Last night saw the long awaited launch of Rosie Martin's very first book - DIY Couture: Create your own fashion collection. I was lucky enough to be invited to the party (which was hosted by The Make Escape; a new monthly craft-along held at the Hackney Attic) as Rosie had featured my shoes from way back when throughout the book. As well as seeing Rosie again, another highlight of my evening was meeting Karen and Tilly, both incredibly talented seamstresses whose blogs I have followed and admired for years - but I think I may have slightly overwhelmed them with my starstruck ramblings... Sorry guys!
Rosie's philosophy is simple and inspired: eliminating the need for a pattern, she gives clear visual instructions showing you how to cut and sew 10 basic items of clothing, including wardrobe classics such as a circle skirt, a hoody, a pair of trousers and a Grecian dress.
Despite being an avid sewing pattern afficionado; having collected vintage patterns for the last ten years, been delighted and inspired by the new crop of contemporary sewing pattern designers, and, oh yes, having just launched our own brand spanking new sewing pattern company, I am still a huge fan of DIY Couture. Just as I love leafing through my boxes of neatly packaged patterns, unfolding that delicate tissue paper and spending blissfully meditative hours precision-sewing, I can just as often be found ducking into my studio late at night, grabbing my scissors and some fabric off the shelf and getting stuck right in ad hoc.
What I love most, however, about DIY Couture: Create your own fashion collection is how Rosie so beautifully illustrates the versatility of home sewing, inviting us to reinterpret her instructions according to our own vision. From one set of ten staple shapes she has created eight collections, each so different from the other that you'd be forgiven for thinking they were completely different designs altogether.