Make a Muslin

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We all know you need to measure twice and cut once, but what happens when you measure, cut and sew …. and it still doesn’t fit right? Alterations are an option, but if you’ve cut in to expensive designer fabric, ripping and re-sewing may not work very well. Mary over at Sew, Mama, Sew! has a great piece on making a muslin when you’re sewing a new garment. I’m kind of an instant gratification gal, but after reading her article, I’m really interested in taking the time to make a muslin so I can perfect a fit before I dive in to my fancy fabrics.

Letter from the Editors

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Nora and Benedikta are back from Germany and have finally recovered from jet lag. While in Germany they had the opportunity to hold a press lunch attended by a number of publications. Even more important, it was attended by our recent Featured Member: Fashion1. She had a chance to meet with Nora and Benedikta and to talk with the German press about how much she loves BurdaStyle and what a great community we have here.

Featured Member: Nuiwida23

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I have resided in Southern Maine for my entire life (all 16 years of it)! Naturally, I love the ocean, sailing, and lobster (yum!).

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
When I want to learn how to do something, I dive right in! The first thing I ever made was a set of purple patchwork quilts that were just the right size for my two dolls and their bunk-bed. I was 11 years old and would accept no help! My Auntie Dana has always been my sewing inspiration. She does custom upholstery and home design; I owe my natural abilities to her! When I was younger she used to make me clothes, and one I specifically remember was a blueberry print dress. She loves that we share an interest in sewing, and whenever I need assistance she is my go-to!

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Sewing is my creative outlet; it gives me a sense of accomplishment when I can create something beautiful out of something that had no distinct purpose before. It also fulfills my need to be unique! When I make something, I know that no one else has the same dress, bag, or skirt. Sewing sets me apart from the rest, and lets me express my style.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
Let’s start with my least favorite, since that’s easier to answer! Marking the fabric, hands down. I can never seem to get it all, and it stops the flow of creating something when you have to worry about your seams matching up! If I had to pick a favorite, I would say that initial feeling of inspiration. I get that every time a new pattern appears on the site. I also love being able to say “I finished!!!” since the last few touches can be a struggle for me!

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what would you make?
I would LOVE to sew an elegant evening dress for myself, and actually have a party to wear it to! I love vintage clothing, so something 40’s inspired would be lovely.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?
When I found this site I was looking for a place with patterns and helpful tips. Boy, did I get that and so much more! There couldn’t have been a better site for me, because the support and inspiration that I have received from everyone involved is invaluable. My two favorite aspects of the site are the sense of community and the awesome patterns! Something that I would love to see is more variety in the kinds of patterns. Like everyone, I love the Charlie bag and would love to see another accessory or bag pattern.

7. What is your motto?
I have learned that life can be so exciting when you do something unexpected, say what’s on your mind, and use your imagination. As Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus always says, “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!”

To see Nuiwida23’s incredible creations click here! Also check out her profile

Spring is Here!

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Hey everyone!

The cherry blossoms are in bloom, the lilacs are gorgeous and the trees have leaves. Yes, spring has finally sprung here in Brooklyn and we at BurdaStyle could not be happier! There is something about the spring air that just inspires us. Everywhere you look the energy is just buzzing around, even the pigeons have a bounce in their step.

Mother's Day How To

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Mother’s Day is coming up fast. Every year it’s a struggle to come up with that prefect gift to show her how all of her efforts have not been in vain. As we all know, moms can always use a way to wind down and relax, that’s why we have the perfect Mother’s Day How To! This eyemask, made from luxurious fabric and filled with lavender, will speak only of serenity and relaxation. So check out the how to to get the idea and we will post the pattern on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Featured Member: Oonaballoona

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?

I am from New Jersey, USA, originally, then lived 12 years in New York, which is kind of the same thing— unless you’re a born and raised New Yorker, then New Jersey is another hemisphere. Now I’m in Los Angeles, which is another UNIVERSE.

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

My first sewing project was a big old pig made in my home economics class, I think it was the 5th or 6th grade. I chose pink taffeta, naturally… you would think with that choice, my pig would have been frilly, but he was actually quite huge and sleek with sharp seams and WAY overstuffed, there was no cuddling with this pig. I mean, you could have used this pig as a chair for a small child. Home ec was only offered one year, and I pretty much stopped sewing except for the odd (and badly executed) hem here and there. Oh, and the prerequisite pair of slashed up-the-legs jeans in high school. Am I dating myself? BurdaStyle has really got me sewing again, with the help of some fancy sewing items landing in my lap… a featherweight 221 from my parents, and a dress form from my mom in law.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

It keeps me sane and makes me happy! A friend told me that if I was going to live in LA, I had better have something to do that had zero to do with “the business”. I thought that was sort of dramatic… I have loads of hobbies anyway… well, she was right, people eat sleep and drink the biz here and that diet is really not for me. I’ve found that sewing has stuck more so than my other hobbies, it has the perfect combination of order and creativity. BurdaStyle definitely has a lot to do with my continuing obsession, as there’s always something new & cool to work on.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?

Those first few seams where you can see your creation taking shape and you know you’re doing it right is awesome. also pressing seams puts the universe in order. my least favorite thing is FITTING. I just want to finish it and put it on for the first time and have it fit like a glove. I would save myself loads of time if I would just
try the damn creation on once or twice before triple stitching those side seams, but it takes away from that little dance of joy at the end if you’ve already had it on before it’s completely done! but, if it doesn’t fit… no dance of joy. Rock and a hard place, eh?

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

I was warned: once people know you can sew, there’s no end to the “minor” requests made… I’ve been asked to make a jumper for a chihuahua, a man’s blazer out of a baby blanket, a pair of jeans… I think people really don’t know how much time goes into it. (and they are a bit delusional about my skill level). So if I could make
something for anyone, I guess I’d make them understand what they’re asking! If I could make something for someone… I would make the perfect suit, and the someone would be my husband. Skill-wise that’s a pipe dream, but if we’re talking fantasy here, there it is!

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

I visit pretty much daily, looking for new creations and using all of the great information and generally stalling on doing the things I am supposed to be doing. I really like everything about the site, and I know you all are improving things constantly. I love the community here— no one ever gets touchy or offended, everyone is so incredibly supportive of each other, and as far as online communities go in my experience, that’s an anomaly. I mean, I got in trouble because I introduced myself to 2 yahoo sewing groups at the same time… good lord, I think their world would end if they saw the double posts in our forum. Oh, I guess that is one area I’d love to see improved, heh heh, now that I mention it… but seriously, this site rocks.

7. What is your motto?

Hmm. I’m not sure I have a specific motto, though I could very well see myself walking around with theme music playing constantly. THAT would ROCK. through living in Los Angeles, I’ve become very aware of how important it is to be true to who you are as much as humanly possible, and to have fun doing so. This town is sort of more
fiction than fact, and it’s easy to get swept up in that. So I guess my motto is be true, to thine own self, and whoever comes your way, or whomever. You know what I mean…

To see Oonaablloona’s awesome creations click here! For more on Oonaballoona and to see more of her work check out her blog.

Site Survey and Summer Skirt Pattern!

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Hi everyone,

As you may have noticed, BurdaStyle is now on MySpace and Facebook. We have loved getting all of your friend requests, it has totally been making our day. Thank you to all of you who have left comments on our pages, it’s so nice to have members who are so involved. For all of you who have yet to be our friend, there are links on the homepage that you should check out. We love getting the requests so keep them coming!

Ordering a neckline with a twist

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If you are looking to add a little interest to your neckline, check out Christina’s latest project over at Assorted Notions. Inspired by a tutorial she saw on Sew Intriguing, she gave her tee a twisted neck band. The effect is subtle, yet really cool.

Taking a break

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Hi there!

Heidi is now almost 6 weeks old and she has grown so much, time is flying by. Now rather than time dragging by like towards the end of my pregnancy my weeks seem to go by in a flash, usually with me accomplishing only half the things i’ve wanted to. I promised myself that i would take some time out once Heidi had arrived so i have decided to take some time out from writing my column for BurdaStyle. I love working on BurdaStyle and have done so for over a year now! But, it takes up a lot of my time, i spend many hours sewing and then 2 evenings a week writing and editing my posts which leaves little time for anything else. I’m going to spending my time looking after and playing with my girls, trying to keep my house relatively tidy and start some of the many things i have lined up that i’ve been wanting to do for myself but have just not had the time. Basically i’m getting back to basics, making making time for the small things and doing them at my own pace.

For now this is just a break for me from writing my regular column and i will be around on the site uploading my creations, participating on the forum and organising the sewalongs and you’ll also be able to see what i’m up to on my own blog.

PS. How cool is it that Heidi has a dress named after her!?

Fabric Junkie's Dream

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I have a confession to make, I am a fabric junkie. Not only is my fabric stash growing exponentially, but I can usually identify a fabric line just by looking at it! Now there’s a new site devoted entirely to my passion – True Up. Not only does this site update it’s readers on upcoming fabric lines but also teaches readers how to buy fabric online and where some of their favorite prints can be found.

How To Cut Slippery Fabric

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On with the season of weddings, graduations and parties, this also means flawless skirts and dresses. These creations all involve one thing: slippery fabrics. Whether creating a lining or a silk dress, this week’s How To will show you a simple way to cut fabrics which can be hard to keep a hold of. Enjoy!

Vintage Sewing and Hatmaking books online for browsing

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When you’re studying an art or craft, it can help to take a look back through history for inspiration, resources and just general fun, “can you believe they did that?” Lucky for us, the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin has put a collection of three dozen sewing and hatmaking books online. The publication dates range from the 1890s to the mid 1940s. Scrolling through the books can be a little tedious, but there are real gems in there worth finding. [via]

Featured Member: Sunnyb64

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I’ve lived my entire life in northern Delaware, on the east coast of the US.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
I grew up with it-my mother’s sewed for my whole life, as does my grandmother and my aunt. So she started teaching me how to use the machine when I was about seven years old. The first thing I clearly remember making was a Barbie dress that I hand-sewed from white felt scraps and seafoam-green yarn. I had to cut it off the Barbie later because I forgot to leave an opening to take it off. I think the first thing I sewed on the machine was probably an awful pair of elastic-waist shorts in the horrible neon colors they had in the 80s-so it’s probably a good thing I wasn’t taking pictures of my creations back then!

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
When I was growing up, making clothes was a huge personal expression thing for me-I really hated the thought of wearing the same generic mall clothes as my classmates. Plus it made it really easy to have skirts that were long enough for my school’s dress code! Now, I work in a creative-based field (I’m a musician/music teacher), so it’s really nice to have something creative that’s purely for fun. Plus the clothes in stores still generally either bore me or annoy me when I know I could make them better (and often cheaper!)

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
Planning the project is a lot of fun for me, whether trying to decide what to do with a gorgeous piece of fabric, what to use for a certain pattern, or trying to come up with my own design altogether. I also really enjoy the machine work, and I love finishing things so I can wear them out of the house! My least favorites are cutting out the patterns and ironing. Especially ironing-I know it’s necessary, but it still annoys me.

5. If you could make something for anyone, who would it be and what would you make?
The ever-elusive perfect-fitting pair of jeans! I’d also love to be more adventurous in sewing for other people in general, as fitting anyone other than myself usually scares me.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?
Besides the free/inexpensive patterns, the best thing is the sense of community, hands-down. Everyone is so encouraging of everyone else’s work and willing to share their knowledge and ideas, and I just love that. I also really love that experimentation with the patterns is encouraged, and seeing the different variations on the same pattern that people come up with! I’d really like to see a feature where how-tos connected to particular patterns can be linked from the main page of that pattern, if possible. And I want more mini-challenges!

7. What is your motto?
Borrowing from John Lennon, since I believe it really applies to sewing too. “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”

For more info on Sunnyb64, take a look at her profile. If that is not enough for you, make sure you check out her blog!

Swap-O-Rama-Rama heading to NYC this week

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New York readers – it’s time to get your swap on. The famous Swap-O-Rama-Rama clothing swap is happening this week. Grab your unwanted clothes and head down to NYU for a giant clothing swap and series of DIY Workshops. It’s a great chance to recycle and reuse clothing. See the Swap-o-rama-rama site for details on what you can bring and what to expect. [via]

Get your creation published!

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Some of you already noticed that every month we fill up a page with BurdaStyle fun stuff in the German Burda Modemagazin. And since BurdaStyle is all about our members, we have featured some of you already, and want to continue! Along with beautful pictures of your BurdaStyle creations, we love to tell you story and to show everyone what’s unique about you. Maybe you are a cake decorator, a forest ranger, you use BurdaStyle patterns for your own line, tell us!

We are looking for your story and your pictures! Since it is a print magazine, the pictures should be in high resolution (300 dpi) and aesthetically pleasing, charming, fun!

The people with the nicest pix and coolest stories will be featured in Burda Modemagazin! Send them to us to answers@burdastyle.com.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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