Monday, August 9, 2010

DIY Couture

Have you ever been to a party where you see a girl in a cute dress, you tell her you like her dress, and she responds "Thanks! I made it myself!" and then you go sulk in a corner and are like "WTF, self, why can't you do that?" I WANT TO BE THAT GIRL!

The problem is that sewing brings out my inner rage. Sewing patterns are basically written in Japanese to me. Most sewing guidebooks seem to be written by a stern grandmother who is trying to teach you how to sew with "tough love." There's just too many rules, so many ways to screw up! I basically get halfway through a project, throw spools of thread in agony, and then go watch the Food Network and never finish it.
Clothes made using DIY Couture books.

Imagine my excitement when the folks behind DIY Couture offered to send me a few books. DIY Couture makes the sewing process easier for beginners and experience seamtresses alike, by offering zine-like books with illustrated, step-by-step instructions on how to create a garment. Instead of speaking in another language, these books teach you visually. Instead of dealing with complicated patterns, the book gives instructions on how to measure and cut fabric using household items and your own measurements, creating a completely unique garment from start to finish!
I was sent the books on how to make a pleated skirt, a cloak, and a gathered dress. While tempted to make a Little Red Ridinghood style cloak, I opted to save that for the fall and try out the pleated skirt using some grey cotton I scored for $1 a yard. This was the first time I've sewed something I actually want to wear! It feels good to create a piece of clothing, from start to finish, for $2 instead of shelling out money for a basic skirt somewhere like Urban Outfitters.
"Inspired by the thousands of invisible pairs of hands around the globe that make the clothes we buy, DIYcouture hopes to inspire people to turn off their screens and get up to their elbows in the 3-dimensional world of creation. It supports the slow revolution. Helping people to produce garments that are precious, rather than disposable, this is the antithesis of fast-fashion."

The book includes instructions on how to create multiple variations of the skirt, including a maxi version that I plan on trying. The killer thing about these books is that one can be used to create infinite garments, like fashion bacteria!

DIY Couture books can be purchased here.