Sewing and Art: The Aeolian Bike Ride

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We always love to look at projects that use sewing as a means to create something unseen before.

Freelance designer and artist Jessica Findley uses her sewing machine to create suits that are part of her Aelian Bike Ride – a “public art piece, driven by people, to change space within the city”

Letter from the Editors: Back to Basics (for your bottom!)

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We know how much all of you love the basics, because they give you an opportunity to flex those pattern making and garment altering muscles of yours. And we love to encourage it. That’s why last week we brought you the Sidonie skirt! As with the all basics, like the Lydia top, we want to inspire you to make your own variations by showing some variations we’ve made ourselves! So over the next few weeks, we will be sharing a few variations of the skirt, and even introducing a new project, along with NikkiShell, to get even more out of these basics! Start with this first how to, which shows how to create a “paper bag” version of the Sidonie, and keep in touch!

Nikkishell: Sidonie skirts

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I finished embellishing my denim Sidonie this week. I decided to go for the simple look and added some appliquéd leaf shapes using the scraps of denim left over from making the skirt. I’m really happy with the result, do you like? I also made up another Sidonie using the fabric I ordered from Tessuti Fabrics. Unfortunately my package never arrived but Colette sent out my order again. I love this fabric, it’s so bright and the fabric feels nice against my skin. I kept this one simple but I did make one change, I added some in-seam pockets using Nayantara’s fabulous tutorial. It was so easy to do and pockets are always great to have, I love pockets. I did have a complete pregnant brain moment when making the skirt though, I forgot to add in the pleats and didn’t realize until I’d sewn the waistband on, ugh. So the waistband was unpicked, the pleats sewn in and the waistband sewn back in place. Actually, make that two pregnant brain moments, I also cut out the skirt using the lining pattern rather than the main pieces, it doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference though, thankfully!

I’ve actually cut out another 8 denim Sidonie skirts in various sizes. I’m making them to sell in a cool little store here in Melbourne called ’Meet Me at Mikes’. I thought I’d use my increased sewing mojo to make myself some $$’s before it disappears. I’m hoping it doesn’t though; I’m quite enjoying being so productive recently. Has anyone else used BurdaStyle patterns for this purpose? I‘d be interested to hear all about it and how you do with selling your handmade items. Leave me a comment.

Since my fabric arrived I’ve finally been able to start working on my JJ blouse, YAY! So far I’ve cut out the fabric and it’s waiting for me to start sewing. I’m considering leaving out the ruffles, I haven’t quite decided yet, other than that I don’t think I’ll be making any changes. I’ve noticed a few of those taking part in the <http://www.burdastyle.com/forum/show_topic/4216&quot;&gt;sewalong have already finished their JJ blouses, check them out:

Whiti’s Tetris JJ

Lulusmomma’s ochre JJ

Bathina’s black JJ

SewLikeCarolyn’s orange JJ

We have ten days of the <http://www.burdastyle.com/forum/show_topic/4216&quot;&gt;sewalong left so I’ve made a new thread over in the forum for us all to choose the pattern for the March sew along. Head on over there to you’re your vote and I will announce the winner next week in my blog post. Don’t forget to upload a photo of your finished creation to the site and let us know how you went making the blouse.

I was also thinking we could have a mini challenge/sew along. More about that in another post!

Nikkishell: Vintage apron to new

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Being a mum of two small children means things can get very messy. To combat this I like to wear an apron for those messy occasions. Not just any apron though, I like to wear my vintage apron. I have collected a number of vintage aprons but my favourite style is the full bib which gives maximum protection! I have one apron in particular which is my favourite, the pink one above. Unfortunately since it is vintage and I wear it often it is starting to fall apart. The binding is coming off and there are a number of holes appearing in the ‘Oh so soft’ but very fragile fabric. What to do? Why take it apart and make a pattern from it of course! Then I can make as many as I like.

I pulled the apron apart and used a big roll of brown paper to make my pattern. The fabric I used is from my stash, something that’s been sitting there for far too long begging to be used. This apron uses around 7 or 8 metres of bias binding so altogether I used around 1.5 metres of fabric since I made my own binding but of course you can buy it ready made if you wish.

So, an afternoon of cutting and sewing and I have a brand new apron! Pretty cute huh? I will be sharing the pattern with you in the next day or so, I’m having a scanner issue today which prevents me from uploading it. In the meantime why not check out the following links for more apron inspiration.

The Apron Book by EllynAnne Geisel

Tie One On

Vintage Apron Flickr Group

Vintage Apron Sewing Patterns Flickr Group

Apron Outfits Flickr Group

The Apronista!

Do you wear an apron? Which is your favourite style? Is it vintage or new? Maybe you purchased it at a thrift store or you were given it by a member of the family. What do you do when wearing your apron? Let me know in the comments. I’m thinking of making a kind of apron that i can wear out, something that can be attached to or worn over a skirt or trousers. Hmm the cogs in my brain are in motion.

How To: Button Up!

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What did you get from your Valentine? Chocolates? Flowers? Home-made dinner? The best book about cheeses! (My boyfriend is the best for knowing how much I love cheese!)

Wondering what you can do now in exchange? Well you know the phrase “Give a man a fish. Feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime”? Well, why don’t you teach your loved one a skill that can be with them for a long time: How To Sew Buttons. Not only will it be incredibly helpful for them, it will free up some time for you to continue with your sewalong project or upload that pattern you’ve been meaning to upload, instead of sewing on tons and tons of buttons!

Wearable Tech: Love and Circuits at the Seamless Computational Couture Show

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Hi, I’m Jenny Chowdhury, a researcher in wearable and physical

computing at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. I’ll

be writing about interesting ways that technology has been integrated

in fashion. I’ll also be posting some methods that you can follow to

add some tech to your own creations. I’m very excited to be working

with BurdaStyle!

Sewing Universe News Feed 12 February 2008

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NPR looking for Sewers in D.C. Area

Erica at Erica B.’s DIY Style posts about being approached by an NPR producer looking for people who have changed the way they shop or have started sewing because of the increase in high fashion in popular culture (shows like Project Runway , What Not to Wear, etc.) For a bit more info and contact information, see her blog

Nikkishell: Denim Sidonie

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Do you remember last week when I showed you a tiny sample piece of the fabric I had ordered for my JJ blouse? Well that along with another piece of fabric I had intended to use for the new Sidonie skirt seems to have been lost in the abyss that is known as Australia Post, sob! But fear not for I do have my fabric stash although it does seem to be wilting away and looking very drab recently, I think I may need to do some new fabric and thrift fabric shopping sometime soon.

The new Sidonie skirt pattern is perfect for me and I have many ideas for many skirts buzzing around in my head. Oh and one of the best parts about it is how quickly it can be made up. I used some denim fabric that I have had sitting on the shelf for far too long waiting to be transformed into something wonderful, a few hours of my time (with a much needed nap in between!) and I have a new skirt for my autumn/winter wardrobe. I left out the lining and ended up cutting 2 waistbands, the first was not long enough even though I cut from the pattern, strange! I also noticed my skirt turned out longer than that on the model here on BurdaStyle (she’s obviously MUCH taller than I am) which suits me fine, I would have made it longer since I’m not one for flashing my legs too much and this saved me time. I do intend to wear it with tights or knee length stockings/socks though, any idea where to find cute colourful ones?

It doesn’t look much in the photo, I think it looks far better in real life but still it seems to be lacking something, it needs a little embellishment. I spent another hour at least playing around with trims from my box pinning them on randomly with the help of Mia and Esme which I think may be the reason it took so long! I have a number of knitted swatches that I was given a few years back and I thought one sewn onto the skirt as a pocket would work, i’ll show you the finished skirt next week. I have plans to make at least two more skirts using this pattern, one from the fabric I ordered from Tessuti Fabrics and another from recycled fabrics, thrift stores here I come!

As well as making up Sidonie my sewing machine has been running hot this past week whipping up some much needed things for baby, sheets, hats, blankets and a sling (in the same denim fabric!). I have also been frantically working on an order of yoga products for my physiotherapist/yoga teacher neighbour. My sewing room floor is covered in flax seeds (eye pillows), wheat (wheat bags), scraps of bias binding (blankets) and lavender, oh it smells divine but it’s extremely messy! Then there was the fabric Valentine’s card I made for my husband, new dish towels to replace my old ugly ones that are falling apart and some clown trousers for Mia. Phew! I’m worn out just typing that and I still have so much more to do. Stay in there for the next month little one, I should be about ready for you then….maybe.

Letter from the Editors: Love Thy Member

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Hiya, BurdaStyle-rs! This week, we are of course excited to share with you our new basic pattern, the Sidonie skirt, an essential pattern for all of you who like to build up from the basics. Its sweet and simple, and perfect for the spring, which isn’t coming soon enough, after the weather we’ve been having. . .

But that’s not all!

Nikkishell: Fabric Valentine's card

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Valentine’s Day is almost upon us! My husband and I don’t make a big deal of it, there are no big presents or dinners out or any of that mushy stuff. What we do like to do though is make something for each other, usually a card. What is even better is when the card I make can be made using things I have around my home which in turn is saving me money and using up materials that may otherwise end up in the landfill.

I have been making a quilt from red and white fabrics and what better way to use up the scraps (which I always keep) than to use them on my card. I played around with the fabrics, cutting and placing them onto a piece of plain black wool until I was happy with the design. The next step was to sew each piece onto the wool using the different stitches on my sewing machine. It’s best not to think too much about what you are doing and just ‘Go with it’, stitch over the edges, across the middle, do some crazy quilting, whatever takes your fancy! Once I had the main pieces sewn on I added the red heart which I stuffed slightly with a little bit of toy stuffing. To do this I sewed most of the way around the heart leaving a small hole for stuffing then sewed it closed, simple! Then it was time for some hand stitching, there’s no need to be precise, I do mine freestyle. I added the word ‘Love’, sewed on some buttons, tiny bells and a jewel I found lurking in the bottom of my sewing box. Then it’s simply a matter of sewing your love creation onto a piece of card (I used an old magazine holder that was falling apart), trimming the edges and writing your message on the back.

Love and Kisses. xx

How To: Bind the French Way!

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It’s a week until Valentine’s Day, and love is certainly in the air! Every other commercial on television reminds men how much women like diamonds (not us though, we prefer something handmade, right!) and restaurants are clamoring for your attendance at their special Valentine’s day fea

Nikkishell: Finished night gown and wardrobe planning

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I finished off my Desira night gown this week. It was very easy; I made it shorter and added sleeves. For the sleeves I used the Lydia pattern that I have already cut out (but have not yet used) and shortened them to just above my elbows. So now I have a night dress and a nightgown ready for my hospital bag and nothing else! Yep, I still haven’t put together my hospital bag and to be honest I’ve not done much else to prepare for this baby arriving. I mean, why would I want to do something as necessary as that when I can be sewing up a storm!? But really I could get onto it this week since I only have about 5 weeks left to go but feel I could POP any time.

Nayantara mentioned that it is Fashion week in New York. Personally I don’t really follow the fashion trends. I never buy fashion magazines, preferring to come up with my own style (if you can call it that), and at the moment I have no style at all or if I do it’s called ‘pregnant frump’. In a bid to have some kind of style once baby has arrived I am planning and making my autumn/winter wardrobe although there’s more planning than making going on. I thought I’d take a peek at what is on show at the fashion week online to see if I could find some inspiration. There are of course many, many beautiful outfits most of which would be great if I had no kids and went to lots of parties but of course I do have kids and never go to parties, sniff. What I need are comfortable, stylish clothes that are practical at the same time. I need to have boob access for feeding time so most dresses are out of the question. I need tops that can be pulled up or down. Collections that are inspiring me are those by Donna Karan, Alexander Wang and Diane Von Furstenburg in particular the bubble skirts and Greta Garbo style high waist trousers.

I’m starting off my new wardrobe by joining in the Sew along and will be making the JJ blouse with the silk/cotton voile you see pictured above. I purchased it from my new favourite dress fabric shop Tessuti Fabrics in Sydney. Colette has been wonderful by sending me heaps of fabric samples for me to paw and drool over. This could be very dangerous indeed! I want to make trousers, skirts, a jacket, a coat (maybe the new version of Talia), tops, cardigans…..the list goes on. I have no idea where I will find the time to make all these things; I may just have to settle with thinking about most of them. Another idea I had came to me when I was looking at my Desira night gown. I was thinking I could make a dress from this pattern with a jersey top half and a skirt attached, maybe using a different fabric? Do you think it could work?

Anyway, I’d love to hear what you have in mind for your wardrobe for next season. Leave me a comment to let me know.

Letter From the Editors: Fashion Week

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It’s Fashion Week here in New York, and BurdaStyle is feeling the rush! We’ve not only got a few exciting fashion shows to attend (we’ll be sure to share the trends we see with you. . .) but also an exciting BUST Magazine Issue launch party to attend. We hooked our friends up at BUST with some awesome goodie bags containing the Charlie Grocery Bag along with some fun BurdaStyle pins and stickers to give to their readers, and in exchange, we get to go party with them!

Nikkishell: Pajama's for baby

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I’ve been working on making some of my own patterns recently. Quick and easy stuff to start with and what better to start with than some baby clothes! This week I made up a pair of baby pajamas or they could even pass for day wear. I used a thrifted cotton sheet and a spare piece of fabric from my stash which I made into binding to trim the kimono style top.

I used Nayantara’s wonderful tutorial for making and uploading your own pattern to the site. The only difference being that I don’t have Photoshop, hmm a slight problem. Instead I used the GIMP program to scan my tiles and the PDFCreator program I have on my computer. It was a learning curve let me tell you and on many occasions my language was not for my children’s ears. I spent most of the day trying to figure out these programs and finally I have something to show for it. It is by no means perfect and I have heaps more learning to do but I am pleased to have finally taken the plunge and uploaded a pattern of my own. Maybe my next one will be much better and a little more adventurous

Please check it out and let me know what you think, constructive criticism is always welcome but be kind, remember I have a heap of hormones raging through my pregnant body! Anything that will help me improve will be greatly accepted. I’m so excited to be doing this that I’ve been searching out pattern making books and found some on Ebay today that I was almost prepared to purchase at full price in the bookstore. Learning pattern making is one of my goals for this year and since I won’t be able to get to a class on a regular basis teaching myself by reading books, websites and just ‘having a go’ as I usually do with most things I want to learn.

I take my hat off to those of you that have successfully uploaded your own patterns and I hope to see many more in the future from other members too.

How To: Hem Jeans for Your Loved Ones

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Not-so-long-ago, I learned a valuable lesson. As a student living on the largest college dorm floor East of the Mississippi River, it is not a good idea to advertise the fact that you can sew, unless you’ve got a lot of time on your hands. (Or, a laundry list of favors you could ask for in return- perhaps, even, getting someone to do your laundry.) I say this because you will inevitably be asked a dozen times a week to hem a pair of jeans for Cute-Boy-in-Room-Across-from-the Elevator or Girl-Who Always-Looks-Great-No-Matter-How-Windy-and-Cold-It-is-Outside down the hall, not including the requests you’ll get from your friends and classmates!

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