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A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

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This past weekend I played dress-up with my dear friend Elissa. Elissa is a stylist extraordinaire, photographer and most recently a fashion designer with whom I used to live with in Florence, Italy. We have been taking photos together for a very long time, she even taught me how to develop photos with an enlarger in a little darkroom we created in a windowless bathroom in our flat in Florence.

Spolight on Designer Wenlan Chia of Twinkle by Wenlan

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We are excited to announce Wenlan Chia, an established designer of successful clothing, accessories and home décor lines. Twinkle by Wenlan, founded by Chia in 2000, has been rocking the runways at Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week since its 2002 debut. Known for incorporating knitwear into collections, Twinkle by Wenlan has won international critical acclaim. In the coming weeks we will release two sewing patterns of hers, one of which can be found in her new book Twinkle Sews which will be released on September 29th, the other is an exclusive for you BurdaStyle members. But first, we would like to introduce you to the driving force behind it all: Wenlan Chia, Founder and designer for Twinkle by Wenlan.

Scarf Dress Challenge - Win a BERNINA Sewing Machine!

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BurdaStyle and BERNINA have teamed up to bring you an awesome contest and a chance to win a brand new BERNINA activa 210 sewing machine.

Sewing Green brought to you by BERNINA

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The trend of going green is hard to ignore. Between the big factories, poor wages and the inefficient shipping, we all know that the culture and concept of disposable clothing just has to disappear. Take a look at America, in 2007 alone the country as a whole sent over 11.9 MILLION TONS of clothing to the landfills! Everyone reading this already has the right idea, handmade items not only fit better but also tell stories, and are cherished by those for whom they are made making them less disposable and therefore better for the environment.

BurdaStyle Sewing Club Update: Upcoming BSC Meetings!

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You don’t have to sew alone!

BSCs all over the world are gearing up for their latest meetings, and with the advent of our <a href= “http://burdastyleclubs.ning.com/&#8221;&gt;Ning Social Networking site, finding out upcoming dates is easier than ever! Here is a look at a few of the latest BSC happenings. Interested in joining one? Simply visit their respective Ning group page, or contact the BSC Leaders directly.

Beginner's Sewing Blog: Done! Well, sorta.

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I am finally pretty much done with my skirt, it only took a few more awkward moments and seams ripped out.

My lining is all kindsa crazy. We didn’t have enough big pieces, so I had to Frankenstein it together out of 5 smaller pieces. Some pieces just barely squeezed by, with slight chunks missing out of the bottom here and there. Attaching the lining was fairly easy, but of course, I did it a roundabout way so it took me much longer than it should have. Yet again, this is a good example of why you should read everything carefully. Once that was in place, I was set to hem!

Music Makes Fashion Makes Music...

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The connection between fashion and music is one of everlasting glory. Taking Londoners by storm in the early 1960s, fashion’s influence on music (and vice versa), became something incredibly meaningful and symbolic to a generation of young revolutionary minds. Vivienne Westwood & Malcolm Mclaren dressed the Sex Pistols early in the decade in ripped up t-shirts with safety pins and bondage gear- which literally kick-started the “punk” fashion aesthetic. Mary Quant invented the mini skirt and hot pant which every hippy & freedom lover of the 60s adapted into their wardrobes. The bikini made it’s

Bumpy Road to the First Patent on a Sewing Machine

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Check out this WIRED article by Randy Alfred on the first sewing machine patent that was filed by Elias Howe today – 163 years ago.

An earlier inventor in France, Barthelemy Thimonnier, patented a simple hand-stitch machine in 1830, but had to flee for his live after 200 tailors rioted, “destroying 80 sewing machines and throwing the pieces out the windows.” Another inventor, Walter Hunt, was afraid of the massive unemployment of seamstresses and did not pursue his ideas, as well.

Read here how this lovely invention went on quite an adventurous path before it became a mass product affordable for you today!

How a Sewing Machine Works

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Ever wonder how a sewing machine works? We found this really cool animation that shows you exactly what is “going on under the hood” so to speak.

Featured Member: Chri_stine

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I grew up and studied in Germany and after graduating from university lived in London for 2 1/2 years. My husband moved to Brooklyn for work in April, and I finally moved to Brooklyn three weeks ago after finishing my project at my job in London.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
My mother used to sew a lot when I was little so I was always used to hearing the sewing machine and picked up the basics just by watching. One of the first things I really made that I can remember was probably a jacket

Maybe you can help me...

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Do any of you wonderful people sell your wears on Etsy? I have recently opened my first Etsy shop as an outlet to sell some of my favorite pieces from past collections and to promote my line, Dahl, to a new type of audience. I have noticed that many folks are doing very well selling on Etsy, especially in the 1-offs or hand-made categories, including Layla, of Ledthread, who used to make beautiful things for you here at BurdaStyle.



It used to be a dream of mine to stay home all day and just sew for hours on end… Today I see that dream as something entirely reasonable and proven to be quite fruitful- people I know have quit their day jobs because of online sales. You can list your items for “pocket change” on some of these sites while creating an outlet where the entire globe can browse your work. Pretty unbeatable I think.



Now I have a question for you: What sort of questions do any of you have about getting things off the ground as a young or independent designer? What sort of tips or advice are you looking for? I am working on a posting which will cover some of these issues & I want to answer your questions, as you are the future of the sewing world. Thank you!

Cardigans Patterns for the Fall

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Fall is in the air and the leaves are starting to turn. There is nothing better in the cool whether than to cuddle up in a comfy sweater, a good book and warm cup of tea. Before it gets too cold, make one of these for yourself:

Sydney Stitches & Craft Show

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The Sydney Stitches and Craft Show was a huge success. I enjoyed meeting all you new members who have joined since visiting the stand at the show and long time members who came to say hi. I was worn out by the end of the week, it was my first visit to Sydney and my hosts showed me the sights, i visited the Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach and The Opera House at night!
I’d like to thank the volunteers who helped out throughout the week especially Turina and Cynthia who held the fort on Sunday morning so i could have a sleep in and breakfast with my hosts, thanks so much i wouldn’t have managed without you all.
Nikki.xx

National Sewing Month

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September marks National Sewing Month – a declaration started in 1982 by then-President Ronald Regan. The National Sewing Month website, along with the American Sewing Guild, encourages sewers, new and old alike, to celebrate the month by putting to work their sewing machine. They are also challenging everyone Reuse, Remake, Restyle a garment into a new, eco-friendly project. This contest runs until September 30, 2009 with 3 winners taking home a prize package filled with notions, tools, fabrics and more! So what are you waiting for? Get out there and celebrate a whole month devoted to your craft!

Beginner's Sewing Blog: Well, no one can say that I’m not learning anything

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In my last blog I showed you how I successfully made a skirt with wobbly seams which was WAY too big, I certainly have been learning a lot making this project. I learned that when sewing two pieces of checkered fabric together, it is best to not sew at the end of a row but rather right up the middle. When you sew up the middle, the seam fits in as opposed to looking like a thick stripe, it also happens to be much better at hiding wobbly seams. So I went back in and sewed the seams again with this in mind.

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