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This weeks Kick-Ass Woman is one that is especially kick-ass to us. Introducing Sheri, the lovely lady behind Confessions of a Refashionista. Obviously, we at N&V are all about that vintage lifestyle, and making our fashion be as socially responsible as possible. Sheri’s blog and videos are excellent tools on how to do just that -- be socially responsible with your clothing and really get the best bang for your buck. Her biggest thing: upcycling! But I’ll let her tell you all about that :)
1. First, care to give us a quick definition of what a "Refashionista" is?
My personal definition of a Refashionista? A DIY eco-fashion upcycling warrior who firmly believes that fabulous, affordable, unique style can be achieved by anyone without supporting the growing phenomenon of cheap, unethically produced “fast fashion”.
2. How did you get the idea of starting a blog?
As I'd lived a rather extraordinary existence in North America, Japan, England and Greece before finally settling in Germany my blog was originally planned as a place to share my world travelling adventures. However, that soon changed when I inherited an elderly sewing machine, dusted off some brain cells, cleaned out my wardrobe & had a go at re-creating old clothes & upcycling thrifted fabrics into cool new gear!
Having avoided sewing machines since I spectacularly failed Home Ec in school, (eons ago, when they still forced hausfrau studies onto unsuspecting art geeks) my aim is to prove that even those who haven't a clue how to thread a machine can begin (re)creating fantastic fashions & decor, all it takes is a bit of imagination & practice. After 3 short years I can proudly say that 99% of my wardrobe is thrifted & handmade and I've shared over 300 step-by-step tutorials for everything from groovy clothing & accessories to funky home decor on my blog!
3. You've moved from blogger to author! How does that feel? What should readers expect from your books?
Taking the plunge into self-publishing was the next logical (& scary) step in my mission to help further the refashioning movement. Creating, photographing, writing and designing each & every tutorial and each & every page of my books was a daunting & difficult task but incredibly gratifying and I absolutely love receiving messages & photos from people who have begun recreating their wardrobes with the help of my quirky, easy to follow how-to's.
4. Another twist... you also make webisodes! Which do you prefer -- writing or making videos? [and YES, you do have to a pick one :) ]
Ak! That is an answer that changes from day to day! Both are challenging yet oh-so-awesome!
As I'm a one woman show with only the aid of a tripod & my wits in the 2mx3m corner of my munchkin’s room that serves as my craft area/sewing room/office/stash storage & studio, shooting and creating videos is definitely hilariously awkward work.
Writing (a.k.a: A refashionista brain storm) can strike anywhere at any time so I'm always equipped with a pad & pen to scribble down ideas on the go until I can get back to my stash and start snipping & stitching!
5. What are some of your favorite items to refashion?
Honestly? Anything I can get my hands on! Most recently I've been on the hunt for more funky oversized men's button downs...after the success of my super comfortable Most Excellent DIY Shirt Dress I just can't wait to create some more!
6. Could you share some of your "upcycling" hacks? For example, how do you make a vintage find fit the modern age? Coolest piece to make? Any other cool advice you've discovered and would be willing to share? (We promise, our readers won't go spilling all of your secrets!)
Most vintage pieces only require a few snips & stitches to update. One of my all time favourite dowdy sleeveless dress hacks is to simply shorten to your desired length & use the chopped fabric to create some fancy new sleeves!
Refashioning isn't just for the gals & as DIYs for guys are few & far between I've been challenging myself to come up with some clever makes for men (much to the delight of my husband)! My Manly Makeover jacket is a totally cool & incredibly easy refashion for the dapper dude in your life. (http://awesomesauceasshattery.com/2013/11/04/the-manly-makeover/)
Always check out the textile section when thrifting, amazing projects can be created out of vintage table cloths, bedsheets, curtains & doilies! (http://awesomesauceasshattery.com/tutorial-index-by-photo/)
One of my simplest refashioning tips doesn't involve sewing at all: you can easily breathe new life into a less than stellar garment by simply giving it a bath in some groovy dye. (http://awesomesauceasshattery.com/2014/06/02/a-dress-to-dye-for/)
Here are my top tips for re-colouring success:
I dye in the washing machine & always pour a cheap 500g box of salt directly onto the dry clothes/fabrics prior to adding the water & dye as it appears to help set the dye & keep the colours bright in the long run.
If possible, get the dye specifically for use in the washing machine…it really makes the whole process a lot easier as once your dye load is done you can just throw a load of colours in with the dyed items & wash normally. This also cleans any bits of dye that may remain in the machine.
Always separate your laundry: wash lights with lights & darks with darks to avoid any obvious dye-running.
Sheri’s amazing. If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, you’re already behind. And her videos are just as amazing! Not to mention, she’s funny and whimsical and we love it.
Sheri was also kind enough to give us a shoutout over on her blog! We got to share some of our thrifting tips, so you should all give that a read-through as you’re over there reading away :)
For more of Sheri and her refashioning and awesomeness, check her out on Facebook and Twitter (@sheripavlovic)
Now go get refashioning!!
The Nikita and Vesper blog is about celebrating our love of socially conscious fashion. We are sisters, the founders of Nikita and Vesper. We believe that we are all in this together, and the choices we make, from what we create to what we buy, can change the world.