DIY Fashion: Schwurlie

As her blog approaches its first birthday, Kate of speaks to Olivia Swash about her DIY fashion approach to writing.

Originally from Sydney, 20 year old Kate has witnessed her fair share of diverse fashion having lived in Brighton before moving to Durham to study Law. Perhaps it is this that lends itself to her own personal style, blending 60s feminine formality with collared and casual indie. Her Schwurlie blog posts are brimming with envy-inducing hand made or altered dresses, capes and even fur-collared coats. But the best thing is, her step by step tutorials mean that you can make them too.

Before the birth of Schwurlie, Kate blogged semi-privately and posted eclectic outfits on her popular Lookbook page, which she says is how she gains the vast majority of her followers. “I pretty much just decided to get a 'proper' blog because I wanted to show people how I made various things, and now it just is what it is,” she tells me. “Usually I only update if I actually have something to post, if I've remembered to take outfit photos or I've made something.”

Kate finds inspiration for her own outfits and DIY pieces through a range of street style blogs, and when I ask how she gets around the “lazy” conventionally studenty attitude to dressing, she replies- “I'm not sure I can say that I 'get around' it as such, in the sense that I don't really feel any pressure to dress in a different style.” She continues: “I try to dress smartly most of the time first and foremost because I like the way it looks. Also because slovenly dressing tends to me feel slovenly in all other aspects of my life. Dressing smartly doesn't even require me to feel like I look pretty, looking simply well turned out is good enough for me!” ...Perhaps a lesson to us all over the impending exam season.

Kate gives lessons on gorgeous pieces ranging from a cute 80s vintage-inspired wrap dress to a lined tote bag, and the easiest of all: the simple yet oh-so effective shift dress.

Her tutorials are accompanied with photographs and simple diagrams of steps, so all you need is an ounce of creativity, some fabric or an old dress and a sewing machine. Prices start at £54.99 from Argos, but I almost guarantee a relative will already own an old Singer that you can hop on over Easter. If you're new to the DIY fashion game, a little patience may also be required!

“I can't tell you where I'll be in five years,” Kate tells me, “but it's unlikely to be concerned with blogging. It's only a hobby. A blog is a fun thing to have but I try not to take it too seriously.”