Beginner's Sewing Blog: This Skirt Has Something Against Me


I started to sew my first wearable project! I’ve been told the easiest thing to sew is a nice, flowy, simple skirt. The Linda skirt seemed to meet all the requirements so I set to work. As easy as the project was, I managed to make it a very, very difficult.

Now, all of you who sew and know what you are doing are going to think of me as absolutely nuts when I tell you this next bit. I decided on using gingham with all those little ¼ inch contrasting boxes; and as if that weren’t enough, it wasn’t the right width so I had to finagle it and add some seams in the front and back.
Between the little boxes and the new seems, I was hunched over the pattern table pinning everything together for over an hour.

BSC Update: BSC Brooklyn, NY, USA!


On Monday, August 24th, the BSC of Brooklyn conducted their sixth meeting. Once I realized how close they were to the BurdaStyle offices, I decided to drop by for a visit! Held at one of the members’ beautiful loft, the five ladies and I had a wonderful time talking about everything from their current projects to Project Runway!

How do you do Denim?


Denim has been around since the late 18th century- it’s origins residing in France, where the French once created a sturdy cloth called “serge” in the city of Nimes; hence denim’s original title “serge de Nimes”, which was soon thereafter shortened to Denim.

Today, when one sees denim, images of centuries past are not abundant, but instead we see something much more modern, current and quite American right? I find denim amazingly versatile in this sense. Denim has this extensive history, yet it can instantly be reinterpreted into a completely modern fashion.

I am sure almost every reader of this posting owns a pair of jeans. How much do you love them? In all of it’s incantations, how do you do denim? Are you a fan of the 70s, wearing bell-bottoms and flowy tops? Do you have a favorite pair of jeans? Are they modern or vintage, drainpipe or cropped? Which of the pictures above do you relate to the most?

Featured Member: Shalyn


1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
Well, I grew up for my earlier years in Southern California, then moved to Manhattan for a number of years before deciding to go to school in BC Canada and now I’m settled in Vancouver BC.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
I started sewing by doing embroidery, which likely explains why I sew all of my clothes by hand. I’ve never had a sewing machine. I used to embroider handkerchiefs a lot, so I’m pretty sure that must have been my first project. Just one of the random things that I saw at some point and decided I wanted to do, so I went to the library and started taking out books that illustrated different stitches. I was probably about 9 when I started sewing.

Perfect Fall Jacket Patterns!


As much as students dread it and parents love it, it’s undeniable… it’s back-to-school time! What better way to start off the school year than with a perfect fall jacket? Go from the warm summer nights into cool fall days with these chic BurdaStyle patterns!



Last Thursday evening I had a date with my beau. We went to one of my favorite Thai food restaurants which is cheap and B.Y.O.B. (bring your own beer- or wine in my case) which is very recessionista friendly. Recessionista: A person who is able to stick to a tight budget while still managing to be stylish. I think, before this word was created, and before the economic crisis, that many of us on BurdaStyle were recessionistas already, sewing our own clothing and accessories and being frugal and creative about our immediate surroundings.

More Uses For Thread


Of course we all know that thread is an important tool for sewing, but did you know that 100% cotton thread can have cosmetic uses? As I was surfing the web the other night I came across this article that discussed the increased popularity in the ancient art of threading. Intrigued, I searched around to find out more information and discovered that the concept is simple, thin cotton threads are twisted around a follicle and then pulled, removing the unwanted hair – similar to tweezing. If you’re interested in seeing threading in action, be sure to check out this video (the ‘action’ starts at 2:00), of course, if you’re really interested in trying it out for yourself, this tutorial on eHow will teach you how. Personally, I’m going to stick with keeping my thread in my machine.

The Beginner's Sewing Blog: The Big No Sew


Well, again, my time at the sewing table has been minimal this week, but that is because my ankle is the size of a softball. Yup. Softball. Wednesday night I rolled the hell out of it, so I have been laying on the office couch, keeping my ankle elevated and doing all the things I’m supposed to to make it mend…except for last night.

Last night we had our New York meet up and I just couldn’t sit still! We got to meet many of the incredible member/friends that we’ve made through the site (picture above, more to come next week!) I was so inspired by all these amazingly talented women, women who work so hard during the day and come home and

Wednesday's Repairs


As you know, we have been fighting off the bugs you reported as fast as we can! On Wednesday the site was down for repairs and we were able fix some of the major ones that have been lurking on the site. So now, without further ado, here are the changes that you will notice throughout the site

BurdaStyle Sewing Club Update: BSC Columbus, OH, USA!


Founded by talented BurdaStyle member Shaunda, the burgeoning BSC of Columbus, Ohio is off to a great start! They are preparing for their first meeting on Saturday, September 19, and hope to have future meetings on the first and third Saturday of every month.

For their inaugural meeting, they are going to do a simple “Meet and Greet.” All you need to bring is some creative ideas for future group meetings, and a couple of your favorite projects for a Show-and-Tell. Any of your favorite sewing tips and techniques are also welcome.

From Himba to Haute Couture


Picture the texture of the braided hair of black women; the silhouettes of African mothers who have wrapped their children into blankets to carry them on their back; the urban reality of daily improvisation in the ghettos in Cape Town and “Joíburg”; and the manifold themes of self-expression of South Africa’s youth black and white – in their search for a new identity, after their liberation from the apartheid regime. All this lived experience shines through the designs of the eight South African fashion designers that were nominated for the Mercedes-Benz Award for South African Art and Culture 2009

As diverse as South Africa’s society, are the origins and the designs of the eight nominees: iconic street ware, romantic opulence, Afro-bohemia, urban warriors and reshaped traditions that lie somewhere between history and future.

Of course there can only be one winner, Black Coffee,

For Lovely Mothers-To-Be


Does “maternity fashion” sound like an oxymoron to you? Nora recently mentioned to me that many expectant mothers on BurdaStyle have been asking for maternity-wear tips and tutorials. This week, we bring to you (courtesy of Nikkishell’s pattern altering know-how) fashion tips & patterns to accommodate a swelling belly- whether it be your own or a loved one’s.

Seeing that baby making begins in the bedroom, I find it quite fitting to start with the Jane pattern, a camisole & shorts combo you can comfortably wear to bed.

Getting yourself dressed in the morning can become quite uninspiring (according to my 6-months pregnant sister), we think that the Shari Dress is certain to up the ante in your prenatal closet.

Who says you can’t look as cute as a button while pregnant? The Steffi bolero tutorial brings this military-style jacket to a new level of chic. Nikkishell loved this look so much she made 2 variations of this pattern!

A tailored top (show off those assets!) and more voluminous skirt can really compliment your new found curves. Celestina I is Nikkishell’s first attempt at redesigning this chic dress. A cinch at the waist feels just right sometimes, Celestina II creates a beautiful finished look.

This one is for the brave- if you’re not willing to give up your favorite jeans while with child you can operate on them. Here’s a tutorial for making your existing jeans into maternity jeans.

I also found these Free Online Sewing Classes which offer maternity alteration tips and an array of projects.

As if you don’t have enough books along the lines of “What to Expect When Your Expecting”, how about giving yourself a little treat and get a sewing book for maternity clothing? These have gotten good ratings:

Patterns For Pregnancy

Pattern Making For Maternity Wear.

Featured Member: WonderWonder


1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I’m from Nagano, Japan, and I live in Brooklyn, NY now.

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

I’m not sure if this is really the first thing I made, but I think it was a bookmark made of felt and straight stitched. I remember I added some starry bead decoration to it. It my was made in 1st grade home economics class and we exhibited it on the wall of the hallway at school. My mother was quite crafty and she handmad/patch worked all my kindergarten nap time blankets, bags and pouches, so it was a great influence. I ended up joining a patch work club at elementary school!

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

My Designs in September Issue of Cosmopolitan magazine


Back in May I began working with Cosmopolitan magazine and Caress skin care to create 3 looks which will ultimately be given away to 3 winners (once they’ve won, the winners receive the look of their choice in their respective size). After months of hard work; sketching, draping, drafting, the final pieces are featured in September’s issue of Cosmopolitan! In September, Cosmo’s website should have contest details posted as well.

This sort of partnership appeals to me for a couple of reasons. Here’s how it works: Cosmo forms an exclusive with Caress. Cosmo finds a young designer to create a fresh allure to the brand. A budget is provided for the production of the 3 looks while the designer also receives a stipend. The art directors from Cosmo & Caress and the designer perform an in-house photo-shoot at Cosmo while the designer plays stylist. The spread is published and winners chosen. It seems as if it is a win-win situation for all parties included, as well as the 3 potential winners.

As the stylist, I borrowed jewelry from my friend Rachel Leigh to complete these looks- I love her new pieces. This is the second time I have worked with her, we also collaborated on a line of jewelry together in 2006 for a exclusive… I would love to get into jewelry design again. I studied the art of silver-smithing throughout my college years- most intensively in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, under Billy King- the infamous (well, infamous if he ever instructed you) madman of the Mexican jewelry circuit- and an incredible teacher. He has a school in San Miguel, Sterling Quest, which I would recommend to anyone who has the desire to learn the alchemy of silver-smithing. It truly changed my life in the most empowering way.

Trashion Fashion: Sewing with "trash"


The word “Trashion” originally was used to describe couture, almost costume-like, designs created from repuprosed materials. However, with green sewing becoming more common, “trashion” has become more wearable. A great example of how far salvaged sewing has come, check out this video by CraftSanity on the Recycled Runway event at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Designs (and Jennifer’s entry, The ‘Headliner’ Newspaper Dress). [photo via CraftSanity]


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