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I hail from the concrete jungle of Melbourne’s Northwest, a stone’s throw from the ever-lit International Airport. I have lived here my whole 20 years and 10 months of this incarnation. Before my time, the subdivision on which my house was built was a drive-in movie theatre.

The street names are Paramount, Columbia, and Forum. It’s no freak accident that I’ve ended up being enchanted by the film industry, writing short scripts since age 9, now studying the trade professionally at Swinburne University. I am mostly interested in Production Design, encompassing my love of quirky costumes and set construction, as I’m sure you may have noticed by the type of dresses I enjoy creating. When I’m not dabbling in visual aesthetics I write music, short stories and monologues. I am a trained jazz and cabaret vocalist, though trying to overcome my irrational fears regarding singing in front of others after forgetting the words during my a Capella solo before a not-so-adoring crowd of 2,000.

How did you start sewing?
I have always been a crafty kid, so putting things together is no foreign notion to my 8 fingers and 2 thumbs. My beautiful grandmother who is no longer with me was an avid sewer, banging up dresses in a matter of hours whenever there was a dance or a date on the cards for the evening. She knitted until her hands writhed with carpal tunnel, and loved me unconditionally until her limbs stiffened, and her eyes lost their glow. She was the greatest support any creative soul could yearn for, allowing me to dye her swirly white mop fluoro pink, line dancing with my friends at my birthday parties, and openly discussing the matters of sexuality, petty point, and hysterectomies with anyone that would listen. I digress; she influenced and shaped me into being the colourful, nonchalant, loving pulp that I am today. I know how proud she would be to know how often I was picking up her old trades. In terms of why I sew, apart from the great fondness I have of loose compliments and bedazzled looks from passersby, I literally can’t find the things I want to wear anywhere. And when I do they would cost me enough that I could make myself five dresses for the same price. C’est economique!

What’s your sewing secret weapon?
I’m not sure I have a secret weapon. In terms of the speed of which I create things I tend to not care so much for the actual construction but rather how it looks on the outside. I am more fussed about having something new to wear than the achievement of executing a more skilled design. I always have a pair of pinking shears ready to go, and interfacing for my little boo-boo patch ups… my sense of style has always come naturally. I just make what I like to wear!

Tell us about your sewing experiences.
I can’t specify a time when I do not have music playing at home. It is either pouring out of my computer speakers, or squeaking out of my pathetic little record player, which for some reason only finds Electric Light Orchestra agreeable. My sewing takes place in various areas of my house. Floors, tables, chairs, to much of the dismay of my poor mother. I sew at all times of the day and am more than happy to sit on my rump and stitch incessantly from 9am to 2am. Sometimes I forget to eat.

Where do you find your inspiration?
I am mainly influenced by films; costumes, art direction, etc. If I see something I like then I will probably come up with my own interpretation. Tim Burton’s films are probably my greatest source of inspiration. 1950s and 60s style clothes always win my heart over. Of course, a lot of member projects pull my attention, and I often find myself planning almost exact copies, as sometimes I just can’t be bothered being too original. My sewing role models are all people I know personally – family members, family friends… I’ve grown up with many people around me sewing, including my mother, who took lessons however feels she has no talent in the area.

My dream sewing project would be a high profiling costume for a feature film that does incredibly well at box office and I can sit pretty on my reputation as costume designer extraordinaire for the rest of my days.

Tell us a little bit about your experience on BurdaStyle.
I have been active with this account since November 9, 2010, according to the information on my profile. I did, however, have a more ancient account, which was used solely for purchasing patterns and lurking member projects. My username is actually the name I was tossing up when I was considering burlesque performance. I have a penchant for space related things, thus Laika the space dog, and the fact that I collect Blythe dolls, Doll. It also sounds as “like a doll”. I like the site’s community, the friendliness and helpful feedback demonstrates a kindness of people. I also find myself getting inspired by certain members and projects and come up with plans of attack as to how I can intertwine these ideas with my own garments. I constantly have BurdaStyle open in a tab on my browser, which I refresh every few hours of delicious procrastination.

What are your favorite BurdaStyle and burda style magazine patterns?
I have bought a myriad of patterns from the site, but nothing comes to mind that I’ve actually created. I do love the Larissa motorcycle jacket, which was the first pattern I ever purchased. I am still mustering the courage to give it ago.

What is the most frustrating and rewarding things about sewing for you?
I do believe any boyfriend of mine shall require unpicking skills as my temper gets the better of me when I muck up. I have all the patience in the world for sewing until something goes a little wrong. I also don’t particularly like cutting fabric as this is the more mundane part of sewing, and mundane just ain’t my thing! The most rewarding is putting on a finished garment that fits perfectly, and of course the aforementioned compliments and such from people who bask in my glory for all of five seconds. Working at Spotlight in the dress department means I am forever administering advice to novice sewers. Usually the first thing I do is take a scrap piece of paper and give them the BurdaStyle URL, followed by “don’t stress, it’s not as hard as it looks!”

Check out the gallery slideshow of laikadoll’s favorite member projects.


  • Missing

    Jun 15, 2012, 08.39 AMby Joe Chen

    Toujours éviter tees pirates knock-off, ils sont partout. Afin de veiller à ce que celui que vous obtenez est originale et légitime, être sûr de regarder l’étiquette. Si la balise est celle de votre tee-shirt blanc standard, les chances sont qu’il est un knock-off et ne devrait pas être acheté.

  • Missing

    Jun 14, 2012, 06.57 PMby Karen Shaw-jones

    Nice to see you featured. Have been following your own blog for a while now. great style! great fabric choices!

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    Jun 9, 2012, 11.32 PMby JuliaBobbin

    Well aren’t you a sight for sore eyes! So lovely to read about you and see you featured on BurdaSyle. Well done lady!

    1 Reply
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      Jun 11, 2012, 11.11 PMby laikadoll

      Thank you lady! Also thanks for that blog award from a little while ago, totally only just realised the other day. I have a massive blog post on the way as I have been so gosh darn busy everything is in whirlwind mode!! x

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    Jun 7, 2012, 02.51 PMby nettevivante

    Laikadoll! It was definitely time for you to be featured!!! Congrats!!! I love your colorful style and fun personality. Keep up with this wonderful art and thanks for having chosen one of my projects for favorite member projects! <3

    1 Reply
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      Jun 11, 2012, 11.10 PMby laikadoll

      Aww thanks lovely! Yes, I love your Ginger, it is to die for hehe!! <3

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    Jun 7, 2012, 02.07 AMby poppykettle

    Well I’m totally late to the party – but a big congrats! I’m not half surprised you’ve been featured – you really have a gorgeously unique style that I secretly envy but could never in a zillion years pull off. I’m way too cookie-cutter (but happily so). Keep up the zany creations – love your new Sencha!

    1 Reply
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      Jun 11, 2012, 11.07 PMby laikadoll

      Nawwww :3 zany creations definitely! I’ll be seeing you featured some time soon I’m sure x

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    Jun 3, 2012, 08.39 AMby pambox

    I always love looking at your creations – we share a taste for kitsch, it seems. And I love that you don’t follow Melbourne’s cliche everything in black aesthetic. Personality and colour is so much more fun!

    1 Reply
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      Jun 11, 2012, 11.06 PMby laikadoll

      But of course! Haha a while ago some people from Perth stopped me in the street and thanked me for wearing a colourful dress as everyone else was in black!

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    Jun 2, 2012, 09.47 PMby mokosha

    i have no words to tell you how much i enjoyed reading your interview, colorful lady :)

    1 Reply
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      Jun 11, 2012, 11.05 PMby laikadoll

      How sweet! Thank you!! c:

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    May 31, 2012, 05.55 AMby blueartisan

    You’re a gorgeous sewer and personality and it’s lovely to see you featured. Exploring fashion and style is something all people should do I think :D

    1 Reply
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      May 31, 2012, 01.37 PMby laikadoll

      Thank you! I have been waiting so very patiently for the time when I would be featured :P one of my little dreams come true c:

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    May 31, 2012, 01.04 AMby Ashley Doll

    Wow, you are such a talented young woman! I sincerely wish you success & happiness in your life. <3

    1 Reply
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      May 31, 2012, 01.35 PMby laikadoll

      Thanking you kindly! All these good vibes will be stored in my pocket for a time when I need them most :) x

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    May 30, 2012, 01.02 PMby meggiemoo

    Congratulations! I really enjoyed reading this article, and it’s always a lovely surprise to open up the homepage and see somebody I know looking at me!!

    2 Replies
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      May 31, 2012, 01.34 PMby laikadoll

      Baha! One day I will see youuuu on the home page :3

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      Jun 1, 2012, 07.25 AMby meggiemoo

      Hahaha, maybe one day, but probably not anytime soon!

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    May 30, 2012, 12.55 PMby dopher

    I love your style and am drooling over your glasses! Love your taste in fabric too. I buy lots of “juvenile” print fabric that I usually end up using for my kids clothes b/c I think people would laugh if I made something for myself with. You have inspired me to try it for myself even if I am twice your age! Thanks!

    1 Reply
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      May 31, 2012, 01.33 PMby laikadoll

      My mum said to me today, “Natalie, you’re nearly 21. Why do you still insist on dressing like a kid? Something more sophisticated? Why do you always make your silly floofy skirts? You used to dress so much more stylishly!”

      I then explained that I used to dress older because I was using my cousin’s ID to get into bars and clubs, and no one would otherwise believe I was 25 at the age of 16. I then went on to say that now that I am legally allowed into such places I can dress however I like and it makes me happy! She hushed herself :P

      I will be wearing a big bow in my hair and crazy glasses and rings in my nose until my skin is paper thin and wrinkled beyond recognition! :D

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    May 30, 2012, 06.08 AMby schnui

    You are such a sweet girl miss Laikadoll and I really like what you sew and write and make movies about. I am probably about the same age as your Mum and if I was her, I would be very proud of you and your creative achievements. I grew up with the best Grandmas (other than your Grandma) and they both taught me so much and an absolute passion for all things creative. Even mud pies had to look special!! My Mum continued on with all things creative with my whole family and I have passed it on to my 2 children. It is what we do and who we are and I think you and your family are very much the same. I always look forward to seeing what you have created and when my daughter is over, I give her a look at my activity page and she always loves your work. Your little movie has been a hit with all of us. Anyway, keep up the creative work and help keep me inspired up here in sunny QLD.

    1 Reply
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      May 31, 2012, 01.29 PMby laikadoll

      Naww schnui! Yes, mumma is very proud of lil’ ol’ me. Creative families are the best :) Good to know I have fans already! :P Thanks for your comment xx

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    May 30, 2012, 02.26 AMby pamchar

    Congrats!! Featured member means that a lot of people love your creations. For me, you are an inspiration, I love your girly, funny, colorful style and what about your glasses… Daring but you wear this style with so much confidence that it would be weird to see you in a plain boring outfit. Keep on girl!!

    1 Reply
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      May 30, 2012, 05.27 AMby laikadoll

      Bah! Yeah when people see me in tshirt and jeans and no makeup they assume that I’m sick :P I wouldn’t have my wardrobe any other way! :D x

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    May 30, 2012, 12.04 AMby laurelledesigns

    I love you!!

    1 Reply
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      May 30, 2012, 05.26 AMby laikadoll

      Naww! <3

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    May 29, 2012, 08.54 PMby unahowe

    Keep up the great style. You R special in what you do. Keep creating…

    1 Reply
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      May 30, 2012, 05.25 AMby laikadoll

      Merci, lovely :)

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