Featured Member: Stepanka

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I am from the Czech Republic, currently living in Sydney, Australia.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
1st thing I made was a stuffed caterpillar, sewn by hand, for my mums
birthday and I was 5 years old. First thing I sew on a sewing machine
was a stripy tshirt, when I was 6 years old. I was in trouble for
that, because I was not allowed to use my mums sewing machine, but I
just could not help it. She was in shock when she found me at home,
proudly wearing my new top which she had no idea where it came from.
After that, mum taught me how to use the sewing machine and I started
making outfits for Barbies and selling them to my friends.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Basically, I could not live a day without creating something. I love
my sewing machines and my scissors :)
Besides this simple way of enjoyment, I also design for clients, but I don’t stitch! I get them stitched. But initially I do stitch a sample piece.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
I love everything about it. Sad, but it is true.

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

I would create a functional wardrobe for Britney Spears (i am not her
fan, but i just can not watch what unflattering pieces she is
wearing).

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

I am looking for similar creative souls on your web, I am always so
happy to see that people are enjoying sewing and I love all the
inspiration i get from your members.
I would love if the uploading pattern thingy was less complicated. I
would be more than happy to upload some patterns, but i find it too
time consuming.
I love the whole concept of the website, it is wonderful. Thank you.

See some of Stepanka’s colorful and feminine creations, especially the awesome Beach Cover Up, made from the Desira pattern, by viewing her profile here!

Sewing Universe News Feed: 27 February 2008

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One Garment, Lots of Looks

Whether you’re purchasing clothing or making a garment, it’s always important to think about the ways you can wear your clothing – especially when you’re investing money into expensive fabrics. Now there’s a way to expand the looks you create, convertible clothing! There are several ready-to-wear designs available for sewing inspiration: Max Studio’s 8-way tube top – the rouched silk allows you not just wear this as a top, but also a skirt and Calypso’s satin wrap dress. For a quick tutorial on making your own version of the Calypso, check out this tutorial available at rostitchery.

Sewing Universe News Feed: 26 February 2008

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This weekend, more than 30,000 people are expected to visit the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington – just south of Seattle. With seminars, exhibitors, celebrities and shopping, it’s no wonder so many people flock to the event. Will any BurdayStyle.com members be able to attend? Let us know in the comments!

Nikkishell: Jorinde blazer plans and sew along update

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Have you seen the newest pattern?

Jorinde is going to be just perfect for my Autumn/Winter wardrobe and I have my muslin cut out all ready to sew up! I do plan on making changes though. Instead of the flap pockets I am going to give my version bound pockets. A bound pocket looks like a large bound buttonhole from the right side, see the picture above. Making bound pockets can take some patience and a little practice which is why I have uploaded a

step by step how-to. I suggest you practice a few times on scrap fabric before attempting to try this on your intended fabric; we don’t want any tears now do we? I may also consider changing the collar but I will wait until I have my muslin sewn up before I decide on that.

As much as I like the wide-rib cord that BurdaStyle have used I have decided to go with the 100% wool olive tweed you see in the sample above. I want it to be plain enough so it will go with many of my outfits. There won’t be any elbow patches on my version and I’ve yet to decide on my button choice, this will probably be decided once the jacket is finished. I may take a trip to the button shop in the City where they will help me find the best match. They have an abundance of delicious vintage buttons there, I’m sure to find something.

This week marks the end of the

JJ blouse

sew along. I still haven’t managed to finish mine but I do have a few days left before February is over! This past week I have given in to taking much needed naps in the afternoon instead of sewing, I figure I need the rest more than I need the JJ blouse at the moment. I am impressed by the many versions that have popped up on the site though which you can see in the

creations section of the site. You can also read all about what each member thought about this pattern and any changes they made etc in the

forum.

The next sew along will be the

Nichola pants; they were by far the most popular vote. I personally won’t be taking part in this sew along since I plan on having a baby in the next few weeks, plus I think I should wait until I’m back to a regular pre-pregnancy weight before attempting these since they are quite fitted. I have started a

new thread in the forum for this sew along and the same applies as all the others, tell us your plans, fabric choice, pattern changes you may make etc. Feel free to ask questions and give tips too.

Oh and I just wanted to let you know that all of the maternity alteration how-to’s I have made throughout my pregnancy have been organized into

their own category, if by chance you need them!

Letter From the Editors: Sharing Secrets

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Secrets, secrets, are no fun. . .

So BurdaStyle is going to share some secrets with you! We’re sure everyone is curious how the patterns turn from muslins in our Brooklyn studio or illustration submissions from one of our design calls, into Print at Home PDFs for everyone to download on BurdaStyle. Well, its actually a pretty long, detailed process, involving a lot of talented people and lot of work!

Sewing Universe News Feed: EXTRA News Flash!

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The folks at the Stitch Lounge in San Francisco are working on an article for Etsy’s Storque magazine about handmade weddings. If you worked on DIY wedding projects at the Stitch Lounge, email hope@stitchlounge.com with photos and a short description of your project. There’s a time crunch, as the deadline is tomorrow (Feb 26) so send the projects pronto!

Sewing Universe News Feed: 25 February 2008

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Winter is still upon us, but it’s never too late to start thinking spring. When it comes to sewing, one of the biggest decisions is selecting a pattern, but the next is usually the color. Pantone’s Fashion Report for Spring 2008 can make the whole process much easier. Their forecast not only includes the top 10 colors for women’s fashion, but also inspirational sketches and quotes from designers. While you’re there, be sure to check out Pantone’s Fall 2008 forecast!

Nikkishell: Subversive Seamster book review

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I was recently sent a copy of the book Subversive Seamster for review. Subversive Seamster follows Sew Subversive and is published by Taunton Press. It is the creation of The Stitch Lounge Girls: Melissa Alvarado, Hope Meng and Melissa Rannels. The Stitch Lounge is an urban sewing studio in San Francisco, where you can rent time on a sewing machine or take classes.

Subversive Seamster shows you how to refashion your thrift store buys using many simple but effective techniques. It shows you how to take those tired and unwanted clothes and turn them into something funky, wearable and individual!

The first chapter gives you tips and tricks about thrift store shopping. Tips such as planning ahead, carrying a tape measure with you and what to look for in clothing such as stains and smells. It also tells you how to look out for sales and ask for deals.

Chapter two shows you simple but effective techniques that are used throughout the book. Techniques include patches, Lettuce edging, ruffles, pin tucks and Darts. There is also a section for how to make your very own Ms. Double Trouble: The Duct Tape Dress Form.

The next three chapters are dedicated to various projects including making mittens from an old sweater (I have a <a href"http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikkishell/514188900/in/set-72157600266962712/&#8220;&gt;pair of these made for me by a fellow Melbourne blogger ”http://onegirldesignwrks.blogspot.com/&quot;&gt;’Onegirl’ and they’re great), making a bolero from a turtleneck sweater using a lettuce edging technique, cuffed city shorts from old men’s pants and a checkbook cover from an old tennis racket cover.

As you may know I run the website Wardrobe Refashion so this book seems very appropriate for me. What do I think of it? Well, I think it is well laid out with great instructions and enough images throughout to help you with the techniques. The techniques themselves are simple enough for those starting out in sewing and refashioning. However I’m not too keen on the actual refashions but this is a personal preference, they aren’t garments I would particularly wear myself. I also feel that from the images in the book that the projects are not quite built to last, the finish of the garments look rushed but this could be overcome in your own creations by taking your time.

Do you have this book? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

How To: Make a Clean Finish

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This might not be the most exciting How To I’ve posted on the site, but its certainly an important one! Finishing the raw edges of seams is crucial if you want to make a garment that can last, and one that looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside. Serging the seam edges is the most obvious and easy solution, but can’t always be done, either due to a lack of machinery, or because it wouldn’t suit the garment. For higher-quality finished, you can try Binding, French Bias Binding, or even French Seams.

Sewing and Art: The Aeolian Bike Ride

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We always love to look at projects that use sewing as a means to create something unseen before.

Freelance designer and artist Jessica Findley uses her sewing machine to create suits that are part of her Aelian Bike Ride – a “public art piece, driven by people, to change space within the city”

Featured Member: Zahra

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
Hi, I’m from Karachi, the Brain of Pakistan.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
First thing I made was a dress for my Barbie doll! I was around 11-12 yrs old. And I was totally inspired by my friend who had this whole wardrobe of her Barbie! She made everything for her doll. Clothes, bags, cushions and what ever she could sew.
But I lost interest in miniature dressmaking soon. Later for my graduation I took Fashion Design, that’s how I learned sewing properly. People here don’t sew clothing, they get them stitched by tailors. I also did not stitch my own clothes until BURDASTYLE inspired me!

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Sewing is a perfect way for me to spend my day! Its even more fun when one works with group of people/classmates. It has wonderful effect on us. Creating something from an idea, Working on it and then giving it a finish. It’s very refreshing, yet challenging!

Besides this simple way of enjoyment, I also design for clients, but I don’t stitch! I get them stitched. But initially I do stitch a sample piece.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
I hate troubles that my sewing machine creates!!! And I even hate filling out bobbin and threading the machine!! It just breaks the tempo!
Love everything else about sewing!

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

It could be for anyone, something unique! Depending on the person.

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

I am looking for more wonderful patterns! Tutorials and what not! There is so much one can learn from this wonderful site.

I think admin should participate in discussions on regular basis! Cause they are the ones we lookup to for perfect answers or solutions. Although, this site has some amazing members who come up with such wonderful creations but there are certain issues that only BurdaStyle can resolve.

Besides this, I also find a need of a tutorial or series of tutorials regarding illustrations, reading technical drawings, making one, what to keep in mind etc. . .
As now members are sharing their patterns and many don’t know how to work on technical drawings or people like me are not very good at them. So it would be really nice to see some tutorials regarding this.

And BurdaStyle can also encourage members to sell their patterns at this site!

7. What is your motto?
Is to enjoy every moment of Life! To cherish what God has given me and to make proper use of it.

Learn more about Zahra by seeing her profile here, and be sure to download the Retro Top pattern!

And, an Editor’s Note: Zahra is right! As admins, we should and would love to spend more time in the forums and commenting on the site, and very much appreciate how much the members communicate with each other on their own. We find ourselves so busy sometimes that getting in the forums does not happen as often as we would like. We will certainly do our best to respond to all of your questions as they come up. If you find your comment is not responded to, you can always send an email to answers@burdastyle.com or send any of us personal messages!

Letter from the Editors: Back to Basics (for your bottom!)

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We know how much all of you love the basics, because they give you an opportunity to flex those pattern making and garment altering muscles of yours. And we love to encourage it. That’s why last week we brought you the Sidonie skirt! As with the all basics, like the Lydia top, we want to inspire you to make your own variations by showing some variations we’ve made ourselves! So over the next few weeks, we will be sharing a few variations of the skirt, and even introducing a new project, along with NikkiShell, to get even more out of these basics! Start with this first how to, which shows how to create a “paper bag” version of the Sidonie, and keep in touch!

Nikkishell: Sidonie skirts

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I finished embellishing my denim Sidonie this week. I decided to go for the simple look and added some appliquéd leaf shapes using the scraps of denim left over from making the skirt. I’m really happy with the result, do you like? I also made up another Sidonie using the fabric I ordered from Tessuti Fabrics. Unfortunately my package never arrived but Colette sent out my order again. I love this fabric, it’s so bright and the fabric feels nice against my skin. I kept this one simple but I did make one change, I added some in-seam pockets using Nayantara’s fabulous tutorial. It was so easy to do and pockets are always great to have, I love pockets. I did have a complete pregnant brain moment when making the skirt though, I forgot to add in the pleats and didn’t realize until I’d sewn the waistband on, ugh. So the waistband was unpicked, the pleats sewn in and the waistband sewn back in place. Actually, make that two pregnant brain moments, I also cut out the skirt using the lining pattern rather than the main pieces, it doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference though, thankfully!

I’ve actually cut out another 8 denim Sidonie skirts in various sizes. I’m making them to sell in a cool little store here in Melbourne called ’Meet Me at Mikes’. I thought I’d use my increased sewing mojo to make myself some $$’s before it disappears. I’m hoping it doesn’t though; I’m quite enjoying being so productive recently. Has anyone else used BurdaStyle patterns for this purpose? I‘d be interested to hear all about it and how you do with selling your handmade items. Leave me a comment.

Since my fabric arrived I’ve finally been able to start working on my JJ blouse, YAY! So far I’ve cut out the fabric and it’s waiting for me to start sewing. I’m considering leaving out the ruffles, I haven’t quite decided yet, other than that I don’t think I’ll be making any changes. I’ve noticed a few of those taking part in the <http://www.burdastyle.com/forum/show_topic/4216&quot;&gt;sewalong have already finished their JJ blouses, check them out:

Whiti’s Tetris JJ

Lulusmomma’s ochre JJ

Bathina’s black JJ

SewLikeCarolyn’s orange JJ

We have ten days of the <http://www.burdastyle.com/forum/show_topic/4216&quot;&gt;sewalong left so I’ve made a new thread over in the forum for us all to choose the pattern for the March sew along. Head on over there to you’re your vote and I will announce the winner next week in my blog post. Don’t forget to upload a photo of your finished creation to the site and let us know how you went making the blouse.

I was also thinking we could have a mini challenge/sew along. More about that in another post!

Nikkishell: Vintage apron to new

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Being a mum of two small children means things can get very messy. To combat this I like to wear an apron for those messy occasions. Not just any apron though, I like to wear my vintage apron. I have collected a number of vintage aprons but my favourite style is the full bib which gives maximum protection! I have one apron in particular which is my favourite, the pink one above. Unfortunately since it is vintage and I wear it often it is starting to fall apart. The binding is coming off and there are a number of holes appearing in the ‘Oh so soft’ but very fragile fabric. What to do? Why take it apart and make a pattern from it of course! Then I can make as many as I like.

I pulled the apron apart and used a big roll of brown paper to make my pattern. The fabric I used is from my stash, something that’s been sitting there for far too long begging to be used. This apron uses around 7 or 8 metres of bias binding so altogether I used around 1.5 metres of fabric since I made my own binding but of course you can buy it ready made if you wish.

So, an afternoon of cutting and sewing and I have a brand new apron! Pretty cute huh? I will be sharing the pattern with you in the next day or so, I’m having a scanner issue today which prevents me from uploading it. In the meantime why not check out the following links for more apron inspiration.

The Apron Book by EllynAnne Geisel

Tie One On

Vintage Apron Flickr Group

Vintage Apron Sewing Patterns Flickr Group

Apron Outfits Flickr Group

The Apronista!

Do you wear an apron? Which is your favourite style? Is it vintage or new? Maybe you purchased it at a thrift store or you were given it by a member of the family. What do you do when wearing your apron? Let me know in the comments. I’m thinking of making a kind of apron that i can wear out, something that can be attached to or worn over a skirt or trousers. Hmm the cogs in my brain are in motion.

How To: Button Up!

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What did you get from your Valentine? Chocolates? Flowers? Home-made dinner? The best book about cheeses! (My boyfriend is the best for knowing how much I love cheese!)

Wondering what you can do now in exchange? Well you know the phrase “Give a man a fish. Feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime”? Well, why don’t you teach your loved one a skill that can be with them for a long time: How To Sew Buttons. Not only will it be incredibly helpful for them, it will free up some time for you to continue with your sewalong project or upload that pattern you’ve been meaning to upload, instead of sewing on tons and tons of buttons!

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