Ever since we saw the awesome DIY studded camera strap by sisters Sylvia and Samantha of Syl and Sam, we become huge fans of their blog. The sisters are constantly adding creative tutorials, nail art, and recipes to their blog, and we definitely count it as one of our daily reads. We chatted with Sylvia about their DIY projects – keep reading to find our their secrets!
We started becoming active in the early 2000’s on livejournal.com. Samantha had started selling our handmade purses and accessories online under our business name Lipgloss and Black and we were just becoming a legitimate online company. During this time, we were also frequenting an online community that was solely for posting your “t-shirt-surgery” projects. This forum was a huge inspiration for us because we saw that there were other girls around the world reconstructing their XL mens band t-shirts into amazing dresses or into purses. This community is where we first started “blogging” our before & after reconstructions. Our mother had taught us to sew and reconstruct clothing at a young age, so we were comfortable with tearing apart clothes just to re-sew them. Over the years, we fell in and out of blogging and tried our hand at writing about personal style and fashion, but in the end, we went back to our roots and our tutorials are the most popular corner of our blog.
Where do you find inspiration for your DIYs?
We find our inspiration from everywhere! It can be directly from the runways, from fashion magazines or what we see girls wearing on the streets. Our one condition for projects is that we personally want to use & wear our DIYs after we make them.
Which of your DIY projects is your favorite?
My current favourites are our studded loafers (because of the amount of time, effort and blistery fingers involved), and our designer camera strap because it’s something I get to use everyday!
Have you noticed any upcoming DIY trends?
The only “trend” I’ve really noticed is that there are more & more people out there blogging about DIY! It’s actually wonderful that this niche is getting so much more attention now because everyone should be inspired to create. With fashion being such a wasteful industry, being able to rework unloved items is invaluable.
What advice would you give to DIY beginners?
I recently read Made by Hand by Mark Frauenfelder (the founder of Boing Boing). Although the book was preaching to the converted here, it was amazing reading about someone finding meaning and purpose through DIY. The one thing that really resonated with me was how Mark wrote about how we’re taught to feel like we’re failing when we make mistakes. When you’re learning to DIY, there’s no rule book or proper way to make things because you’re often making up the project yourself. This turns out to be a major hurdle for beginners in DIY, but if you can learn to work through your little accidents you’ll only get better!
In short, my advice is just to not fear the mistakes you make. Embrace them & learn to fix them; the better you are at improvising, the better you will be at DIYing.
What are your must-have DIY supplies?
Our sewing machines & our stockpile of fabrics and sewing supplies!