Featured Member: GinaSophia

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I now live with my husband in NYC, as well as attend school here. I was born in Harlem, but I grew up between London, NYC, and North Carolina. As early as elementary school I knew I wanted to return to New York, and that really motivated me to do well in school.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
The first thing I made was a lime green and white gingham, stuffed duck with a neck so narrow he seemed like he had narcolepsy! I bought my first sewing machine after a marathon of Project Runway 3 years ago, but went on a sewing hiatus shortly after, and really just started to sew garments within this past year.

Filling Orders

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I just received another order of (my take on) the Stella blazers from Shift boutique, and they are also ordering my signature black crocheted Victoria top, pictured above. Usually, when a shop or company places an order from a designer, they will send you what is called a Purchase Order. The P.O. contains the retailer’s necessary information, including shipping & billing addresses, and lists the units they would like to order. This usually takes place twice/year around September & February, when the latest collections have been revealed and are on sale for wholesale only. The designer must then sign the Purchase Order and confirm that the desired goods will ship by a specific date, usually within 3-5 months. Many designers also offer “immediates”- revised collections of signature pieces, must-have items or overstock from last season that is ready to be shipped immediately. I deal with many immediate orders, as they are a good source of income during the between seasons and they keep retailer’s stocked with fresh looks.

I have included my order form, pictured above, which contains my information and categories for listing the items which have been ordered. I will fill in the fields with the desired pieces and send this back to the buyer to confirm the order’s details. Once they’ve approved and paid for the goods, I will begin to produce the items. Most importantly, my order form contains my terms & conditions. At times it can be very difficult to get retailers to pay you on time, this is an ongoing battle many designer’s seem to face. By stating your terms the buyer agrees that you will indeed receive payment on time, on the date specified.

DIY Fabric

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With gift-giving holidays less than two months away, it’s time to start planning what presents you might want to sew. If you have the perfect project in mind, but just can’t find the right fabric, you may just want to design your own. Creating your own material couldn’t be easier with several sites devoted to custom printing:

Spoonflower is probably one of the best known sites on the web – not can you see your designs printed on a variety of cottons, sateen, rayon, and interlock knits, but you have the opportunity to win 5 yards of your design if you enter one of their weekly design contests!

If you’re looking for more than just cottons to print on, check out Fabric on Demand. This website will place your design on ‘classic cottons’, duck, fleece, micro-denier suede, Lycra, and polyester satins.

Have a luxurious gift in mind and requires a one-of-a-kind silk print? Try KaramKraft. This site uses reactive dyes not pigments which means that they can print on any fabric including silks and wools.

If you live outside of the United States and are looking for a fabric design site, be sure to stop by Bonbonkakku. Just like Spoonflower, this Finnish company holds contests where you can win yardage of your material!

My Stella

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My apologies for posting this entry so late, I have been really sick. I moved into my new house last Sunday (yay!), but Monday morning I woke up with a fever and bronchitis. It is almost a week later and I finally feel good enough to be up & about. And what do you know? I just received, at this very moment, pictures of the Stella jacket project I wrote about last week (pictured above on Shift boutique co-owner Amanda Converse). I went to the Shift opening 2 weeks ago and was utterly impressed by the eco-chic boutique; all of the clothing, jewelry & accessories are made from sustainable materials or utilize organic or vintage elements. The shop itself was built from salvaged materials, vintage and surplus finds. The other co-pilot of this green fashion endeavor is a dear friend of mine; writer, blogger, buyer, indie-designer-lover, Amy DuFault, who writes a witty column for EcoSalon.com, an eco-conscious fashion & lifestyle blog. If you’re into sustainability you should check it out.

I am so pleased to say that my Stella blazers have been selling! On opening night I think 3 were sold, and since then a few more. What I did to change the design elements of the pattern was eliminate the multiple strips which caress the front, and keeping just one, I used an organic silk strip of the same color of the jacket body and placed a small box pleat at the hip curve for a more feminine flair. I added a bit of volume to the top of the sleeve head for a sharper, more tailored looking shoulder, and finally placed a Dahl signature element of my hand-made pewter clasps for the front closure. What I would change in the future is the fabric. I used an organic silk/linen, but found it very stiff, like canvas almost. Next time I would find a more pliable fiber.

If you design eco-friendly garments you should really contact Shift via the link provided above- they are looking for more “beautiful, whimsical, and brighter pieces” as some organic clothing tends to be a bit on the dark side, with lots of of indigo, navy & black.

BurdaStyle Sewing Club Update: A BSC Visit and Other News!

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We at BurdaStyle are busy settling in to our new space in Manhattan! Before we moved though, we hosted the Brooklyn BSC for their latest meeting. With wine and a few snacks, we all gathered ‘round our sewing table to share projects, discuss future ideas for BurdaStyle and the clubs, and talked about everyone’s upcoming projects.

It is so great to meet with such talented people who are just as passionate about their skills as they are with sharing them.

Finding and Recycling Fabric for Quilts and Projects

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Hey Everyone,
Katherine Bell has come out with an amazing new book called Quilting for Peace full of great projects and ideas. Check out her book here from STC Craft / Melanie Falick Books! She has also been kind enough to share her 30-Minute Shopping Bag pattern with all of us.

Recycling fabric into quilts and other useful things to give away helps not only the people who receive the gifts, but the rest of us as well. The average American throws away more than 60 pounds of fabric a year, and discarded textiles take up four percent of our landfills. A quarter of the insecticides used globally each year are used on cotton crops, so growing new cotton to replace what we’ve thrown away is also bad for the environment. The resourceful crafters I interviewed for Quilting for Peace have found many sources of free fabric to use in their projects. Here are a few:

Sewing Vintage: The Evolution of Pattern Instructions

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How often have you wished that a modern pattern had better, longer, or clearer instructions? Well, believe it or not, today’s patterns are tomes compared to eras past. I recently bought this fabulous “Lady’s Overall” pattern from the 1930’s, and was fascinated by the brief instructions.

As you can see in the image above right, all of the instructions are on the back of the envelope – there are no inserts included. It’s a mere paragraph! Just check out this sentence: Make the collar of double material and sew on as notched, and make 2 slot pockets in the front. Anyone who’s even sewn a convertible collar and made welt pockets knows that a little more instruction than that is required!

BurdaStyle Book? Your Opinion Needed!

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Hey everyone,
We have a question to pose to you, we are thinking of creating a BurdaStyle book and we would like to know how you would envision it?
Would it be a reference book? Beginner’s sewing guide? A collection of your creations? What would you like to read and see, how would you like to contribute? We look forward to seeing your responses!

Image from Richard Scott 33

Fall Looks To Make Today

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The Steampunk
I was so excited when I saw This Dress, an Anda dress variation, made by 4 loving hands, full of gorgeous detail and punch!

The Artist
With art school flair, this dress with hand-drawn imagery is stunning! The It Was Written dress, made from Ichigogirl’s Afternoon Tea Top pattern was lengthened & lovingly made into a dress.

The Designer
This adorable Gray Cotton Dress made by our user Dientry can be used as an inspiration piece for a simple, classic statement, with the allure being in the smartly chosen fabric.

The Bohemian
This embroidered bag’s simple shape allows for you to manipulate the pattern into your own true vision- maybe try out your skills in embroidery. Make it here.

The Girl Next Door
A wrap dress can be quite versatile and if you make it with long sleeves in a knit, you can wear it all year round. Try out this Free Wrap Dress pattern by our member Erdronen and enjoy!

The Rockers
Every gal & guy needs a vest for Fall, and if you’re inspired why not make one for yourself and one for him? For her, use The Louisa Vest and for him, The Jason Vest. Would make a nice Holiday gift, wrapped together in a box, tied with the same bow…I’m rambling.

The Fashionista
Leggings have come into mode, and they are not going anywhere. To look chic and be warm this Fall you can make a Custom Pair of Leggings for yourself in virtually any color for a mere $2 the pattern is yours.

Nordic Beauty
Stay warm and show off your creative flair with the Elana Hat & Gloves. If knitting is not your forte, your problems are solved: this pattern only requires you getting your hands on a heavy knit fabric and all you have to do it sew it up!

The Victorian
Capelets can turn any old outfit into one with an entirely new personality. The Anouschka Capelet, created by our member ParaNoire, is a nicely tailored accessory based off of our Steffi jacket. It still has the same charm, with the gathered sleeves, and yet you save hours on sewing time.

Featured Member: SewIThought...

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I live in Scottsdale, Arizona where I am currently in nursing school.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
The first experience I had with a sewing machine was in Kindergarten when our teacher let each of us push the pedal and sew the edge of a quilt she was making. A little over a year ago I purchased my own machine and started sewing handbags and I just started really making clothing items in the past couple months.

Buy an "Ich Liebe BurdaStyle" T-Shirt!

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Show your BurdaStyle pride with these Limited Edition tees!

We moved!

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Hey everyone!

After being MIA for a couple of days we are finally (pretty much) set up! We have our internet up and running and are getting back into the swing of things!

It’s very, VERY different being up by radio city music hall, lots of bankers in blue shirts, we totally stick out as the Brooklyn crew. We love our new office, we are all in one room which will totally help with the creative flow of ideas, the lunch options are great and we have an awesome view!

It’s good to be back on the site, we missed you all for those few days!

BurdaStyle and STC Craft Present: DIY Design Day Benefit for BARC and Bags For the People!

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Join BurdaStyle & STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books for a hands-on experience with DIY projects, DIY inspiration and techniques on a thrifty budget. Come learn to make fun and easy DIY designs and support local non-profits!

With lessons in sewing, printing and hand stitching from such amazing teachers the likes of Heather Ross of Weekend Sewing, Katherine Bell of Quilting for Peace and Alicia Kachmer of Brooklyn Based, this event is going to rock!

Sewing Related Tattoos: Yay or Nay?

I know that tattoos have caused some controversy in the past, what do you guys think about these sewing related tats?

Sewing Vintage: Unprinted Patterns

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Welcome back to Sewing Vintage! This week I’m going to talk a bit about an aspect of sewing vintage that often scares people off: the unprinted pattern. This means that instead of having clear black lines and symbols on patterns (as we do today), patterns from the early 20th century were marked with little perforated holes, like the middle image above. It can be disorienting at first, but do not fear! Unprinted patterns are nothing to be scared of, and you’ll be glad you took the plunge. I work mostly with Vogue patterns from the very early 1950’s, and sewing patterns at this time were still all unprinted. In the images above, you can see a pattern envelope for one of these patterns, what the pattern tissue looks like, and what the garment looks like sewn up.

The first thing to realize about the perforations on unprinted patterns is that they were meant to be used with tailor’s tacks, rather than a tracing wheel and paper like we usually use today. The perforations make a lot of sense for tailor’s tacks, because you can just make your thread loops right within the perforated hole. But there’s also an easier way: just use a piece of tailor’s chalk to color in each hole on the front side, then stick a pin through the hole to mark it on the back. I have a tutorial for each method on my blog, which you can see here.

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