Featured Member: Lifje

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

I’m from Denmark and right now I live in Copenhagen. But I’ve lived all my life with my parents in a farm in the middle of nowhere.

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

The first thing I made…that’s a looong time ago. I think it must have been some knitted christmas present for my parents. I spent most of my childhood in my grandma’s house where she tought me how to sew, knit and all that kind of stuff. In the Danish school you have lessons of sewing when you are about 10 years old. So that’s when I learned how to sew on a sewing machine…though one day I sewed into my finger and that scared me from touching a sewing machine for some years :P

What role does sewing play in your life?

I love making things…I love to draw, to sew, to knit, to play the piano, to make bracelets…almost anything that I can make with my hands.

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

My favorite thing is to see my ideas take shape…at the same time that’s what I hate the most. . . when I have these great ideas in my head of what I want do and then it just doesn’t work.

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

Don’t really know. . . I love to make things for people. It makes me really happy! It also makes me feel good when people ask me to make this and that for them. . .a lways nice when people like your work.

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

I look at other peoples creations, at the patterns and at the how tos. I like to get inspired and get feedback on my things. I never use patterns but it would be fun to try some day.

What is your motto?

No motto…and I don’t want to make one up just to have one :P hehe!

If you want to learn more about Lifje, check out her awesome member profile

Featured Member: Elainemay

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

I’m originally from New York, but have moved around quite a bit and currently live in Aachen, Germany. I can walk to Belgium and the Netherlands in half an hour from my apartment!

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

I started sewing dresses for my Licca doll at the age of about 6
(sound familiar?). My mother dressed me in the ugly hand-me-downs of a very frumpy family friend and the other kids made fun of my clothes :) I lived vicariously through my dolls by constantly making ball gowns for them. Since then I’ve mostly sewn craft projects and occasionally clothing that almost always looked homemade and didn’t fit well because I’m so short and skinny. I only started sewing clothing “for real” a few months ago, when I met my friend Johanna who makes beautiful, stylish clothing for herself. She showed me her clothes and introduced me to Burda Modemagazin (aka. Burda WoF), and I decided it was time to learn to sew using proper techniques and methods.

What role does sewing play in your life?

To be perfectly honest, in addition to being a fun and addictive
hobby, sewing pads my ego and my vanity. Regardless of whether I’m sewing for myself or others, when something turns out well, it makes me feel like I am AWESOME (I hope everyone feels that way when they make something nice.) And it allows me to treat myself to luxurious, well-fitting clothing while feeling productive rather than guilty- you don’t get that from shopping for velvet coats at the mall :)

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

I like most aspects of sewing, but I especially appreciate the stage in sewing a garment when it starts to bear a real resemblance to the thing I designed in my imagination. That first glimpse of the object I’d previously seen only in my head is very satisfying. My least favorite thing is laying out the pattern pieces and cutting the fabric. I don’t know why it annoys me so much. Maybe I’d like it better if I had a rotary cutter. Or someone to do the cutting for me :)

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

I love seeing my family and friends wearing things that I’ve made for them, but if we’re talking about fantasy, I’d want to make ornate tutus for the New York City Ballet in the luxurious and uncompromising style of the legendary costume designer Karinska.

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

I troll the creations for inspiration – I get so many ideas for things I want to make by seeing the fantastical designs from ParaNoire, the elegant, wearable pieces from Jj and Lilo, the playful and trendy designs from Myk, and so many other talented and creative hobbyists. I always see a detail or a line or a color in people’s creations that I want to steal to use in my own sewing, and that I would never have thought of myself. I know you can’t judge people by the way they dress, but I also feel like I get to know and appreciate the other community members in a way by seeing the products of their imagination and what they have to say about them, so that is a nice unexpected bonus. And although I have not yet had the chance to make a BurdaStyle pattern, I also love the philosophy of BurdaStyle; what a resource to have such stylish and wearable patterns available to anyone- I download all the instruction PDFs and imagine how I’d make them if only I had more time! What should be improved? I don’t know… you could all drop by my profile page and post a hello—I think I’d like that :)

What is your motto?

My sewing philosophy is that if I’m going to expend the time, effort and resources to make something, it should either be something spectacular and uncompromising, or a huge blazing failure (preferably the former, as the latter is expensive and wasteful). I know I should make practical, pretty things, but I never have an urge to sew a cute cotton tank top as a quick afternoon project even though I’m sure I’d use it a lot!

If you want to learn more about Elainemay, check out her beautiful member profile

Featured Member: Myk

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

I’m from the Philippines. I live in Manila but I come from a small city called Baguio – the only area in our tropical country that reaches around 8˚C.

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

My mother got tired of me pestering her while she was sewing, tinkering with her stuff, asking her the where, what and why of all parts in the machine – that as soon as my legs were able to reach the pedal on our old singer machine I was taught how to sew. I started out with doll clothes and simple stuff for my “play” kitchen like place mats and small curtains. The first thing I made for myself was a tote bag for school. I advanced to alterations of hand-me-down clothes. I stopped sewing since I’ve been busy with work, but after a decade of office tasks, I got tired and decided to take a break. A month ago, I started a basic certification course in pattern and dressmaking.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Right now, it’s what’s keeping me busy. I’m an insomniac and this is what I do to make me sleep :) . It’s turning into an obsession! I plan to take up fashion design. It’s nerve wrecking to think that at this point in my life, I’m switching careers…but what the heck – 30 is the new 20 :) .

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

I don’t like ripping/decontructing seams. This is the one thing I hate but can’t do away with. I wish there’s a way I could just zap the stitches off. I also don’t like layouting the patterns on cloth because I get bored with endless pinning especially with very soft fabrics.

I love making, altering and merging patterns…and shopping for fabrics – I spend hours and hours mesmerized in rolls and rolls of textiles!!! I really don’t like to iron clothes but right now, it’s becoming a habit.

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

I would really want to make the perfect denims for me and people like me who have irregular waist to hips ratio (small waist big hips!) :) .

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

BurdaStyle is my caffeine website! It has been a part of my daily routine. Thank you editor for coming up with this baby!! I look forward to the following week when the new patterns are uploaded. I hope we could search for creations via category – like all dresses, tops, etc. Also if we could search for people within our area so we could get acquainted and meet :) .

If you want to find out more about Myk, check out her member profile. See shares her skills in a How To where you learn how to merge the Tara top with the dolman pattern. Check this out here.

Featured Member: ParaNoire

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

I’m from Germany. I live in a small village near Erfurt (in the middle of Germany).

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

I’ve always been very creative, I started drawing and painting as soon as I was able to grab a pencil:) Although I soon started making ‘dresses’ for my dolls from handkerchiefs, paper and wire, it took me quite long to get into the ‘real thing’, because the time between 10 and 16 I was very obsessed with drawing. The first thing that I can remember having sewn is a corset. This was only 2 or 3 years ago, when i was 17. Um, yes. I always tend to start with the most difficult things, I like to challenge myself. But then it takes me AGES to ever sew anything basic. I finished my first pants (after a few cut-but-not-sewn experiences) a week ago, and I’m still scared of making t-shirts and tops from knit fabrics:P

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Making clothes became a very important part of my life over the past years. I also thought about studying Fashion Design but I concluded that keeping it as a hobby for the time being will be better for me and keep me creative, since there’s no pressure to succeed.

Right now I’m trying to sell some of my stuff via my Dawanda shop to finance my studies.

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

What I don’t like is gathering ruffles, sewing flimsy/stretchy fabrics, setting in sleeves. And when my sewing machine doesn’t do what i want her to.

I LOVE pattern making and altering (so burdastyle.com brought sunshine to my life:D) (Editor’s note: THANK YOU!) and LOVE top stitching. Really. Stitching parallel lines is so relaxing. Serging. Ironing. Cutting. Having finished everything and taking pictures afterwards is also great ;)

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

I’d really like to have the opportunity to make an elaborate costume for somebody (like Cosplay, Reenactment or a movie/play). I love being challenged!

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 that there IS such a site like BurdaStyle! I’m looking forward to new patterns and the new site version!
It would be cool if I was notified via eMail if somebody leaves a comment on my creations or if i was sent a message here ;) (Editor’s note: On the new site, you will! Via Email or RSS, you can choose!)

If you want to find out more about ParaNoire, check out her member profile, she blogs here and sells her items here.

Featured Member: Katrena

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

I was born and raised in Oakland, CA. I currently live in Richmond, CA with my grandmother, daughter and 2 female Yorkies.

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

I am not sure but I think it was a pair of YELLOW PANTS (hated them) that did not turn out so well when I was about 15 yrs old. My mother suggested that I sew so I could get more money for shoes for school.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

It plays a valuable role for me because it relaxes me, allows me to be creative, people admire what I sew, and I make money at it. I can make gifts for people that no one else will have. I like being original. Also, it allows for me and my 16 yrs old daughter some bonding time.

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

My favorite thing I like about sewing is FABRIC. There are endless textures, colors, and prints. Also, I rather sew than do my homework (I am currently a Grad student at University of Phoenix). I like making clothes before I go to church or work (when I have a job). I like knowing if I need something to wear I can make it in a matter of hours.

My least favorite things about sewing are needles breaking during a project, using the seam ripper when I did something backwards, my machine does not have a sound for when the bobbin is empty, cutting out patterns, and finding that the garment does not fit on my Duct Tape Dress Form (I really need assistance with making one that is correct. My daughter and I have done it twice).

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

I would make God a pillow to rest His head on. Because He has blessed me and countless others with the talent of sewing that allows us to be creative.

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

When I come to burdastyle I am looking for patterns, ideas, and what is new. I think you should improve the emails that go to our personal address. I received an email from Burda that was in another language. I could not read the email. Editor’s note: Oh no! We always send out mails in English – Please tell us if this happens write to answers@burdastyle.com

I really like that you offer Free Patterns and optional patterns to buy. Also, I like that Burda exist.

If you want to find out more about Katrena, check out her member profile!

And: We want to make our blog entries the most relevant to you. Please tell us in the forum what questions you would pose! What are you interested to know from other users?

Featured Member: MarmotaB

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

I’m from the Czech Republic, which is a very nice small country in the Central Europe and has almost everything, with some little exceptions like sea, big mountains or deserts. :-) I live in Cesky Brod, a small town near Prague.

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

That’s something I know very well, because it became part of our family folklore. We used to have a big doll. One day (I could have been 3, 4 years old) I took a piece of fabric, made a thick burl of stitches in the middle of it, that made it shrunk a bit; surprisingly it stayed on the doll’s chest when I placed it there, so I claimed it to be a top.
I guess the next things I made were, not very surprisingly, clothes for our fashion dolls. I also experimented with some plushies, though the first ones really weren’t that nice… The very first thing I’ve sewn on sewing machine, of course with big help from my mom, was the medieval dress I posted on this site.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Being sort of an intellectual person, sewing is a great way to relax and do something manual for me. I also love seeing how a piece of fabric – especially when it’s something recycled – turns into something nice and wearable or into something I can give to someone, like a plushie. And, of course, it’s also a way to turn my everlasting dreams into reality – at least part of them.
I’m still a novice at machine sewing and I prefer sewing by hand, when it’s not a big thing, because when I sew by hand, at least I always really know what I’m doing. And it’s something I can do every now and then and stop and start when I need, unlike sewing on machine. Actually, I’m sewing a headband right now, in breaks during typing this…

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

Will you be surprised if I tell you I really like ripping off the seams? I like re-using things and this part of the process is what gives me nice, re-usable pieces of fabric. Of course, it’s worse when I have to rip off because I did something wrong, but still it’s not my least favourite thing to do.
However, my real favourite thing to do is finding matching pattern and fabric, finding a pattern that suits my idea and fabric that works well with it; or finding a pattern for one fabric from those piles of fabrics we have at home. And then the sewing itself, of course.
My least favourite thing about sewing are those moments when the sewing machine refuses to work as I expect it to work, and I have to stop sewing and find out what’s the matter. Sometimes I get mad about the machine and finish it by hand…

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

Right now it’s more of what I already promised to make and haven’t made yet… but, well, if I ever find time and material for it, I would love to weave ponchos for some nice people from Sergio Leone Web Board, where I’m also a member.

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

I’m lookig here for inspiration, on the first place. Inspiration and tips. So this already works really well here. I like the <a href+"http://www.burdastyle.com/howto/search_by_category&quot;&gt;How Tos and Sewpedia, and love the idea of Open Source patterns, though I haven’t used any of them yet. I guess I’ll have a bit of problems with the seam allowances when I finally try your patterns – I’m used to the European style when one has to add them and can add them as wide as needed. I miss the possibility to see what pattern was used for what creation and to get notification about responses to my posts – but if I get it right, it’s coming in July, so it seems it will be perfect for me.

If you want to find out more about MarmotaB, check out her member profile!

And: We want to make our blog entries the most relevant to you. Please tell us in the forum what questions you would pose! What are you interested to know from other users?

Featured Member: Nicole

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

I have lived in a small Maryland town my entire life.

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

I started sewing when I was around six and my grandmother bought me a Barbie sewing machine which, of course, broke after a week or so. Through the years I took up cross-stitch and knitting and eventually lost interest in them both before to long. I guess my real interest in sewing began when I was in the fourth grade and began to draw clothing. This is a habit I’ve kept up and now I have two binders full of designs. I never really sewed anything until I took a clothing class in my high school last year. In there I learned to sew and made my first thing, a pillow with the picture of my cat that recently died which I gave to my mom.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Before taking my clothing class sewing did not play a real pivotal role in my life, however, since I took that class I’ve bought my own sewing machine and begun sewing for fun at home. I’ve also found it interesting that once you know how to sew you develop understanding of what goes into making the clothing that’s sold in retail stores.

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

My least favorite thing? That’s easy; I have no patience at all for pinning, measuring, or cutting. When I get a new project I like to jump in and I always want to start sewing and putting it together immediately so having to pin and cut and all that is just annoying. I would have to say my favorite thing is putting the fabric together, especially if I’m not using a pattern, and having to think in 3D terms to figure out how the pieces need to be sewed together.

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

If I could make something for anyone I think I would have to say that I would make a quilt for my great-grandmother who is the reason why both my grandmother and mother began to sew.

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

I found this site when looking for some free patterns and what you offer here surpassed my expectation. The patterns are both modern and wearable and the other features of this site are wonderful resources and inspirations for projects. My only suggestion for improving the site would be to expand the forum into more specified areas.

If you want to find out more about Nicole, check out her member profile

Featured Member: Mal

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

I’m from Massachusetts and live in Worcester which is a city located about 40 miles from Boston.

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

I’m pretty sure the first thing I made was a mess…which seems to be my signature creation! Then in 7th grade Home Ec. class I managed to clumsily hand-sew a pillow. Since then I’ve picked up other crafts like crocheting, knitting and cross-stitch but just recently learned how to use a sewing machine about 6 months ago. The first thing I made using a sewing machine was a graphic black and white A-line skirt which is posted under my creations.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Sewing is becoming one of my most favorite things to do. I’ve always considered myself to be a creative person and wish I had started sewing earlier. Now I have a full-time job in marketing and design websites and other marketing pieces in my spare time. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for sewing…I may be doomed to be a novice forever!!

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

I think my favorite thing about sewing has to be…well, sewing! It’s a great feeling to have everything situated – all of the cutting done, pressed, pinned and ready to go. When I can finally sit down in front of my machine and press that foot pedal is when I’m at my happiest.

It may be obvious what my least favorite part about sewing is. That’s right…all of the prep work. Being pretty new to sewing I’m always nervous when cutting out a pattern for fear of making a huge, irreversible mistake to some beautiful fabric that I probably DIDN’T get on sale. And all of those pins…Ouch! I’m surprised I have any feeling left in my fingertips!

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

I would love to make an apron for my best friend, Brenda. A really unique and sort of sarcastic apron to match her personality. She’s become quite the domestic diva but not your typical one…she has an edge to her and she’s hilarious. I think one of those super flirty 1950’s patterns made with some really funky fabric would be perfect for her. Maybe the fabric could have skulls on it or some appliques that look like tattoos. I’ll be sure to post it if I ever get to it.

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

It would be great if there was a list that lets you see all of the member profiles. Not only am I curious to see how many members there are but it would be cool to see where everyone is from. It could be a great way for members to meet up if they live in the same area.

I actually found Burdastyle.com in Bust Magazine and as soon I read what it was all about I knew I would be hooked. I love all of the inspiration, the How Tos and especially the user comments under my posted creations. It’s a nice way of knowing that although I’m new at this, people other than me (and my mom) like my stuff. It’s encouraging and motivates me to want to create more!

If you want to find out more about Mal, check out her member profile and her website See Spot Design.

Featured Member: fialottajansson

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

I was born in Kronoby and am now living in Vasa, Finland, in a little house with my husband.

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

My mother had a good sewing machine and I always wanted to sew something when I was younger. I think I made Barbie clothes as one of the first things I sewed. I made t-shirts for myself and tried to make pants out of my own pattern, but that did not work out. That was the last thing I sewed for years. I’m unfortunately very unpatient and if it doesn’t go my way I give up. Nowadays I’m working on my patience when it comes to sewing.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Right now it plays a very big role. I am on leave of absence for a year from my work as a youth leader (to be able to be a singer and a songwriter full time) and I have more time to create and sew now than before. I have found new inspiration to make my own clothes, a big reason is my pledge to wardrobe refashion that forbids me to buy anything newly manufactured. I have also been collecting and buying fabrics over the years as I love thrifting and I feel driven to sew something out of them. Planning and sewing is a source of creativity and great handicraft and I live for that creativity, I also knit and crochet even more than sewing.

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

I am still as stubbarn as before and do not want to follow ready made patterns but make up my own designs. As I am not that skilled in drawing patterns and sewing it takes me a whole lot longer to sew something cause I have to rip up and start over several times. But I love the learning process and figuring out how it has to be done to work, I guess that is the difference from when I was younger. But I am taking more and more help from ready made patterns.

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

I made a big bunny in patch work for my best friends newborn baby, so soft animals are a favourite and to make something for children. Right now I am making a top in my own design for a friend of mine. She liked the one I made for myself and wanted one for herself.

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 the designs, because that is what I miss the most, trendy and original and different. I have found those designs here. I also love browsing the site for other peoples creations. I get a lot of inspiration here!

If you want to find out more about fialottajansson, check out her member profile and her
blog

Featured Member: Anda

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

The first thing I ever made were drawings, but the very first thing I ever sewed was this astoundingly monstrous jersey knit outfit for a Girl Scout badge. Ohh, I wish I still had that thing. It was amazing. Amazingly terrible. The fabric was unbelievably ugly—-I think it has a pineapple print—-and about five seconds into the pattern I freaked out from the difficulty of it all and demanded that my mom finish the entire project for me. I was 10 years old and I actually have never used a store-bought pattern since then. Sometimes I try, but I always end up panicking and just drawing my own patterns.

2. What role does sewing play in your life?

I taught myself to sew so I could avoid getting a normal job and instead just sit around all day at home making stuff to sell on Etsy.com. Then after a year of that I accidentally got an abnormal job working for Etsy, and now I teach other people how to cheat at their intimidating sewing projects. I love cheating.

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

I hate screwing up and having to undo everything via the seam ripper. This happens alot, as I hardly ever measure, iron, pin or do much planning at all. So actually, my least favorite thing is probably doing most anything you’re supposed to do to avoid sewing disasters. I really enjoy connecting things to one another.

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

I want to make my fiance dinner. He’s been away at school for two months now and I miss him.

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

I became immediately addicted to BurdaStyle the moment I started poking around and playing. I really like being able to upload How Tos and link them to related creations. Alot of the stuff I find most exciting I haven’t even tried yet, like adding video. I think the site has so much potential and its only going to get better and better as more people use it.

Anda is our office neighbor, we love her energy, never ending creativity and all the diamonds she makes that bring sparkle in our lives! She is working in the EtsyLabs and is still a seller at Etsy, check out her shop stopsandstarts. To find out more about Anda check out her member profile, her website and this Wikipedia link. And guess what: Anda is getting married to Pete and she will sew her own wedding dress and share her endeavor step by step on the site! So stay tuned for Anda’s make of the wedding dress!

Featured Member: Stacysews

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

If you talk to my mother, she would mention that when I was little, I used to ‘design’ Barbie clothes. Apparently, I spent a great deal of time drawing elaborate gowns for her and at times trying to sew them up (by hand). I didn’t use a sewing machine until an 8th grade home economics class where we were told to follow a pattern to sew up a sweatshirt. Unfortunately, that garment didn’t turn out quite as expected! I didn’t try using a sewing machine again until 8 or 9 years ago (I made a pajama set for my daughter and had much better results) – and I haven’t stopped sewing since!

2. What role does sewing play in your life?

Sewing is my way to relax, unwind, and express my creative side. I like sewing things for myself, family, and friends – trendy garments, bags, even an occasional quilt…just about anything that requires fabric and thread! If I’m not sewing on my machines, I try to find some time each day to either trace or cut a pattern, read sewing blogs\websites and magazines, cut fabric, or shop for fabric to add to my stash. Did I mention that I’m a self proclaimed fabric junkie?

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

While I don’t mind making modifications in my patterns or even tweeking the fit of a garment during it’s construction, I really don’t like having to make alterations to finished clothing (like ready to wear). I don’t even like having to re-sew on a button if it’s fallen off!

I really like the whole process of taking a piece of fabric and turning it into something new and beautiful. And like everyone else, I can’t wait to get to the point where I can try the garment on and see what it’s going to look like once it’s finished! It’s also very rewarding to be able to wear your new outfit out (or show off a new bag) and be able to tell people that you made it yourself.

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

One of my favorite things to make are costumes. They lend themselves to endless design and embellishment possibilities, not to mention the fact that you can wear absolutely anything and no one will think a thing of it! For quite some time I’ve wanted to make a gown from the Renaissance period – I believe this would be a perfect way to play with lots of fabrics, trims, embroidery designs, and other adornments that will really bring the garment to life. I would also like to try my hand at making an art quilt – I think it’s amazing that you can take scraps of cloth and turn them into fabric portraits, fantastic abstract designs, or landscapes that can hang on a wall!

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

I love the idea that Burda Style is an all inclusive community – you can talk to talented people who share the same passion as you (fashion and sewing), if you don’t know a sewing term you can look it up on the site, you can see other member’s creations, and you can even learn new tips and tricks in the how to section! My favorite part about the site has to be the patterns, though. Not only are they trendy and stylish, but are always available in the comfort of your own home (perfect for those late night sewing inspirations)!

I’m very excited about some of the upcoming changes as Burda Style moves from beta testing to their official launch! What I am most looking forward to getting notification of comments posted to my finished garments, how to’s, and forum threads. I think it will be a perfect way to keep on top of the site!

Stacysews also just created a podcast about BurdaStyle, which you can check out here
If you want to find out more about Stacysews, check her member profile, her website and her
Etsy store!

Featured Member: Mirela

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

As a child, I started sewing using a little toy sewing machine, making pretty dresses for my dolls. I remember as if it was yesterday although it happened about 17 years ago: I was watching my mother sewing a pink outfit for my birthday party and I loved that outfit! It was the first time I showed interest in sewing. Not long after, I started sewing myself and made a circle skirt for my Barbie doll out of leftover pink fabric. The first real clothing item I made for myself was a classic plaid shirt. All along the way, I had benefited from assistance and help from my mother, to whom I cannot give enough thanks for instilling in me her passion for sewing.

What role does sewing play in your life?

I try to keep sewing from taking over my life. Although sewing is my hobby, it requires a lot of time and passion and I try to fit it into my schedule without ignoring my family, friends, or other domestic activities. Sometimes I feel like something is missing if my drawers do not overflow with fabrics. Sewing is a time when I can be myself, with my own imagination trying to shape it into reality and Burda has played a major role in making this possible.

What is your least favorite and what is your most favorite thing about sewing?

I enjoy sewing something from start to end but I dislike making alterations to existing clothes. I’m very patient when I sew, but when it comes to using the seam ripper too often, I can get a little bit frustrated.

After filling a shopping cart with fabrics, my favorite part is seeing them take shape. I like that first fitting session, where I can finally see how the outfit will look like. If it looks good and I get positive feedback from everyone, especially my husband that is the most rewarding experience. It is amazing how Burda patterns speed things up so that I can start sewing in the morning and have a beautiful and unique dress ready for the evening out.

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

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamt about sewing my own wedding dress and that dream came true. Now, I would love the chance to sew wedding dresses again for my girlfriends when they get married. Even with classic designs, wedding gowns allow so much room for creativity plus they get to be worn at one of the most special events in one’s life. As far as future projects, I’d like to make fun toys and blankets for my nephew Ryan, but also try something different like sewing kite surfing equipment. Right now, I’m working on high waistline dresses in collaboration with a friend who hand crochets the bustier part.

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 about open source patterns. I really appreciate the fashion collections and patterns available as a free download. I look for inspiration and ideas on BurdaStyle, and the members are very talented persons from which I have a lot to learn. I also enjoy the tips posted in the How Tos database would love to see more instructional videos added.
As an improvement to the site, I would like to see notifications to help stay in touch with what’s going on in the BurdaStyle community. I’m also looking forward to seeing how BurdaStyle will integrate with Etsy stores.

Mirela is anxious to find out more about other users and said that our last featured user Squirrellypoo almost took the words out of her mouth. If you want to find out more about Mirela (who also shares many How Tos), check her member profile, her website Cutting Edge herphoto gallery of things she’s made and her Etsy store Everywear!

Featured Member: Squirrellypoo

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We would like to introduce to you a new blog category: Featured Member! Many members of the site have been very active and supportive, and we think they should be in the spotlight. We prepared a set of questions that will be posed to the respective user.

Today we are featuring Melissa Fehr, known to the sewing community as Squirrellypoo.

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

Like most people, my first sewing experience was in Home Ec class at school. As part of the curriculum we did a “sewing machine driver’s test” where we had to trace progressively curvier lines on an unthreaded machine and got points deducted for any needle punctures not on theline! My mother always had an ancient 70s green Kenmore sewing machine while I was growing up but I didn’t really get interested in sewing until I moved abroad and my sister-in-law gave me her old machine when she upgraded. So even though I made the odd (very poorly made and often misguided) item on my mother’s machine when I was younger, I count as my first item a kelly green A-line skirt with a white satin ribbon trim since it was the first thing I made myself on my own machine. I wore it every summer right up until last year, when I lost to much weight for it to stay on my hips!

What role does sewing play in your life?

Sewing is my main hobby, and my #1 way to relax in the evenings. I used to be very artistic when I was younger, but lost the knack for drawing when I was at university and too busy to practice much, so sewing is also my main creative outlet. Where others might sit in front of the tv or surf the internet in the evenings, I’m usually in my sewing room,
sewing a seam or two or pressing a few pieces or tracing out the patterns for my next project. I’ve always got at least one project on the go, and I’m always thinking about three projects in advance, so by the time I actually get to sewing something up, I’ve already been thinking about it and planning it in my head for a few weeks!

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

My absolute favourite part is the first time I get to try on the garment I’m making, even though it means getting stuck with pins, as I can actually see how it’s going to work on my body as the finished product. I love my dressmaker’s dummy, but there’s just something about seeing it on yourself for the first time that makes it that much closer to reality.

My least favourite part is any hand-sewn hem! I’m far too impatient to sew at a handstitched pace and the hem is usually the last part of a garment. By that point, the hem just seems like an afterthought that needs doing in order to officially move it into my wardrobe!

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

Last year I actually fulfilled two long-term sewing dreams – I made a full Santa costume for my father, who looks so much like Santa Claus anyway (big belly, white beard, belly laugh, and big red nose!) that on Christmas Eve he fooled my young nice and nephew for about twenty minutes in the costume! My other accomplishment was making the dress of her dreams for a very good friend’s 30th birthday. She chose a pattern and the fabric and was involved at every step and looked absolutely stunning at her big party. She’d done so much for me over the years that it was really fulfilling to do something so nice for her.

So right now I’m still so thrilled with both of those that I haven’t got any huge aspirations beyond my smaller upcoming plans for myself!

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

I really love the whole concept of BurdaStyle, that it’s moving sewing into something that can be hacked and adopted into something that’s completely yours, instead of being rigidly implemented by a few select companies and must be done a the set way. You don’t even need to go out and buy a pattern, you can do it all at home no matter where in the world you are and have something fabulous you can share with others. I love seeing creations that others have made which made me look at patterns in a new way – ones I didn’t consider before are suddenly coming alive in my mind as my next project!

I’m really pleased to hear you’re bringing my suggestion of a fabric-amount-to-pattern calculator into the next phase of the site! That’s something I’ve always wanted, as I tend to overbuy fabric and I’m often left with odd amounts that are too big to throw away but too small for most patterns. So having a way to plug in a measurement and be told what I could make with that amount is really exciting!

You can find out more about Melissa in her blog Fehr Trade and here you can have a glimpse into her sewing room!

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