Interview with Rosie Martin, Designer, DIY Couture ….

by Susan on June 14, 2011

Join the DIY Couture sewing revolution!

Sewbox stocks the DIY Couture books.  These books designed by Rosie Martin remove the need for complex sewing patterns. They contain a set of simple, visual instructions, which help you to make a particular garment type, that can be almost endlessly re-invented. Diagrams and pictures take the maker through the creation process, so that unique, personally fitted pieces of clothing are accessible to anyone.

Learn to sew a gathered dress without a complex sewing pattern! …. simple, visual instructions, including variations so the garment can be almost endlessly re-invented.

Learn to sew a pleated skirt with numerous variations, again, without a complex sewing pattern! .

Interview with Rosie Martin…..

Rosie, where did you get the idea/inspiration for DIY Couture books?

The light bulb flash came when I bought a sewing pattern back in 2007 and opened it up to discover a practically impenetrable wall of coded language and strange indecipherable diagrams. I was practically flummoxed, but after some patient reading I realised they were trying to explain something very simple. At that point I was a fairly competent DIY seamstress, as I had been making a wearing my own clothes for about 8 years, though I had abandoned patterns a long time ago. People often asked me where I got my clothes and when I told them I made them they would often react something along the lines of “I wish I could do that.” I was always adamant that they certainly could do it! I did not have any special skill and I knew that many sewing projects were actually very simple. I really wanted to be able to show people just how easy it was to put good looking clothes together and so I thought using pictures would be the way to do it.

You have 3 books out already with  a 4th ‘Create a wrap top’ coming out soon  …  is the intention to work towards the full 12 set of books over a period of time?

My original idea was to release the books monthly, almost like a magazine. I did want them to be a collectible series. Each one is for a different garment, and each one features a guest artist who has a few pages at the back of the book to publish some of their work. However, I was naively ambitious! Printing is really expensive and I have funded the publication of all the books from my savings! The next three books will be coming out as e-books. I then have a giant DIYcouture book with ten sets of instructions coming out next year, which is being published by Laurence King. Depending how it all goes, I hope I can bring out some more self-published books too.

How do you see the future for dressmaking/creating garments?

I hope that it can continue to grow and thrive. I hope it becomes a mainstream activity for the young and stylish. The internet is an amazing resource for sharing ideas and for encouraging other people. There are already people (mostly girls) all over the world posting pictures of their daily outfits online. I hope these blogs and fashion-sharing sites become more and more populated with self-created garments. I believe that the world will keep changing. We have to respond to climate change and the unsustainable way we are using the planet at the moment. I think we have to slow down our current levels of consumption – to buy less and to look after objects more – and I hope sewing our own clothes can be part of this change.

DIY Couture’s books are beautifully designed with fresh, clean photography and colourful diagrams. They measure 260mm x 210mm (slightly shorter than A4) and have a simple matt paperback cover

Inspired by the thousands of invisible pairs of hands around the globe that make the clothes we buy, DIY Couture 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.

Thanks Rosie for this innovative and new way of approaching making garments


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