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Top 50 Blogs
for Fashion Sewers

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Featured Member: Oonaballoona

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?

I am from New Jersey, USA, originally, then lived 12 years in New York, which is kind of the same thing— unless you’re a born and raised New Yorker, then New Jersey is another hemisphere. Now I’m in Los Angeles, which is another UNIVERSE.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?

My first sewing project was a big old pig made in my home economics class, I think it was the 5th or 6th grade. I chose pink taffeta, naturally… you would think with that choice, my pig would have been frilly, but he was actually quite huge and sleek with sharp seams and WAY overstuffed, there was no cuddling with this pig. I mean, you could have used this pig as a chair for a small child. Home ec was only offered one year, and I pretty much stopped sewing except for the odd (and badly executed) hem here and there. Oh, and the prerequisite pair of slashed up-the-legs jeans in high school. Am I dating myself? BurdaStyle has really got me sewing again, with the help of some fancy sewing items landing in my lap… a featherweight 221 from my parents, and a dress form from my mom in law.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

It keeps me sane and makes me happy! A friend told me that if I was going to live in LA, I had better have something to do that had zero to do with “the business”. I thought that was sort of dramatic… I have loads of hobbies anyway… well, she was right, people eat sleep and drink the biz here and that diet is really not for me. I’ve found that sewing has stuck more so than my other hobbies, it has the perfect combination of order and creativity. BurdaStyle definitely has a lot to do with my continuing obsession, as there’s always something new & cool to work on.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?

Those first few seams where you can see your creation taking shape and you know you’re doing it right is awesome. also pressing seams puts the universe in order. my least favorite thing is FITTING. I just want to finish it and put it on for the first time and have it fit like a glove. I would save myself loads of time if I would just
try the damn creation on once or twice before triple stitching those side seams, but it takes away from that little dance of joy at the end if you’ve already had it on before it’s completely done! but, if it doesn’t fit… no dance of joy. Rock and a hard place, eh?

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what would you make?

I was warned: once people know you can sew, there’s no end to the “minor” requests made… I’ve been asked to make a jumper for a chihuahua, a man’s blazer out of a baby blanket, a pair of jeans… I think people really don’t know how much time goes into it. (and they are a bit delusional about my skill level). So if I could make
something for anyone, I guess I’d make them understand what they’re asking! If I could make something for someone… I would make the perfect suit, and the someone would be my husband. Skill-wise that’s a pipe dream, but if we’re talking fantasy here, there it is!

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?

I visit pretty much daily, looking for new creations and using all of the great information and generally stalling on doing the things I am supposed to be doing. I really like everything about the site, and I know you all are improving things constantly. I love the community here— no one ever gets touchy or offended, everyone is so incredibly supportive of each other, and as far as online communities go in my experience, that’s an anomaly. I mean, I got in trouble because I introduced myself to 2 yahoo sewing groups at the same time… good lord, I think their world would end if they saw the double posts in our forum. Oh, I guess that is one area I’d love to see improved, heh heh, now that I mention it… but seriously, this site rocks.

7. What is your motto?

Hmm. I’m not sure I have a specific motto, though I could very well see myself walking around with theme music playing constantly. THAT would ROCK. through living in Los Angeles, I’ve become very aware of how important it is to be true to who you are as much as humanly possible, and to have fun doing so. This town is sort of more
fiction than fact, and it’s easy to get swept up in that. So I guess my motto is be true, to thine own self, and whoever comes your way, or whomever. You know what I mean…

To see Oonaablloona’s awesome creations click here! For more on Oonaballoona and to see more of her work check out her blog.

Featured Member: Sunnyb64

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I’ve lived my entire life in northern Delaware, on the east coast of the US.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
I grew up with it-my mother’s sewed for my whole life, as does my grandmother and my aunt. So she started teaching me how to use the machine when I was about seven years old. The first thing I clearly remember making was a Barbie dress that I hand-sewed from white felt scraps and seafoam-green yarn. I had to cut it off the Barbie later because I forgot to leave an opening to take it off. I think the first thing I sewed on the machine was probably an awful pair of elastic-waist shorts in the horrible neon colors they had in the 80s-so it’s probably a good thing I wasn’t taking pictures of my creations back then!

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
When I was growing up, making clothes was a huge personal expression thing for me-I really hated the thought of wearing the same generic mall clothes as my classmates. Plus it made it really easy to have skirts that were long enough for my school’s dress code! Now, I work in a creative-based field (I’m a musician/music teacher), so it’s really nice to have something creative that’s purely for fun. Plus the clothes in stores still generally either bore me or annoy me when I know I could make them better (and often cheaper!)

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
Planning the project is a lot of fun for me, whether trying to decide what to do with a gorgeous piece of fabric, what to use for a certain pattern, or trying to come up with my own design altogether. I also really enjoy the machine work, and I love finishing things so I can wear them out of the house! My least favorites are cutting out the patterns and ironing. Especially ironing-I know it’s necessary, but it still annoys me.

5. If you could make something for anyone, who would it be and what would you make?
The ever-elusive perfect-fitting pair of jeans! I’d also love to be more adventurous in sewing for other people in general, as fitting anyone other than myself usually scares me.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?
Besides the free/inexpensive patterns, the best thing is the sense of community, hands-down. Everyone is so encouraging of everyone else’s work and willing to share their knowledge and ideas, and I just love that. I also really love that experimentation with the patterns is encouraged, and seeing the different variations on the same pattern that people come up with! I’d really like to see a feature where how-tos connected to particular patterns can be linked from the main page of that pattern, if possible. And I want more mini-challenges!

7. What is your motto?
Borrowing from John Lennon, since I believe it really applies to sewing too. “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”

For more info on Sunnyb64, take a look at her profile. If that is not enough for you, make sure you check out her blog!

Featured Member: EmilyKate

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I’m from Melbourne, Australia, which seems to be a very crafty city- I’ve noticed there are a lot of BurdaStyle members who live here too!

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
The first thing I ever made was a ruched midriff-baring peasant top from a floral chintz fabric that in retrospect I think might have been designed with quilters in mind. It looked just as horrible as it sounds, though in my defense the whole Year 8 Textiles class had to make the same thing, and theirs looked just as awful. A couple of weeks after assessment my mum did up a batch of homemade jam and cut the peasant top up to make pretty lid-covers for the jars.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
What role does sewing play in my life? Its a bit of a paradox in that it helps me unwind AND it keeps my mind going a million miles an hour! For awhile there I thought I might go into the fashion biz, so I did the fashion school thing, but while learning about mass-production I realised the joy for me is very simple, it’s in the process of sewing and pattern-drafting- I love the fiddling-about of construction and creating things that are unique. While I have a real fascination with the stunning capabilities of the industrial “Fashion Machine”, I can’t help but think that in a world of contracting resources, we gotta be a little careful and we have to love our stuff longer- which happens naturally and beautifully when you make it yourself!

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
My favourite thing about sewing… sewing encompasses so much of what I love, its difficult to pick out one thing! I’m a fabricaholic (is anyone immune?), but I also nerd right out on the technical aspects- I LOVE patternmaking, and that was my best subject at school. I love reading about couture techniques and cool little hacks that make my sewing life easier. I’m also into collecting vintage sewing machines and notions, and trying to figure out how all the mechanical gizmos work is a lot of fun. As for what I hate… um, I’m not crazy about grading patterns once I’ve drafted them, and hemming is a drag. But that’s it!

5. If you could make something for anyone, who would it be and what would you make?
If I could make something for anyone, it would be for my fella, and it would be something he could actually wear. That hasn’t happened yet. I’ve made dozens of things for other people but for some reason the things I make for him are, like, jinxed or something. The first shirt I made him, the buttons all popped off and skittered across the room. I sewed them back on but he was still wary, so it ended up going to the op-shop. I knitted him a hat, and when he put it on, his normal, friendly face was immediately transformed into that of an armed robber. The next shirt I embroidered various cactuses onto. Yeah, I don’t what came over me with that idea, either. Op-shop! I’m considering trying to make him the Jakob shirt, maybe that will break the curse?

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?
The BurdaStyle site is kinda scary, cos it’s like, the fulfillment of my very id or something!! It’s got everything a sewing-crazy person could want- constantly-changing eye-candy in the form of members posting their creations, members helping eachother out, members admiring eachother’s work (because as we know, while it’s great when your friends and family compliment your creations, only another sewer REALLY knows the work involved). The free patterns are great. And whoever came up with the How To interface, can I hug you? it really is a gift!! I check the blog every day because I always find out something useful. The real strength of the site I think will be the forums, and once they get sorted out that’ll be great. Sewers are in general, social, helpful folk and anything that aids their communication on the site will enhance the growth of community. And in particular, the BurdaStyle members are an exceptionally creative, energetic and friendly bunch! Everyone has something great to share.

7. What is your motto?
It isn’t really a motto, but it’s the simplest, truest and most useful piece of advice I’ve ever been given in relation to sewing: you’ve gotta press your seams as you sew! If you’re not in the habit of doing it, start now and make it your mantra – it’s the secret to having your creations go from looking ‘homemade’ to looking expertly hand-crafted!

For more info on Emily Kate, check out her profile. She has such awesome creations, and has taught us all how to make those wonderful cheeky panties

Featured Member: Susisonne

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I’m living in Karlsruhe in the south of Germany. I grew up next to here and moved to Karlsruhe for my studies.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
The first thing I made were some curtains for my balcony last summer (2007). I needed some curtains but I didn’t want to spend much money. So I bought some fabric, asked my mom for her sewing machine and made my first steps with it. I was very satisfied with how they came out. So I also tried to sew some pillowcases with zippers. I had much fun with it and I still had some fabric left overs. This time I tried to sew my first garment: a skirt. After some weeks I bought my own sewing machine and went on sewing.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
I enjoy sewing. My studies are very theoretical so it is great to do something creative. For me sewing means relaxing. I spend many evenings with my sewing machine so my boyfriend sometimes says that I am a sewing addict.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
In my opinion the favorite thing about sewing is that you can create your own garments which are absolutely unique. You can do things which are exactly your style and fit. You can combine fabrics, colors and patterns the way you like and you can save a lot of money! I love to see the development of new garments: first you have only cut fabric peaces and in the end you have finished clothes. I like wearing things I made myself. It makes me proud because I’ve done it. I also thinks it is great that I do not have to buy clothes which were made in countries where people only get famine wages and have to work under catastrophic working conditions.
What I do not like about sewing is ripping up seams when I made something wrong. It costs so much patience and time. I also do not like hand stitching and cutting fabrics very much. But you have to go through it!

5. If you could make something for anyone, who would it be and what would you make?
There is no one special. I like making things you can wear everyday but also things for going out. I have sewn some things for my sister and my boyfriend, so I am very proud when they are wearing it.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?
I love this site because you get so inspired by all the members. Nearly every day I check the new creations for new ideas. It is great to have the possibility to write comments to other member’s creations. I’m always very happy when I have new comments on my site. The best thing about BurdaStyle is that you can download patterns for free and you can see what other members did with the same pattern! It is great to see the differences and alterations. When I started sewing I only did exactly what was described in the instructions. But with the Sidonie-MiniChallenge I had so much fun with doing alterations on my own. So please go on with such projects! I also like the how-tos because you can learn so many things!
I love that you can add other member’s creations to your favorites. But I think it would be also great if you could see the members who added your creation to their favorites. I only can see the first two of them and often the pictures are not the right ones. So this could be improved.

7. What is your motto?
I do not have a special motto. I just can tell all burdastyle members to go on with sewing and showing their creations on this site! It is so inspiring!

Susisonne has so many awesome creations, check them out here creations!

Featured Member: Ceregana

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I am originally from Sofia, Bulgaria. I live since 2000 in Kassel – a middle size city in Germany. I came here to study architecture and I almost did the distance. My last exam is in march, so there is a limited number of sewing sessions till then.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
I am not sure I remember the first thing I’ve sewn. It must have been a pant or a blouse, when I was a teenager. My mom used to sew a lot so I somehow slipped neatly into it – I even had a small sewing machine as a kid (actually I think I never sewed something complete with it, it was just fine sewing straight lines…). Than I had a long pause and started doing clothes for myself about 2 years ago again, when I bought my own sewing machine.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Sewing is a relaxing hobby. I love what I am doing and learning, but it can be very stressful and there is a lot of responsibility of being good and being professional in it. So sewing is a perfect distraction, because I still can do my own thing, but still doesn’t have to take as seriously as a profession. I am enjoying my layman status in it… The other role it plays it is this of me being tired of buying stuff, because it is fashionable and because I can afford to buy it, but me ending up with only few pieces I really love. So by sewing I made my resolution to make pieces I will wear for years, because they are exactly my style. And I like the idea it is much more correct and environment friendly… And it has been on the winning spot of best diploma distraction, next to the internet…

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
My favorite thing is to have the finished garment and have the feeling it is just what you wanted it to be and the satisfaction of being able to pull it through (I still have some unsewn dead bodys, that waited to be brought to live…).
I hate it when I do something wrong and must break the seams and start again. It just stops the flow and feels like a step in the wrong direction. And my machine is not very good at buttonholes…

5. If you could make something for anyone, who would it be and what
would you make?

I will love to make unique things that they really like for my friends and family. If I just only had the time and motivation for it…

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be
improved and what do you really like?

Hm, improving? I guess I will be happy to get more news feeds – I have my daily routine of checking website before i start working. I also will be interested in a kind of “behind the scenes” of every pattern that you make – the process from the sketch to the photo shoot.
And off course I love seeing the pattern modification how tos , but it doesn’t have to be you guys – users are also starting to post more of this. Sometimes when I am sewing something and couldn’t decide on a issue I get the desire to discuss is with some other users too.
What i really like about the site off course is the open source community idea. The positive attitude of the other users is a blessing too – it is just keeping one on trying again and being mean, since one can be anonymous is a think I hate about the web sometimes. I definitely sew and enjoy it more since i have the possibility to share the experience and the result.

7. What is your motto?
I don’t really have one. If I have to think of something it will be like “Don’t give up, keep on!” – just very down to earth and unromantic…

Learn more about ceregana by visiting her profile. Also check out her creations! To catch up more with Ceregana and find out what she’s up to, visit her blog!

Featured Member: Ale.B

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I was born in Milano Italy and have lived here all but one year (I spent my 16th year near St.Louis in Missouri). I wish I could leave this gray, noisy, polluted town, but it seems as Milano has the power to hook you in the back and never let you go. Also because of my job (graphic design in the fashion and art field) this is the place where I have to live.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
I really don’t remember sewing anything but buttons in my childhood. I was more for crochet and cros-stitch and some knitting, I learned that from my crafty aunts and grandmother.
I’ve always had trouble finding clothes that I really like 100% or that fit me right, especially pants, always too big on the waist, but most of all, I find it really disturbing to wear something that thousands of people also have, so I was always having a tailor modify my clothes.
15 years ago, I decided that I should start making my own clothes, so I bought a basic sewing machine that I still use (Pfaff hobby 303) but I got so frustrated because I didn’t know where to start, or what to do, so I just used it to hem my pants and fix the holes in my jeans…
Then a couple of years ago, I saw a skirt I liked in a shop, it was really just simple cotton, 2 side seams and the hem, and they were selling it for an embarrassing high price. So I decided to try and make my own inexpensive version of it. It came out fine (I didn’t post it though, I might get pictures of it and post it) it’s my favorite summer skirt, and after that I kept on making my experiments without patterns.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
I am now totally crazy with this sewing thing. I do it anytime I get the chance, that means mostly in the evenings, till 3 am. I think I need a bigger house because my wardrobe is experiencing a dramatic increase.
I just started pattern making school where this special and very patient lady teaches us, besides the basics, whatever we want to make, and I wish I could go there every day.
It is so relaxing and it also clears my mind from daily and work troubles. Sewing also makes me feel self sufficient, like growing your own vegetables or traveling with the wind on a sailing boat.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
The thing that I hate the most is marking the pattern on the fabric with the loose stitches, it takes too long, even though I like to see the fabric laying on the table, with loose white thread loops that look like a misterious 3-D hand-writing.
I love the sound of scissors when I cut the fabric, and most of all I really enjoy the fact that I can create something beautiful from a flat piece of fabric, something the way I like it (almost…).

5. If you could make something for anyone, who would it be and what
would you make?

I was thinking lately, with a friend, that I could do one of-a-kind models on which she could hand paint something, and then sell them.
I think I could also enjoy making unique clothes on request, for special occasions.
I would love to be good enough to make whatever I’m asked for, especially for my mother (she is very demanding.) I also enjoy making things for my friend’s newborn babies, so far I’ve been making 3 mini jeans jackets, one mini dress and three mini knitted baby sweaters

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be
improved and what do you really like?

What I really like is the sharing and the feeling of cooperation. I am so much inspired by all the other member’s creation, it pushes me to do better.
I am very grateful for the patterns you provide, and it is great that also the members get to upload and share their own patterns and advice. The how-to section is also very helpful. It’s very encouraging when I receive nice comments on my creations (and also very flattering…)
But you know all these things, it’s the reason why we all are here.
It’s a great community with an enormous potential that must be improved!!! There are a lot of members, I can’t imagine how many creations and interesting discussions are happening. What I really miss is some sort of notification when I get comments on my creations, but especially on other members creations. I wish I could “subscribe to the creation” and have some sort of panel where I can keep track of the discussions or comments I’m participating in or something like that. I easily lose track of where I made a comment or asked something, and unfortunately it gets lost in thosands of creations and discussions.
Besides that, thanks burdastyle team, and thanks to all the members!

7. What is your motto?
I don’t have one, but if I did I guess it would be something like: I can learn anything that anybody else can do, it’s just a matter of time

Learn more about ale.b by visiting her profile. Also check out her creations which include the almost Pollini dress pattern which is available for download. She loves photography and has a great photoblog which should definitely not be missed. For more examples of ale.b’s creative side, check out her graphic design portfolio. Keep up the great work!

Featured Member: JJ

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I was born and grew up in Thailand. I’ve lived in the USA since 1998.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
Like other girls, my first sewing project was doll clothes.
I was lucky to have my mom and her sister teaching me to
sew. They both went to fashion school. My aunt had a tailor shop too
so I get to use some cool tools such as fabric covered button and
belt makers! But all my doll clothes were hand sewn because, I was
not allowed to use the sewing machine.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Sewing was on and off in my life, when I don’t sew, I make soaps!
To get the long story short, I used to sew and make soaps professionally for little while
but now it’s mainly for fun
and to save money. I no longer buy clothes and soaps.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
My favorite thing is sewing of course. My least favorite thing is the finishing
touch details such as making buttonholes, sewing buttons and hemming.

5. If you could make something for anyone, who would it be and what
would you make?

I enjoy making kids clothes too especially for my 4 yr.old son.
Family and friends around me get handmade clothes for gifts even
they didn’t request them.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be
improved and what do you really like?

Burdastyle is an amazing site, I can’t even describe
how much I enjoy using the free downloadable patterns and
see other creations from around the world, so inspired!
For the improvement part, I can’t think of any…it’s very good
as is.

7. What is your motto?
Fine feathers make fine birds. The tailor makes the man.

JJ has done so much on the site! See her many creations and profile here, but also be sure to see the blouse she designed that was chosen in our first design competition, and the Leg-of-mutton Top Pattern she designed and uploaded herself!

Featured Member: Stepanka

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I am from the Czech Republic, currently living in Sydney, Australia.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
1st thing I made was a stuffed caterpillar, sewn by hand, for my mums
birthday and I was 5 years old. First thing I sew on a sewing machine
was a stripy tshirt, when I was 6 years old. I was in trouble for
that, because I was not allowed to use my mums sewing machine, but I
just could not help it. She was in shock when she found me at home,
proudly wearing my new top which she had no idea where it came from.
After that, mum taught me how to use the sewing machine and I started
making outfits for Barbies and selling them to my friends.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Basically, I could not live a day without creating something. I love
my sewing machines and my scissors :)
Besides this simple way of enjoyment, I also design for clients, but I don’t stitch! I get them stitched. But initially I do stitch a sample piece.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
I love everything about it. Sad, but it is true.

5. If you could make something for anyone, who would it be and what
would you make?

I would create a functional wardrobe for Britney Spears (i am not her
fan, but i just can not watch what unflattering pieces she is
wearing).

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be
improved and what do you really like?

I am looking for similar creative souls on your web, I am always so
happy to see that people are enjoying sewing and I love all the
inspiration i get from your members.
I would love if the uploading pattern thingy was less complicated. I
would be more than happy to upload some patterns, but i find it too
time consuming.
I love the whole concept of the website, it is wonderful. Thank you.

See some of Stepanka’s colorful and feminine creations, especially the awesome Beach Cover Up, made from the Desira pattern, by viewing her profile here!

Featured Member: Zahra

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
Hi, I’m from Karachi, the Brain of Pakistan.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
First thing I made was a dress for my Barbie doll! I was around 11-12 yrs old. And I was totally inspired by my friend who had this whole wardrobe of her Barbie! She made everything for her doll. Clothes, bags, cushions and what ever she could sew.
But I lost interest in miniature dressmaking soon. Later for my graduation I took Fashion Design, that’s how I learned sewing properly. People here don’t sew clothing, they get them stitched by tailors. I also did not stitch my own clothes until BURDASTYLE inspired me!

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Sewing is a perfect way for me to spend my day! Its even more fun when one works with group of people/classmates. It has wonderful effect on us. Creating something from an idea, Working on it and then giving it a finish. It’s very refreshing, yet challenging!

Besides this simple way of enjoyment, I also design for clients, but I don’t stitch! I get them stitched. But initially I do stitch a sample piece.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
I hate troubles that my sewing machine creates!!! And I even hate filling out bobbin and threading the machine!! It just breaks the tempo!
Love everything else about sewing!

5. If you could make something for anyone, who would it be and what
would you make?

It could be for anyone, something unique! Depending on the person.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be
improved and what do you really like?

I am looking for more wonderful patterns! Tutorials and what not! There is so much one can learn from this wonderful site.

I think admin should participate in discussions on regular basis! Cause they are the ones we lookup to for perfect answers or solutions. Although, this site has some amazing members who come up with such wonderful creations but there are certain issues that only BurdaStyle can resolve.

Besides this, I also find a need of a tutorial or series of tutorials regarding illustrations, reading technical drawings, making one, what to keep in mind etc. . .
As now members are sharing their patterns and many don’t know how to work on technical drawings or people like me are not very good at them. So it would be really nice to see some tutorials regarding this.

And BurdaStyle can also encourage members to sell their patterns at this site!

7. What is your motto?
Is to enjoy every moment of Life! To cherish what God has given me and to make proper use of it.

Learn more about Zahra by seeing her profile here, and be sure to download the Retro Top pattern!

And, an Editor’s Note: Zahra is right! As admins, we should and would love to spend more time in the forums and commenting on the site, and very much appreciate how much the members communicate with each other on their own. We find ourselves so busy sometimes that getting in the forums does not happen as often as we would like. We will certainly do our best to respond to all of your questions as they come up. If you find your comment is not responded to, you can always send an email to answers@burdastyle.com or send any of us personal messages!

Featured Member: Yoshimi

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I am a molecular biologist who was born in Japan. I am married to a
husband, who is also a molecular biologist. He has been very
supportive to my sewing and taken all photographs of my creations. We
moved to UK 10 years ago with our daugther as we both got jobs as
researchers there and stayed for about 5 years. Since we came back to
Japan, we have been living in Mishima city. I started sewing half a
year later after coming back to Japan, because I could only find
similar clothes in similar colors with only 1 or 2 average sizes in
the shops. I didn’t like those clothes, besides, they didn’t have my
size. Eventually I stopped moaning and decided to make myself what I
want to wear instead.
3 years ago, I went to see a color analyst who tells which colors
would suit you by seeing your colors of eyes, skin, hair, etc.,
thinking knowing what color would suit me might be useful for sewing.
She then condemned me to stop wearing bold colors and black. She also
showed me the colors that suit me perfectly, and I had to admit I was
way too far better in pink and pale blue. The effect of the colors on
my face was too obvious. As I had been such a black wearer, I was
utterly flattened by the verdict. My wardrobe was full of blacks at
that time. But I realized for the first time that I had been wearing
what I thought was cool, not what was making myself look better. I
started to wear soft pale colors experimentally and my life has
changed so much. I’m getting lots of compliments on what I wear (not
on me, that’s the point I have to laugh at), and I’m happy with
myself looking a bit better, now.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
I really liked hand-crafting ever since I was a child. I sewed my
first garment when I was 12 years old. It was a bikini, made of blue
piled cotton (fabric for towels!). I was really lucky because it
didn’t get torn in the crowded pool!

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Because I make myself all clothes but underwear and woolen sweaters,
sewing plays very important role in my life now. It’s the chance of
self-realization, too. I seriously try to think what to sew before
getting started. I use better fabrics as far as my budget permits, so
that I can drive myself into a corner. Otherwise I tend to sew
something with just a curiosity, might get something nice but
wouldn’t work as my wardrobe. I don’t like to abuse the natural
resources in that way (but it happens so easily). Thus I learn the
way of self-control by sewing as well. Did I forget to mention sewing
garments itself makes me relaxed and gives a jolly good time?

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
My least favorite part of sewing is cutting! I’d be so nervous
because it’s the time for no going back. My favorite part is the time
for assembling those 2D into 3D and seeing a dramatic change.

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what
would you make?

I am secretly sewing a tie for my husband for Valentine’s day. It’s a
cute one, with many many little penguins.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be
improved and what do you really like?

I love the fact that BurdaStyle is giving us such a great place where
we can talk about our passion for sewing, as well as providing many
free pattern downloads. I have been inspired so much by others
creations, and always thankful to everybody for sharing their
information. I can even hold back my desire for black clothes by
applauding others creations! Thank you, BurdaStyle!

7. What is your motto?
“I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.” (Socrates)

Learn more about Yoshimi and see the wonderful creations she has made (many in pinks and pale blues!) by visiting her member profile. You should also check out her blog; even if you can’t read Japanese, you might be inspired by some of the beautiful photos!

Featured Member: Ctee

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I live in Sydney, Australia

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
The first thing I made was this horrible cowl neck dress which was probably about two years ago. It was basically two rectangles sewn together. I started sewing when my auntie lent me her sewing machine to me.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Haha, well basically everything I wear I have made, never go shopping anymore, which is good. I have saved so much money.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
My favourite thing about sewing is when you had a design in your head but it turns out even better than what you were expecting. Oh my least favourite thing would be ending up with something I wouldn’t wear and then feel as if it was a waste of perfectly good fabric.

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what
would you make?

My good friend Lane, she’s really into flannels. I started cutting it out but i havent started sewing yet. I have to keep persuading her not to buy a blue flannel.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be
improved and what do you really like?

I really like how everyone here is so nice, and they give you constructive criticism and people take in the criticism without the attitude.

7. What is your motto?
No pain, No gain =)

Learn more about Ctee by visiting her blog, or viewing or her unique creations and member profile!

Featured Member: ClaireLovesToSew

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I grew up with my parents who live just outside London and I came to Plymouth to study,and have been living here by the sea ever since.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
My mum set me up well by teaching me the basics of sewing,and encouraging an interest in craft in general. I used to make dresses for my Sindy doll out of handkerchiefs, but the first thing I ever really sewed for myself was a plaid miniskirt, which I made out of an old granny skirt. I’m not entirely sure my mum knew I was chopping it up while she was in the next room!There seems to be a tradition of crafting on my mums side, my old bedroom is filled with amazing crochet books from the 1910s and suitcases of fabric handed down from grandmas and aunts…

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
An increasing one! Most of the time I was at uni, I didn’thave a machine, and ever since I got my own, I’ve been making up for lost time!I sew practically every weekend, but in my head I’m sewing 24/7. I’m sewingmore and more for myself these days – I feel guilty buying sweatshop clothes on the high street, so I’m fighting back!

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
I am a bit under-skilled/lazy, so I take shortcuts and then I get annoyed when the shortcuts don’t work out. I should start being more strict with myself, in order that I can appreciate better pieces when they are finished.

My favourite thing has to be just the fascination in seeing a flat piece of fabric become 3D and moving and structured. It’s like origami to me.

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what
would you make?

They don’t call them classics for nothing – I’d love to have yards and yards of a beautiful silk or something and create an Oscar-winning dress. Possibly for an actress who happened to be exactly the same size as me,and then suddenly couldn’t go to the Oscars at the last minute so I could wear it! Muhahhahaha…

Closer to home, I’d like to get my ability to a level, where I’m confident enough to make stuff for other people, my friends and family. It’sall a bit experimental at the moment.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be
improved and what do you really like?

I love that Burdastyle aims to teach as well as to share. My learning curve is so steep since I found the wealth of information available tome here, and that Burda-ians seem so happy to help each other. Nowadays I use two machines when sewing – the sewing machine and the laptop! I hope you guys can iron out the kinks soon, just keep being the pioneering site you are and move onwards and upwards!

7. What is your motto?
I guess my friends would say “Every day’s a schoolday”.

Learn more about ClaireLovesToSew, and the super cool creations she makes on her “70’s-tastic sewing machine” by viewing her member profile!

Featured Member: Lilo

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I was born in Romania in a city (Oradea) only 20 km from the Hungarian border; many people who live there are hungarian, my family as well, so my mother tongue is hungarian. I learnt romanian later at the childrengarden and basic school.
I moved to Sweden when I was 20 years old, so my passport and my university degree are swedish. Much later, when the idiot at Scania told me I didn’t have the right education when solicitating for a job as engineer in scientific computing (I am a MSc in guess what? Scientific Computing!!) I gave up on both trying to find a job in Sweden and my precious education.
I took a job in the pharmaceutical industry as modeling & simulation scientist (pharmacokinetics) in Germany in 2004. It didn’t klick though with my (actually dutch!) boss, so I started working and living in the Netherlands, Nijmegen in 2005 and do that ever since.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
My first clothes were made for my three ‘daughters’ (i.e. dolls, they were Barbie-like) when I was something like 8 years old. So I was making up stories about what happened with my daughters, telling them to my grandma (who gave me the dolls) and making clothes for them. At the age of 10 I thought well, if I can make clothes for my girls than I could try to make something for myself? I saw grandma’s sister sewing simple things on her pre-war machine with a foot pedal, so … So I went to the shop and bought myself a piece of nice pink linnen. I measured myself. I made a pattern of a blouse with raglan sleeves. I cut the fabric and sewed it by hand. Of course I never heard of moving ease at that time, so the blouse turned out to be too small. So I figured out adding a diamond-shaped extra piece under the arm at the armhole would make it wearable. I proudly wore the thing a couple of times! I never heard either of finishing the seams, so it decomposed before I grew out of it. I didn’t sew anything more in twelve years. I started again when I met a friend who was sewing and got my ‘old thing’ (=my first machine, a Singer Melody in 1990) from my parents-in-law.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
It’s my absolute favourite hobby and I am getting more and more ‘serious’ about it in the sense of wanting to improve my skills up to the professional level. I started taking a basic course in pattern making and sewing techniques; I really enjoy the new skills I got with the course (although I’m not very happy with the teacher, I quitted her and will start with somebody else soon) and I just want more, more!
I spend most of my spare time in my sewing corner, I can spend a lot of time in getting details right like moving a seam 1 mm if I think it would improve the fit. Ironically, the better I get with my technical skills the more obsessive I turn with my garments.
I also decided for a half year ago to sew all my clothes (well, as many as possible). I only bought a … goose-feather(? don’t know the proper English) jacket on sale since then.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
I love to stand in front of a beautiful fabric and figure out what I would like to make from it, find a fitting pattern/design. I also like to draw and cut out the pattern when it’s my own design (but copying something out of BWoF is just a boooring necessity). I LOVE to put the scissors in the fabric, this is IT, no turning back and changing my mind from this moment on, a particular piece of clothing is being born here and now! Sewing the pieces toghether is ok, but I already start getting impatient to see it ready. After the first fitting I kinda loose interest, I already know how the end result is supposed to look like, it’s ready in my head; the very end – correcting the fit, putting in lining, buttons is a pain in the …, I really have to disciplin myself to get anything ready. That’s why I need to have more projects ongoing in parallell, between 3 and 6 is usually ideal (when I have more nothing will get ready within a reasonable time).

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what
would you make?

I am already making some things for my family (husband and daughter), but only from ready patterns so far; I would like to make personalized block patterns that fits them and make my own designs according to their ideas, i would like to be able to make EXACTLY what they want.
I am dreaming of doing it even on a larger scale, I would like to be the tailor of the village if I would live for a couple of hundred years ago, make tailored clothes for more people, many people with different shapes and sizes and … Are time travels really impossible?
After retirement I would like to have a small tailor shop (but let’s get realistic, in these days nobody wants to pay for handcraft; also with each generation the tolerance for badly fitting clothing increases as long as it’s the latest hot fashion). Earth calling, earth calling! … Ok, landed.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be
improved and what do you really like?

Inspiration, fresh ideas. Food for my ego. I’m not in for the free patterns really (I subscribe to both BWoF and Knipmode and started making my own patterns lately), but they are a nice extra, a complement.

The bug problems are ennoying and I’m not so much for the advetisements either, although I understand the need of keeping the site going.
I like very much the idea of sharing, I think it’s great that we start having other members than the Burdastyle team sharing their patterns (Lauriana, Mlssfshn, looking forward for JJ’s).

7. What is your motto?
Be yourself, there are enough others.

An extra – my friend Claes’ (this is so fun, I have an akward sense of humor)
Cheer up, the worst is yet to come!

Learn more about Lilo and see the many creations she’s made for herself, her daughter, and even her husband by viewing her member profile!

Featured Member: Lauriana

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I live in the Netherlands, in the city of the Hague (Den Haag in Dutch)

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
The real first thing must have been some kind of ‘garment’ for a doll, Barbie or stuffed animal toy, but I don’t know what anymore. However, I vividly remember the first items of clothing I made. Those were trousers with a side zipper and an long tunic style blouse I made when I was 14 years old. My mum used to sew a lot back then, so she could give me instructions about the zipper etc. Still, it wasn’t a very succesful project: the shirt fabric was to stiff so it looked awful and the zipper in the trousers would alway bite the flesh of my hip.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Quite a big role, at the moment. For the past two years, I’ve been making a lot of my own clothes and after joining a once a week sewing and pattern making course last winter, I’ve become even more obsessed. I used to make clothes from Burda and Knipmode patterns, often altering them to my liking but the lessons I took allowed me to follow my own ideas and have all my patterns perfectly sized for me. I now make all my own clothes and some for my boyfriend and family if they want. I’d love to get better and faster still, so I could do this professionally

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
My favorite things are designing things and the sewing itself, seeing a garment take shape. I used to hate things like hemming, but after learning how to iron hems and seams in shape, use bias fold tape and sew things like that by hand, I actually find myself enjoying finishing my creations. My least favorite things are (sometimes) cutting fabric and definitely putting in snaps and grommets with a hammer. Oh, and because of a problem with my sewing machine, sewing stretchy knits is really tricky for me, and I would like to use those a bit more and make lingerie.

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what
would you make?

I would love to offer made to measure clothes and pattern to people with all kinds of shapes and sizes. I love tailored clothes and I think they should be available to everyone but I know how difficult that can be if you’re nowhere near ‘standard sizing’

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be
improved and what do you really like?

I love Burdastyle as an endless source of inspiration. There are so many original creations and how to’s posted all the time! I also enjoy the patterns, even if it’s often just to learn more about
pattern construction. Where that’s concerned: I think it’s great we can all have a say about what patterns we want on the site.

What I think could be improved (other than those bugs we all know and hate) is the rate at which things are posted about contests, design calls and things like that. I absolutely love the fact that there are design calls but we are still waiting for the sweater dress and JJ’s shirt to be posted as patterns. I understand those things take time, but I would like some updates while we’re waiting.

7. What is your motto?
Now that I have to think of it? Well, what about: ‘Failure is always an option, but success doesn’t hurt’ ;)

Editor’s Note: We understand that it must seem like ages have passed since the competition entries make it to the site. We will try to keep you updated through the whole long process for future submissions, and are very happy to announce that both the submissions from the first contest, Malissa’s Sweatshirt dress and JJ’s ruffle blouse, will both be posted in the next two weeks! The reason there is such a delay in posting the patterns after the contest is due to all the steps in our production process, which takes almost 3 to 4 months, after you consider the draping, pattern making, grading, digitalizing, sample sewing, photo shoot location choosing, model fittings, photo editing, and phewww, I’m exhausted already just listing it. . .
But thanks for the advice Lauriana! We will try to keep everyone more informed along the way! Learn more about Lauriana and see some of her awesome creations by viewing her member profile!

Featured Member: fashion1

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?

I´m born, grew up and still live in Dresden (Germany). I love this city! I made my job training as an occupational therapist here and worked for three years in this job. now I´m waiting for a retraining in the next year because I can´t work any longer in this profession (I must not carry heavy things…) I hope my hobby becomes a profession :)!!!

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?

I grew up int the GDR (east germany). nice clothes were scarce and expensive. so my mother sewed for our family (for her, my dad, for my sister and me). my sister, too, began sewing clothes for her dolls and later for herself. and then I also began sewing. I think the first thing I made is a quilt and a pillow for my doll. then from old shirts skirts together with my sister ;). In my youth i had first tried working with patterns and real fabrics, but I did not actually wear many of them, because the result wasn´t so good ;P! I gave up on that for a while. And when I began to work I did not have much time for it.
But now…in January 2007 i tried again and was very happy that it was a success! And I can´t stop, like you seeing here on this side!!!

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

At the moment it plays a very big role! I have much time for it and use it for sew a lot. I want to improve my skills to prepare me to be trained at a fashion school, hopefully.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?

I love to see how a project goes to the end, see it finished. Wearing it and getting compliments for it ( Who wouldn’t like that ;P). What I really don´t like is to copy patterns and cut the fabric pieces out. For me it´s very annoying. Also when something doesn´t work in the way I want it to work.

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what would you make?

I like to sew clothes for my friends and family. It´s very nice to see them smiling and happy about the things I´ve done for them. What I would to sew are historical and film costumes. When I saw those costumes that made by mellu and paranoire I wish I could make this, too!
I also have some plans for my future which have a lot to do with sewing and pattern making for other people…

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?

I really like to get much inspiration from other members’ creations. Also the free pattern downloads and how to´s! It´s great to have a forum for these things and to communicate with other members. And get feedback on my creations is a very good thing!
What should be improved are the things that don´t work on this side (the problems are listed in the forum). I know that´s not so easy as we thought but with the time it´s very frustrating. Hope you get a handle on this, because I love burdastyle :) and it would be nice to use it without any trouble!

7. What is your motto?

I did not use to have a motto, … but now: Never give up!

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