Fashion Goes Underground

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A couple of weeks ago, I went to a show called the Underground Runway- an event held by fashion design graduates of Parsons in New York. Usually, Parsons selects a handful of individuals to show their collections upon graduating, but these kids decided to take matters into their own hands. After a year of hard work and planning, this show was born.

It was my first time attending a show like this in New York, and I was pretty excited! All I could do was mentally take note of what the guests were wearing, and see if I could catch a glimpse of someone I recognized (maybe Tim Gunn, even though he’s given up his position of chair of fashion at Parsons). The space itself was thoughtfully decorated- I loved the contrast between the elegance of crystal chandeliers and the edgy, almost subversive nature of the designs. From bloggers, to members of the media, to family and friends, to anxious onlookers like me, the place was packed!

The designs were, for the most part, fresh, varied, and stunning. Most notable was the emphasis on sustainability- lots of organic fabrics, and even recycled inner tube shoes (second pic from above)! Though there were definitely some covetable pieces for women (sleek screen printed dresses and coats, a breathtaking hand-knit gown, and Sarah Wright’s amazing sportswear), the menswear almost stole the show. Check out David Destefano, So Hyun Park, and Jennifer Chun’s stuff… awesome.

Keep an eye out for these kids- you’ll soon be hearing a lot more about them.

Check out the site for more pics, as well as this site for more pics of the event itself.

-Amanda

Photo Credits:From top to bottom- Sarah Wright, Rachel Ford and David Destefano

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie...

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“Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” is a novelty song I grew up singing, telling the story of a shy girl in a very revealing bathing suit who stays immersed in the ocean water to hide from view. But we won’t be hiding this summer now will we, because we’ll making our own swimming attire that we’re proud of!

The image on the bottom left is our very own BurdaStyle bikini. You can easily download the Jessica pattern to customize your own look today. I am opting to make this out of a bold, ethnic print like the images in the above collage or a metallic spandex.

As we should all be well aware (I completely forgot), Father’s Day is coming up this Sunday. This may seem a bit daunting to see your old man in swimming attire but if you’re up to the challenge try our men’s swimming trunks pattern!

One of our users actually combined our bikini top with the men’s trunks to make boy shorts. So cute!

Featured Member: Sunflowerinski

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1. Where are you from and what’s life like where you live?

I was born in Birmingham, England, when I was 18 I landed a summer job in Paris, fell in love with the Parisien way of life and ended up staying! I lived in Japan too, I was really impressed by the honesty and generosity of the Japanese but stayed for just two years before coming back to France. I still think Paris is the most beautiful city to live in.


Life in Paris is hectic, people are always running. No wonder the French are officially the skinniest in Europe! People care a lot about what they wear here, they also care about what everyone else is wearing. For people who create it’s a nice place to be.

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

A pair of trousers. I enthusiastically cut around a pair I had twice and then hand sewed straight up the legs. Strangely enough I thought that would do the trick (there was no room for my bottom of course). When I’d finished laughing I signed straight up for sewing classes. Sewing is more complicated than I thought.

3. What do you get out of sewing?

The freedom to wear exactly what I want, the satisfaction of making something from nothing. When I’m wearing my creations I feel like an artist exhibiting my work!

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

I love the cutting. I love the sound of the scissors cutting through the fabric. I tend to be a bit happy-go-lucky with the scissors and often cut without measuring which is why I have extra length tacked back on some of my creations, whoops!


I hate zippers, having to find a matching colour, length, sewing them, hiding them, it’s all time consuming , I much prefer buttons. Of all of my creations only 2 have zippers and that’s only out of respect for Elainemay as I really wanted to make that coffee date dress!

5. What do you love about Burdastyle? What could be better?

I love the how-tos, I really appreciate people taking time to share their knowledge. Creations are always a great source of inspiration. I would also like to see ‘worst-of creation’pages too, where you can post messed up creations and say “look what a horror I made, whatever you do don’t do the same” or “look at my hideous creation, what went wrong?” Lets face it, we all make mistakes, some of my favourite creations were born that way!

6. What makes you laugh/cry?

Practical jokes, people walking into walls or falling flat on their faces (as long as they don’t get hurt of course) / Onions

7. What is your motto?

Get over it


Live long and prosper

Check out sunflowerinski’s amazing creations. Also take a look at her Top ten favorite creations.

Craft and Singer's Swimsuit Cover-Up Contest: Sew One Up and Win!

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Craft and Singer have combined forces to bring you the swimsuit cover-up contest! Here is your chance to show off your spin on beach-wear (*must be a sewn garment). For a six week period, you can submit pictures of your swimsuit cover-up to the flickr group called ‘The Swimsuit Cover-up Contest’.

At the end of the six weeks, SINGER will pick one Grand Prize winner and three runners-up.

The Grand Prize winner’s project will be featured on the SINGER® web site and promoted in an ad on Craftzine.com. The Grand Prize winner will also receive one (1) SINGER® Fashion Mate 7256 Sewing Machine.

Three (3) runners-up will receive a SINGER® dress form and a $25 Maker Shed Gift Certificate.

So get on sewing and whip up your perfect beach creation!

Seattle Sewing Club!

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We’ve been getting so many requests from people all over the globe to start BurdaStyle sewing clubs that it’s been a bit overwhelming, but we’re so happy that there’s been so much enthusiasm! It’s awesome when we hear about how the clubs are doing, and this e-mail from Christina Thibault of Seattle, WA pretty much made our week. Or month, actually!

A couple weeks ago, Christina hosted her first BurdaStyle club meeting. According to her e-mail, she took a poll and 7 out of the 9 members of the club had used a BurdaStyle pattern- how great is that?

She even sent us a snippet of her planned class outline for upcoming meetings. From sewing terminology to lessons on indie and mainstream patternmakers, Christina’s club seems to have it all covered… wish we lived in Seattle!

For more info, check out Christina’s blog and profile. If you’d like to join a sewing club or start one of your own, check out our list of clubs across the globe.

Keep ‘em coming guys! We want to hear more about how your BurdaStyle sewing clubs are coming along. Don’t forget to send us pictures as well, so we can feature them on the blog.

-Amanda

10 Quick and Easy Sewing Projects for Father's Day

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Well it’s happened again, Father’s Day is right around the corner and I don’t have the perfect gift for my dad. Luckily, BurdaStyle has 10 quick and easy projects for Father’s day.

  1. For the hot summer days, nothing could be better than a Pete T Shirt
  2. And the Andrew Cardigan makes the cool summer nights comfortable and cozy
  3. Don’t have time to make a shirt? Embroider an awesome design on your dad’s ready made shirt using these: Knot stitch and Chain stitch
  4. Classic and easy, the tried and true Father’s day gift, whip him up an Osman Tie.
  5. Gave him a regular old tie last year? Want something different? Old school style or black tie event, it’s timeless. The David Bow Tie is a great gift.
  6. Dad’s often get together to hang out by the grill. Make your dad an easy BBQ Apron and Oven Mitts
  7. Create a coustom mouse pad and wrist rest to make working at a computer and sitting at the office a little easier.
  8. My dad travels all the time, it’s something in our DNA, we just can’t help it. With that much traveling a simple Travel Wallet can be incredibly useful.
  9. When he does travel, he never leaves home without his Dopp Kit. Make one for your dad today!
  10. And lastly, create a fun, personal and unique hat from an old T shirt

I hope these ideas have helped you figure out the perfect gift for your dad. Happy Father’s Day to all of you great dads out there.

SewStylish Spring Fashion Challenge

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Our very own Gertie (of the Malissa variation fame) is in another very cool contest! This time it is the SewStylish Spring Fashion Challenge. Check out all the entries and vote for your favorite!

Recycle Dad's Ties

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Traditionally, on Father’s Day, we give dad a tie. But what about all those slightly worn, stained, or out of style ties that he no longer uses? Upcycle them! Make yourself a skirt, halter dress, cool neck tie feathers, belt, or gadget case. Better yet, check out this entire list of links on recycling ties into crafty projects. Now you have an excuse to buy dad that tie this year – you can always take it over and make something new from it!

Open Studio: Hammered Silk & Lace Wrap

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I heart lace. Did you know that lace-making is an ancient craft? A true lace, or passement is created when a thread of flax, cotton, silk, gold or silver is looped, twisted or braided to other threads independently from a backing fabric. Lace was used by the clergy of the ancient Catholic church and was adopted by many different countries in which people would express their unique artistic heritage through their lace. Saint John Francis Regis kept young girls away from corrupt city life of the early 19th century by employing them as lace-makers & embroiderers- hence his becoming the patron saint of lace-making. Read more about the evolution of lace here.

Do you know who the current patron saint of lace-making is? Christian Lacroix. At least in my eyes. The most amazing, complicated, daring and striking collection I have ever seen come out of his atelier appeared this past Autumn/Winter. His models were adorned in floral, spiraling, twisting lace stockings and garments. I nearly lost my breath when I saw these images. I want to look like them.

And we can. This week’s Open Studio is a tutorial to make a conversation starting lace & silk shawl. We found some lace at Mood, discovered some unused hammered silk in our fabric cabinet, and went to town. Check it our HERE!

Tailor made Clothing and the Story of Tailor Buck

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In the middle-ages probably no tailor was as lucky as the fairy-tale tailor who ended up marrying the king’s daughter. In fact, in France, centre of fashion for centuries, as a tailor you were particularly unlucky. Why? Because unlike other professions French tailors lacked a guild that could have regulated their craft and protected their interests! The French Revolution (1789) when Napoleon wreaked havoc in Europe in the name of democracy, liberty and brotherhood only to crown himself Emperor a few years later finally abolished the guild system and now at least everyone was equally bad off.

In other places in Europe, the strict rules of the guilds eradicated any uncomfortable competition between tailors, strictly regulating the number of tailors in a given place and ensuring that no-one who was not an accredited tailor would think about entering the business. Each tailor had to go through a long apprenticeship and only the most skilled ones could pass the Masters examination that allowed them to design and cut the patterns and sell clothes. Journeyman, aspiring tailors who had passed their apprenticeship but not their Masters examination (yet), were confined to sew and iron clothes.

And then around the 12th century something changed: along with the cotton fabric, came the Renaissance and a new idea of clothes developed: body-shaped clothes. In fact, some like to say that was the birth of “fashion”.

But apprentices were by far not the lowest in the hierarchy: they were helped by male seamstresses, badly paid menial laborers who worked “stored away” sitting cross-legged on the sewing tables to save space in the crammed and dark workshops.

At least in Germany, endless parodies have been shaped by this image of haggard figures sitting on tables sewing feverishly, their eyes ruined from working in dark rooms hidden behind thick glasses. The story of Max and Moritz and Tailor Buck by Wilhelm Busch (German caricaturist and poet) is a definite must: here the first lines as a teaser (translated by the Rosetta Project).

Through the town and country round </p ALIGN=CENTER>

Was one Mr Buck renowned.</p ALIGN=CENTER>

Sunday coats, and week-day sackcoats,</p ALIGN=CENTER>

Bob-tails, swallow tails, and frock coats,</p ALIGN=CENTER>

Gaiters, breeches, hunting-jackets;</p ALIGN=CENTER>

Waistcoats, with commodious pockets, -</p ALIGN=CENTER>

And other things, too long to mention,</p ALIGN=CENTER>

Claimed Mr Tailor Bucks attention.</p ALIGN=CENTER>

Or, if something wanted doing,</p ALIGN=CENTER>

In the way of darning, sewing, </p ALIGN=CENTER>

Piecing, patching, -if a button </p ALIGN=CENTER>

Needed to be fixed or put on, – </p ALIGN=CENTER>

Anything of any kind,</p ALIGN=CENTER>

Anywhere before, behind, -</p ALIGN=CENTER>

Mister Buck could do the same,</p ALIGN=CENTER>

For it was his life’s great aim.</p ALIGN=CENTER>

you’ll find the rest of the story (including fantastic illustrations) here.

Featured Member: FancyClothing

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

I grew up in a small town on the perpetually green Olympic Peninsula called Quilcene. I and my husband currently live in limbo, which means that we’re on our third house-sitting stint this year and planning for another, as we continue to contemplate the direction of our next major move.

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

My mother and grandmother have always sewn, so I think I had many projects shepherded along by their expertise. My first independent sewing accomplishment was a mint green eyeglass case, made with quilted fabric and eyelet lace, and a button fastener. It was marvelous.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Sewing is necessary for my survival— and not in a specialized, esoteric sense that only fellow seamstresses can really understand, but in a makes-me-money-so-that-I-can-eat sense. During college and my first year of marriage I was fortunate enough to be able to submit my pieces to obliging boutiques for a bit of supplementary income, but was never required to make it my bread and butter. After a stint in Africa, my husband and I came back to Portland and a tough job market that drove me, after papering the streets of downtown with my impressively perky resumes and receiving nary a bite, to sew in earnest. I lobbed wads of my clothing at every boutique I came across, and in the cutthroat fashion climate of Portland, I was fortunate to eventually worm my clothing into three stores. In the mean time I set up shop on Etsy.com, and the rest is history!

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

I love stumbling on a design that works well and expresses the evolving personality of Fancy Clothing. I never use patterns, so any new design I create comes from eyeballing another design and thinking about translating into Fancy Clothing terms. Patterns are probably my LEAST favorite thing about sewing, but I’m trying to discipline myself into learning the right way, and not just my way. Ugh— patience and details are my biggest problems. I want to get things done!

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

Hmm… I would probably make things for me! It’s something I never seem to have the time to do— any piece that I keep has some hole that I had failed to notice while making it, or something like that. I would love to learn how to make jeans and jackets and SHOES (how amazing, right?) with all of those lovely details competently worked out, and then I would wear only my own creations, all made from thrift store fabric that cost me less than $1 a yard. And I would finally be stylish. Sigh.

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

Burda is so amazing— it, more than anything else, had inspired me to buckle down and learn how to really do things, like sew from patterns and pay attention to terms and whatnot. I found this amazing tutorial on how to use those old button-hole attachments, and I was floored!

I would love to have more and more How-To’s! And free patterns, of course…

7. What is your motto?

I didn’t have one until last night, when I read this World War II mantra in a book I was thumbing through:

Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Do without.

It’s so obvious, so austere. But just right.

Just by looking at FancyClothing’s profile you get a smile on your face, and then you see her creations. Her awesome pinafores have graced the front page of BurdaStyle many a time. You may also recognize her from her Etsy shop Necessity is the mother. Make sure to check out her top ten

Sneak Peek: Blog

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Similar to the rest of the site, the Blog has become clean and sleek. There are such great and fun new features that have made it a pleasure to read and look at!

Articles are not seen in full length. Instead, you can browse easily through all posts and then, if something looks interesting to you, all you have to do it click “Read on and discuss.” From there you will be brought to the full article where you will be able to comment on the article and on other people comments, but more on that latter.

You will also notice that each blog category is clearly noted and color-coded right underneath the article title, this will make it easier to classify articles and see more from the author. There is also a corresponding color-coded list off to the right, which will help you read up on your favorite series.

You can find most of the new, fun features off to the right. Above the color-coded departments box, you will notice a little button to send us a story idea, we know you have great ideas and we are so excited to hear them! Though we won’t be able to write every story, we can’t wait for you to be involved in the process.

Right below the list of departments, you will see a box that shows you the photo albums associated with blog posts, this allows us to share more pictures with you, so more inspiration and more fun to look at! We will also be able to include video.

We are very excited for everyone to get started with the new site and we can’t wait to hear what you think!

Making Another Wedding Dress

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Has anyone ever done maternity wear? It’s like menswear or speaking a foreign language, challenging yet enlightening. I’ve just finished up with the final fitting for my friend Katie’s wedding dress -it took 3 to get it right! Last week we had the first & second fittings during which I learned a lot about maternity wear! Because I was out of town, Katie had taken her own measurements for me. I was sure they must have been incorrect but I went ahead with them. Though she didn’t appear to have grown so much in my eyes, her normally size 4 frame had swelled to a size 14 from her pregnancy. We discovered that the front section of her gown needed to be a size 14/16 and the back a 6. The second fitting went far better and the poly-silk I used for the mock-up emulated the hammered silk we decided on for the final gown much better than my first muslin sample.

I originally sketched ideas for Katie based upon inspirational looks she’d collected for me. She wanted a halter-top or drapey top dress with an empire waist (for her swell) with an inverted box pleat like one I designed on another dress of mine she owns (pleat detail pictured above in black). I set about draping the top section of the dress and used the skirt pattern from a size 14 gown I found. I then shaped the pieces so the 14 would blend with the size 6 of the back panels.

Katie’s wedding is next weekend in the Hill Country of Texas near Austin. I’ll be taking some behind-the-scenes pics of the dressing of the bride. At the last minute, while I was hemming her dress, I realized it needed a sash to cinch in her waist and show off her swollen belly. I hope the final look is gorgeous!

Amy Butler's Sewing and Quilting Software

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With as ‘into’ sewing and technology as I am, it’s surprising that I haven’t ever used a computer program designed for pattern making. There’s several out there, Wild Ginger, LEKO, and Bernina’s My Label. However, it wasn’t until Amy Butler released her Electric Quilt Softwares CD that I finally took the plunge.

Amy’s CD is a stand alone software (although it is compatible with Electric Quilt 6) for your PC or Mac systems that run Windows (with Virtual PC) and contains 22 unique home decor projects (8 quilts, 3 table runners, 7 pillows, 1 floor cushion and 3 bags). Also included are 9 ‘bonus’ projects which are a variety of tutorials that have appeared on Amy’s site. The design of the CD is easy to navigate and is extremely user friendly – it allows you to start ‘playing’ immediately without spending time reading a manual. However, if you’re interested in some of the more complex aspects of the software such as customizing quilt patterns, all the instructions are available right on the CD. That’s right, you can take existing project patterns and make them ‘your own’ by erasing, flipping, rotating blocks, adding boarders, altering layouts, and changing fabrics! No matter what you chose, either the project as it’s written or complete customization, all sewing instructions are provided as well as fabric requirements (even if you alter the pattern!). Also included in the CD is a sewing glossary, tips, and technique section, resource guide, list of available fabrics by Amy, and loads of inspiration projects and photos.

While Amy’s CD is geared toward quilters, this program has whetted my appetite for using my computer to design patterns – and can’t wait to try my hand at a few others. Want to try one for yourself? Wild Ginger has a free download available that allows you to customize accessories such as hats, bags, and footwear!

The Look: How to Make it Yourself

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I’ve been so excited for June to come as this month we’re focusing on folk, vintage and ethnic influences in fashion. Ever since my father had me singing Rolling Stones songs & playing his guitar I have romanticized living in the 70’s- from music to fashion, it was a wild time. This post explains what’s we’re channeling from decades past and how to make these looks yourself!

Look 1: There’s nothing more chic than a soft printed shrug to throw on during a cool summer night. Make a 70’s statement and lengthen it and wear it with jeans or drape the short version over your favorite summer dress. Download the Sarah pattern here.

Look 2: Skinny jeans aren’t going anywhere but forward. Try our Anita pattern and customize your own pair in a metallic linen or brocade. Eliminate the pockets for more subtle look. Not sure about skinny jeans? Try our user’s Chudidar Leggings Tutorial and wear a sultry sheath over them.

Look 3: Mila’s dress is your next summer staple. With so much room for colorful personalization this little frock will make you rock. Check out the pattern here.

Look 4: Sex on the beach? Well, at least you can look sexy in our vintage inspired Alison bathing suit. I love Missoni’s swimsuits but I can’t afford them. I’ll make my own in an ethnic print and spend my money on food & drinks (or rent)!

And don’t forget to accessorize with bright vintage scarves!

Fashion spread pictured top: Steven Meisel. Dhani Harrison and Sasha Pivarova “Here Comes the Son”. Gush

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