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Top Ten Sewing Accessories You Can’t Live Without

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Brought to you by BERNINA and the Sewing Republic

Having the right tools while you sew can make all the difference between a beautiful skirt and something that will go into your scrap pile. Using these easy little accessories can shave minutes, even hours off your total time. Check out this list… see anything missing? Let us know!

BurdaStyle Sewing Club Update: 1st Meeting Recaps

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Thinking of starting a BurdaStyle Sewing Club but don’t know what to expect? Many first-time leaders share similar worries, but often end up having very good experiences! Here are recaps of two leaders who hosted meetings for the first time.

Love the 80s?

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The images above are not from 30 years ago. They are fresh off the international runways emitting an 80s decadence so BIG you cannot ignore. Shoulder pads. Flat tops. Androgyny. Leather. Fringe. I have MTV’s “I Love the 80s” computer voice intro ringing in my head as I look at these images. I was born in the 80s and went through some of the fashion trends with innocent dignity (over-sized sweaters with tight black stir-ups, jazz pants even when I wasn’t dancing), but I was very young, too young to get into boxy jackets, enormous shoulder pads and androgyny of the time. These silhouettes have humor, are ironic, bold and brazen. Do they make you nostalgic for the good old days or simply want to never see shoulder pads again?

Featured Member: Abarefoot

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
My name is Anicia (like Alisha but with an ‘n’) Barefoot and in the little town of San Luis Obispo, California.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
The first thing that I can remember making was a simple pillow. My mother showed me how to work her very old machine and I would make these strange little pillows. I think the satisfaction that I got from making something that I could use influenced me a lot and thus I really came to enjoy sewing.

And the WINNER of the SEWING REPUBLIC Scarf Dress Competition is…

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Congratulations to Damiana_Designs! Her Scaly Scarf Dress blew away the judges and has won her a brand new activa 210 sewing machine from BERNINA! We would also like to congratulate our runners up: Scarf Dress Ruffled by Pltnmblondelife and Scarf Dress by javiertellez.

As you may have noticed, the voting on several of the entries became unethically compromised by a few of the contestants; and because of this we were forced to choose the winner a different way. Therefore, an esteemed panel of judges from BERNINA sifted through all of the entries, narrowed it down to the top five contestants, and chose the grand prize winner!

Thank you, to everyone, for all of your amazing entries and we look forward to seeing more of your creative work in the future!

Happy Sewing!

Sponsored by BERNINA and the Sewing Republic

Halloween Costume Contests for 2009

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October is already here which means it’s time for me to kick my Halloween sewing into high gear. If you’re planning on stitching up a few costumes this season, why not check out a few contests that you can enter your handmade creations into:

Probably one of the most unforgettable costumes I’ve ever seen was entered into last year’s DIY Halloween Costume Contest by Craftster. Think you can top that? Be sure to try your hand in their 2009 challenge.

Picks from the SS10 Collections

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Has anyone been following the Spring/Summer 2010 collection presentations? I normally do not start salivating until the circuit reaches Paris where the dreams of the likes of Lanvin, Balenciaga, Comme des Garcons, Martin Sitbon come to life in a live pulsating masquerade. It appears to me, after studying the runways thus far, that black is the new black, & black is back. At times my favorite color (my boyfriend jokes with me that it is not a color, I retort that black is indeed every color), I was also excited to see some wild prints with ethnic influences (Vivienne Westwood), more florals (Stella McCartney)- some digitalized, some abstract, obscure layering of various textured textiles (Preen).

What have you seen that you LOVE? Do you want to see more color or more monotones in fashion? Who are your favorite designers?

Contact Form Bug Fixed

Hi Everyone,
Last week while working on the contact form, our programmers discovered a bug that wasn’t letting messages through to our customer service team. If you submitted a query through the contact form please resend it and we will answer it as soon as possible!

Sorry for the confusion and we look forward to getting your questions answered!

Best
The BurdaStyle Team

Beginner's Sewing Blog: Costume Creation

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So, apparently it’s October, I’m convinced September just never happened. October brings good things: fall leaves, butternut squash and most importantly, Halloween. Better than the presents from Christmas and Chanukah, being stuffed silly on thanksgiving, or even my birthday, Halloween is my absolute favorite day of the year.

When I was growing up dress up was always my favorite game and Halloween was huge event. Some examples of costumes I have had: a waterfall, a fish in a fishbowl, a salt shaker and a Picasso painting (it took 4 washes to get out all the dye from my hair.) With September just up and disappearing, I have started to get a little panicky about not having a costume yet, I know I have a month, but I have a reputation to live up to! The trick is to come up with one that it simple, isn’t too big and is easily recognizable, like this one and this one.

Fringe Benefits

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Do you <3 fringe? Lately there has been a resurgence of fringe- and no offense to those who have been rocking fringe all along- a la suede jackets from the 60s and moccasins- but there is a new kind of fringe on the horizon. This fringe is soft and slinky (Rodarte), conceptually cut in leather (Balenciaga), dyed in an ombre fashion (Topshop), and quite feminine, yet is has an edge that is very current.

I used to be a dancer and my costumes always seemed to have some sort of neon fringe attached to them, and this same fringe is now on skirts, t-shirts, bags- but it is dyed neutral tones creating an almost gothic look, like Marchesa Casati might have worn. I am really loving the comeback. Do you?

Featured Member: Damiana_Designs

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I was born in Sacramento California but grew up from the age of 9 in a small rural town in western Washington. I have since migrated to the mountain town of Sandpoint in North Idaho.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
I started sewing with my mom’s old Singer when I was about 12 years old. My mom showed me how to use the machine and helped me with my first garment, an A-line purple corduroy skirt. I was in 4-H at the time and entered it in the county fair and got Grand Champion. It was a nice way to start out.

Show us your A-Line and Win!

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In honor of Wenlan Chia’s new book, Twinkle Sews: 25 Handmade Fashions from the Runway to Your Wardrobe, we are holding a contest to see your best A-line skirt.

The A-line pattern available, Twinkle Sews book, or can be downloaded by visiting BurdaStyle.com. Submissions must be received by October 14th, (11:59 pm EST). Create your variation of the A-Plus, A-Line, and kindly send a photo to submissions@burdastyle.com with the header “A-Plus, A-Line”. Submissions will be put into a slideshow where, Wenlan Chia, founder and designer of Twinkle by Wenlan will then pick her three favorite creations.
Three winners will be chosen:

Grand Prize- Pfaff sewing machine, retail value ($1000), Twinkle by Wenlan sewing fabric, sewing accessories by Coats & Clark, Whish Body Products, and an autographed copy of Twinkle Sews.

Maybe You Can Help Me: Answers

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This week I am answering some really great questions from BurdaStyle users regarding selling your goods online to selling consignment. Here are a couple more questions I’ve provided answers to and keep them coming!

I’ve been selling + consigning to boutiques for 2 years now & I’m kind of stuck in between being too small, but not big enough to hire some one. Where does a designer go from here???

I completely understand how you feel, I was in this exact situation when I was living in Los Angeles selling my mini-collections to boutiques. I discovered a couple of ways to grow without taking too much of a financial risk.
1. Industry Experience. I freelanced for a designer where I went to his studio a couple of days a week and made patterns, swatched, watched over the shop, and hepled with fashion shows. This not only provided me with more knowledge about the inner-workings of a fashion house, it provided me with valuable resources: I found out where to get great fabric at wholesale prices and was introduced to the designer’s sewers and pattern-makers, whom he was willing to share with me.
2. Hire Help. I hired a seamstress to come to my studio one day a week. At this point I figured I could hire someone for at least one day a week, or maybe one day a month. I planned to have each piece which I needed sewn up pre-cut- so when the seamstress arrived all there was to do is sew them right up. We got so much more done that day than I could have done in a week…I placed an ad on Craigslist for a seamstress and named my day rate, what I could afford and what I thought was fair. This gave me more time to begin new designs and fabric source.

All of these questions are very relevant to me— I’m starting up my own Etsy shop but don’t have a lot of capital to build up an initial stock. How do I market so that I sell items very quickly to allow me to buy supplies to create more?

I would recommend, before you start making more, going over your inventory of fabric, notions, and pieces of clothing that you would like to sell and and see what you’ve got. Then I would take editor-in-cheif of Etsy’s blog, Emily Bidwell’s advice and "Give your shop personality. Consider yourself a brand with a shop concept and “feel”. Cohesive product and items photographed in the same way can give a professional look. Think of your shop as a website…what would you want that to look like?". Nice clear, in-focus photographs are key. The buyer needs to see what they are getting and why it is so special.

The "Every Body Bodice" is Here!

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So, I’m off to college ! This summer has zoomed by with alarming speed, and the next chapter of my life is about to begin. Wanna bet I’m one of the only freshman who rolls onto campus with a sewing machine? Maybe not. Sewing is hip again, and as my mom always says, “Stop shopping and start sewing!”

Sewing Programs On The Internet

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I don’t know about everyone else, but I miss watching sewing programs on t.v. Ever since HGTV and DIY networks cut the crafting\sewing part of their lineup there hasn’t been much to watch unless you’re fortunate enough to have some that run on your local PBS station. However, with the internet and a resurgence in sewing I’ve found a few resources that let me get my fix. The first is Sew On which has a number of videos to play (ranging from how to make your own boxers to sweatshirt makeovers) from their ‘daily line up’. They also have several other features to the site including a ‘community’ and ‘patterns’ section, however neither of these have been working properly for several weeks (if not longer). The second site is Quilting Arts TV, programing not only directed to quilters, but also those interested in mixed media, home decor and accessories, and learning new stitch techniques. A number of sewing personalities also have started websites with posted videos including Sandra Betzina, Nancy Zieman, and Christopher Nejman. Anyone know of any more?

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