What was the first garment you ever made?
Barbie clothes! I made them starting when I was 8, on a Fisher-Price plastic sewing machine.
What's playing on your iPod when you're designing?
Beastie Boys, Eminem, Muse, Awolnation, Black Eyed Peas, Black Keys, Kanye West, Michael Jackson.
When did you realize you had designer potential?
Three years ago, when I switched to fashion after taking an intro class and realizing I'd had this talent all my life.
Vivienne Westwood, Pringle of Scotland, Marni, Comme des Garcons.
Design student and freelance designer.
Can you describe past jobs you've had?
Manager and visual merchandiser of a stationery boutique for 13 years.
What is a fashion must?
A wrap dress.
What is your design training?
Went to school for two years for interior design, two years for theater set design and four years for apparel design.
What are your strengths as a designer?
I know what works on women's bodies. I have a keen eye for color and pattern, I am focused and organized, and I have fun with design.
What are your weaknesses as a designer?
I have been known to get too close to my work and stop "seeing" it, and sometimes I don not push things far enough.
What's influenced your designs over the years?
Vivienne Westwood, Vogue magazine, women I see on the street, all things vintage, and the badass rock 'n' roll aesthetic.
What's your favorite material or fabric to work with?
Wool tweed, cotton and alternative materials (bring on the hardware challenge!).
What's the item you're most proud of designing?
The suit from my Senior Collection. It's fully tailored, lined and beautifully finished.
Do you prefer sketching or draping?
I do both! But sketching is quicker in my mind.
Do you prefer patterns or solids?
I'm in love with prints both bold and subtle.
What are your favorite colors?
Chartreuse and olive green.
What's your biggest fear as a designer?
Not being understood.
What fashion faux pas drives you crazy?
Women who pay no attention to what works on their body.
Who are your favorite style icons?
If you designed for the first lady, what would you design for her?
Cotton day dresses.
What celebrity would you like to design for?
I honestly can't think of one. I want to design for real women, not those with personal trainers and chefs.
Who's your supermodel muse?
Sophie Dahl when she was still really curvy.
What do you look for in a model?
I look for something in their spirit and attitude that I like. I also like models with actual curves.
If you had to name your label, you'd call it . . .
Maybe I'd name it after my grandmother Eva, who went to dressmaking school in Finland in the 1940s.
If you weren't designing, you'd be . . .
Doing interior design or theater sets. I guess that means I'd still be designing.
Dream place to set up your design business?
I love Portland and its quirky creativeness. I want to live here, buy a house, and fly out to do my work and fittings.
Websites that feature your work, including your own site(s)?
shopvintageportland.com, YouTube, fit2printstudio.blogspot.com, thefineartoffashion.org, squirrelandstarling.com
Any other cultures or places you wish you could design for?
I never thought about it.
How were you described as a kid?
Smart, active, studious, mischievous and artistic.
How are you described now?
Fun, crazy, witty, organized, talented, fashionable.
Can you describe your family?
The usual dysfunctional mess.
Marriage or kids?
I was married for five years and have been divorced for four years.
Do you have any nicknames?
Crazy Aunt Becky, because I am fun and wacky and an honorary auntie to my friend Jenn's daughter Harleigh.
Why are you (or aren't you) easy to live with?
Easy because I like to keep things tidy and I'm fun to be around. Not easy because I talk a lot but need some time alone here and there.
What's your favorite hangout back home?
Casa del Matador down the street . Texas-size $4 happy-hour nachos!
What are your hobbies besides designing?
Dancing, foreign art-house films, shopping, perusing thrift and junk shops, reading, painting, organizing something.
What are your favorite movies and TV shows?
Project Runway (fo sho!), What Not to Wear, Design Star, Cougartown, Sex and the City.
What are your favorite books and authors?
Any book on fashion history or dressing for different body types. And I have a secret stash of self-help books, because I believe fashion has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves.
What are your favorite websites?
thesartorialist.blogspot.com, thestylerookie.com, lulusvintage.cocm QiPhone, Android or BlackBerry? AiPhone.
Fast food or gourmet?
Cooking or takeout?
Depends on how much time I have . I prefer cooking, if I can. Or having somebody else cook for me . even better!
3-egg omelet loaded with everything!
Beer or wine?
Cocktails with hot pepper-infused vodka.
Biggest pet peeve?
People not being real.
Favorite designer from past seasons of Project Runway?
Seth Aaron, Laura, Uli.
Project Runway challenge you wish they'd bring back for your season?
The little girls, any "alternative materials" challenge (like the hardware store and party store) and, most of all, the Barbie Challenge!
Project Runway challenge you hope they don't bring back?
Outfitting each other's moms. Why oh why?! It was so painful to watch.
Your take on team challenges ... love them or hate them?. love them?
They can really suck, but there are a lot of good design collaborations out there too. Team challenges can work if everybody does what they're good at and the vision is clear.
How did you end up auditioning for Project Runway?
I got an email from a casting coordinator saying the fashion writer for a local magazine recommended me.
Why do you think you will win Project Runway?
I am creative and organized, and I have confidence in my talent, and a burning ambition to succeed in the world of fashion.