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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Interview: Very Purple Person

I have been ooing and aaahing at Very Purple Person’s blog for quite some time time now. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Novita Estiti, the woman behind the blog. Not only are the clothes she makes unique and vibrant, but her blog is refreshingly candid and lends itself to a vulnerability and openness that makes this reader intrigued to see what she’s been up to. Aside from her amazing clothing creations, we also get glimpses into her life in Japan, her growing career and her creative expression.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Novita Estiti, and I'm originally from Indonesia. I've been living in Tokyo, Japan for the past two years with my wonderful husband and our happy son. I used to work as a fashion editor/stylist in Jakarta, Indonesia, but since living in Tokyo, I became a stay-at-home mom. I always love fashion and handmade activities, and now that I have time for myself, I began to make things for me and my little family. Since then, I almost never buy clothes anymore! Here I am in Tokyo, and I don't go around shopping clothes. That makes me so happy!

(Check out some of the incredible clothes that Novita has made)


I began my site as a blog journal of my projects and I'm happy that people find inspirations from what I do. I always crave for making stuff, that was my reason for opening a little online shop, so I can have more reason to satisfy my cravings!

Where does the name very purple person come from?

Unfortunately the story is not that interesting. Several years ago, Ineeded to make an email account, and I chose the name 'purpleperson' because I like the color purple and I'm, um, a person. But the namewas taken, so I used 'verypurpleperson' instead. The funny thing is, most people seem to think that Iintentionally created the nickname to present some kind of image. Well, it's just for practical reason, really.

Besides sewing fabulous things, what else do you do?

Not much actually, hahaha. I like spending time in front of my computer, browsing stuff or maybe tweaking around my site a little bit. Basically I just love doing things with computer. We have three computers in the house and sometimes I talk to my husband who is sitting besides me over the messenger! I can draw, edit photos or movie clips, sorting files on folders, updating stuff, changing the wallpaper, etc. Have I told you that I love doing things with computer? I even love clicking on the recycle bin icon and listening to the crumple sound afterwards!

(Her version of this dress inspired me to make this)

Have you always been artistic?

I really don't know. I was always interested in fashion and visual stuff, but I didn't do much of anything until I finished high school. I didn't even know that I could draw or sew until then.

(These reversible bags can be completed in about two hours. The tutorial is clear and simple. Click here.)

What is your creative process like?

I see pretty fabric, I buy it. Then I sit around for a while, and start cutting the fabric. Because if I don't do it right away, I will loose interest on the fabric. I often improvise in the middle of the project, sometimes because I have a new idea, sometimes because I think it will be easier. I have tried to be prepared with plans and ideas months or days ahead of the project, but it's just not fun.

My projects are mostly easy and fast, ones that can be finished in one day. I got bored rather easily if I need more than one day to do a project. Most of the time, they end up being put aside the next day and I don't touch them again until months after that. I know it's not a good thing and I try to change that because I want to make more complicated stuff. I also try to slow down and take time when doing something, but it is hard. I want it finished quick!

(Look at these fabric button necklaces!! Click here for Novita's tutorial.)

How do you find the time to be creative?

After my son goes to school and my husband leaves to the office, I have lots of time for myself. I don't like watching television or hanging outside the house, so that pretty much leaves me with quite some time to fill.

From where do you get your inspiration?

I like to look at things, I browse a lot of pretty sites, and I like to look at people on the street, noticing the little details on their clothes and appearance. I like to go to museum and gallery and I love Japanese fashion magazines. So I guess my inspiration comes from people and things that I see around me.

(Room shoes. So comfy cozy!)

In what ways has your location inspired your work?

I live in Japan, surrounded by so many resources and pretty things that can be easily reached, those are the most important things that the location has to do with my work. In the place I've lived before, there might be lots of beautiful fabrics too, but I had to make more effort in order to get them. But here, I can order stuff from internet and had them sent to my door. As I don't really enjoy going shopping, this is really convenient to me.

(These tissue pouches make a great gift - I made them for all four of my son's teachers - and they're a great way to use up scrap material. Click here for tutorial.)

What advice would you give to a wannabe crafter like myself?

I think if you want to make something, just make it. Don't worry whether you're a crafter or not, I don't even know whether I'm a crafter. Well, I want to be a crafter too! I guess the most important thing is that you're having fun with it. Being labeled as crafter doesn't do anything with the final work itself.

(I'm still optomistic that a tutorial will emerge for this amazing Bubble Dress)

Where can we find your work?

I post about my projects on my site http://verypurpleperson.com. Sometimes I make tutorials and simple patterns, I hope that I can make more of them! I also have an online shop at http://verypurpleperson.bigcartel.com where I list my handmade stuff, at this moment I have my floral collection specially for small and petite woman like myself (I'm selfish like that!).

Any upcoming projects we should know about?

I'm working on my contribution for the Burdastyle Book (http://www.burdastyle.com/blog/announcing-the-burdastyle-book), which will be released sometime in 2011. For this book, I will make an interpretation of a never-been-release pattern, which then will be modeled and photographed for the book. I'm very excited and nervous at the same time!

I'm still holding out hope that Novita will one day make her clothes in a size 6 so that i can buy them! In the meantime, follow her blog!!


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