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Behind the Seams with Marina von Koenig: The Making of a Couture Top

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How many attempts does it take to give up on a project? A couple of weeks ago I had to make a decision and give up on my initial design choice, going for a slightly different style. Despite the time I spent on the first idea – two full days of pattern drafting, fitting, adjustments – I learned a big deal about fabric selection, patternmaking, fabric manipulation, and sleeves in general. And despite the initial ‘fail’, it helped me find a different solution, adding a personal touch to the project I chose from the September issue of burda style magazine.

The Making of a Striped Swing Dress

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I’ve been in the mood for stripes lately – swingy stripes. For my big project this month, I wanted to find the perfect pattern to pair with a lovely striped wool jersey from Mood (sadly, out of stock, but here’s a similar, albeit narrower, stripe in the fetching combination of navy and pea green) that I bought with my Mood Sewing Network allowance.

Behind the Seams with Marina von Koenig: The Making of the Couture Godet Skirt

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Soaring temperatures and humidity in New York these past days are not particularly stimulating to start working on a fall wardrobe. I must admit, usually, fall pieces lounge on my work table waaay past winter months. So, actually, I am quite happy I had an early kick-start (thank you, Burda), and here is the latest project for my BurdaStyle couture challenge, made after a monthlong holiday break.

Project: The Perfect Blouse

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If you are in need of some blouse inspiration, this is the post for you. We are highlighting some of our favorite blouse patterns on the site along with inspirational member versions. Check this out and start working on your perfect blouse!

BurdaStyle x Britex Fabrics: Dusty Rose Jenny Skirt

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The makings of this story include a yard of wool blended with just enough lycra to give it softness, body, and depth; a classic, high-waisted pencil skirt pattern; a collaboration between two of the sewing industry’s biggest names and one sewing enthusiast; and a bit of suspense for good measure.

How-To: Make a Pinup Bikini

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Like many women of my generation, I love pinup bathing suits. I admire the Coke bottle shape our grandmothers sported on the beach, and as an avid swimmer, Esther Williams—in all her sparkly-spangled swimsuit goodness—has long been one of my style icons. However, I’m also a fan of comfort and I doubt those old suits, made of sturdy cottons (or wools!) and boning, can compete on that front with my quick-drying Speedo.

Behind the Seams: The Making of a Couture Flapper Dress

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This is it – the perfect theater or evening dress I was lacking in my wardrobe. Breezy and luxuriously soft, the dress is extremely light and comfortable. It is going to get a lot of wear this summer!

BurdaStyle x Britex Fabrics: A Full-Skirted Dress in Watermelon Sherbet

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Recently, I was asked by BurdaStyle and Britex Fabrics in San Francisco to work with them on a collaboration project, and of course I jumped at the chance!

DIY: Cut-Out Shoulders

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We created a fun new DIY tutorial that shows you how to add cool shoulder cut-outs to any top!

How-To: Sewing a Built-In Bra with Cups

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I’m a huge fan of clothes that simplify my life. It was a revelation, over a decade ago, when I tried on a store-bought tank top with a built-in shelf bra — it was so comfortable, easy to wear, and it never showed tacky bra straps! Inspired by some of my favorite yoga tops and vintage bathing suits with built-in bras, I’ve been experimenting with building shelf bras with cups (for more support and shape) into tanks, t-shirts, and bodysuits (here’s one of my first maillots from last summer).

June Couture Challenge: Behind the Seams with Marina von Koenig

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If you, like me, are counting down the days until the impending release of the new The Great Gatsby, you can probably guess what project I picked from this month’s burda style magazine. Jazz Age-inspired Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Etro, and Marc Jacobs designs this spring have been filling the air with the spirit of excitement and liberation of the 1920s. No wonder that once I saw the flapper-style layered lace dress in the June issue of burda style magazine, I knew I had to make it!

Behind the Seams: The Making of a Couture Dress

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Another project accomplished – a beautiful ‘optical illusion’ dress from the May issue of burda style magazine. This makes it the third garment for my couture wardrobe challenge that I started back in March.

May Couture Challenge: Behind the Seams with Marina von Koenig

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What happens when you take on a self-imposed monthly couture challenge? I completed the April project and here I was, restless, waiting for the next issue to arrive so I could choose a sewing pattern for the May project. Remember what this was all about? Here’s a refresher:

Sewing Project: Summer Dress

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Get a head start on creating your summer closet. Here we have selected our favorite summer dress patterns on the site. Which one is your favorite? Read on for inspiration…

Behind the Seams: The Making of a Couture Skirt and Blouse

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After 60 yards of thread-tracing, 30 yards of catch-stitching, 30 yards of basting, and 10 yards of fell-stitching, I am now the proud owner of a couture skirt and blouse. But let me recap what this is about first. Back in March, I challenged myself to create a couture wardrobe picking one style each month from a current issue of Burda Style Magazine. With the help of my couture mentor in this project, Susan Khalje, I plan to complete each project before the next issue is released.

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