Author(s): Eithne Farry
Dressmaking for dummies. A beautifully designed, fun and unintimidating guide to home-sewing, pom-pom making and generally messing around with bits of material
Yeah, I Made it Myself is all about DIY fashion, aimed at women who are passionate about clothes, and would love to create something of their own, but who are unsure of how to get started. Farry isn't a fashion designer, or professional seamstress, but she can cobble together a DIY summer wardrobe faster than you can say purl-two. She's made most of her own clothes for years, to much acclaim. When people learn she makes her own clothes they say, 'I wish I could do that.' And her immediate response is, 'You easily could, I could teach you in a few hours'. For a few months, when she was a contributing editor at Elle, she ran a featurette that showed how to make key catwalk accessories using stuff bought from the local haberdashery. The feature was very popular - the basic premise being 'if I can do it, anyone can'. The ideas are accessible and adaptable - it's all about creating an individual look, experimenting with ideas and laughing if it all goes a bit lopsided. Innovative, young designers provide insider tips. There are also inspirational, crafty tales from friends who've come up with their own easy-to-make designs, despite not having a fashion degree. Yeah, I Made it Myself is practical, with pom-poms.
Highly promotable author. Eithne was the literary editor of Elle, and is now a freelance reviewer for the Observer, Irish Times and several womens' magazines. Thrift is, apparently the new black - talked about on TV, in newspapers and magazines - people are rejecting the 10,000 for a dress culture, in favour of customising one of their own, or whipping one up out of curtain fabric and sequins.
'She'll have you running up a new summer wardrobe from the most unlikely sources: dresses out of your mum's old curtains - well bold prints are in, after all - simple skirts and A-line masterpieces, as well as holding your hand through party-piece techniques such as sewing darts and seams - much easier than it looks. It's simple, practical Girl Guide stuff, but the results couldn't look more vintage if they tried and are the ultimate in exclusivity.' GLAMOUR (June 2006) 'It's laid out as a sequence of projects, in which Farry demonstrates a real, rare gift for clear instructions; converting finger action into bullet-pointed prose is not easy. She gives sound advice on the minimum basic kit required...an excellent checklist to diagnose what caused which mechanical snarl-up, with the fine motto DO NOT FEAR THE SEWING MACHINE. She has a fab eye for a remnant, to judge from the shirt print on page 16, and her list of style icons is indeed stylish.' -- Vera Rule THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY (21.5.06) 'The tone of the book is all fun and girly froth...the instructions are clear,and the optimism that you really will be able to knock up your own dress is boundless.' TIME OUT (24-31 May 2006) 'Packed with easy-to-make patterns for everything from a stylish bag to a slinky evening frock, Yeah I Made it Myself, is perfect if you've always wanted to make your own clothes but weren't sure where to start. A delightful and inspiring book.' IMAGE MAGAZINE (June '06) 'This bright, funny manual for making and customising your own clothes is an excellent starter guide for aspiring home fashionistas, especially those on a budget.' SAINSBURY'S MAGAZINE (July 2006) 'a great reminder that sewing should above all else be about fun, fashion and wanting to be an individual. Eithne's fresh, relaxed approach is based on starting with a funky fabric, a simple project, some very basic equipment, and learning new skills as and when needed... Eithne's hilarious adventures along the way make this entertaining reading, and her contagious enthusiasm is sufficient to encourage even the most reticent seamstress to give it a go!' SEWING WORLD (August) 'With retro charm, this book is a must for anyone passionate about clothes. The ideas are accessible and adaptable, with top tips for everything from sourcing material to alternatives to hemming.' TONIC MAGAZINE (1.10.06) ****
Eithne Farry has had a patchwork-quilt career. A former backing-singer (and tambourinist) with indie band Talulah Gosh, she is now a freelance reviewer, writer, literary editor and radio personality, who makes most of her own clothes (or at the very least, customises those she buys ready-made in shops).