis De Berniere and John Irving. In terms of crafty heros, I look to designers as my 'crafty heros', people with amazing skills to not only think up a new design but turn it into something everyone wants to wear.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere, I love old magazines as well as new collections in department stores, and I like to do different and interesting projects that people don't expect.
What's next for you?
So many things! Aside from events all over the world celebrating the release of my book, we are about to relaunch A Pair & A Spare in a more modern format so that it can grow into a hub for fashionable DIYs - if you're looking for ideas, tutorials or techniques, A Pair & A Spare will be the place for you.
DIY Fashionista allows you to re-create the most coveted looks and catwalk trends yourself by doing projects that are professionallooking, inexpensive to make and reuse items you already have or can easily source from markets and secondhand stores. With 40 projects ranging from accessories such as jewellery, shoes and handbags to bigger projects for dresses, skirts, trousers and tops, the book covers a range of treatments, such as customizing, beginner sewing techniques and jewellery-making. Along with How to DIY introduction, there's advice on thrift shopping and collecting materials, as well as information on updating your wardrobe. A beautifully illustrated publication with a fashion-forward feel, the book makes sewing and customizing your clothes fun and easy.