Wendy Mullin is an established designer, author, and all around indie creative force. Her line, Built by Wendy, is continually considered one of the gems of independent fashion and her series of books and patterns have established her as a DIY design icon for a new generation of sewing enthusiasts.
I can still remember the first time I received a Built by Wendy catalog in the mail (yes a real catalog – it was the days before the internet, remember those?). As a teenage growing up in the 90’s, her low-key, downtown aesthetic was the perfect match for those of us seeking cool and unique pieces that were just edgy enough to distinguish you from the crowd. I can safely say that I attribute my sudden desire to learn the guitar at age 14 to Wendy, solely because I wanted a valid reason to purchase one of her amazing guitar straps. Even now, nearly 20 years later, I still look to Wendy for cool pieces I know will become a cherished (and continually wearable) addition to my wardrobe.
Built by Wendy was started in 1991 while Mullin was still working as a stylist and freelance designer for Kim Gordon’s X-Girl (another one of my teenage faves). In 1998 she opened her first store in New York and soon after launched a successful online shop that quickly solidified her spot as a pioneer in the internet market place. Instantly capturing the hearts of indie girls across the country, Wendy continues to boasts friends and fans from all walks of artistic life (and some of my favorite ladies in general) including filmmaker Sofia Coppola, actresses Claire Danes and Michelle Williams and musicians Chan Marshall and Kathleen Hannah.
Images from Built By Wendy’s Spring 2011 lookbook
In 2006 Mullin released her first book, Sew U: The Built by Wendy Guide to Making Your Own Wardrobe. Packing the pages with step-by-step instructions for getting started, tips for how to customize your garments and patterns from her own studio, Mullin’s book became a smash success and spawned two more titles including Sew U Home Stretch and Built by Wendy Dresses. Mullin’s latest book, Built by Wendy Coats and Jackets focuses on the seemingly daunting task of tackling handmade outerwear and offers three patterns that you can customize into 23 different variations from beginner all the way up to expert. Mullin’s know-how and decidedly cool aesthetic are the perfect match for sewers looking for projects that fun, stylish and creative. We’re so excited about Wendy’s new book that we decided to give two copies away to our BurdaStyle members! Simply leave a comment describing your dream jacket (cut, color, fabric, details, etc…) by 9:30am EST on Tuesday, March 8th for your chance to win!