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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?

I was born and raised in Miami, Fl. Currently, I live minutes away from Downtown Miami in a very progressive neighborhood, called Morningside. It is filled with lots of art, design, culture, food and fashion. It’s a fun place to be.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?

One of the very first things I can remember making as a child are Barbie doll clothes, made by hand from old discarded socks. As a young adult, it was two small matching pouches for my partner and I. Each one had our first initials hand sewn with beads. It was a bit afrocentric, when I was going through that phase.

On evening, in the year 1999, my grandma was given a sewing machine as a present and I was so excited. In my mind, the sewing machine was MINE and I wanted to sew something right away. We didn’t have any patterns, so she hinted at disassembling a old shirt to use for a pattern. So I ripped a shirt apart and I made my very first button down shirt (although I never attached one button or ever wore it). Then in 2007, I brought a sewing machine to make decorative pillows with silk screened designs. Afterwards, I was inspired to sew for myself, remembering the time with my grandma and the fact that I can never find stylist clothes to fit me properly because I’m so petite. Since then, I’ve been sewing ever since. My favorite garment in the BurdaStyle studio are the tuxedo shorts that I designed and constructed for the Project Runway Remake Challenged presented by Rowenta.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

It helps me to extend and stretch my creativity in everything I do. Whenever there is an occasion approaching, I’m always thinking about what I can make for myself or someone else. Sewing helps me to be productive and creative and I’m enjoying it so much. I’ve even contemplated changing my career.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?

My favorite thing about sewing is the fact that I can express myself through my clothes that are one-of-a-kind pieces. I can design things that are unique to my personality. I can also construct clothes that actually fit me and I can make fashionable garments of quality without spending tons of money. My least favorite thing about sewing is the fact that patterns available to men are an after-thought. Also sewing pattens can be very confusing; so I end up reading the instructions over and over again. Once, I gave up and trace pair of existing pants to use as pattern and figured everything out myself. I learn visually. Additionally, my patience is short sometimes and I like to finish projects right away. I also dislike not having a dedicated space for sewing, so I end up sewing in the living room, on the bed and now in the kitchen and that makes me an organized mess. Also, I want to know everything about sewing “yesterday” and I have very little professional technique. However, I am taking sewing classes now and they are a lot of fun.

5. What is your motto?

Be true to yourself and know that everyone’s journey is different. You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone, but yourself.

Check out Kelepso’s journey to Project Runaway on YouTube!

Click here for Kelepso’s top ten member creations, a wonderful collection of menswear (or menswear inspired) on BurdaStyle!

30 Comments

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    Jan 2, 2011, 08.24 PMby aakmensah

    I watched your youtube journey .It’s really inspiring i love the plans for the tweed jacket dress.Very creative hope it all goes to plan,your model is lovely she is so sweet and very pretty,She will show off your designs very well.good luck!

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    Dec 22, 2010, 10.18 AMby jec60

    Lovely interview. Keep sewing/creating. I too wish I had a dedicated sewing area. My hubby is a tiddyhouse freak- fails to comprehend that if he steps on a pin it means that he still must be alive to feel pain!!!

    Also love your photo gallery. Are the ladies trousers a design by you? they’re fab. Unfortunately Can’t access your blog as would love to- must be computer glitch.

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    Dec 15, 2010, 04.45 PMby piecesofanarnia

    I really enjoyed reading this article and also the work you’ve put into your blog! I felt as if I was reading about myself! You are so passionate and fierce!

    1 Reply
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      Dec 16, 2010, 03.29 AMby kelepso

      My new found friend. What more can I say?

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    Dec 15, 2010, 09.44 AMby sewlikeabee6

    Way to go Kelepso!!! on Featured Member. and winning the big one!!! I am glad that a long time ago with the help from family you followed your dream of sewing/and being a artist because as far as I am concerned sewing is a art and you also have to think alot to sew and come up with new ideas and also you have to, have alot of patients, sewing as you know is not as easy as alot of people think it is. I am glad you came out to burdastyle I am waiting for more males to come out, that would be cool. Just think because you came out and entered your great story!!!!! I showed your fashions and art now you are the man. Congulations!!!! enjoy

    1 Reply
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      Dec 16, 2010, 03.28 AMby kelepso

      Thank you. Your advice is well taken. You are very sweet and kind.

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    Dec 14, 2010, 04.37 PMby chaospanic

    Loved the interview!! – I’m glad I’m not the only one with out a dedicated sewing area yet!

    1 Reply
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      Dec 15, 2010, 01.50 AMby kelepso

      Lol! Hopefully you and I will be fortunate enough to have a dedicated sewing machine in the near future and if I before you (or vise versa) save a space for me :-)

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    Dec 13, 2010, 10.00 AMby nettevivante

    Congrats on being featured Kelepso! It was so interesting to read more about you and I just love your motto! Did you find that Kokka threads fabric for the bag? Thank you very much for having my bag in your top ten! :)

    1 Reply
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      Dec 15, 2010, 01.48 AMby kelepso

      Unfortunately, I never looked for the fabric, but I am definitely inspired by the bag and would still like to make one in the future. I honestly loved your bag and I’m glad it was featured.

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    Dec 12, 2010, 08.36 AMby tilshmil

    I am sitting here sipping my morning coffee and enjoying your interview to no end! I think you are a wonderful young mind that will go far in sewing or whatever it is you do. I too admire your super positive attitude and all your honesty, it’s refreshing. Keep trying new things and remember, there are no mistakes just learning moments! ~Tillie

    1 Reply
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      Dec 15, 2010, 01.46 AMby kelepso

      That’s great advice tilshmil. I appreciate that a lot and I’m glad you believe in me and my work. Cheers!

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    Dec 10, 2010, 09.15 PMby Peter Lappin

    Great to see you featured here!

    1 Reply
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      Dec 15, 2010, 01.46 AMby kelepso

      Thank you Peter. You know you’re may online sewing homeboy/girl :-)

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    Dec 10, 2010, 07.26 AMby Ophelia K

    Hey it’s so nice to get to know you more here! I’m so looking forward to seeing your new work as one of your fan:)

    1 Reply
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      Dec 15, 2010, 01.45 AMby kelepso

      Awh, that’s very sweet Ophelia K. I always admire you work.

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    Dec 9, 2010, 08.38 PMby artemis-ivorywings

    Good Job and good luck with PR!

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    Dec 9, 2010, 09.19 AMby candyjoyce

    Nice to see you as featured member. Well done!

    1 Reply
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      Dec 9, 2010, 04.08 PMby kelepso

      Thanks candyjoyce

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    Dec 9, 2010, 07.42 AMby littlemisssew

    organized mess is a creative mess ^^ thumbs up!

    1 Reply
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      Dec 9, 2010, 04.08 PMby kelepso

      …and it’s so hard to avoid. smiling from ear to ear

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    Dec 8, 2010, 10.20 PMby loyl8

    yeah kelepso!!!! finally featured member!!!your doing great!!

    1 Reply
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      Dec 9, 2010, 04.07 PMby kelepso

      Yay! I’m happy too and was quite surprised when Burdastyle asked me too.

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    Dec 8, 2010, 10.20 PMby carottesauvage

    Great zen attitude (great motto) ! You seem very balanced to take on board all your projects further!

    1 Reply
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      Dec 9, 2010, 04.07 PMby kelepso

      Thank you carottesauvage. I’m always challenging myself.

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    Dec 8, 2010, 09.56 PMby crocka

    I agree with eringilday, great interview! Keep on reaching for your dreams Kelepso!

    1 Reply
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      Dec 9, 2010, 04.06 PMby kelepso

      Thank you crocka! My goal is so inspiring and it keeps me positive everyday.

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    Dec 8, 2010, 08.06 PMby eringilday

    Great interview, Kelepso! Good luck with PR!!!!!!!!!

    2 Replies
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      Dec 9, 2010, 04.06 PMby kelepso

      Thank you so much eringilday! I am thinking positively about being selected and can’t wait to construct my first female garment.

    • 35323_1550195117626_1317563306_1450393_3860676_n_large

      Dec 12, 2010, 05.31 PMby eringilday

      well, fingers crossed !

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