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Sewalong MiniChallenge: Time is Running Out!


There’s only 1 day left for the Sewalong MiniChallenge!

If you haven’t uploaded your entry yet, you still have until 11:59 pm U.S. Eastern Time on Saturday March 15th!

Don’t forget to upload it into the MiniChallenge Entry category!


• You need to be a registered member to take part.

• You must use the Sidonie skirt pattern.

• You must upload your creation into the new ‘Mini Challenge’ category by March 15th.

• When you upload your creation you must give a detailed description of how you made your version of the skirt, the alterations you may have made and materials used etc.

• How-to’s and pattern alterations are encouraged and may earn you Brownie points!

The mini challenge will be judged by you the members. Voting will start on Tuesday the 18th of March, more details about how to vote will be given at a later date. When voting you should take the following into consideration:

• Creativity and variation

• Difference in appearance from original

• Skills and techniques used

• And of course your favourite!

• You can vote once only

Can’t wait to see the rest of the creations!

If you are having any troubles uploading your creation, please let us know by emailing We will do everything we can to help out!

Sewing Universe News Feed: 13 March 2008


Are you a designer living in or near the Dallas area? If so, the Pin Show is looking for you! They are looking for 30 of the most influential independent designers for their July show. Applications are being accepted until April 1 for clothing, handbags, shoes, jewelry and accessories. Those that are accepted will be able to show their collections to before boutique owners, buyers, and over 500 participants!

Susan Beal: Sewing Resources in Portland


Hi, I’m Susan Beal — I’m a writer and crafter in Portland, Oregon. I write a daily craft blog called West Coast Crafty, and I co-wrote Super Crafty with the PDX Super Crafty collective. I also have a new book coming out in March called Bead Simple. I love sewing and designing my own clothes and accessories, and I’m very excited to be contributing to BurdaStyle! I’m hoping to focus on indie designers and events, and all kinds of sewing and fashion resources for crafters. I’ll be posting every two weeks and I’d love to hear what you think of my column… thanks for reading!

Sewing Resources in Portland

For my first regular column, I wanted to spotlight some of my favorite places to shop for fabric, notions and all things sewing in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. Many of these shops do online sales, swatching, or mail order, so even if you’re not in town you might like to browse their websites.

Bolt Fabric Boutique

2136 NE Alberta St, Portland


This colorful shop has a well-edited selection of prints and patterns, from bold to delicate, at great prices. Look for stylish apparel and home dec fabrics as well as great extras like plain hemmed tea towels, fabric paints, indie patterns of all types, and notions galore. They also offer classes on basics and beyond.

Don’t miss: a great selection of graphic Marimekko fabrics.

Cool Cottons

2417 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland.


This lovely shop, on the first floor of a beautiful old house in Southeast, offers a huge mix of fabrics for quilting, apparel, and crafts. The store is incredibly user-friendly, with tons of space and a gigantic cutting table in the back that’s great for effortlessly looking over all your selections at once — and perfect for quilting projects. The owners offer a regular open crafting night and classes in quilting and other home-dec projects, and they’re happy to give advice and tips on everything from basting to appliqué.

Don’t miss: their new quilt block of the month club — a 1930s project with a different Art Deco floral pattern available each month.

Knittn Kitten

7530 NE Glisan St., Portland


This crafty thrift store has an ever-changing and ever-affordable mix of vintage fabrics by the yard as well as remnants, laces and trims, notions, patterns, buttons, beads, embroidery supplies, felt, and everything else you never knew you needed in the way of vintage crafty! The shop is organized by genre, with fabric and sewing supplies as a major component. The owners also take special requests if you’re looking for something specific.

Don’t miss: the vintage rick-rack, seam binding, and lace collection or the vintage linens room.

Josephine’s Dry Goods

521 SW 11th Ave, Portland


Josephine’s carries beautiful, opulent fabrics of all types, from wool and cashmere suiting to dupioni silks and brocades, along with a nice selection of notions, patterns, buttons and trim. The shop has a fantastic sale twice a year and offers sewing classes at all levels as well. Look for the inspiring sample garments displayed around the store to get ideas on your own projects, too.

Don’t miss: the gorgeous Liberty prints.

Button Emporium + Ribbonry

914 SW 11th Ave., Portland


This small, pretty shop carries ribbons of all types and styles, along with a huge selection of vintage and new buttons individually or in larger quantities. It’s just a few blocks from Josephine’s on the streetcar line — and one of the Portland Fiber Arts District shops (along with Knit Purl and the Playful Needle).

Don’t miss: the vintage glass and celluloid buttons on their original cards.

Fabric Depot

700 SE 122nd Ave., Portland


This cavernous store carries just about anything you could possibly imagine in the way of fabric and sewing supplies. Join their mailing list or check their website for their frequent 30% and 40% off sales, which get incredibly crowded — but if the cutting counter is mobbed, just take your fabrics to the wholesale area, where you can have your materials cut and pay for everything at the same time, saving yourself two long lines. During the summer, they also have an Outdoor Sale with many fabrics marked down to $1 or $2 a yard.

Don’t miss: the never-ending wall of notions (especially during sales!)

Mill End

9701 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Portland


This shop also has a huge selection of sewing supplies and fabric, including bridal and home dec specialty areas. Their laces and trims are particularly nice. Join their postcard mailing list to find out about their 25% off sales, too.

Don’t miss: The Annex at the back, which offers tons of yardage and remnants at a steep discount.

Letter From the Editor: Site News!


We’ve had so much going on these past few weeks, we decided to send out an additional Letter from the Editors just to keep you all updated!

First, and the biggest news is. . .

Sewing Universe News Feed: 12 March 2008


Recycled fashion is a great way to go green, and it can inspire some really amazing, inventive designs. Discarded to Divine is a recycled clothing design competition held by St. Vincent de Paul, a charity organization. The creations are nothing short of spectacular, and include a gorgeous denim wedding dress. Read more about the contest and visit the Flickr group for more inspiration. [via]

Sewing Universe News Feed: 11 March 2008


DIYStyle is kicking off another season of 12 weekly vodcasts this week through their web site. You can still catch some earlier episodes, including an interview with fabric designer, Amy Butler, before you check back each Tuesday for more. The “video on demand” video clips are available through download or streaming, and viewers can susbscribe through regular RSS feeds and iTunes.

Letter From the Editors: Threadbangers!


Threadheads, Rob and Corinne from came to us a year ago when we were just getting our toes wet in the internet ocean. We are so happy to have run into them again at this year’s South by Southwest interactive festival in Austin Texas. But before heading south, they came and visited us at our Brooklyn studio! One of their viewers wanted to know how to read sewing patterns, and we’re honored they thought of us as the pro’s to turn to for the answer! Watch it here!.

Sewing Universe News Feed: 10 March 2008


Comic book fans have Comic-Con, Gamers have Gen-Con, even ‘hackers’ have their own convention, DEF-con so it only stands to reason that crafters will finally get their day with their own get together, Craft Con! If you’re interested in the business side of crafting and plan on being in the San Francisco area April 4-6, you’ll want to be sure to check this convention out!

Nikkishell: Working from home


Being a Mum of almost 3 small children under the age of 4 and all of my extended family living in the UK means I don’t work outside the home. Instead I choose to work from home. As you know I write and sew for BurdaStyle which is my main source of work, I run MixTape Zine with my partner in craft Justine of 62Cherry and I’m working towards selling my handmade creations this year.

Working from home has its pros and cons and these are different for everyone that works from home depending on their lifestyle, family commitments and work. For me the pros are that I get to be with my family and I can work at my own leisure. I can choose to roll out of bed and start work in my pajamas (which I do a LOT!) and I can work my timetable around family commitments. Before children I was a Patisserie Chef working long hours, sometimes 12 or more hours a day in stressful restaurant kitchens, there is no way I could do that sort of work now, I much prefer the laid back lifestyle I live now. I’m lucky enough to have my own sewing room from where I do all of my work which is most often messy like you can see in the photo above. My projects do tend to move around to other parts of my home too though, like my bedside table or the sofa. And of course I couldn’t live without the internet, my laptop and my digital camera!

Then there are the cons. I can’t get away from my kids, they like to ‘help’ so more often than not I’m stepping over them while I work and they’re sitting on my sewing room floor making things with the scraps of fabric, glue and paper. I’ve learned to live with it since getting stressed and trying to keep them out of the room is a huge waste of time. I can end up spending the whole morning in my pajamas which is ok sometimes but some days I just need to make that little bit of effort and get dressed otherwise I may never leave the house! And that creates another con, sometimes I don’t leave the house because I just don’t need to and that can get a little boring.

I live by lists! They keep me semi organized and I always have a notepad with me to scribble down my ‘To-Do’s’ and ideas. The last thing I do at night is write a list of things I need to and want to do the next day, of course they don’t always get done but if I don’t write the list I can lay awake at night thinking of all the things I need to remember for the next day.

I’m a messy person and my sewing room is small so it inevitably becomes untidy after a day of working in there and 2 small children bringing in various toys and craft supplies. I try to have a quick clean up every day or two and once a week I give the room a good sort out and vacuum to keep on top of it. Of course if I didn’t have so many things on the go at once it may not get so untidy but I just can’t have one project at once, I get so much inspiration from everywhere that my mind is buzzing with so many ideas but there’s just not enough time in which to bring them to fruition! I could do with some good storage solutions for my room, in particular for my BurdaStyle sewing patterns. At the moment they are clipped together with bulldog clips and hang from nails on my shelving unit. This worked for a while but as I sew more and more garments I’m collecting more and more patterns that just don’t fit on there anymore and prevent me from seeing my fabric stash behind, any ideas to solve this? Another storage solution I could do with is something I could hang all my bits and pieces from such as scissors, rulers, threads, etc to get them off my work table and create more space. I’m thinking a pegboard storage wall and a BurdaStyle Tory organiser will come in very handy.

Do you work from home? Leave me a comment and tell me all about the pros and cons you face, how you organize your time and your work space and anything else relating to this topic.

Sewing Universe News Feed: 7 March 2008


I have a huge crush on the great city of Portland, Oregon. It always seems to be such a hub of creative expression and wonderful, warm people. So I was super excited to find one more thing to add to my list of “things to love about Portland” in a recent VenusZine article. In the profile article Leanne Marshall, a Portland-based designer, talks about how she sees the West Coast city as being on the forefront of eco-friendly fashion. Her designs are gorgeous, and though she touts having a tendency to “pleat everything I touch” as a habit she’s trying to squelch, I say let the pleats fly!

Sewing Universe News Feed: 6 March 2008


If you’re having trouble finding that perfect fabric for your next project, might be your new best friend. It’s a site (still in development) for a company that will offer custom fabric printing. Right now, they have a short survey on the site with questions about fabric printing. Take a few minutes to fill it out, and you’ll be let in on the closed beta version of the site when it launches.

Sewing Universe News Feed: 5 March 2008


What inspires you to create fashion? For three designers participating in Downy’s Discovering Radiance ad campaign, it’s fabric softener. Watch as these up and coming designers bring to life three scents, follow their progress, and vote on who best “captures radiance” – you might just win a trip to the People’s Choice Awards in the process.

Sewing Universe News Feed: 4 March 2008


Spring is right around the corner and for many, that means it’s time to start planning for Prom 2008. According to Ezinearticles, this year you can expect to see an increase in shorter styles, lots of bling (whether it’s sequins, lame, or glamorous bead work), and bold prints.

BurdaStyle has several prom possibilities for all sewing abilities including Cate 7983 and Minna 6007. However, if you’re looking to breathe life into dated prom dresses, then be sure to check out ThreadBanger’s latest episode where they teach you how to recycle an 80’s dress and update it to present day. Thinking about being more daring? Then be sure to stop by Duck Tape’s 2008 contest, Stuck At Prom – where you and your date’s entire wardrobe is made from an assortment of duct tape!

Nikkishell: Recycled Sidonie and Sewalongs


I didn’t get around to sewing up the muslin for my Jorinde blazer this week. I messed up my JJ blouse early on in the week by stupidly cutting through the front of the blouse with the blade on my overlocker. I just knew I shouldn’t have been sewing it that night; my brain seems to have turned to complete mush as I’m nearing the last week of my pregnancy. After that I left the sewing machine alone for a few nights, did some hand sewing and watched some mind numbing TV instead. Luckily Colette saved the day and sent me another piece of fabric so I will be able to finish the blouse off. I have noticed a few more JJ blouses popping up on the site and they look fabulous! This blouse seems to be very popular, and no wonder JJ did a fabulous job designing it.

The ’Nichola’ sew along seems to be going well, there is a lot of discussion about the fit of the pants going on and how to make alterations that may be needed. If you’re taking part and are stuck with anything make sure you head on over to the forum and ask questions, that’s what it’s there for and it’s full of wonderful people that are more than happy to help.

I bought a brown cord skirt over a year ago from the thrift store and it only just fit me around the waist then. I decided there was no way I’d be getting into that after baby for quite some time so I transformed it into another Sidonie! This time I cut the pattern pieces out any way I could fit them onto the skirt and in a pregnant daze I sewed the pleats into the front of the skirt instead of the back. They don’t seem to make much difference though so I didn’t worry about changing them. You may remember in my apron post a few weeks back I mentioned I was thinking of aprons I could wear out over a skirt. I have seen the idea of having panels that could be buttoned to the front of a skirt somewhere before and thought I’d give it a try, I could have one skirt, many panels and multiple looks. I came up with the above but I’m not quite sure I like how it looks; I think I need to work on the idea a little more. Do you have any suggestions?

Talking of Sidonie, remember that the ’Mini Challenge’ has already started. You still have time to take part and your submission needs to be uploaded to the site by next Friday. See here for more details. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with.

The youngest BurdaStyle member should be with us by the end of next week if not before, wish me luck!!

Letter From the Editors: Busy Week!


It’s a busy week over here at BurdaStyle, and perhaps a busy week for you as well, if you’re taking part in the Sewalong Minichallenge! If you haven’t decided yet, you’ve still got sometime. The deadline is next Friday though, so don’t be too fickle! We can’t wait to see what Sidonie variations you can come up with!


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