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Oh Anni...


This past weekend my friend Julia came to visit me from Boston. There’s nothing like good old pals. On Saturday we went to the High Line in Chelsea, to take in the view and walk in the sun, and, after trying on every single perfume in the Comme des Garcons shop we drifted to the MoMa where we saw the stunning Bauhaus exhibition.

I am already familiar with the constructivist-style collages and paintings of my favorite artist, László Moholy-Nagy, and it was a thrill to see many of his pieces up close, but what blew my mind was the textile work of Anni Albers. Utilizing a mechanical Jacquard loom invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1801, Albers created mathematically inspired rugs and drapery that, to me, would make the most astounding textiles even today. The Jacquard loom uses a punch card system which was an important conceptual precursor to the development of computer programming. One is able to create extremely complex designs, seeing that these looms often have thousands of threads and can take days to re-thread. Hanging next to the draperies were numerous renderings in gouache depicting design patterns for the loom. The complexity and harmony so moving.



Being a person who crafts, it’s important to know that there are some things that must never be made. What are they? A Craftastrophe. Craftastrophe’s site is devoted to showcasing some of the weird and unusual handmade items that appear on the web spruced up with hilarious commentary. While some are amazing, others are downright, well, wrong. Like the tagline states, “because handmade isn’t always pretty.”

Tweet to Win with BurdaStyle!


On Friday, January 29th, BurdaStyle will host its first ever Twitter contest!

BurdaStyle Sewing Club Update: Mad Men Headbands


If you are a fan of BurdaStyle and have also hopped on the Mad Men bandwagon (impatiently waiting for Season 4), you are no doubt captivated by the fashion and accessories splashed across every scene. Alicia Kachmar, expert crafter and blogger, is also a fan and decided to whip these super-cute headbands just for our BurdaStyle Sewing Clubs!

Featured Member: Bows


1.Where are you from and/or where do you live?
Im from, and currently living in, Guelph Ontario Canada

2.What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
I think the first thing I made (or attempted to make) was a skirt. I was like 10 and it was hand sown and didn’t fit or look good at all. I don’t think I ever even wore it!
12 years later my sister got a sewing machine for her birthday and I just thought id try it out! It took me about a month to figure out how to even tread it but after that I just couldn’t stop sewing. So I’ve been sewing and teaching myself for about 7 months now and this is where I am.

SPOTTED: People Having Fun With Winter Dress


I just bought some red lip tint and rosebud salve and I am already feeling better about these gloomy winter days. Why? Because there is hope. I took an imaginary trip to the Nordic countries and found, thanks to The Sartorialist & CopenhagenStreetStyle some hidden diamonds in the rough.

Trends Spotted
Vintage. Back in the olden days they knew how to make a warm coat. Before fleece and technologically enhanced textiles a good old fashion down-stuffed parka or a wool peacoat was worn in the winter months. But sometimes these lovely finds just don’t seem to fit. Here’s a How To Reszie A Vintage Jacket Tutorial for you.

Going Up. No matter the coat you’re wear- stay warm! stay dry! if you find yourself on a fair day with no rain in the forecast, don a pair of wedge heels with some warm tights. Not only does they raise you up, they lift your spirits too. (I am actually wearing some today and feeling lighter)

Paint it Red. It was all over the Spring/Summer runways on people’s lips, nails & cheeks- and is spotted now all over the streets. (Personally I dislike lipstick, hence the tint & rosebud salve I’ll don instead and the smell is aromatheraputic). Whatever the day, whether dull or drab, red is exciting & fresh and a welcomed relief from the monotony of winter.

Chunky Scarves. The bigger, the better. My mother got me Yokoo’s Pembroke Cowl for Christmas and I actually get excited to go out just to wear it. I wrap it around my neck twice then pull over my head as a hood. So cozy.

Mr. Fox. Love it or hate it, I’ve seen many a gal wrapped up in huge vintage fur coats, hats, boots & stoles. It is a guaranteed method to channel your inner spirit animal towards staying warm if you don’t mind the possible repercussions.

Plaid. For many years, brands like Woolrich and international Army regiments have been making toasty lined woolen plaid coats for guys & dolls. Check out this plaid coat made from the Elizabeth pattern b one of our users to inspiration.

300,000 Members! Woo Hoo!


We have over 300,000 members, how crazy is that??? Remember back in the summer of ought eight we celebrated 100,000? Oh how we have grown! Keep up the amazing work, you are an inspiration to everyone on the site. We can’t wait for the next milestone, half a million members!

We're Heading West!


Carol and I are heading out to Anaheim, CA for the Craft and Hobby Associations Super Show. We are going to be checking out all kinds of crafty techniques and products. Though the show is full of awesome crafts (who knew scrapbooking was so big?!?) we will probably be spending the majority of our time in the National Sewing Council Pavillion. We are very excited to learn all the new techniques, shop a little and participate in a few make and takes. Learn more about the National Sewing Council Pavillion here.

Are any of you planning on attending the Super Show? Come meet us! We will be at the NSC Pavilion on Saturday from 10am-12pm, (booth # 929) Just ask for Alden or Carol!

Full of Pride & Prejudice


Last Spring my boyfriend & I bought a home in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. After looking at dozens of old brownstones which had been raped & pillaged over the years (i.e. modernized with cheap, synthetic materials & cheated of their original charm), we found a diamond in the rough: a modest brownstone circa 1877 with most of it’s original details intact, but desperately needing some love and tons of work. Over the months we have been reviving this old house of it’s strong points and step by step, day by day, making it more livable and improved.

Our bedroom is finally finished and so far it’s my favorite room (as I love to sleep), and we can lay in bed at night and watch films. The point of this post is that I have become completely obsessed with films which were set in the time our house was current, and Jane Austen’s novels behold the stuff of which I am fawning over: Victorian decor & Regency dress. (Though the Regency was from 1811-1820, the fashion aesthetic appears in these films more broadly via artistic license. It was the time of transition between the Georgian and Victorian eras).

Think empire waists with gathered, waterfall skirts. The dresses were modest, lacking the forced silhouette of extremely tight corsets with bursting cleavage, and underneath a simple chemisette (a side opening half-blouse) was worn, which made for a Classical look, inspired by Grecian draped gowns. Normally made from embroidered fine white lawn, muslin or batiste these dresses were primarily made in white (which can easily soil), which symbolized social status. Austen’s heroines always wear a small, cropped jacket over one of the empire waist dresses when outside, lace up leather boots and a pair of short leather gloves.

Above is a collage I’ve created of Regency dress and how to interpret that into a modern wardrobe. Our Francesca Dress offers a very similar silhouette. Enjoy!

BurdaStyle Survey


Hey all,
Over the next year, some of you might see a little pop up in the bottom of your screen asking if you would like to participate in a survey, this research is to help us get a clearer picture of our community as a whole. If you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to leave comments or shoot us an email! We want to thank you in advance for your participation and we are excited to see these results!

BurdaStyle Sewing Club Project Ideas


BurdaStyle Sewing Clubs are an amazing way to learn a variety of projects and skills in the company of equally-passionate sewers. If you are a BSC Member or Leader and looking for fun projects to complete, this post is just for you!

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 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)



Sewing Vintage: Retro Foundation Garments


{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


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


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.


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