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Help For Those in Haiti

As many of you know there has been a horrific earthquake in Haiti, the estimate is that between 45,000 – 50,000 people have lost their lives. Aide is just starting to make its way into the country and we just wanted to provide you with options to donate should you want to help out. As a truly international site, our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragedy.

Doctors Without Borders
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization that provides independent, impartial assistance to those most in need. The organization is committed to bringing quality medical care to people caught in crisis regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation. This is a great organization, please feel free to read on or donate

Red Cross
Since 1881 the Red Cross offers neutral humanitarian care to the victims of war and the victims of devastating natural disasters. You can donate $10 to Haiti relief by texting “Haiti” to 90999, though a faster way to get them the funds is by donating online here.

Unicef
Unicef is an organization devoted to helping children trapped in the most dire situations. Donate here

To stay read up on the latest coverage from Haiti here are some good reputable sources:
NY Times Lede Blog (updated very frequently)

BBC

CNN

Sewing Vintage: Retro Foundation Garments

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{image courtesy of rechappo2002 on Flickr}

Most modern women consider it a blessing that we’ve escaped the eras of the corset and girdle. Sure, shapewear still exists, but it’s purely optional now. However, many young seamstresses who sew from vintage patterns are seeking out the foundation garments of the 40s, 50s, and 60s to get a truly authentic retro look.

It’s pretty hard to avoid that controversy when it comes to this subject. I tend to disagree with those who fall too dramatically on either side of the coin, which is either 1) you’re not doing vintage “correctly” if you don’t wear the right shapewear or 2) you’re participating in the oppression of women if you do wear shapewear. A girl can’t win!

V Magazine Sizes Women Up

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On January 14th, V Magazine’s size issue hits select news stands and there is already much buzz about over the argument of professional models vs. “actual, real, normal, regular, realistically (or whichever term you choose)” proportioned women. V magazine, which is known for pushing the envelope on fashion journalism, invited Karl Lagerfeld (infamous for being “fat-phobic”), to shoot a fashion spread of burlesque dancer Miss Dirty Martini for the issue (pictured above left), after Lagerfeld called German magazine Brigitte “absurd” for banishing professional models and depicting real women in their pages for good. Renegade fashion photographer Terry Richardson shot a professional model next to a “normal” sized woman (pictured above right) for the issue as well. Does one look better than the other? Don’t they look like Photoshopped images of the same girl? A couple of years back fashion officials in Madrid set a minimum body-mass index for runway models. Efforts gained urgency after 21-year-old Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston died of anorexia in November 2006, weighing only 88 pounds (40 kilos). Clearly some changes need to be made in the industry.

I know we’ve heard much from BurdaStyle members about wanting to see more patterns for realistically-sized women’s bodies and your desires for us to utilize actual “plus-size” models for our larger sized patterns (as you’ve quite pointed out that our beloved Alden is not plus-sized according to the real world) in photo shoots. It’s too bad we cannot afford Hungry author and international plus-sized model Crystal Renn (bottom right), who I find absolutely stunning, with her Natalia Vodianova eyes & pout, to pose for us. She is the only plus-size model to have ever appeared on a Harper’s Bazaar cover and has been spotted on the runways of Vena Cava and Heatherette. Lets hope this trend will stick.

What do you think of the use of professional models? Would you like to see larger women on runways? In magazines? Do clothes look better of waif-like figures?

Featured Member: loyl8

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
Made in the USA, but born to be a abroad. I was born in Spring Valley, IL and in 1991 my family and I moved to Arizona. After nursing school I moved to Southern California, Orange County, where I met my husband. A year ago we moved to south west Colorado and now my husband and I live in the ourskirts of Phoenix, Arizona where we are in the process of buying a house with my own sewing room…YEAH! My husband and I have many aspirations to travel the globe and maybe even settle down in some faraway place.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
I have loved fashion and clothes ever since I can remember. I have always walked on the other side of the fence when it came to fashion, I have never really cared what others thought of my creative outfits or ideas. From what comes to mind the first thing I ever made was a pillow when I was 5 years old with yarn and a big plastic needle. My aunt and my mother always inspired me with the clothes they would make for me and what they use to make for themselves. My Godfather gave me my first sew machine a little over a year ago and I have been sewing strong ever since. The first thing I made when I got my sew machine was a skirt that I destructed from a thrifted vintage dress. I love making something new out of something old.

HABILLÉES POUR L'ÉTÉ 2010

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Until last week I’d never heard of Mademoiselle Agnès, a French television personality and fashion insider and portrayer of young, raw fashion talents. She thinks that Paris is dead for young designers seeing that it is impossible to top the gilded fashion houses of Paris, and has highlighted some of her favorite new designers in her mini-documentaries. I’ve recently watched a series of her videos she has made with the The Sundance Channel called Full Frontal Fashion. A hand-held camera follows Mademoiselle Agnès from Rodarte’s front row face-off between Tavi and the Ice Queen to Alber’s (Lanvin) somber mental state wondering where has all of the glamour, romance and class has gone in fashion? If you’ve wished to catch a glimpse of the hidden interiors of fashion designer’s studios and showrooms or have the desire to see close ups of runway shows or catch some rare interviews, you should tune in.

No matter how jaded one can get from working in the industry, or sick and tired of all of the inauthentic buzz about fashion, these 1-off videos exude a passion and intensity which makes me shiver and want to get to work! Try that for inspiration.

Challenge: Coats & Clark Pink & Red Fashion Show at the Sewing & Stitchery Expo

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Hey all, so this is the longest title ever, but this challenge is super great and for a great cause!

The Sewing & Stitchery Expo held February 25-28 in Puyallup, WA is the largest consumer sewing show in the country. Coats & Clark is sponsoring this year’s charity Pink & Red Fashion Show, with BurdaStyle hosting the virtual event!

Fashion Trends

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If you have a passion for sewing up the latest styles in the season’s hottest colors, then you’ll definitely want to keep tabs on 2010’s fashion forecast. Helping keeping you in the loop: Fashion Trendsetter details Pantone’s color reports, runway trends and as well as upcoming accessories; Fashionising details men’s and women’s catwalk designs (and even hair) and trends for the upcoming year; and online magazines such as Vogue, Bazarr, and Elle, just to name a few! Have a favorite? Be sure to list them here!

The Wardrobe Sewalong


Hello there and happy 2010 to you. I’ve not posted here for some time, 2009 was spent traveling Australia with the Stitches and Craft Shows to tell everyone about this wonderful creative online community we have.

As you may know i organise the Melbourne CBD BurdaStyle Club and we have decided to start regular sewalongs. At first we tossed around the idea of using one pattern and then we thought about all sewing the same garment but choosing our own pattern but some weren’t keen as they’d have to sit out those that they didn’t want to make, for example someone doesn’t like to wear trousers.

BSC Quick Project Idea: Bunting Flags

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Are you a leader or member of a BurdaStyle Sewing Club? If so, this project was made just for you!

Sewing Vintage: Year in Review

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Sewing Vintage: My Most Popular Posts
I hope everyone had a great holiday season and a very happy new year! I’m looking forward to all that 2010 has in store, but as the year changes over, I thought I would take a moment to look back at the most read posts on vintage sewing on my blog, Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing. I hope you enjoy them!

Tutorials were very popular! Check these out:
• How to make your own vintage-inspired half slip—no pattern required!
• I did a two-part tutorial on sewing a 50s-style full skirt, and lots of readers have made this up in no time. Here’s the first part, where you draft a simple pattern. And here’s part two, where I show you how to whip it up.

Fairy Tale Fashion

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I tend to see the world through rose colored glasses and find heaps of inspiration hidden within innocent fairy tales of imaginary lands full of beauty and intrigue. There is a bit of a resurgence of fairy tale fashion happening now, and I’d like to see more of it. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland comes out sometime this year, Roald Dahl’s novel adapted for the screen by Wes Anderson, Fantastic Mr. Fox, the stop animation wonder made quite a splash, and we’ll never forget our childhood favorite fairy tale coming to life in Spike Jone’s Where the Wild Things Are (which I have yet to see as I’ve mixed feelings).


I have to say, cinema this year (well, last year really) has been right up my alley. There were 3 fashion documentaries worth mentioning, Valentino: The Last Emperor (loved the pugs! loved the seamstresses!), that Vogue one where Grace Coddington really steals the show- talk about someone who lives in a fantasy world! and Lagerfeld Confidential was just plain surreal. Remember how his fingers were always dripping in Tom Binn’s rings? Well, Binn’s just keeps on getting better & better (and more famous which makes me sad, but happy for him I guess): Binns has designed a 35 piece collection for Disney Couture with prices ranging from $100 to $500 which will appear on a larger scale in stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and boutiques including Kitson and Fred Segal. It features tea-cup necklaces and heavy, macabre, decadent body decor.


In honor of Alice in Wonderland, Parisian department store Printemps asked Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Bernhard Willhelm, Haider Ackermann, Manish Arora, Ann Demeulemeester and Maison Martin Margiela to invent one-of-a-kind dresses for Alice. These beauties are pictured above, as is Binn’s Alice jewelry.


So out with it! Who is making fairy tale fashion out there? I want to see pictures! xoxo

Featured Member: Zozowahine

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I’m originally from Essex, England and have been living in Barcelona, Spain, for the last year and a half. However, next year is set to be another year of change. Exciting times!

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
I’d imagine something like curtains for a doll’s house! My mum has always sewn and used to do dressmaking and alterations when I was little. I remember her teaching me how to use her sewing machine when I was about ten. I found her sewing box very exciting. At some point I must have lost interest, but I rediscovered the attraction of sewing in my late teens when it became my primary means of creative output. Then I went on to study Fashion Design at university.

Winning Looks

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The Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation awards, announced early this month, gave seven lucky designers $25,000 to put toward their Fall 2010 shows. One winner’s looks are pictured above. The collection, states Nepalese designer Prabal Gurung, was inspired by a 1970s bottle of his mother’s YSL perfume. He adored the packaging and tried to incorporate whatever that was that lured him to this attention to detail, into his collection.

Says Prabal about his evolution as a designer: From one season to the next, it’s an evolution, not a revolution. Whatever I do in one season, I can do better, and I want to get to a point where it reaches perfection. The vision gets clearer and clearer every season. But it’s going to be the same idea: beautiful fabrics, lots of draping and tailoring, an old-school way of making clothes done in a modern way. But it’s my first runway show and it’s definitely going to have a little bit of attitude.


What do you think of these looks? What kind of pieces would you design for NOW, in an economic climate such as thus. If you were given $25,000 to design a collection what would you do differently from now, where would you splurge? Would this win allow you to create what you’ve always dreamed of creating?

And the WINNER of the PFAFF® hobbylock™ 2.0 Overlock Machine is......

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Congratulations to SunSpot she won the PFAFF® hobbylock™ 2.0 Overlock Machine! Her comment was picked at random from over 4000+ comments! Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming contests (we have some great one’s this year)!

Outerwear: I Am Freezing

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It’s cold here in New York city. No, that’s an understatement, it’s freezing: with the windchill & snow & ice it can be dreadful. Must dress warmly. There are many chic coats out there that look wonderful but leave you shivering in your boots. I have numerous pretty vintage woolen coats & capes, the kind that are sharply tailored and smartly cut from English houndstooth and Irish wovens, but cannot block the wind if their imaginary little lives depended on it. What is a gal to do to stay warm?

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