Fragments of DIY stories

A text by Alessandra Varisco

“Although they are often seen as insignificant, stories about do-it-yourself fashion are not only impressive but also ongoing.” 

The second issue of Booklook can be unfolded and worn as a shirt, which again can be refolded into a magazine. Booklook Shirt carries the essay Fragments of DIY stories, about do-it-yourself practices in fashion, by researcher Alessandra Varisco.

DIY activities in fashion include various types of craft techniques such as knitting, embroidery, pattern making, sewing, quilting, etc. Often considered as a frivolous practice, DIY fashion is rarely researched. However, in this text, the subject is explored from several perspectives which are divided in a set of short chapters that fit the fluidity of the shape of the hybrid garment-magazine. In one chapter, Alessandra compares DIY to purchasing clothes and explores DIY as a practice of privilege. Another chapter showcases DIY activities from an historical perspective and its function in defining women’s role and garment workers’ rights. DIY periodicals for sewing, knitting and pattern making and their effect on consumption behaviour as well as the relationship between home dressmaking and garment industrial production are explored. It also shares some specific cases where home dressmaking and DIY practices were seen as illegal tools to subvert predominant narratives and generate change. To give an overview of all these perspectives, the issue includes a glossary about DIY fashion.

To merge reading with doing, this publication includes crochet patterns, developed and designed by SKHSS: Mika Perlmutter & Lejla Vala Verheus. You are invited to use the patterns to modify the design of this garment-magazine through crocheting yourself.

    Special Booklook crochet tutorials are available
    via our Youtube channel:

    Crocheting onto the Booklook issue 2: 
    How to Start

    Crocheting onto the Booklook issue 2:
    Speed View of Making The Neck Opening

This publication also carries the prologue
Booklook – Wearing is Publishing is Reading
written by Femke de Vries.
This text is published in Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, English and Spanish.

Download PDF: Fragments of DIY stories, a text by Alessandra Varisco.