Sew Adorkable: 15 DIY Projects to Keep You Out of Trouble by Samarra Khaja (Stash Books, $26.95)
Few of us have enough fun in our lives, but we can solve that problem by tapping into author/designer Samarra Khaja’s charmingly twisted sense of fun with her new book. Really. Want to know more about this talented designer, and how her mind works? Read on.
A title like Sew Adorkable has to have a great story behind it. Our readers are all ears.
The title is the perfect two-word explanation for everything contained in the book. And the book is quite likely a perfectly curated cross-section of how my brain functions. So, you know, welcome to my world.
What are the top 5 things people don’t know about you?
1. Surrounded by sheep that couldn’t care less, I’ve zorbed in Rotorua, New Zealand. And I’d do it again.
2. I have a two-panel outdoor mural called “Heartbeat Brooklyn” that resides outside the Lowe’s Home Improvement along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. You can see it from the F-train, if you’re sitting on the right side of the train, heading towards Coney Island. Yes, I stalk my own artwork. So what?
3. I’ve been lucky to get a personal tour of the Oval Office. The hallways are crazy tiny and JFK’s desk is a giant beautiful piece of furniture that I made sure to touch for posterity’s sake. I didn’t get a chance to check if the little front panel door still opens. Next time.
4. In 5th grade, I switched from playing the clarinet in the school band to the trumpet because the idea of blowing spit in the back row with all the boys seemed hilariously awesome.
5. I’m a super-nerd graduate of the Talented and Gifted Magnet high school (T.A.G.), land of intensive toothpick bridge-building competitions and high-stakes egg drop contests, making me a certifiable geek and unabashed pun-loving dork. It’s really no wonder I wrote this type of book.
Prehistoric Portrait Painting from Samarra Khaja’s new book, Sew Adorkable.
What is the most fun project in the book? Yes, we know this is like asking who your favorite kid is….
Much like when my kids ask me to pick favorites, I know this is a trap and nothing good will come of it. So I refuse to fall for it. How was that for sidestepping?
Toothy, the Tooth Fairy
What are your 3 top tips for fashion sewing?
Take time and be generous with ensuring a piece of clothing fits your particular body type, regardless of preconceived ideas about sizing and the psychology behind it. We are not cookie-cutter copies and commercial clothing casts merely a generalized idea of shapes and sizes of garments. So remember that they’re not the standard to live by. Along with that, have fun with your clothing choices. Life’s seriously too short for clothes to make you anything but happy.
What are the 3 most fun things about designing your fabric Great Gotham? (And where can we get this?)
1. NYC has a gob of bridges, some well-known and others not so much, and I was completely consumed and obsessed with depicting each and every one of them as accurately as possible.
2. I threw in personal fave landmarks, including the Astor Cube, the Love sculpture, Patience (the southern-most lion at the NY public library; there was no room for Fortitude) and especially the Flatbush trees sculpture.
3. I also wanted to pay homage to 5 Pointz, which sadly is no longer, but once was known as “the world’s premier graffiti mecca.” It’s a real shame it’s gone, but it will always live on in Great Gotham.You can find Great Gotham, by asking/searching for it by name. Other fruitful keywords in your hunt will likely include: “Samarra Khaja,” ” Timeless Treasures,”and SKU# “C2428-white.” Good luck! It’s a special print and I encourage everyone to find some for themselves!
Favorite Designing Beverage
If it’s daytime, it’s always coffee. If it’s nighttime and the kids are finally in bed, it’s sometimes tea but most likely red wine.
Favorite type of chocolate
I’m well aware that dark chocolate is better for you and I’ve been known to eat almost any type of chocolate if I’m in a sweet-toothed bind, but I do prefer milk chocolate. But it’s got to be the good stuff made with cocoa and none of that waxy vegetable oil nonsense. That’s just criminal right there.
Top 3 things about being a fabric designer
1. Seeing my ideas come to life and repeated over and over again. It’s better than Groundhog’s Day.
2. People sharing all the wonderfully fun things they’re inspired to make with my designs, rendering the entire venture a sweetly collaborative effort.
3. Designing fabrics is a great way to bridge that space between 2D and 3D design, because although it’s a seemingly flat medium, the dexterity of its composition makes it a marvelously transformable matter from which an infinite number of things can be created
. Whoa, that was a big thought. Excuse me while I put my head down and rest for a minute…
Great Gotham, one of the prints in a collection Samarra created for Timeless Treasures.
The photos may have hinted at the coolest feature of this book, lots of varied projects from clothing to quilts, and home dec and pillows. The Pencil Skirt, along with the artwork is a fave.
Most photos courtesy C&T Publications. Great Gotham courtesy Samarra. A little bit more about Samarra. Purchase the book on the C&T website. And don’t miss other stops on Samarra’s blog tour.
Of course we’re giving away an actual copy of the book in the U.S. or an ebook if you’re outside the U.S. Simply answer this: What is the most “adorkable” thing you’ve ever made? We’ll draw a winner on Friday, Oct. 23.
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