Excerpt: 'Do It Gorgeously' by Sophie Uliano

What about the cool factor? In your community -- is it considered cool or creepy to make a lot of your own stuff? Where I live, the tide is slowly changing. Up until a few years ago, whenever I thought of sewing, I couldn't shake this image of a family that sat in the front pew of the church I went to when I was my growing-up. The mom was obviously glued to her sewing machine 24/7 and spent every moment of her existence, whipping up the most dreadful matching creations for herself and her two daughters. The three of them would arrive looking like pink, fluffy cupcakes -- the hen pecked husband trailing behind. Recently, however, hip and trendy sewing classes are cropping up all over town. A second hand Singer from eBay is a badge of honor -- especially when you can rewind the bobbin while carrying on with a juicy conversation with a girlfriend.

Women are hardwired to multi-task, and sadly much of this god-given talent goes into juggling emails, IM's, texts, phone calls, and my Blackberry. Do you ever feel burned out at the end of the day just from sitting at your computer? Do you find yourself comparing prices at the grocery store, while listening to your girlfriend whine about about her husband on your earpiece? Do you sometimes crave silence, and yet you're too afraid to turn the whole blinking, beeping, ringing mess off? If your answers are affirmative, it might be time to wean yourself off the tech addiction. The problem is that one addiction needs to be replaced with another. I can't turn everything off and then expect to slide into a dreamy serene state. My mind is still working overtime and I need to be "doing". To my joy I have found that sitting down to sew a few buttons on my daughter's shirt or putting aside an afternoon to bake, has undreamt of rewards. I not only get to focus on something--which is basically meditation--but my breathing becomes deeper, my shoulders ease away from my ears, and I get the intense satisfaction of having got something done, when the afternoon might well have been spent dithering around on Facebook or deleting acres of spam mail.

My mission is to take DIY out of the pages of glossy magazines and the hardware store and make it a reality in my own life. I want to do it myself and do it Gorgeously. I am ready to roll up my sleeves, get my hands dirty (feet still planted firmly in the Manolos,) and be that force of nature that I saw in my grandmother. Being responsible and autonomous helps me to tap into that wellspring of strength within. Through the pages of this book, I hope that I can help you to become a "doer". I invite you to throw yourself in and try your hand at everything -- if you're already a master baker, yippee -- hand that skill onto your girlfriends, same thing if you're a whizz with a needle and thread. If, however, you are like the rest of us mere mortals, sharpen your tools--it's going to be a fun ride!

Getting Started

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