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Curtains up for the wondrous world of a costume designer


Imagine your creations have to convey the personality of certain characters and the mood of a script; have to perfectly fit their wearer so as not to hinder his or her movements and accord to the aesthetic ideas of yet other people; have to be visible and transmit their meaning even from far away and harmonise with the stage setting and the props; and of course, have to be affordable given a tight budget. In short, as a costume designer you need much more than only creativity and craftsmanship to satisfy all the various requirements and demands of a play and its production.

All this and much more is what Sarah Booth, twenty-two year old costume designer, explains to me on the phone. Although the phone has to bridge the immense distance between Mexico and London, there is no way not to notice her brimming enthusiasm. She is so excited about her first really big production after just having graduated from Exeter University, and the opportunity of designing the costumes for Maurice Ravel’s childrens opera L’Enfant et les Sortileges (The Child and the Spells: A Lyric Fantasy in Two Parts) and the world premiere of O’Saci, a dance theatre by the Brazilian composer Miguel Kertsman; the first is about a rude child whose toys one day retaliate as they come to life; the second about a cheeky Brazilian folklore character who gets blown to England and falls in love with a Welsh Water nymph after helping to put out a burning village.

Featured Member: Bereingold


1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I grew up in Maryland and I live in Brooklyn, NY.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
I started sewing when a friend received a sewing machine for the holidays. We are interested in styling and fashion and she encouraged me to jump right into using the machine. The first thing I made was a pleated shell vest from an old pair of trousers. I wanted to keep the functional design details of the pants and re-configure the garment to fit the upper body. I used the front fly in the collar and the hip-pockets as shoulder pads, and pleated the legs into front bodice panels. I used ribbed socks for a funnel collar, and a white bandana for back panel and shoulder epaulettes. I usually sew and design through two processes: inspiration and the constructive process. I was inspired by the 1960s LSD tests in the military, thinking about psychedelic soldiers. The vest developed from this concept and through deconstructing the pants and finding new possibilities for the zipper, pockets, and nearby materials.

Would you Twitter a T-Shirt?


Benedikta recently told me about Pa++ern, a website which offers you creative control to create a design to be embroidered onto a t-shirt- via Twitter!

Do you twitter? Tweet? I don’t. I’m not old fashioned or anti-social networking or a twat, I just don’t tweet. I realize that Twitter is the 3rd most popular social networking website on the WWW, and one of the 50 most visited websites in the world, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the folks behind Pa++ern attached an embroidery machine to a specialized computer which will then stitch an esoteric message onto a t-shirt via tweeting.

It's Show Time!


BurdaStyle will be at the Stitches and Craft Show from Wednesday August 19th until the 23rd. Visit our booth and see our creations in the daily fashion show.

Entry is only $10!! Under 10’s get in FREE!!

Rosehill Racecourse, Unwin Street, Rosehill, NSW. Details of how to get to the show are here.

Check out the website for more details.

See you there!!!

I don't know how to sew...


…Welt pockets. Yup, I am ashamed to say I got a B (or was it a C?) on my welt pocket assignment in fashion school. I just never got it down, nor did I care to practice, it was just too hard! I avoided pockets at all costs. And zippers. I made things I had to tug over my head and had to be a contortionist to get out of. Did I ever cut myself out of something? Absolutely. But that’s another story.

My friend Matt’s birthday is next week and seeing that all I have been able to think about lately is stuff boys might like to wear or use from my next collection for Dahl & Dane, I decided to make him a woolen bag with contrasting welt pocket. See, Matt is gay so he will carry a bag- he may even go so far as to call it a purse- and as he loves his Iphone, I made a special pocket in front so it will be easily accessible.

I created a tutorial for anyone else afraid of welt pockets, or anyone who wants to recreate this simple bag. Thanks to the wizard of sewing, Larissa, our pattern-maker extraodinaire here at BurdaStyle, for guiding me through this treacherous process. I think you’ll be seeing some more welt pockets from me in the future!

BurdaStyle Welcomes BERNINA


Hey everyone, just wanted to keep you in the loop on some exciting news! BERNINA will be sponsoring areas of BurdaStyle in the coming weeks. You may have noticed the cool Sewing Republic ad on the home page! BERNINA has also sponsored this week’s newsletter and will enable some blog content. Keep your eyes peeled for more fun stuff!

The New BurdaStyle


We have received lots of comments on the new site and would like to thank you for contributing. We collected all the great feedback from the private beta testers (both feedback and feature suggestions) and are still noting all your ideas and thoughts from the discussion section. Our priority right now is to get all the bugs out of the system and then to work down your feature wishes. We have a tight budget but hope to implement a lot!

Right before we opened the site up to all of you, we had one last big final migration. During that transfer some lines got crossed, e.g. several comments and projects (formerly creations) got shifted. The development team is working on all these issues at this moment.

Please continue reporting any bugs you find in the forums, we will forward any bugs to the programmers. Thank you for your patience and diligence in reporting these issues! We will keep you up to date as soon as we have more information.

BurdaStyle Sewing Club Update: BSC Seattle, WA, USA!


The BurdaStyle Sewing Clubs are growing at a lightning-fast pace! New clubs are sprouting up all over the world, and established ones are gaining members, and having really engaging and creative meetings. Here is one club you should know about!

A group of Washingtonians with nine members strong, the Seattle BSC is excitedly gearing up for their next August 15th meeting. They are going to have an inspiring and thought-provoking look into the world of fabrics, ranging from ways to determine the contents within fabric fiber by how it burns, and the best local and online fabric resources. Participants are even encouraged to bring their own fabric swatches to share!

The meeting will be held at Stitches, a hip and chic fabric store in the heart of Seattle. For Seattle sewers,

Senior Street Style


While fashion and street style blogs are nothing new to the internet, most tend to concentrate on trendy clothing for ‘Generation Y’. What about style for ‘Baby Boomers’ and beyond? That’s where Advanced Style comes in. Their tag line, “Proof from the wizened and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age” describes their site perfectly, showing the wild, wacky, contemporary, and even traditional looks sported by our aging population. Not only is it a fun read, but gave me a glimpse into my future!

Beginner's Sewing Blog: Project Charlie Bag Complete


Charlie bag- done! So amidst the launch craziness I took a break to sew up my Charlie bag. I diligently cut and pinned (I think I over pin if there is such a thing) managed to stab my poor fingers a couple times but after a little while and couple of seams ripped apart and resewn, I put the final touches on the bag, I even used flat feld seams on the handles, see how pretty? I was so proud, I announced it to the office and slipped it on my shoulder just to discover I had sewn the handles the wrong way… I was so frustrated after this discovery that I sat down and my desk and worked on the site for an hour or so.

Once I had calmed down and looked at the bag as my practice version I set about to make one as well as I could. So I cut, pinned and triple checked my handles, flat felled seams no matter how often I read the instruction and practice, I always mess up. Remember, when using flat felled seams start with wrong sides facing each other, otherwise it doesn’t work.

After a day of work I have one correct bag and one semi-functional bag. I serged the edges because, we have a serger and, why not? I practiced on a couple scraps, it was pretty easy with only a couple little mishaps (the curved surged on the first bag missed the edge a couple times) but second bag went pretty well. I think I will use my new bag for a Saturday picnic in the park. Lets hope the weather holds out, otherwise it might be an indoor ice cream social.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Colombiamoda 2009


Columbia – that is for me Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, rainforest, Guerrilla war and Ingrid Betancourt, and my friends Tatiana and Javier who I met in random places at random times. When I think of Colombia, I think of many things but normally not of fashion. Nevertheless, it is here in Colombia that one of the most important FashionFairs of Latin America takes place: the Colombiamoda a mega-event in Medellin, that celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.

And this year, just as in the years before 22 selected young designers “jÛvenes creadoresî” all of them still students, had a chance to present their creations on the catwalk. Inspired by the theme “Raizes” (Roots), they presented 22 unique mini-collections that search for their ethnic, social, historic and cultural roots. Especially in these times of crisis they consider their ethnic heritage as an oasis of sustainability and self-sufficiency that provide guidance towards designing aesthetically novel and beautiful clothes that are still within the reach of the consumer. So, it is no wonder that the students of the Andean University of Pereira turn to traditional materials such as the fibers of the fique. Before the Spanish conquest the inhabitants of Colombia used

Welcome to the New BurdaStyle


As you can see after months and months of hard work and testing we have finally moved from private beta to public beta!

You may notice a slight delay in your access to the new site, this is because changes to DNS records sometimes take up to 48 hours reach all areas of the internet. If you are experiencing trouble accessing the new site these little tricks may help: try restarting your computer, clearing the cache or disconnecting from the internet, hopefully that will resolve the problem.

We are very excited to bring you the new site and offer you some long awaited additions. Once on the new site, you will notice an activity feed where you can follow your favorite members, you are able to view the instructions for a pattern before you purchase it, and Projects (formerly Creations) that you can make include step-by-step online instructions where you can ask questions at each step. There is more renaming: How Tos are now called Techniques and Forums are found under Discussions!

Fall off the Runway into Reality


Fall is coming- I know, I know, you don’t want to hear it, but I have pulled together a transitional outfit you can wear from now until the holiday season and look fresh & cool depending upon how you style it.

1. Have you made your own motorcycle jacket yet? I made one out of stretch satin once which I used to wear all of the time- until I lost it. Now I plan to make a new one with the Larissa motorcycle jacket pattern. Perhaps this time in silk linen, which appears to look instantly “lived in” for a worn & loved look.

Not into the biker chick look? Our Nadine jacket is a terribly cute staple and gorgeous in velvet for the Fall. She comes in PLUS too.

2. You can never have enough of the perfect blouse and making our Amanda top in chiffon in every color of the rainbow wouldn’t be considered over-the-top seeing how much you’ll wear this- with a camisole underneath and your biker jacket on top. Also available, the Amanda Plus.

BurdaStyle Intern: CarotteSauvage


Hello Burdies of the world, Guten Tag, Bonjour, Hola from Burdastyle headquarters in Brooklyn.

My name is Hélène best known as CarotteSauvage on BurdaStyle.
Last January, I wrote an email to the team and asking if I could intern during the summer, sent my resume, outlined briefly what I would like to achieve or which aspect of the position would be of any interest, together with an updated CV. The answer was positive to my great delight.

In short, I have become an intern as opposed to being an extern to the site, which we all have been for the last couple of years.

Imagine… wherever you are just traversing the screensaver of your computer; we could actually shake hands right now…. Anyway, I am more than happy to ditch the PC for 5 weeks I am after all on my annual leave I love involving holidays and involved is the way that I felt as soon as I passed the doorframe, or shall I say the studio’s’ threshold’, between the virtual and the real. I greeted Alden, Larissa the pattern wizard and all the rest of team. I saw Doryon ’in the flesh’ and was relieved that she is not just a romper-playing suit; accounting is no playing matter anyway. It is not the right season , just a few weeks to go, for Hikaru to actually wear ‘herself’. David, the only bloke around isn’t tied to his bow tie. I wonder where Ute is, in Munich perhaps. Someone said she might be a bit stuck up, but I have the impression just by looking at the way

Featured Member: Sewella


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

I was born in Skopje, the capital of Republic of Macedonia and I have lived here all my life.

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

The first thing I made was a goblin showing a bunny which I still have today. I started sewing quite naturally. I was raised in a family where traditional crafts were and still are, appreciated, practiced and thus preserved. Both my grandmothers were very talented. One was a professional seamstress and the other a magnificent knitter and crocheter. I inherited their love for the work of the hands and (I hope) their talent. The first thing I sewed was a skirt.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

It has a very significant and important role. It is a stress reliever and peace inducer. My work can be pretty exhausting and stressful so sewing (knitting, crocheting, embroidering) is a good vent for releasing the pressure of everyday life. I just couldn’t leave out the other crafts I indulge in on daily basis.


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