COAT CHECK

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We’ve noticed a reoccurring theme this season: Tailored jackets, Victorian twists, and men’s wear translated into a feminine silhouette; we’ve designed our monthly theme around these concepts.

We’ve dug through our archives and are excited to delve into coats that you have created and re-explore our double-breasted Talea jacket. There are so many great examples of how you transformed it into the perfect late winter coat. How about making it out of a bold print or bright red, to make the last weeks of winter fun and fresh? You could also crop the pattern for a shorter, mod look and wear it with a voluminous skirt. It is a classic style that will outlast seasonal trends while providing instant satisfaction!

Here are a couple of How Tos which will help you transform the Talea into your very own:

Talea- Variation 2- Double Breasted Pattern Alteration

Sew a zipper in the Talea coat

Lengthen a pattern

Bound Buttonholes

Gathered Sleeves on Ruched top

Sustainable Living Festival/Fashion Jam

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Next weekend i will be attending the Sustainable Living Festival here in Melbourne. On Friday the 20th you will find me in the Federation Square Atrium at the Design Market where i’ll be promoting Wardrobe Refashion and BurdaStyle and will be there from 10 until 6.

On Sunday the 22nd i’ll be at the Fashion Jam hosted by Craft Cartel which is being held in the Federation Square Play Dome from 1:30 until 4pm.
Come say Hi if you’re in the City.

Fashion Students Race Against the Clock

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The Kent State University fashion students worked feverishly through 20 long hours to create a garment to be judged in a fashion show. There were many great entries and prizes, one person even won a scholarship from Coats & Clark!

Theresa Rietschlin, the winner of our prize (pictured above) will help us create a new pattern for the site. Congratulations to all that entered, we are excited to see the pattern that comes from this.

Top Sewing Machines

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In the market for a new machine, but don’t know where to start? Consumer Reports’ March 2009 issue is out and inside is their top seven machines for the year. While you can’t view which ones made the list without looking at the magazine in person or subscribing online, you can read an article on choosing the right machine for your needs. Similar entries can be found on About.com’s Sewing blog as well Not Martha’s guest spot at shelterriffic.

While I realize that buying a sewing machine is kind of like buying a car – everyone has their preferences that are driven by your price range, I’d still love to hear what your favorite machine is!

Custom lingerie for Valentine's Day

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Have you ever thought about sewing your own bras? With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it would certainly be a crafty and unique way to celebrate! I recently sewed my very first bra and I think I’m hooked! It was a lot more straightforward than I thought it would be, and I can’t wait to sew more in lots of fancy fabrics and trims!

Or if starting from scratch sounds a bit too intimidating for you, you could always customize one you’ve already got with fancy trims, fringes, and tassels (ooh la la!). Haberdashery shops have a huge range of fancy trims these days, and you won’t need very much to decorate a bra so you can really splurge on the expensive stuff. Just watch out for any under wires or metal fastenings when you’re attaching the trim or you’ll risk breaking a needle!

Another idea is to sew up some special lingerie in the form of Jane, Bambi, or EmilyKate’s popular Cheeky Panties. Take a bit of fancy fabric and embroider your sweetheart’s name somewhere special inside, and let Cupid do the rest…

And don’t think the ladies have all the fun – Andre in some silky fabric could be the perfect way to impress, gentlemen!

Photos by reggiebaby, floatingworld, and queenb

Outer Space Suits

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The other week when I was looking for some information on gloves I came across a curious announcement, the 2009 Astronaut Glove Challenge, to “promote the development of a highly dexterous and flexible glove for space and planetary surface excursions”. What inspires space suit designers? And is there any inspiration that we can draw from them?

With respect to the first question, the main factor behind space suit design is human survival in space. We probably all know that flying into outer space means dealing with all sort of extraterrestrial challenges but did you know the details: your clothes have to protect you from biological hazards and extreme temperatures: if you turn your back towards the sun it might heat up to about 120 degrees Centigrade; while your belly freezes at MINUS 160 degrees!; micrometeoroids could hit you; and then there is the problem of pressure: up there, pressures is so low that your space suit has to balance it to keep your bodily fluids liquid. In short, you have to carry your own little physical universe that somehow simulates earthly conditions and at the same time let’s you move around, make scientific experiments etc. What a design task!!

The outcome until recently were the chunky not particularly attractive robot type outfits that we know from newspaper or TV pictures that were influenced by diving and aircraft suits.

Today these technical features may be somehow manageable, but a supposedly emerging market for space tourism is creating an entirely new design problem, how to make those outfits comfortable and attractive for the space tourist while still maintaining their functionality. Apparently, when you are up there taking pictures of Mother Earth and you, you don’t want to look like Michelin Man! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that MIT, NASA and some space tourism companies are seriously researching into ways to make the spacesuit leaner, meaner and stylish while maintaining its functionality. (In fact, I couldn’t believe that there actually is a market for space tourism.)

Even if you are not planning to travel into space anytime soon, it is worth checking out the results from the Hyper Space Couture Design Contest that took place in 2006. Maybe you find some inspiration for your Earthly fashion designs, such as chri_stine did for her Denim Space suit.

BurdaStyle featured in Jeff Jarvis' "What Would Google Do"

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We recently added number 180 to our favorites. Why? Because Jeff Jarvis, internet and media expert, mentioned BurdaStyle in his new book “What Would Google Do?” on page 180!

And this is what he writes:

…Another challenge: fashion… Just as the internet democratizes news and entertainment, it is opening up style…See also BurdaStyle.com’s open-source sewing from the German publishing empire Burda, which decided to take copyrights off its dress patterns and invite the public to use them, adapt them, create their own, and share them. The site is filled with patterns, how-tos, and discussion…

If you’re interested to learn more, we highly recommend reading Jeff’s book and his blog Buzzmachine.

Featured Member: Lunatepetal

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?

I am originally from Japan. I left home after graduating from high school and studied in Vancouver, Canada, for a few years. Moved down to Oregon and lived there for three years. Then, last year, I moved back to BC with my husband and a precious little life in my belly.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?

I don’t quite remember what the first thing I ever made was really. But I think it was either a dress for a doll or a little purse when I was like five.

I guess sewing was something that I started naturally. My mom wasn’t a sewer (more like a knitter), nor did I have someone to teach me how to sew. However, I remember I often hanged out in a sun room at my grandparent’s house next door, where a stunning old pedaled sewing machine was. It was such a gorgeous machine! Of course I wasn’t allowed to use it because I was too little, but I could stare at it for hours. So, I sat next to it, and started hand sewing projects. I wonder where that machine is now??

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Creative meditation (when I am not frustrated at it!)

I am in a meditative state when cutting out patterns and running a sewing machine. There is some sort of meditative, calming therapeutic quality about it for me.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?

My favorite part is when I get a lot of new ideas for designs, which overwhelmingly excites me. Least favorite part is when I can’t materialize those ideas, which makes me really upset and sad. I need to learn more skills!

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what would you make?

I have become a mother to a beautiful baby girl as of a month ago. So, I would love to start making little pretty clothes for her (If I could ever find enough time with a newborn!). She will be so spoiled!

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?

I am so stoked that Burdastyle offers free and inexpensive patterns every week! (Now, unfortunately the system has changed a bit that most of the cool patterns cost some money. Still affordable though!) I also love seeing other people’s creations and alternations of the Burda patterns, as many of other members have stated as well. It is very inspiring and encouraging!!

Only one thing I could think of to improve the site is some sort of alarm thing (maybe via e-mail or side-pop-up thing?) when someone writes on your wall or sends you a message, so that you will never miss it. Oh, and it also will be great somehow if we could follow up with the creations we left a comment on.

7. What is your motto?

“Be Creative”

Creativity never leaves my life. It is a part of my life, everyday, within everything I do. It is an essential component of my being. I am always up for some form of creative things – sewing, jewelry making, printmaking, or just daydreaming about things I don’t have time for. Creativity is not only about being arty and crafty, but also how you live your life. Even when you face a trouble, be creative! You will find your way through it.

Lunatepetal has some truly incredible creations. The tailoring on her coats is amazing.Take a look at her Top Ten favorite creations and be sure to check out her Etsy shop, it’s jam packed with cool jewelry, prints and clothes.

Beauty and Fashion

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I am very excited this week because I have just been asked to do participate in a super cool project. For now, I must omit the specifics, but I am going to be designing a small collection inspired by a certain beauty product and the pieces will be featured in the September issue of a widely distributed magazine where I’ll style the photo-shoot! It’s almost as good as Project Runway. It is better in some senses, because I have control over what I’ll be designing and I’ll have my seamstresses & production team on hand to stitch those clean, perfect seams, as opposed to the messy, finicky stitches of the over-worked, over-due machines we used on the show. I like to tell a story. I am naturally drawn to styling the final look of my creations, I find the process as important and fulfilling as the designing itself. One month, I was asked to edit the fashion issue of JPG magazine.

JPG features pictures from people all over the world, who like to take photographs. They are the BurdaStyle of photography. I was given a bunch of fashion-related photographs and sifted through them. I began to realize I look for hopeful imagery, visions of mystery unraveling
or a hidden story.

When I lived in Florence, Italy, my roommate Elissa set up a darkroom for us in one of our bathrooms. We acquired an enlarger and began taking photographs in the fir tree lined cemeteries of Florence. This is the first photograph I developed. Our friend Celena is to the right.

Fall In Love With Sewing!

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We are encouraging everyone to fall in love with sewing with three beginner Valentine’s Day inspired projects. These quick, easy and cute gifts are perfect to make for your loved ones, friends or even yourself. Check out the projects : the Pete Valentine Variation, the Valentine’s Flower Bouquet and Valentine’s Day Cards.

Post your gifts up on the site under the “Gifts” category and we will put them all in a slide show!

This month is all about Tailoring, Outerwear, and Menswear.

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We will be delving deeper into the ins and out of Tailoring, Outerwear, and Menswear. This month we will revisit some of our past patterns and look at the variations you have all made of them. Along with these old patterns, we will have new patterns like new coats for men and women.

CPSIA One Year Stay

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If you sell handmade goods designed for children 12 and under, you can breathe a sigh of relief – at least for the next year. The CPSC has granted a 1 year stay of testing and certification. Here’s an excerpt from their January 30, 2009 press release:

The stay of enforcement provides some temporary, limited relief to the crafters, children’s garment manufacturers and toy makers who had been subject to the testing and certification required under the CPSIA. These businesses will not need to issue certificates based on testing of their products until additional decisions are issued by the Commission. However, all businesses, including, but not limited to, handmade toy and apparel makers, crafters and home-based small businesses, must still be sure that their products conform to all safety standards and similar requirements, including the lead and phthalates provisions of the CPSIA.

Handmade garment makers are cautioned to know whether the zippers, buttons and other fasteners they are using contain lead. Likewise, handmade toy manufacturers need to know whether their products, if using plastic or soft flexible vinyl, contain phthalates.

You can read the entire statement on the CPSC website.

This, of course, does not mean that crafters are in the clear when it comes to selling their wares at shows, exhibitions and on sites such as etsy, or ebay. For more information on this upcoming law (let’s face it, it’s now a year away), check out CraftSanity has a podcast devoted to this topic and Smart Martha’s list of potential lead hazards (rhinestones, zipper stops, pearl buttons).

Aussie volunteers needed

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We are still looking for volunteers to help out for a few hours each day with the BurdaStyle stand at the Stitches and Craft Shows. It would mainly be while I attend to the workshops and fashion show. In return for your help you will receive a great little goodie bag.

If you are interested in being part of the show or would like more info please email Nichola at nikkishell@burdastyle.com

Show dates:

Melbourne- 11th till 15th March

Brisbane- 29th April till 3rd May

Sydney- 19th till 23rd August

Kent State Design Challenge

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This weekend twenty-six fashion design students at <a href"http://www.kent.edu/index.cfm&quot;&gt;Kent State University will be competing in a “Project Runway”-type design challenge. They will have only two days to complete a garment and have it ready to be judged in a fashion show.

There are some awesome prizes being awarded to the winners, one lucky contestant will have their design turned into a pattern for BurdaStyle and one will even win a scholarship from Coats & Clark! Keep your eyes peeled, we will be putting up a slide show of the winning designs.

The Hand-shoe

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Looking at the muff of this month, I had to think of mittens and got curious about their past. From mittens it is just a small step to gloves (or “handshoe” as they are called in German) and here I got stuck, fascinated about the glove’s history. The earliest document of the use of gloves is this ancient Greek fresco of two boxing youths. In medieval times metal gloves were part of armory. At the same time, gloves were a symbol for power and law and only aristocrats or the clergy were allowed to wear them. It was also in the middle-ages that gloves, made from leather or “needle-binding” turned into fashion accessories for fine ladies. But it was Queen Elizabeth I. who started wearing the most elaborate gloves embroidered and adorned with jewelry. The first specialized glove makers appeared in France in the 12th century. Probably to cover the smell of the leather, they perfumed their gloves with scented oils. Knitting gloves from silk or wool was a craft on its own, that supposedly required five years of training, if you still made mistakes your work would be confiscated and burnt!

Long lady’s gloves reaching up to the upper arm became an important, in fact obligatory item of the ball robe in the early 19th century when short sleeved robes became fashionable. Interestingly, men traditionally wore gloves at balls to avoid damaging the fine silk dresses of their dancing partners with their sweaty hands. Today gloves are worn mainly to protect our hands against all sorts of things or by fashion eccentrics like Karl Lagerfeld.

Most fascinating, just as gestures with our hands express sentiments towards people, gestures with gloves can be quite expressive as well: in the 18th century slapping someone with a glove in the face meant to challenge him to a duel. And in German you “handle somebody with kid gloves” when you treat him very diplomatically.

And to give you a bit of a literary treat, check out the English translation of The Glove, a poem by Friedrich Schiller (1759 – 1805) who besides Wolfgang Goethe was and still is one of the most important German poets.

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