As always, I contacted our contest winner and tried to find out a little bit more about her and her creation. So, without further ado, here’s my e-mail interview with lila_, our latest Style Rockstar and designer of “Everywear Tails”, the winning entry of our “We love the cold” contest:
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live, who you are and what you do?
I am 26 and I live in New Zealand, sharing my apartment with 4 birds. My mother would not allow me to take sewing in school – she said “it won’t get you a job and I’m not raising housewives”. So I ended up as a lawyer… which is a lot less fun.
Do you sew your own clothes? And if so, what do you like about it?
I picked up sewing about 2.5 years ago because I know what I want to wear, but no one is selling it. I also find that designers today are making clothes to a size and shape that I am not. I was fed up with paying good money for clothes that make me look bad.
Sewing is my favourite thing to do in my downtime – it’s so relaxing. My parrots love to get involved too, anywhere from playing with the fabric to eating my sewing patterns. Btw, my mother now commissions me to make her clothes…well well well!!
I sew ALL my own clothes. The only thing I havent quite got the knack of yet are lingerie and suits. Other than those two things, I can’t remember when last I bought clothing from a shop. It ROCKS! For one thing, I have managed to find all the cheap fabric stores now so I can put an outfit together usually under $15. They’re a little hard to find, but most cities will have a fabric store that is actually a clearance store for the designers or expensive fabric stores. When you find that it’s gold, because you can get high quality suitings etc for next to nothing. I saw a DKNY fabric going for $4 pm the other day…
I also love that I now have clothes that fit me properly. I’m tall with broad shoulders – a good fit makes a difference. But most of all it’s awesome to have cool unique clothes that no one else will have.
I’m blown away by how generous people are in sharing their knowledge and skills. I love websites like yourstylerocks.com who share patterns for free and create forums for sewers to share ideas. It’s sites and people like these who pretty much taught me everything I know and I’m so grateful.
What is your favourite piece of clothing in your wardrobe, the one you couldn’t live without?
Currently my two favourite items in my wardrobe are:
a) a dress I made in a dark blue knit from the 1948 McCall 7436 – so timeless and flattering.
b) a snakeskin-embossed suiting jacket with white pleather spikes up the sleeves and white wings patched on the back- I based it on a jacket in the Zowie Broken Machine music video and I call it my Puff the Magic Dragon jacket.
Your winning design is very unique – where do you draw your inspiration from? And also: considering the winter theme of the contest and your rather airy halter waistcoat – how did that happen?
I drew inspiration from the 1940s and ’50s couture designs for my submission – I regularly see magnificent patterns on the internet that have all kinds of spectacular details, but which are priced far out of reach for the ordinary person. That isnt right, such glamorous and flattering design should be available to everybody. So I figured Hey, someone is offering to make a free pattern for us – why design something that you can already buy relatively cheaply.
I took elements of two old Advance Import suit pattern pictures and from a number of Modes Royale pattern pictures in a 1940s catalogue. These were all designs that you cannot purchase anywhere (well, for less than about $300).
I had a good chuckle at the blurb you wrote for the design on gritting our teeth and suffering – I forget sometimes that in some countries it snows in winter.
I thought we needed something that is not necessarily outerwear. Most winter clothing is Outerwear layer (coat) and Normal wear layer (top/jumper) and Underwear layers (thermals, camisoles etc). Essentially, I wanted something in between that can be an extra layer but still be stylish. I thought that a waistcoat could achieve that, and that it would be more versatile in that it could be used for many seasons and many occasions. And the waistcoat would avoid ugly crushed wrinkled sleeves from putting a coat over a jacket.
Thank you so much, lila_ – hope to see more great designs from you in our future contests!