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BurdaStyle Post on LifeScoop

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Hey Everyone!
BurdaStyle has done a post on LifeScoop. Take a moment and check out the top 8 online sewing resources!

Featured Member: Desira_pesta

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I am from Scranton, Pennsylvania, but I have been living in New York State for eight years and NYC for almost four years. Brooklyn to be exact.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
Oh gee, I have no idea. I was (and am) really into drawing and architecture as a child, as well as furniture, so I think one of my first projects was reupholstering a vintage armchair with denim. This combined a little bit of architecture with sewing and served as a catalyst for other sewing endeavors including a purple halter top which I somehow got to fit me perfectly without using a pattern.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Sewing has taken over my life! I really really enjoy transferring ideas or two-dimensional drawings into something wearable. I love that with practice and education anything is possible. Understanding how pieces fit together and how seams create a look have also affected other areas of my design and art. I sew 4-10 hours a day and I am fine with that, although an intern or two would be swell.

BurdaStyle Section Sponsorship

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BurdaStyle is now offering the sponsorship of our website sections: Projects, Patterns, Learning, Discussions and our Blog. You can advertise your business, product or Etsy store in the top left corner of each of our most popular website areas. These ads help drive traffic to your website or Etsy store.

Members, check out our section sponsors as we only pick products and services that are of interest to you, the community.

This is great for Etsy sellers and independent businesses with limited budgets. Discounted advertisement packages are available by contacting carol (at) burdastyle (dot) com

Dahl T-Shirt Giveaway!

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This week I am participating in a giveaway for EcoSalon, a fashion savvy, environmentally conscious blog which covers interesting tips & hints for those trying to make their lives a bit more green. Anyone can enter this contest by simply leaving a comment here, it couldn’t be more simple.

I am giving away one of my 3-tiered Tencel tops which is made from 100% Tencel, an environmentally friendly textile made from wood pulp cellulose, it’s the softest stuff I have ever worn. Why do a giveaway? Well, sometimes participation in a giveaway can provide traffic to your website or online store, get your line press which may lead to more sales or write-ups, and keeps the buzz alive. The last giveaway I did was for Cosmopolitain magazine and Caress soap, where I designed 3 looks based off of Caress’ new skin care line. For this project I was given a budget & a stipend, so I took the opportunity to design some more high-fashion looks and had so much fun with the entire project. Giveaways are a great way to get free advertising in exchange for one of your designs.

Thanksgiving Sewing

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For those who live in the United States, Thanksgiving will be celebrated this Thursday. Not only is it a time for a wonderful array of food and friends and family to gather together, but it’s also a perfect time for last minute sewing! Needing a few ideas on how you can put your sewing skills to work and dress up your table this year (or just bring a killer gift to your hostess)? Here’s a few to get you started:

Vintage Sewing: Plus Size Patterns

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There are plenty of things that intimidate modern sewers about vintage patterns, but the scariest issue to overcome is usually sizing. If your bust measurement is larger than 36”, it can seem impossible to find a pattern for you. Believe me, I know how frustrating it is to see all the fabulous patterns out there, and then to discover that you can’t find it in your size. But plus size ladies don’t have to give up on the idea of sewing vintage. Quite the opposite! Retro styles are especially flattering on women with curves. Here are some tips for dealing with the size gap.

Trend Watch: How Do You Wear Velvet?

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Do you think velvet is a Do or a Don’t? Do you use velvet in your designs? I love the look of velvet- the soft sheen of gem colored velvet looks elegant and royal, and printed velvet can be gorgeous. But velvet can also look dated- circa 1980 when it’s done with really huge shoulder pads in badly tailored blazers. It also doesn’t photograph very well if you are using an indoor flash. I made a dress with a velvet top and silk jacquard skirt- there was just enough mustard, gray, black & sage printed velvet on top to create an interesting design with this daring print, as the muted brown silk made the look more mellow. I also made a skirt from the same velvet material and let me offer you a piece of advice: Don’t make a tulip skirt out of velvet printed velvet- especially if you want a flattering look!

How do you do velvet?

Check out my velvet slideshow here!

Here are some links to BurdaStyler’s Velvet Creations:
Red Velvet Jacket

Black Velvet Coat

Velvet Cloche with Feather

Bright Yellow Strapless Dress

Featured Member: GinaSophia

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I now live with my husband in NYC, as well as attend school here. I was born in Harlem, but I grew up between London, NYC, and North Carolina. As early as elementary school I knew I wanted to return to New York, and that really motivated me to do well in school.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
The first thing I made was a lime green and white gingham, stuffed duck with a neck so narrow he seemed like he had narcolepsy! I bought my first sewing machine after a marathon of Project Runway 3 years ago, but went on a sewing hiatus shortly after, and really just started to sew garments within this past year.

Filling Orders

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I just received another order of (my take on) the Stella blazers from Shift boutique, and they are also ordering my signature black crocheted Victoria top, pictured above. Usually, when a shop or company places an order from a designer, they will send you what is called a Purchase Order. The P.O. contains the retailer’s necessary information, including shipping & billing addresses, and lists the units they would like to order. This usually takes place twice/year around September & February, when the latest collections have been revealed and are on sale for wholesale only. The designer must then sign the Purchase Order and confirm that the desired goods will ship by a specific date, usually within 3-5 months. Many designers also offer “immediates”- revised collections of signature pieces, must-have items or overstock from last season that is ready to be shipped immediately. I deal with many immediate orders, as they are a good source of income during the between seasons and they keep retailer’s stocked with fresh looks.

I have included my order form, pictured above, which contains my information and categories for listing the items which have been ordered. I will fill in the fields with the desired pieces and send this back to the buyer to confirm the order’s details. Once they’ve approved and paid for the goods, I will begin to produce the items. Most importantly, my order form contains my terms & conditions. At times it can be very difficult to get retailers to pay you on time, this is an ongoing battle many designer’s seem to face. By stating your terms the buyer agrees that you will indeed receive payment on time, on the date specified.

DIY Fabric

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With gift-giving holidays less than two months away, it’s time to start planning what presents you might want to sew. If you have the perfect project in mind, but just can’t find the right fabric, you may just want to design your own. Creating your own material couldn’t be easier with several sites devoted to custom printing:

Spoonflower is probably one of the best known sites on the web – not can you see your designs printed on a variety of cottons, sateen, rayon, and interlock knits, but you have the opportunity to win 5 yards of your design if you enter one of their weekly design contests!

If you’re looking for more than just cottons to print on, check out Fabric on Demand. This website will place your design on ‘classic cottons’, duck, fleece, micro-denier suede, Lycra, and polyester satins.

Have a luxurious gift in mind and requires a one-of-a-kind silk print? Try KaramKraft. This site uses reactive dyes not pigments which means that they can print on any fabric including silks and wools.

If you live outside of the United States and are looking for a fabric design site, be sure to stop by Bonbonkakku. Just like Spoonflower, this Finnish company holds contests where you can win yardage of your material!

My Stella

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My apologies for posting this entry so late, I have been really sick. I moved into my new house last Sunday (yay!), but Monday morning I woke up with a fever and bronchitis. It is almost a week later and I finally feel good enough to be up & about. And what do you know? I just received, at this very moment, pictures of the Stella jacket project I wrote about last week (pictured above on Shift boutique co-owner Amanda Converse). I went to the Shift opening 2 weeks ago and was utterly impressed by the eco-chic boutique; all of the clothing, jewelry & accessories are made from sustainable materials or utilize organic or vintage elements. The shop itself was built from salvaged materials, vintage and surplus finds. The other co-pilot of this green fashion endeavor is a dear friend of mine; writer, blogger, buyer, indie-designer-lover, Amy DuFault, who writes a witty column for EcoSalon.com, an eco-conscious fashion & lifestyle blog. If you’re into sustainability you should check it out.

I am so pleased to say that my Stella blazers have been selling! On opening night I think 3 were sold, and since then a few more. What I did to change the design elements of the pattern was eliminate the multiple strips which caress the front, and keeping just one, I used an organic silk strip of the same color of the jacket body and placed a small box pleat at the hip curve for a more feminine flair. I added a bit of volume to the top of the sleeve head for a sharper, more tailored looking shoulder, and finally placed a Dahl signature element of my hand-made pewter clasps for the front closure. What I would change in the future is the fabric. I used an organic silk/linen, but found it very stiff, like canvas almost. Next time I would find a more pliable fiber.

If you design eco-friendly garments you should really contact Shift via the link provided above- they are looking for more “beautiful, whimsical, and brighter pieces” as some organic clothing tends to be a bit on the dark side, with lots of of indigo, navy & black.

BurdaStyle Sewing Club Update: A BSC Visit and Other News!

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We at BurdaStyle are busy settling in to our new space in Manhattan! Before we moved though, we hosted the Brooklyn BSC for their latest meeting. With wine and a few snacks, we all gathered ‘round our sewing table to share projects, discuss future ideas for BurdaStyle and the clubs, and talked about everyone’s upcoming projects.

It is so great to meet with such talented people who are just as passionate about their skills as they are with sharing them.

Finding and Recycling Fabric for Quilts and Projects

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Hey Everyone,
Katherine Bell has come out with an amazing new book called Quilting for Peace full of great projects and ideas. Check out her book here from STC Craft / Melanie Falick Books! She has also been kind enough to share her 30-Minute Shopping Bag pattern with all of us.

Recycling fabric into quilts and other useful things to give away helps not only the people who receive the gifts, but the rest of us as well. The average American throws away more than 60 pounds of fabric a year, and discarded textiles take up four percent of our landfills. A quarter of the insecticides used globally each year are used on cotton crops, so growing new cotton to replace what we’ve thrown away is also bad for the environment. The resourceful crafters I interviewed for Quilting for Peace have found many sources of free fabric to use in their projects. Here are a few:

Sewing Vintage: The Evolution of Pattern Instructions

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How often have you wished that a modern pattern had better, longer, or clearer instructions? Well, believe it or not, today’s patterns are tomes compared to eras past. I recently bought this fabulous “Lady’s Overall” pattern from the 1930’s, and was fascinated by the brief instructions.

As you can see in the image above right, all of the instructions are on the back of the envelope – there are no inserts included. It’s a mere paragraph! Just check out this sentence: Make the collar of double material and sew on as notched, and make 2 slot pockets in the front. Anyone who’s even sewn a convertible collar and made welt pockets knows that a little more instruction than that is required!

BurdaStyle Book? Your Opinion Needed!

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Hey everyone,
We have a question to pose to you, we are thinking of creating a BurdaStyle book and we would like to know how you would envision it?
Would it be a reference book? Beginner’s sewing guide? A collection of your creations? What would you like to read and see, how would you like to contribute? We look forward to seeing your responses!

Image from Richard Scott 33

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