Pattern Free Headband for Back to School

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What is the perfect accessory to accompany your new back to school clothing? Why, a headband of your own design! How many scraps do we acquire as seamsters & seamstresses that end up in the garbage? More than we care to recognize. And while we can collect scraps to make lovely quilts, as featured this week on BurdaStyle, it’s always fun to learn a quick & simple way of making something new & fashionable…it less than an hour! So how do we start?

4 free issues of MixTape!

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BurdaStyle Is giving away 4 copies of our very own Nikkishell’s MixTape Zine. This is a great zine full of interesting articles (as you can see from above.) The first 4 people to comment on this blog post will receive their very own copy of MixTape issue 5. Enjoy!

Back to school with BurdaStyle patterns!

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It still causes me to flinch when I hear it but, yes, it is time to think about back to school. Some of our interns have already left us, people are packing up for college, making sure they have the right pencils and note books, and that means that summer is winding down. Last week we announced our Messenger bag, which is an awesome way to make sure everything stays with you through the school day. There is also a great two part How To by milliesewly which shows another great bag for books. Fall fashions abound on BurdaStyle (the Thai pants are perfect for lounging around.) Get sewing and enjoy the fall!

Deciding which alterations to make on the Jorinde jacket

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I am so glad I am making a muslin for the Jorinde jacket. It seems the pattern needs to be changed in many places for it to fit me properly. I’m pretty short (5’2”) and have found that the jacket doesn’t fit quite so well in length especially between the armhole and the neck, the armhole is a little too big which feels uncomfortable when I lift my arm. To remedy this I will shorten the front and back pattern pieces between the top and bottom of the armhole and also at the corresponding location on the sleeve cap. Doing this will also raise the hemline but I may raise it a little more to sit just on or below the hips.

A few other alterations I’ve decided I will make will be to shorten the sleeves; they’re about oh 6 inches too long! I’ll also change the shape of the collar; I’m not quite fond of the shape it is in the pattern. I’ll sketch out a few ideas before deciding. The back of the jacket is also a little ‘poofy’ so I need to come up with an alteration to fix that and I’m undecided about whether to keep the pockets as they are, change them or not have them at all. Suggestions please!

I’ll be making a second muslin this week to test out these alterations before starting on my final jacket. I’m using the book Fast Fit to help me with my alterations, it’s a great resource for easy pattern alterations for all figures. I’m also going to be researching interfacing and lining a jacket.

There’s still time to take part in the sewalong!

How to Find a Local Sewing Group

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How to Find a Local Sewing Group

“How can I find other sewers near me?” It’s a common request on the forums here and one I used to ask myself when I was learning to sew. As helpful as visual how tos and online sewalongs are, sometimes you just need someone to physically show you what to do to get that “Eureka!” moment in your head.

I found a great sewing and costuming group here in London on meetup.com, and there are a lot of other sewing, craft, quilting, and stitch & bitch groups all over the world listed here, too. Our particular group gets together once a month or so for a chat and coffee, and we all bring what we’ve been working on for help and advice (or just a bit of “ooh that’s nice!”) and discuss local stores and suppliers. There’s a great mix of ages and abilities, from retired, expert Saville Row tailors to absolute beginners, but everyone there has a shared passion for sewing. If you’re in the US, it’s also worth finding out if there’s an American Sewing Guild (ASG) chapter near you. Who knows, you might discover that one of your neighbors also has a secret passion for fabric and patterns!

New Blogger for Sewing Universe News Feed

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Hi Everyone!
I just wanted to take a moment and introduce you to the last of the newest members of out blogging team. Our new contributor to the Sewing Universe News Feed is someone you are all very familiar with. She is all around the site posting great creations and fielding all kinds of questions. May I present to you Melissa Fehr otherwise known as squirrellypoo! We are so excited to have her blogging for us from the other side of the puddle!

Where does the Tie come from?

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How to knot the tie?

Curious girlfriends, wives, daughters, and you -millions of guys, who wake up to tie a thin piece of silk, leather or even wool around your neck each morning have you ever wondered why you are wearing a tie?

In 1818, Emil De LíEmpese suggested that the tie is useful against colds, stiff necks and tooth ache so it could in fact be practicality. But considering the discomfort that many men seem to be experiencing, especially during the hot summer months, another explanation seems more likely: a man’s vanity.

Read this: In addition to covering the buttons of a shirt and giving emphasis to the verticality of a man’s body it adds a sense of luxury and richness, giving him instant respectability. Above all, it is the ultimate symbol of individuality. - Show me your tie and I will tell you who you are!

Are we surprised? Not if we know the supposed origins of the tie: The beginnings of the tie are associated with French King Louis XIV, also known as the “Sun King”; for no other reason than he expected his court and country to circle around him like the planets around the sun. This very king created a new fashion, copying the idea of wearing neckerchiefs from Croatian mercenaries who fought during the Thirty-year war that shook Europe in the 17th century. Yet, that style of tie has no much more in common with our modern tie than the name in French (cravate) and German (Krawatte) which shows a striking resemblance with the French word for Croatian: Croate.

It took 200 years and an industrial revolution to evolve to our modern tie. In the 1920s the long, thin, easy to knot tie was designed to last through an entire workday without coming undone. The comfortable, yet robust piece of fabric kept it’s knot until its wearer loosened it by that typical pull of the index finger.

Today it is not just the office clerk, the traditionalist or the manager who is wearing a tie. It is even my ultra-cool New York brother-in-law who has discovered this style of sophistication.

And all those who always wanted to know how to tie a tie, you can get some detailed hints and tips at how to tie a tie. Want to make a unique individual tie? Try our Osman tie pattern.

New Blog! Sewvenirs: The Global History of Fashion

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We have a brand new blog premiering today and appearing every Thursday. Every post will be about a different element of the history of world wide fashion. This blog will be written by our new contributor Marie Karaisl. Born In Germany and living in Mexico City she has certainly had a lot of experience abroad. I am really excited to find out the journey that fashion has taken and how that affects where fashion in different cultures is today. Welcome Marie, we can’t wait to see your work!

Organize Your Fabric Stash

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I admit it. I’m a fabric junkie, a material-holic – I strive to reach SABLE (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy), although I probably already have. I’m reluctant to show you my fabric stash, but if you peek here, you’ll be able to get a glimpse of what I currently own. I don’t really have a ‘system’ for organizing my material, but this article, although meant for yarn, but should work just as well for fabric, might help get met started. How do you organize your stash?

Featured Member: SenaSews

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

I was born and raised in Dortmund, Germany. Now I’m living in a region in the center of Germany which is famous for the river Rhine and its medieval castles.

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

Both of my grannies have been seamstresses and my mother used to sew a lot as well. So I’ve always been fascinated by sewing. I made my very own attempts to sewing nearly a year ago by making a dress for me. It was absolutely not wearable but it was such a joy to make that I’ve stuck to sewing.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

For me sewing is a good compensation to my every day work. I usually sit the whole day in front of a PC. So for me it’s joy being creative and it’s somehow satisfying creating something I can touch and feel.

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

I really love everything about sewing – planning a project, choosing a pattern, buying the fabric (oh, that’s one of my favorite things), tracing the pattern, cutting the fabric and seeing how an idea turns into a real piece of clothing. When I start sewing something, I always have a concrete imagination of the finished piece. So I don’t like not finding the right fabric, the right buttons, … or when a project doesn’t turn out as I imagined.

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

…….

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

What I love the most about BurdaStyle is that it is a steady source of inspiration it gives me. I love to see other members creations and how they turned i.e. a basic pattern into something so unique and special.

7. What is your motto?

I don’t really have a motto. I try not to fear trying things and just do it. So I try not to fear making difficult clothes as a beginner, cutting expensive fabrics, working with knits or trying out new techniques.

You know senaSews from the Anda Sewalong Minichallenge I can’t read German, so I was very excited to find that almost every blog post is written in both German and English. She shows us how she did her beautiful diamond smocking as well as tips for other patterns. I was sucked into her blog and I think you will be too!

Drittofilowiki, A Wiki for Pattern makers and Textile Designers

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Cecilia from Pamoyo pointed this out to us. It’s a nifty little thing along the lines of the sewpedia but on a grander scale. Drittofilowiki is a giant wiki for people in the pattern making and textile design sector. It is designed for people who care about clothes and where they come from. It seams like it would be right up our ally. So, thanks Cecilia!

Pamoyo Goes Open Source

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Pamoyo, the Berlin based fashion house has gone open source. They have decided to make their designs available under the under the creative commons law. The patterns from this fashion house can be downloaded for free and printed out on your home printer. From the BBC

Pillowcase to Nightie with No Pattern

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Ever since I saw “The Virgin Suicides” by Sofia Coppola in 2000 I have wanted a vintage white nightie like the sisters wear in this macabre film. Though the inspiration behind the true story is a bit dark, I was stricken by the pureness & innocence of a crisp white nightie.

BurdaStyle Design Scouting: Congratulations Maryy!

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Congratulations Maryy!
Maryy is our current featured member and the winner in the BurdaStyle Design Scout contest. Her dress, hot hot Heat was chosen to be made into a BurdaStyle pattern for next spring. As many of you know, Maryy doesn’t generally use patterns but we are creating one for her…and you all. I know that I am really excited about this dress and I would like to that you all for suggesting the various user creations.

Etsy Alchemy Request

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Hey everyone,
I just wanted to bring this to your attention. Someone has posted an Alchemy request on Etsy for a Franzi vest with special button configuration. For those of you who are not familiar with Alchemy here is Etsy’s description:

Alchemy is a space on Etsy where buyers can post requests for custom items. Sellers then bid on the opportunity to make the item and win the sale. It’s your opportunity to collaborate with a crafter or artisan to get exactly what you’re seeking. Buyers can even make private requests to a specific seller within a shop.

Get out there and flex your sewing muscles!

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