Couture Seam Finishes: Hand Overcasting

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Honestly, I hardly know anyone who hand overcasts nowadays. Do you?

But the sewing nerd I am I could not resist making a case for it. You may say that hand overcasting takes ages, and that it is much easier to serge or zigzag the edges, or use Hong Kong finish, or anything else.

Style Sheets: Scare Wear From Halloweens Past

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As much as I love Halloween, the week before never fails to find me sans costume. Generally, my best Halloween ideas come to me shortly after the holiday has passed and then disappear long before the day has rolled around again. Alas, this year is no different. As the creepy decorations go up and jack-o-lanterns are alighted, this month’s Style Sheets is dedicated to filling the trick-or-treat bags of us procrastinators with a little inspirational eye candy.

What's In the Grain?

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We all know how important it is to cut fabric on grain, right? Yet, how many of you use grain lines as a guide for fitting? I must confess that I have been ignorant of grain lines for quite some time.

Before, I was fitting garments using a trial-and-error approach: pulling fabric on one side, letting out on the other… The result? DISTORTED BALANCE!! The garment pulled and twisted, especially after washing. Wasted time, and a growing stash of UFOs because of poor fit. Are you familiar with this scenario, dear readers? I am, unfortunately!

BurdaStyle Ambassadors Rock The Sewing Summit!

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Hi Everyone! Sunni Standing from A Fashionable Stitch here, checking in with you to let you know the happenings at the Sewing Summit which was held in Salt Lake City, Utah over this past weekend. It was the first event of its kind here in SLC that lasted a short 3 days and offered classes on both quilting and garment sewing, plus a sprinkling of classes on blogging and photography. Having a mix of both quilters and garment sewers this year, I’m interested to see what the future holds for both groups in terms of this annual event and I do hope that the option to include the garment sewing side of things keeps growing. Having lived in Salt Lake City for a long time I haven’t been exposed to too many “serious garment sewing enthusiasm”, so it was refreshing to meet people who sew their own clothing and are really passionate about it.

Shopping LA's Garment District with Sew Country Chick

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We truly are spoiled living in New York City with the Garment District little more than a train ride away, providing us with thousands of fabric, trim and notion choices at our finger tips. However, we often forget that there are abundant districts in other cities that provide inspiration and materials to sewers and crafters throughout the United States and the globe. One such district is in Los Angeles, California and guest writer Justine Abbit from Sew Country Chick documented a recent trip to the LA garment district to share her tips for getting the most out of the LA scene!

Style Sheets: Looking Back at the Bra

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In the world of commonly worn apparel, no item comes anywhere close to having created such polarizing feelings as the brassiere. For many people, bras represent nothing more than a mundane part of their dressing routine, practiced out of practicality or mere habit. For others, this undergarment has far surpassed its mode of functionality to enter realms ranging from the fetishized to the political. It’s a pretty impressive feat for an article that spends most of its time hidden beneath layers of clothing!

With the October kickoff of Breast Cancer Awareness Month now being only days away, it seems like the perfect time to spotlight everyday wear’s most infamous article of clothing…

The Importance of Sewing Scissors: Shozaburo Japanese Tailor Shears

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If you sew then I don’t need to tell you about how important it is to have a good pair of scissors. Shears to be precise. I had a great pair years ago and my kids got ahold of them, used them on who knows what and they were ruined forever. Take note, NEVER let your kids near your sewing shears!

Invisible Details of a Couture Garment: The Waist Stay

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“Dress malfunction!”
“Help with strapless dress, please!”
“How do you make your strapless stay up?!”

Readers, these are just a few of the many, many cries for help from those who have had bad experiences with strapless dresses. Who wants to have a dress slide down and expose your bosom while you’re trying to enjoy a night of dancing, right?

The Humble Housedress

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Growing up in the 70s and 80s my mother would often talk about the way housewives from her mother’s generation were treated unfairly and how the only job my grandmother could get outside of the home was as a waitress. My mom also had books like The Cinderella Complex and early editions of Cosmopolitan magazine on her nightstand.

Silk Lining for a Couture Finish

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Selection of lining fabric is probably one of the most neglected steps in sewing. While we carefully choose the quality, type, drape and color of fashion fabric, time and money is often saved on linings. I used to be ignorant about linings myself, using polyester for almost every project. Only once I became interested in couture sewing, I learned that silk linings – characteristic for couture – could considerably improve the look and the feel of a garment.

However, silk is available in a different weight, weave and quality. Which one to choose? The following sampling represents some of the most common choices in couture. Use these luxurious textiles for your special projects, or –if budget is not an issue – for everyday clothing as well.

Peter's 30 Sewing Dos and Don'ts

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Editor’s Note: I want to start this post by saying what a pleasure it has been having Peter on board with us here at BurdaStyle. He has brought a unique and personal approach to both sewing and fashion and we will miss his weekly doses of witty commentary and technical prowess. Thanks again, Peter!

75 Sex Tips!

55 Things You Can Learn About Him in 10 Minutes!!

38 Ways to Get Rid of Belly Fat!!

If you read magazines, you know that people love a good list. And lists are just as much fun to write as they are to read. Well, almost.

How I Quilted My Way To Japan

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I woke up much too early in the morning on January 21st, 2009. I guess I really did not want to be late for the flight that was scheduled to leave later that day. I was awake because of my excitement about the amazing experiences ahead of me: my first trip to Japan! I couldn’t sleep so I decided to double check my bags to make sure they contained all of my quilts, the special gifts for the new friends I was expecting to make, and comfortable shoes!

Men's Fashion: The Most Endangered List

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Readers, nothing lasts forever, even in the relatively stable world of men’s fashion. I categorize most of the garments below under “Going, Going, Gone,” and store a few in my top-secret “Good-bye and Good Riddance” folder.

Couture Classes

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You may prefer quick sewing to lengthy couture hand sewing, but one thing is sure – couture sewing classes are in demand.

Earlier this April I contacted Claire Shaeffer, author of Couture Sewing Techniques and instructor, asking for information on her Chanel suit class. Imagine my surprise when I learned that all classes for 2011 were full and the first available class was in January 2012!

Hat Lovin'

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In a desperate attempt to give my way-too-quick-to-burn skin a break from the sun, I seem to impulsively buy some random hat off of the street every summer. Maybe it’s overheated delirium, maybe it’s my sole desire in these moments to hide my reddening skin under the biggest brim I can find, but I’m usually unhappy with what I’ve picked by the time I get home.

This year I’m breaking this ugly cycle and taking on the fun new endeavor of creating my own summer hat.

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