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Nikkishell: Night gown in the making


Ah, I had all the good intentions of having a weekend of sewing but my body decided otherwise. I seem to be forgetting that I’m heavily pregnant, less than 7 weeks to go, and that I can’t do as much as I usually can or as fast. So rather than sitting at my sewing machine all weekend making the Desira night gown I spent my time that wasn’t spent napping with my feet up watching movies and getting some hand sewing done instead. I managed to whip up a bag using the Carolina pattern but instead of using it as it is intended, a wash bag, I made it into a regular bag. I used a thrifted table cloth I’ve had lingering in my sewing room for far too long; I lined it, used Timtex to stiffen it and added a flap to the front leaving off the zip. I had planned to embellish it a little more using ribbon, yarn and lace but I felt it looked better plain. I also finally finished sewing the binding onto my little girl’s quilt which I had intended to give her at Christmas, better late than never I say!

I got to work on my night gown today. I decided to leave off the neck band and instead I have curved the front pieces down towards the hem rather than have them form into points at the waist like I did with my Maternity Desira tops. I will shorten the gown a little more, I was going to have it knee length but I think I like it longer. The sleeves I have still not yet decided on, but considering the limited amount of fabric I have left I know they’re going to be shorter than elbow length. You will also notice I have used the white linen I had intended to use for another night dress. I didn’t manage to get to the fabric store so used what I had, I now realize that maybe a white night gown is probably not the best choice for wearing with a newborn baby! Duh….I blame my decision on the many hormones raging around my tired body. So I should have this finished by next week and ready to put in my (non existent at the moment) hospital bag, hmm….I should really get onto that soon.

The Anita sewalong has now come to an end but there seems that many of you are still working on your versions. I did notice that Olar has finished hers and they look fabulous!!! You can take a peek at them here, and you can read all about the alterations she made to get them to fit her perfectly in the sewalong thread. The next sew along is of course JJ’s cute ruffle blouse, there was no competition! It will run throughout the month of February so if you want to take part head on over to the new thread. Let us all know what plans you have for your version, your fabric choice and any alterations you may make etc. I will be taking part in this sew along (if baby allows!) and plan to use some fabulous fabric from a new to me fabric store here in Australia that I would dearly love to get lost in, it’s probably a good thing (for my bank balance) that it’s in Sydney and I’m in Melbourne!

Letter from the Editors: Cupid's Shot BurdaStyle!


Your heart’s a flutter! You’re singing in the rain! You’ve got a special Valentine to spend the 14th of February with! And to show him or her just how loved they are, you want to make a special something!

How To: Make your mark, without leaving a mark!


Oh no!

For all of my pattern reading and pattern grading how tos, I seem to have forgot one of the most important tutorials! What to do once you have cut out your pattern, read the markings, and threaded your machine?!. Well, of course, you need to transfer the marks! Grab a pair of snippers, or at least very pointy scissors, and perhaps a needle and contrasting thread. Then click on this quick and easy How To illustrating the basic way of transferring the darts, buttonholes, notches, center fronts, center backs, fold lines, and pocket placements you see all over your pattern.

Now, you are really ready to start sewing!

NikkiShell Night Wear


Amongst my list of jobs as wide as my belly this week was the task of adding straps to my Jane night dress. It was quick and easy, just two straps made by sewing tubes of fabric and turning them right sides out. I made them pretty wide and added snaps to the front which I hid underneath the facing. I tried it on so I could pin the straps in the right place and it actually fit (just) over my bump so I’m thinking I could get away with making the others I have planned not so wide around the tummy.

Next up is the Desira night gown. You can see above how I plan to alter the pattern, I will lengthen it to just below the knee to match the length of my night dresses. I also plan to add sleeves, something short or to the elbow, any suggestions? I still haven’t decided which fabric to use; I think a kid free trip to the fabric store is in order so I can choose at my own leisure. Of course it needs to go well with my linen night dresses, maybe some patterned cotton?

There is another week left for the Anita sewalong so make sure you upload a photo of your finished skinny jeans in the creations section here on BurdaStyle. Remember to also let us know in the forum what you thought about making these jeans, did you come across any problems? Did you make any changes? Did you enjoy making them? Any tips for those (me) that plan to make them? I have started a new thread in the forum for votes for the next sew along project so head on over there to cast your vote. I personally would love to make Jj’s ruffle blouse ready for my autumn/winter wardrobe I’m planning in my head at the moment. I’m so looking forward to having my figure back and the cooler weather, I’m definitely more of a layers girl than a floaty summer girl. I need to get cracking now on the clothes I plan to make since I’m sure the newest member of the family will limit my sewing time once she arrives.

Letter from the Editors: It's Our Birthday!


It’s BurdaStyle’s 1st Birthday! We launched last year at the DLD 2007 conference, and Benedikta and Nora are celebrating big with friends at DLD 2008! We thank all of the members who have been with us since the beginning and as well as all our new friends who keep joining us as we continue to grow!



We all have our addictions, and while some can be detrimental, you’d be hard pressed to find something wrong with an addiction to vintage sewing patterns. Sarai at Sweet Sassafrass has started a compilation of resources for finding vintage sewing patterns. Check it out, and she’s included a contact link if you have more to add.

Be a Refashionista!!!


I have a challenge for you this weekend. What I want you to do is head on over to that wardrobe of yours and dig out something you haven’t worn in long time. Then I want you to make it wearable again. “How do I do that?” I hear you ask, well you refashion it! Don’t be scared, just dive right in there and get messy, it’s heaps of fun and at the end of it you have something unique that no one else will have, how’s that for style!?

This week I took a denim skirt and transformed it. To start I added four circular ruffles to the back and left the edges raw but stay stitched them to limit the fraying. I started from the bottom of the skirt and worked my way up sewing on each ruffle at every 2 ½ inches. I then cut the front of the skirt into a curve and added some lace trim and random stitching for decoration. And my last alteration was to add fabric paint; once it has dried I will scuff it up a little with some sandpaper to give it a more ‘lived in’ look. Everything I used to refashion this skirt came from my stash so all it cost me was a few hours of my time, not bad for a new skirt!

What are you waiting for? Dig into that wardrobe and see what you can come up with. I’m excited to see what you create and remember to post your finished refashion here on BurdaStyle.

To learn how to make circular ruffles take a look at my how-to.



Threads has a post about making custom fabric belts, and finding the size and style to best suit your body type. If you’re looking for ideas for the finishing touches to some of you products, try their belt ideas. [via]



Our London-based friends have the unique opportunity to explore a little sewing history at the Wimbledon Sewing Machine Co. museum. The hours are odd, and the web site is a little tricky to navigate, but seeing the beautiful craftsmanship in some of the machines in the pictures makes me wish I could hop over to London for a visit.



The folks over at Make it Mine have noticed a growing trend in clothing: grommets. They have posted a teaser of an article in their Spring 2008 issue that will show folks how to easily add grommets to their wardrobe and accessories, and even have posted videos on how to set grommets using a a plier setting tool and how to set grommets using a tool kit and hammer. They’ve even compiled a list of tips when working with grommets. I never noticed how much fun it is to say, “grommets” … almost as much fun as adding them to my wardrobe!

Girly Jane Nightdress


I didn’t bother making a muslin for my Jane night dresses this week. Instead I went straight to work on the fabric I bought on my most recent fabric store adventure. I figure since it was inexpensive and the pattern is easy I’d be fine and I was right although I did need to shorten it 10cm due to not having enough fabric so now it will fall just below my knee. I used the orange fabric and I think it has turned out really well even though I’ve yet to finish it. All it is waiting for are the straps, I’m going to have to try it on over my bust to decide how long they should be, there’s no chance of me getting it over my bump at the moment! I made a size 40 which is a size smaller than I’ve been using to make maternity clothes but 2 sizes bigger than I am when not pregnant. It’s going to take a little while to get back to that size, although I’m hoping not too long! I’ll use some of the fabric to make the straps and have them fasten at the front with snaps which I will hide on the facing so they don’t show at the front of the dress.
Do you like the trim? It’s some cotton lace I had in my stash that I bought on sale a while back, I love it and will feel very girly wearing this night dress, it beats the slouchy jog pants and my husbands t-shirts I’m wearing at the moment! In total this night dress has cost me about $7 to make. This week I’ll whip up the other two in blue and white, I have some more cotton lace trim in a peachy colour which may go well with the blue and I think I may leave the white one plain, I’ll see when it’s made up whether it needs something extra but some embroidery may be nice if I can find the time. I’m also going to work on the Desira pattern to be changed into a dressing gown to match my night dresses. Maybe I should use linen for this too, what do you recommend?

How are you all going with your skinny jeans? Have you managed to finish them yet like Fashion1 has? Go check hers out for some inspiration. If you have any tips or questions while sewing these then head on over to the forum and let us all know.

Did anyone make a scrap patchwork skirt this past weekend? Remember to upload a picture in the creations section if you did I’d love to see it. Watch out later this week for a refashioning post from me!

Letter from the Editors: Support from Members Like You


We hear it every time we tune into NPR or after watching Antiques Roadshow on PBS, or any other member funded media. “something, something, something. . .with support from members like you.” But its never quite sounded so good until we said it ourself!

Reading a Pattern!


Oh no! We’ve taught you how to thread a machine and how to

layout the pattern, but now what?! What are all those dashes and dots! Why are there three vertical solid lines?. Don’t worry, it might look like a highly advanced mix of binary and Morse code, but it’s just the pattern talking to you, and the pattern has nothing but nice and helpful things to say! Learning to read a pattern, instead of just guessing, which is what I did when I was in my oh-so-young-and-just-can’t-wait-to-start-sewing-already stage, will help you immensely. Darts and buttonholes, facings and folds! All of these things are indicated on the pattern, and can help you as not only a seamstress, but possibly when you start making your own patterns, which, of course, you will post on BurdaStyle! So follow the instructions in the Reading a Pattern How To, then get to cutting!

NikkiShell's Scrap skirt


Do you save all of your fabric scraps? I do, with the idea that I’ll make something from them someday. I’ve been working on a quilt and ended up with a heap of fabric pieces and strips left over. On a play date with my girls last week we met a little girl that was wearing a cute patchwork skirt and that light bulb moment came to me! I knew then what my scraps were meant to be.

Check out my simple tutorial to see how I made this cute scrap patchwork skirt. The skills used are patchwork sewing and gathering, very easy. The size could be adjusted to fit anyone, even you. I look forward to seeing your take on it.

9 January 2008 Sewing Universe News Feed


Tweedy fabrics giving you trouble? Trying to sew a buttonhole in tweed can be tedious. Amanda at BeSewStylish has a simple tip to create buttonholes that blend in to, rather than pop out of the tweed background.


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