QWhat was the first garment you ever made?
ABarbie clothes! I made them starting when I was 8, on a Fisher-Price plastic sewing machine.
QWhat's playing on your iPod when you're designing?
ABeastie Boys, Eminem, Muse, Awolnation, Black Eyed Peas, Black Keys, Kanye West, Michael Jackson.
QWhen did you realize you had designer potential?
AThree years ago, when I switched to fashion after taking an intro class and realizing I'd had this talent all my life.
AVivienne Westwood, Pringle of Scotland, Marni, Comme des Garcons.
ADesign student and freelance designer.
QCan you describe past jobs you've had?
AManager and visual merchandiser of a stationery boutique for 13 years.
QWhat is a fashion must?
AA wrap dress.
QWhat is your design training?
AWent to school for two years for interior design, two years for theater set design and four years for apparel design.
QWhat are your strengths as a designer?
AI 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.
QWhat are your weaknesses as a designer?
AI have been known to get too close to my work and stop "seeing" it, and sometimes I don not push things far enough.
QWhat's influenced your designs over the years?
AVivienne Westwood, Vogue magazine, women I see on the street, all things vintage, and the badass rock 'n' roll aesthetic.
QWhat's your favorite material or fabric to work with?
AWool tweed, cotton and alternative materials (bring on the hardware challenge!).
QWhat's the item you're most proud of designing?
AThe suit from my Senior Collection. It's fully tailored, lined and beautifully finished.
QDo you prefer sketching or draping?
AI do both! But sketching is quicker in my mind.
QDo you prefer patterns or solids?
AI'm in love with prints both bold and subtle.
QWhat are your favorite colors?
AChartreuse and olive green.
QWhat's your biggest fear as a designer?
ANot being understood.
QWhat fashion faux pas drives you crazy?
AWomen who pay no attention to what works on their body.
QWho are your favorite style icons?
QIf you designed for the first lady, what would you design for her?
ACotton day dresses.
QWhat celebrity would you like to design for?
AI honestly can't think of one. I want to design for real women, not those with personal trainers and chefs.
QWho's your supermodel muse?
ASophie Dahl when she was still really curvy.
QWhat do you look for in a model?
AI look for something in their spirit and attitude that I like. I also like models with actual curves.
QIf you had to name your label, you'd call it . . .
AMaybe I'd name it after my grandmother Eva, who went to dressmaking school in Finland in the 1940s.
QIf you weren't designing, you'd be . . .
ADoing interior design or theater sets. I guess that means I'd still be designing.
QDream place to set up your design business?
AI love Portland and its quirky creativeness. I want to live here, buy a house, and fly out to do my work and fittings.
QWebsites that feature your work, including your own site(s)?
Ashopvintageportland.com, YouTube, fit2printstudio.blogspot.com, thefineartoffashion.org, squirrelandstarling.com
QAny other cultures or places you wish you could design for?
AI never thought about it.
QHow were you described as a kid?
ASmart, active, studious, mischievous and artistic.
QHow are you described now?
AFun, crazy, witty, organized, talented, fashionable.
QCan you describe your family?
AThe usual dysfunctional mess.
QMarriage or kids?
AI was married for five years and have been divorced for four years.
QDo you have any nicknames?
ACrazy Aunt Becky, because I am fun and wacky and an honorary auntie to my friend Jenn's daughter Harleigh.
QWhy are you (or aren't you) easy to live with?
AEasy 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.
QWhat's your favorite hangout back home?
ACasa del Matador down the street . Texas-size $4 happy-hour nachos!
QWhat are your hobbies besides designing?
ADancing, foreign art-house films, shopping, perusing thrift and junk shops, reading, painting, organizing something.
QWhat are your favorite movies and TV shows?
AProject Runway (fo sho!), What Not to Wear, Design Star, Cougartown, Sex and the City.
QWhat are your favorite books and authors?
AAny 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.
QWhat are your favorite websites?
Athesartorialist.blogspot.com, thestylerookie.com, lulusvintage.cocm
QiPhone, Android or BlackBerry?
QFast food or gourmet?
QCooking or takeout?
ADepends on how much time I have . I prefer cooking, if I can. Or having somebody else cook for me . even better!
A3-egg omelet loaded with everything!
QBeer or wine?
ACocktails with hot pepper-infused vodka.
QBiggest pet peeve?
APeople not being real.
QFavorite designer from past seasons of Project Runway?
ASeth Aaron, Laura, Uli.
QProject Runway challenge you wish they'd bring back for your season?
AThe little girls, any "alternative materials" challenge (like the hardware store and party store) and, most of all, the Barbie Challenge!
QProject Runway challenge you hope they don't bring back?
AOutfitting each other's moms. Why oh why?! It was so painful to watch.
QYour take on team challenges ... love them or hate them?. love them?
AThey 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.
QHow did you end up auditioning for Project Runway?
AI got an email from a casting coordinator saying the fashion writer for a local magazine recommended me.
QWhy do you think you will win Project Runway?
AI am creative and organized, and I have confidence in my talent, and a burning ambition to succeed in the world of fashion.