Wednesday, 6 June 2012


 The brand new bumper DIYcouture book

I first met Rosie Martin 2 years ago when she walked into Fabrications to show me her self published garment instruction books 'DIYcouture'. I remember flicking through the pages and getting excited to see very easy to follow visual step by step instructions which demystified the process of making clothes. I have always found other pattern cutting books overly technical and hard to follow. Rosie's books reminded me of the buzz I felt when I started to make my own clothes in my bedroom by taking patterns from existing clothes and measuring my body to make a 'basic block' then adding elements and details, chopping and changing, using lots of elastic to create shape, in true punk DIY spirit - Just Do It!

2 years on and the talented Miss Martin has been snapped up by Laurence King publishers. Her enhanced bumper 'DIY Couture' instruction book in full colour shows you how to create your own fashion collection. Her original step by step photo - diagram illustrations have been maintained, but the genius of this book is that Rosie explains how to make 10 different kinds of garments presented in 8 suggested 'collections' (I'm keen on the 'Jungle Punk' and 'Safari Prep' collections) showing how many more exciting variations, personality and ethical choices you can inject into your wardrobe when you make your own clothes, just by the fabric you buy, gaining understanding of the making process, being able to change the length, tweak the waist line, adding some pockets, a collar or a hood - the possibilities are endless when you enter the world of DIYcouture!

Momtaz welcomes Rosie up on the stage

Last week the book was launched at a new monthly craft night 'The Make Escape' in the 'Attic' in the Hackney Picture House. The Attic had a great vibe with lots of upcycled furniture, lovely stretched canvasses of African prints, a stage and a bar. The evening was a great success, the place was jam packed with local people, fashionistas and a great turn out from London's craft community. I was hosting a sewing area, teaching people how to make Rosie's 'Turban Headband' project. Many of the enthusiastic participants had never sewn before, which was quite a challenge teaching next to a massive speaker, I hope I didn't scare anyone off by shouting at them too loudly!! Somehow I think everyone had fun, here are some pictures from the night....

Momtaz who organises the 'Make Escape' with Rosie Martin 
joins the lovely headband makers Karen and Dorcas

Bern shows off her newly created turban headband

Well done Rosie for all your hard work and achievements, I'm looking forward to seeing what people create using your book - which by the way is now ON SALE at Fabrications for £17.95. Rosie will also be running a series of garment construction workshops at Fabrications, including 'Make your own scater skirt' taking place this Saturday. If you'd like to find out more and book a place click HERE!

Pictures from Rosie's new book taken by Simon Pask

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