Sewing Universe News Feed: 7 March 2008

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I have a huge crush on the great city of Portland, Oregon. It always seems to be such a hub of creative expression and wonderful, warm people. So I was super excited to find one more thing to add to my list of “things to love about Portland” in a recent VenusZine article. In the profile article Leanne Marshall, a Portland-based designer, talks about how she sees the West Coast city as being on the forefront of eco-friendly fashion. Her designs are gorgeous, and though she touts having a tendency to “pleat everything I touch” as a habit she’s trying to squelch, I say let the pleats fly!

Sewing Universe News Feed: 6 March 2008

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If you’re having trouble finding that perfect fabric for your next project, spoonflower.com might be your new best friend. It’s a site (still in development) for a company that will offer custom fabric printing. Right now, they have a short survey on the site with questions about fabric printing. Take a few minutes to fill it out, and you’ll be let in on the closed beta version of the site when it launches.

Sewing Universe News Feed: 5 March 2008

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What inspires you to create fashion? For three designers participating in Downy’s Discovering Radiance ad campaign, it’s fabric softener. Watch as these up and coming designers bring to life three scents, follow their progress, and vote on who best “captures radiance” – you might just win a trip to the People’s Choice Awards in the process.

Sewing Universe News Feed: 4 March 2008

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Spring is right around the corner and for many, that means it’s time to start planning for Prom 2008. According to Ezinearticles, this year you can expect to see an increase in shorter styles, lots of bling (whether it’s sequins, lame, or glamorous bead work), and bold prints.

BurdaStyle has several prom possibilities for all sewing abilities including Cate 7983 and Minna 6007. However, if you’re looking to breathe life into dated prom dresses, then be sure to check out ThreadBanger’s latest episode where they teach you how to recycle an 80’s dress and update it to present day. Thinking about being more daring? Then be sure to stop by Duck Tape’s 2008 contest, Stuck At Prom – where you and your date’s entire wardrobe is made from an assortment of duct tape!

Nikkishell: Recycled Sidonie and Sewalongs

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I didn’t get around to sewing up the muslin for my Jorinde blazer this week. I messed up my JJ blouse early on in the week by stupidly cutting through the front of the blouse with the blade on my overlocker. I just knew I shouldn’t have been sewing it that night; my brain seems to have turned to complete mush as I’m nearing the last week of my pregnancy. After that I left the sewing machine alone for a few nights, did some hand sewing and watched some mind numbing TV instead. Luckily Colette saved the day and sent me another piece of fabric so I will be able to finish the blouse off. I have noticed a few more JJ blouses popping up on the site and they look fabulous! This blouse seems to be very popular, and no wonder JJ did a fabulous job designing it.

The ’Nichola’ sew along seems to be going well, there is a lot of discussion about the fit of the pants going on and how to make alterations that may be needed. If you’re taking part and are stuck with anything make sure you head on over to the forum and ask questions, that’s what it’s there for and it’s full of wonderful people that are more than happy to help.

I bought a brown cord skirt over a year ago from the thrift store and it only just fit me around the waist then. I decided there was no way I’d be getting into that after baby for quite some time so I transformed it into another Sidonie! This time I cut the pattern pieces out any way I could fit them onto the skirt and in a pregnant daze I sewed the pleats into the front of the skirt instead of the back. They don’t seem to make much difference though so I didn’t worry about changing them. You may remember in my apron post a few weeks back I mentioned I was thinking of aprons I could wear out over a skirt. I have seen the idea of having panels that could be buttoned to the front of a skirt somewhere before and thought I’d give it a try, I could have one skirt, many panels and multiple looks. I came up with the above but I’m not quite sure I like how it looks; I think I need to work on the idea a little more. Do you have any suggestions?

Talking of Sidonie, remember that the ’Mini Challenge’ has already started. You still have time to take part and your submission needs to be uploaded to the site by next Friday. See here for more details. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with.

The youngest BurdaStyle member should be with us by the end of next week if not before, wish me luck!!

Letter From the Editors: Busy Week!

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It’s a busy week over here at BurdaStyle, and perhaps a busy week for you as well, if you’re taking part in the Sewalong Minichallenge! If you haven’t decided yet, you’ve still got sometime. The deadline is next Friday though, so don’t be too fickle! We can’t wait to see what Sidonie variations you can come up with!

Sewing Universe News Feed: 3 March 2008

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Natalie Zee Drieu of Coquette and Craft Magazine fame will be moderating a special panel at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas next weekend. The panel, called, “High-Tech Craft: Why Sewing and Knitting Still Matter” will feature a great group of women who are “forging new ground in merging fashion, arts, and crafts with new technology.” If you’re in Austin or heading this way for SXSW, don’t miss this one.

Nikkishell: Pattern Copyright

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I have recently been wondering about the copyright of patterns and decided to look into it further and share with you what information I found. I by no means think I’m an expert on this subject; actually I’m very far from it and encourage you to comment and share your own knowledge on the subject.

Copyright protects a designer’s work from the moment it is created until 70 years after the last surviving designer’s death, 70 years!!! Designers are making a living from their work so by purchasing their patterns you are supporting them and the fact that they are selling their work indicates they expect people to use the patterns and make items from them. This means they are giving you permission to use it but for personal and domestic use only, they are not to be used for your own personal gain, i.e. making a profit.

When can you use a commercial pattern to make a profit? One way is when sewing custom garments for customers but you must buy one pattern per person; you can not use the same pattern for multiple customers. The pattern can be reused for the same customer though if they require more than one garment from the same pattern. Another way is to license the patterns for which you will pay a fee. To do this you must contact the publisher for permission or the creator and they will inform you as to whether they allow this and what the requirements are. The same goes for out of print patterns, get in touch with the publisher and ask permission, I know I have a few I would like to share with you all so I will be getting in touch with the appropriate people and will go from there.

Information, styles, techniques and methods are not covered by copyright. So by using a particular sewing technique created by someone else or creating something in the same style as someone else has etc you will not be infringing copyright.

Now as you know BurdaStyle is an open source website. What does this mean? Well, Burda is the first established pattern publisher to release its designs without copyrights; this allows members of the public to market their BurdaStyle creations in limited editions. Remember, limited editions!! The patterns are not to be used for mass production nor are the patterns themselves to be reproduced and sold.

Since I’m no expert pattern maker I find this to be a fantastic concept as it allows me to sew garments to sell without having to go through the whole pattern making part of the process. I have been working on a limited edition of denim Sidonie skirts to sell in a local store and in my online store if I ever get it up and running (so many things to do, so little time in which to do them!). It’s a great way for me to use my skills and make some extra money at the same time.

Are you using BurdaStyle patterns to make a profit? Tell us about what you are making and how you are using the patterns in the new thread I have created. And as I said at the beginning of this post, please contribute your thoughts and knowledge on the copyright subject here in the forum. It’s a topic we should all know about, especially if we intend to make money from what we create. I have discovered a lot of people don’t know much at all about copyright and I’d like to prevent them from getting into any trouble by sharing what we know.

Copyright symbol in image found here

Sewing Universe News Feed: 2 March 2008

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When spring hits, I always take a second to re-evaluate my closet. Every year, I find that while my wardrobe is large (the nice thing about sewing is that you can whip up a top or pants in a moment’s notice), it doesn’t really coordinate. You see, I sew on a whim…. when I find a style or fabric I like I immediately put it to use without thinking about how it will work with other garments in my closet. Consequently, I’m going to try something new – something that has been floating around magazines and the internet for years, but I’ve never taken the time to try. This summer I’m “Sewing With A Plan” (SWAP).

The idea of the SWAP originated in Australian Stitches magazine (Vol. 5 Issue 2) and discussed how to make items that you are able to mix and match together to make simple, yet flexible wardrobe combinations. This idea has gotten so popular that numerous websites have competitions (Timmel Fabrics started this contest 5 years ago and it’s grown into an international event!) where readers vote on their favorite combinations. The premise is simple, create 11 garments (which should give you 48 wardrobe combinations): 2 pairs of pants, 2 skirts (one solid one in a print), 2 tips (one solid one in same print as skirt), 4 tops that coordinate with the solids, and a solid color jacket. So, my question is – who’s with me?

For more on the article that ‘started it all’ read here

How To: Stay Sharp!

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Did you decide to make the Paper Bag Sidonie or add a Center Back Seam and Slit to the Marie skirt? When it comes to hemming something with a slit, there are a few options. You might find just folding the hem in and topstitching works for your creation, but if you want to give it a clean finish, try a mitered hem. And the techniques in this How To make it extra easy! Make a nice sharp corner, and keep your mind sharp as well, by freshening up with some of these other basic How Tos!

Sewing Universe News Feed: 29 February 2008

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Fabric stashes – no matter how big or small – can get unruly in a hurry. Feathered Fibers has a great tutorial on how to easily and neatly fold your stash so your pieces can fit into a bookshelf like … well, books! I love the results, and can only dream of having such a beautifully folded stash.

BurdaStyle in the Daily News

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EXTRA EXTRA! Read all about us!

We hate to toot our own horns, but did you see the awesome article about BurdaStyle in yesterday’s New York Daily News? Well, here’s a little tidbit bit.

Nicole Lyn Lesce from the New York Daily News writes:

"Meet Brooklyn’s fix-it fashionistas
You don’t have to be Michael Kors or even “Project Runway” fan favorite
Christian to personalize your wardrobe. Brooklyn’s Burdastyle fix-it girls
share tips on how to turn your tattered old duds into customized couture."

For the entire article, click here.

Mini Challenge Sewalong!

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Join the first BurdaStyle Mini challenge, a fast paced sewalong with a prize!

Starting today the 29th of February you have 2 weeks to make and upload your own version of the Sidonie skirt to the site to be in with a chance to win some special secret sewing treats and BurdaStyle goodies!

RULES:

• You need to be a registered member to take part.

• You must use the Sidonie skirt pattern.

• You must upload your creation into the new ‘Mini Challenge’ category by March 15th.

• When you upload your creation you must give a detailed description of how you made your version of the skirt, the alterations you may have made and materials used etc.

• How-to’s and pattern alterations are encouraged and may earn you Brownie points!

The mini challenge will be judged by you the members. Voting will start on Tuesday the 18th of March, more details about how to vote will be given at a later date. When voting you should take the following into consideration:

• Creativity and variation

• Difference in appearance from original

• Skills and techniques used

• And of course your favourite!

• You can vote once only

Are you up for the challenge? Get creative, dig out those sewing technique books and teach yourself something new while you’re at it, show us your talent and skills!

For official rules, please see here.

Sewing Universe News Feed: 28 February 2008

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Fashion can influence the way we dress, and the way we see our bodies. There’s always been arguments around the fashion industry’s unrealistic vision of how thin models should be. bits and bobbins points us to an article in the Wall Street Journal that covers one model’s obstacles to working after gaining five pounds. The article goes on to explore deeper issues of how body size and fashion work together. From the article: “So we have bodies being formed to fit clothes, rather than clothes designed to fit bodies.” Read the entire article

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB120415888096598181.html?mod=%28_pageid_%29_leftbox”>here. [via]

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!

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