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Tips for Sewing Lingerie + Win a Copy of Sweet Nothings!


Have you tried making your own lingerie yet? It’s delightfully quick and simple to make sexy panties when you use stretch lace. When I developed the book Sweet Nothings, designer Elise Olsen’s Sugarberry Panties inspired me to make my own dainty things. The wide stretch lace trim that forms the body of the panty needs no finishing, which makes it super easy to create these darling little unmentionables.

Personal Style: Are You Naughty or Nice?


So here’s the thing, BurdaStyle readers:

I’ve noticed that most people’s style tends in one of two directions: naughty or — you guessed it! — nice. I’m talking about people’s personal style here, not their personalities. You may be an ax murderer and that would be naughty indeed, but not relevant to the topic at hand.

Needle Felting


Felting, the process of matting woolen fibers together, is one one the oldest fiber techniques known, dating back to the 6th Century BC. In fact, prior to the invention of weaving & knitting tools, looms and spinning wheels, felting was the primary process that was used to produce cloth for everything from shoes to hats and rugs to yurts.

I'm Not Just a Celebrity, I'm a Fashion Designer!


Madonna. Sarah Jessica Parker. Lindsay Lohan. Jessica Simpson. Jennifer Lopez. Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen. Sean Diddy Combs. Justin Timberlake. Beyonce Knowles. Britney Spears. The list goes on and on.

How many of our most popular young — and not so young — celebrities are also talented clothing designers?

Vivienne Westwood: Happy (Belated) Birthday to The First Lady of Punk Fashion


Malcolm McLaren was a major force behind the punk sound that emerged from London in the mid 1970’s. While it can be disputed whether or not it was McLaren who came up with the concept for his protegee band, the Sex Pistols, or if it was the band members themselves (i.e., Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious) no one can dispute that it was his partner Vivienne Westwood who actually created and sewed the looks that the band wore. By studying the fashions of London’s seedier occupants like bikers and sex workers, Westwood and McLaren conceptualized the new deconstructionist fashion phenomenon known as the “punk look”.

How to Spread the Sewing Meme (or How to Grow Home Sewing)


Readers, do you ever feel like you spend a disproportionate amount of your day talking/thinking/writing about sewing?

When you mention your sewing projects, do you ever catch friends or colleagues rolling their eyes, glancing at their watches, and suddenly having to catch the 5:15 train — and they drive to work? Do you yourself retreat daily to the comforting, marshmallow, everybody-sews-here worlds of sites like BurdaStyle or your favorite sewing blog?

The Wonderful Apron: Utilitarian Couture


While an apron-like garment can be traced back to ancient Egypt, aprons, as we know them, evolved from the middle ages and their use by tradesmen – blacksmiths, cobblers, butchers, etc as protective gear. As other trades began to adopt the apron in their practice, they began to be made from cloth (versus leather for the rougher trades such as blacksmithing). And, as cloth began to establish itself as the material of choice, colors began to appear, denoting specific skills – barbers wore a checked pattern; butchers and porters, green; masons, white. The word “apron,” in fact , is a more modern word coming from the French word “naperon," meaning napkin or small tablecloth.

Why More Men Don't Sew - And Does It Matter?


Readers, as a very visible man who sews, I am often asked the question, Why don’t more guys sew? We know a lot of fashion designers and nearly all tailors are male, so why aren’t there more male home sewists?

My answer is always, well, some men do sew. But even I know that the number is very small compared to the number of women who sew.

Having grown up male in the United States, it doesn’t surprise me in the least that most men don’t sew and probably would never consider it. Here are some of the reasons (in no particular order) and maybe you’ll have some of your own to add.

Fiber Play + Win a Copy of Laura Zukaite's Book, Luxe Knits!


People often ask me where do I get my inspiration. Inspiration comes to me in many shapes and forms. I often find myself inspired by fibers themselves: using different textures, colors, and weights of yarn can create very unexpected results!

Using mohair and silk together is one of my favorite combinations! The sheen of silk and the matte texture of mohair balance each other beautifully. Combining them in a way that uses lace weight and worsted weight yarns gives the piece a very delicate look.

How to Buy a Vintage Sewing Machine


I’ve spent much of the last year on my blog, Male Pattern Boldness, writing about the many machines I sew with — I love them all!

Last week’s article about vintage sewing machines elicited such a strong response, I wanted to follow up with some information about how to buy a vintage machine: what questions to ask, what precautions to take, what models to look for.

So let’s get started!

Zipper Accessories


I’m not the first to say this, nor will I be the last…but zippers are here to stay (and I don’t mean to simply close pieces of fabric together). From the design studios of Philip Lim, Versace and Balmain to jewelry designers and hobbyists throughout the world, zippers are leaving the seams and taking a prominent place as decorative elements and fashion accessories in their own right.

The Joys of Vintage Sewing Machines


A few months ago, I received an email from an enthusiastic Male Pattern Boldness reader, telling me I had helped convince her to buy a vintage Singer straight-stitch sewing machine. I’d been spreading the word about vintage sewing machines on my blog since the beginning, but I never thought anybody was actually paying attention!

I’d like to share some of my enthusiasm for these machines with all of you here at BurdaStyle today. Here are my TOP TEN REASONS TO GIVE A VINTAGE MACHINE A TRY.

Sew Vintage: Feedsack


I thoroughly enjoyed writing last week’s history piece on mother-of-pearl buttons. So much so that I thought I would write another vintage/history post this week on the always glamorous topic of …wait for it…feedsacks.

Whither the Convertible Collar Shirt?


One of the many delights of learning to sew has been experimenting with old patterns and recreating the popular styles of yesteryear.

One of my recent Etsy finds was a vintage 1939 men’s shirt pattern with a convertible collar. Convertible means that the shirt can be worn either with the collar buttoned on or with just the collar band. For the record, according to shirt guru David Coffin, the collar band is what you see on a shirt with no collar. The collar stand is what supports the collar on a shirt that has one. So for this 1939 shirt, I’d be making both a band and a stand.

Mother of Pearl Buttons: A Uniquely American Triumph


I love mother of pearl buttons. Over the years, as I was searching for samples, I began to learn the fascinating story of their rise to popularity and the uniquely American slant to their success. I thought I would share that with you today.

Examples from my book Button Ware


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