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Couture Challenge: A peplum-sleeve dress.


Behind the Seams with Marina von Koenig

One couture project a month seems to be a tangible goal for a mother with two active kids, and so I have decided to continue with my monthly challenge and make another project based on a Burdastyle pattern. My last month’s project, an Alençon lace skirt, proved to be a versatile addition to my wardrobe.

Taming a couture lace skirt: Behind the seams with Marina von Koenig Part 2


For the first project I chose an airy A-line skirt. The simplicity of style is counter-balanced by the use of a pretty black Alençon lace. A pattern that works best for this project is an A-Line skirt #126 from December 2013 issue of Burdastyle magazine. In Part 1, I covered materials, marking and cutting. Here, I wanted to share some of the construction steps, as well as lessons learned afterwards.

Taming a couture lace skirt: Behind the seams with Marina von Koenig Part 1


It’s been a long time since I last posted here. I really missed it, but a big move across Atlantic made it difficult to blog, let alone sewing. But it was the move that made me reexamine my wardrobe, with a revelation that something as simple as a skirt is probably the most worn and a most versatile garment in my wardrobe.

The Making of a Faux Wrap Dress


Recently, Tessuti Fabrics challenged sewing enthusiasts far and wide to sew with a fabric called Gridlock, which they sourced from a local designer. You could make anything your heart desires, though they suggested the fabric was “the perfect weight for dresses, pants, jackets and skirts.” Despite my best efforts to cheer from the sidelines, I kept seeing the two sides of the fabric used in the Burda Style Swing Dress bodice. It wouldn’t leave my head for weeks. So, I gave in, bought the fabric, and entered into the competition.

The Making of a Lace Jenny Skirt


This month I was in such a colorful mood. I found myself gravitating towards this bright, textural orange lace with its organic pattern of swirling leaves and flowers, from Mood Fabrics. I really wanted to have some fun with color by pairing the orange with an equally vibrant hue. After a very circuitous path, I ended up choosing this blue double-faced wool from Mood to partner with the lace. Since this experience marks my first time to truly work with lace, I chose a pattern I had successfully made in the past: BurdaStyle’s Jenny Basic Skirt. It’s a classic, and I wanted to be able to focus on the fabric without any pattern hiccups!

Spring Fashions For Kids


Justine Abbitt from Sew Country Chick, and winner of Amy Barickman’s Design Challenge for her Patchy Bias Dress, writes for us today about sewing her daughter a lovely new dress!

The Making of a Children's Appliqued Top


What do you get when you mix cats with puff paint?

A cute little sweatshirt for my niece, of course.

Once upon a time when I was a wee little girl, I had a favorite sweatshirt. It was pink and short sleeved. And, as if that wasn’t enough to make it the best sweatshirt ever, it was appliqued with a colorful bunny that was outlined in puff paint and jewels. Yes, puff paint and jewels. When I saw BurdaStyle’s Girl’s Long Top 12/2011 #141 pop up in my reader a month or two ago, my heart leaped: my long ago favorite sweatshirt – with pockets!!

The Making of a Peter Pan Collar Dress


I fell for this Marc Jacobs embroidered silk from Mood months ago. I saved it in my list of must-get fabrics while I searched for the right pattern. I wanted the pattern to be playful for the sake of the dots, while also being serious enough to live up to the silk. Enter BurdaStyle’s Graphic Dress 09/2012 #113. I liked the carefree nature of the Peter Pan collar, as well as the design of the front facing that lent a tuxedo vibe to the dress. Add some of Mood’s rhinestone buttons, and you’ve got a great combination.

The Making of a Peplum Top and Pencil Skirt


Whew! You have no idea how excited I am to finally have this peplum “dress” completed. It’s taken me over a month from prepping the fabric, to cutting the fabric, to putting in the last hand stitches.

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


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.

Fall Fabric Inspiration


This week, we hear from the fabric experts themselves. Amy Shockley, a fabric buyer from Hart’s Fabric, shares some fall fabric inspiration with our readers, including tips and projects made by her team in Santa Cruz, California.

The Making of a Striped Swing Dress


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


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.

BurdaStyle x Britex Fabrics: Dusty Rose Jenny Skirt


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


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.


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