Threadbanger Halloween Party: Win a Sewing Machine Costume Contest

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Our friends from Threadbanger are throwing a very promising DIY Halloween party. They promise a Zombie transformation booth, a DJ, The Delyle Sisters, Live band Midnight Fistfight, organic catering, goody bags, plus a costume contest where you can win a sewing machine!

If you’re in New York next Thursday October, 30th pass by the Mercury Lounge in New York City at 8 PM.

Featured Member: Lalunanueva

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

I was born in Belgrade, Serbia, which is where I live now. I spent a couple of years in NYC and I go there as often as I can.

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

I am not sure what was the first thing I made by myself, as I started sewing when I was very young, helping my mum and aunt. I devoted more time to sewing by myself only a few years ago, when I found the perfect piece of fabric. Its funny, but my sewing machine was broken at the time, so I made a T-shirt by hand.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Sewing is one of the few things in life that I can dedicate myself to completely, and that I enjoy in whole

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

I dislike the beginning of the process. I don’t like doing the patterns… but, when it comes down to buying the fabrics and finishing of the piece I simply adore it and am capable of working for hours without taking a break until its finished.

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

Nothing special, but I like designing clothes for my friends. It makes them very happy to own something I designed especially for them. At the same time they are one of a kind and unique presents.

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

Thank you, thank you, thank you… I remember the period when I discovered your website, and since then I keep being inspired by all the artistic people on your website.

7. What is your motto?

Reuse, recycle, reduce. At least a third of the things I own (furniture, clothes…) I found at flea markets or found them on the street left all alone in the pouring rain… I love re-designing my mum’s and grandmum’s old clothes, for them to have a more modern look.

Lalunanueva‘s awesome creations are fun and lively, take a look at this pete shirt she created! She has recently made a women’s version of the pete which totally rocks

Quality Thread

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If you’re like me, when I start a sewing project, I put very little thought into the type of thread I might use. However, quality thread, along with proper needle size will make a world of difference in your finished garment. This article, written by YLI, discuses how thread is made, it’s types, sizes and weight, and needle sizes. All the information (and more) that you need to arm yourself for your next project.

Deciding on Details and Hypothetical Gowns

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Gosh I have had a terrible cold all weekend & am looking very much forward to a healthy, fruitful week. I was at Metro Textiles (on 38th & 8th in Manhattan’s garment district) last Friday & I ran into a lovely BurdaStyle member and it struck me that there are so many others out there in the world, like you & me, who love to create…and how special it is to be able to connect with these like-minds.

I stopped by my “factory”, which sounds worse than it is, it’s really a workshop where I bring my patterns to be fine tuned, graded, marked & have my pieces cut & sewn from, as I am preparing a special order for Thistle & Clover, a very cute shop that has just popped up in Fort Green, Brooklyn. Once you begin a wholesale line there are many headaches, hangups & after thoughts. It can be frustrating (and incredibly expensive) when really, you just want some dresses sewn, but since you’re making them in sizes 2,4,6,8,& 10, your pattern must be graded to each size, marked, cut & sewn. Pricey but completely necessary- so if you want to branch out into wholesale, you CAN do this one at a time and build up to a complete collection.

The fun parts come in when you get to decide how you’re going to hem the dress, (rolled) or what the seams will look like (french in this case)…and choosing label types & designing your hang-tags and order forms…it can be so exciting.

I was also asked to design a hypothetical inaugural gown for the hypothetical first lady (let us pray her surname is Obama) for a magazine feature, using one or all of the following: a potato sack (good lord), Laura Bush’s glitzy-glam silver sparking gown she wore for her hubby’s inauguration, and the American flag. Ideas? I need to turn it in by the end of the day!

Ciao for now!

Spot Trends and Follow Fashion

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Little Sweethearts is great fashion resource for everything from food to trends to craft. The author, our very own Karencilla was featured here back in may. Follow her styles and take her advice, she has a very keen eye.

Pimp Your Sewing Machine and Win $100!

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BurdaStyle Presents:
Pimp Your Sewing Machine Contest!
-Vamp, hack, and b’dazzle

What if your sewing machine flew like a spaceship, played music while you were sewing, or took part in the steampunk movement?

BurdaStyle would love to see your dream sewing machine!

Join us in the Pimp Your Sewing Machine Contest and win $100!

Send in drawings, video or photos of your pimped out machine to team(at)burdastyle.com.

The prize for a great pimped out sewing machine drawing will be $50. However, if you send in photos or video of your pimped out machine you could win $100!

Send in as many entries as you would like. Just get them to us by 11:59 pm, November 30th 2008

Once all of these are collected, you will get a chance to vote for your favorite!

Pattern Drafting

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Are you curious about how sewing patterns are made? Or how some people can just look at something in a shop and then recreate it exactly at home? Pattern drafting is a fine art in itself, but if you want to start drafting on your own without expensive courses or textbooks, then you might want to try one of the projects from the fabulous Weekend Designer blog.

Just measure yourself accurately (but you’ve already done that, right?), get out a calculator, ruler, and some big sheets of paper and follow the directions. Who knows, this might be just the inspiration you need to start drafting your own patterns and sharing them on BurdaStyle!

Featured Member: QueenB

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

I live in Laakdal, a small village in the Flemish part of Belgium. The cities of Antwerp and Hasselt are just a 30 minute drive away. We bought our 1950’s house 4 years ago and have completely renovated it ourselves. At least my husband did, I was his clumsy sidekick…

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

As a young teenager I used to wear skirts all the time. So the first thing I made was a skirt made of a pair of old jeans. My mom showed me how to do it. It was my first experience using the sewing machine.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Sewing didn’t play a big role in my life until a couple of years ago. Before I only sewed to shorten pants or to make curtains. Now it is a true addiction. I’m totally hooked on it. In 2006 I started making lingerie and I opened an online shop on Etsy a year ago. My little enterprise takes up every free second of my time. I’m always designing, promoting, sewing,… and trying to combine it with a full time job as an administrative coordinator.

Besides my lingerie I try to make myself some regular clothing from time to time, using patterns from Burda WOF-magazine and other similar magazines. Most of those projects are posted here on BurdaStyle.

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

My least favorite thing is transferring pattern on to fabric and cutting it out. It always takes up so much time and I can hardly wait to start sewing.

My most favorite thing is being able to make something exactly how I pictured it in my head. When that happens I can feel really proud. It’s so rewarding making things yourself.

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

If my youngest sister would ever get married, I would love to make her wedding dress. That would be a real challenge, but I’m up for it. Now I only have to wait for her boyfriend to ask her…

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

I visit BurdaStyle a lot, for a lot of things: to find original patterns, for tips/how to’s on sewing techniques that I’m struggling with, to look at other people’s creations (which can be very inspiring!!!), … I have really learned a lot of things visiting this site. And looking at creations from other people has really showed me things that I never even thought of. I like that sewers worldwide now have a channel to communicate and learn from each other.

7. What is your motto?

‘Life is just a moment in space’

I don’t know where I ever heard this, but it says everything for me. I try to take the day as it comes and enjoy life. Life is so short, so you better make the best of it.

QueenB’s work is so much fun, she really knows how to use vibrant color and prints to their full advantage. As she mentioned she has a great online shop full of her fun/funky lingerie.

Choosing good fabrics

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I recently made a knit dress that I loved – the style was perfectly “me”, it fit great and I felt great wearing it. So great, in fact, that I’ve worn it 3 or 4 times in the past month, including yesterday to the office. But to my horror, I noticed the back and right side were pilling already, and those little balls were just from everyday wear, as I hadn’t even washed it yet! The worst part was, the fabric I used was one that I’d seen lots of sewers rave over so I thought I’d be okay!

If you spend all that time getting the fit perfect and creating the garment of your dreams, then your time deserves a fabric that will stand up to the test of time. So how do you know if your fabric will be worthy of your masterpiece?

Look at fiber content – I’ve learned from experience that natural fabrics like cotton, wool, linen, silk, and bamboo feel so much nicer to me than synthetics like polyester and lycra. The latter definitely have a place in sportswear, but natural fibers tend to hold up better to everyday wear in my experience. If you’re not sure what your fabric is made of, a quick burn test can usually narrow it down.

Look at weight – some online fabric stores list the weight of the fabric in gsm, but other times you just need to infer to from hand and drape whether it’s suitable for your project. I once tried to use babywale corduroy to make trousers even though it was far too lightweight and was intended for shirts. The end result was that the corduroy rubbed away in the thighs in a matter of months! So a lightweight fabric might be great for a drapey blouse, but not so great for a jacket or coat!

Cheap fabrics are great for muslins – if you’ve already got some “what was I thinking?” fabrics in your stash, don’t throw them away! They’ve still got great uses for practice garments since they don’t have to stand up to repeated wearings or even leave the house!

There’s always a chance you’ll be caught out like I was with my knit, but if you follow this advice, you’ll hopefully be well on your way to fabric harmony!

Photo: onebyjude under Creative Commons

Recycle Mini Challenge!

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The BurdaStyle Mini challenge is back but with a twist! Starting today Sunday the 12th of October you have 2 weeks to make and upload your creation to the site for a chance to win some special secret sewing treats and BurdaStyle goodies! And the twist? Your creation MUST be recycled. You may use any patterns, how-to’s or techniques featured on the BurdaStyle site.

THE RULES:

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

• Your creation MUST be recycled.

• You must upload your creation into the ‘Mini Challenge’ category by Sunday the 26th of October.

• Put the word “recycle” into the name/title of your creation so we can tell it’s for this MiniChallenge

• When you upload your creation you must give a detailed description of how you made your creation, the patterns, how-to’s or techniques you used, materials you used and how it was recycled etc.

• Show us your ‘before’ materials in a photograph.

The mini challenge will be judged by you the members. Voting will start on Tuesday the 28th of October, more details about how to vote will be given at a later date. When voting you should take the following into consideration:

• Creativity.

• Wearability.

• Skills and techniques used.

• Best use of recycled materials.

• And of course your favourite!

• You can vote once only.

This is going to be fun!!! Are you up for the challenge?

Feel free to ask any questions.

EDIT TO ADD: Anyone can take part, no matter which country you live in. Upload your creation in the ‘creation’ section of this site and add it to the ‘mini challenge’category. Make sure you put RECYCLED in your title.

Quick Easy Holiday Cards from Ruby Lime Designs

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This week’s member blog showcases Ruby Lime Designs from BurdaStyle member, RubyLime. Her cool and interesting ways of using fabric can certainly give many people inspiration. My favorite are her card something I am certainly going to remember as we enter the holiday season.

BurdaStyle is Going to Maker Faire Austin Oct 18-19

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BurdaStyle is going to Maker Faire Austin! We are so incredibly excited! There are going to be tons of our friends from the sewing and crafting world (Average Jane Crafter, all our friends from Craftzine, Singer sewing machines and over 50 other crafters) as well as all the absolute awesomeness that is Maker Faire!

There is going to be a giant swap-o-rama where you bring old clothes and refashion them (with the help of local designers), tons of demonstrations, a Refashioned Fashion Show and so much more. Plus I just found out that not only is there a life size Mouse Trap game, the great band Mucca Pazza (who I first saw at Renegade San Fran) is going to be performing on Sunday. I am really excited to be going down south to represent the BurdaStyle team.

We are going to be located in the Show Barn giving out freebies and raffling off 10 Charlie Bags filled with goodies. I hope you all come say hi check this out, it is going to be awesome!

October 18-19th

Travis County Expo Center

Maker Faire Austin

BurdaStyle will be in the Show Barn

Are You Ready for Men in Skirts?

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I didn’t imagine what a burning question this is when starting to browse the web for some material for this blog: I have come across skirt wearing men’s forums and discussion groups; exhibitions in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and New York’s Metropolitan Museum that have explored this topic; and a variety of designers who have dedicated themselves to design men skirts and similar attire. Yet, apparently to little avail. Regression in male’s freedom to dress came with the early Victorian period. Bright colours and luxurious fabrics were replaced by sober dark coloured suits and plain shirts, which dominate most male wardrobes ever since. It seems, much to the anger and frustration of many men who would like to enjoy the same comfort, versatility and variety as their female counterparts others like to redefine established gender roles or simply end what they call “trouser tyranny.”

The answer of Star Trek Next Generation Designers was the “Skant” a short sleeved top with attached skirt which establishes “the total equality of the sexes presumed to exist in the 24th century.” Mind you, in many parts of the world outside the west, it is common to see men in skirt or dress like clothes such as caftans, djellabahs, or sarongs; most famous in Europe, are kilt-wearing Scots. Yet, efforts by various fashion designers such as Jean-Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, John Galliano, Kenzo, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto, in the 20th and 21st century to make the men’s skirt street fashion seem not to have made an impact neither has it become more fashionable, nor have we become more tolerant: Male skirts reappearing on New York’s cat walks this July and photos posted by the Sartorialist (excellent fashion blog) received comments such as "it’s just not right…unless, of course, it’s a kilt….. " or “we can’t get past the fact that they’re men wearing skirts, and something about that trend just doesn’t look or feel right.” Yet, some “absolutely love men in skirts.”

BurdaStyle members whether caftans, sarongs, your own skirts or the Start Trek skant serve as inspiration I challenge you to brighten up and diversify the wardrobes of your male partners and friends! You could start off by sewing a modern kilt using instead of the traditional Scottish Tartan patterns, other materials such as leather, or denim.

Featured Member: Serendipity

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

I’m from Germany and live in Bavaria.

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

Like every child I sewed some easy things at primary school, for example cushions. But I only started sewing clothes one year ago at a sewing class where I made a skirt and a coat. But the sewing process took so long so I got sick of them and haven’t finished them yet.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

It plays a very big part in my life as I always seem to be thinking about how to sew something or what to do next. I sometimes even cannnot fall asleep at night when I’m in the middle of a project and it won’t get off my mind.

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

My favorite thing is to find new projects and the right fabric for them and also to alter patterns. The thing I dislike the most is when the whole process of sewing just doesn’t seem to come to an end and all this little details have to be done to get a good result.

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

I’ve sewn some pajama pants for my sisters. But at the moment I wouldn’t dare to make anything else for another person. I don’t have enough practice for that.

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

Every week I look forward to the newest pattern and I really appreciate all the how tos from which you can learn a lot of new techniques. It would be good if the posting dates were shown for every creations.

7. What is your motto?

Am I bovvered?

Serendipity has some wonderful creations! Her creations come from Burda World of Fashion, BurdaStyle and various How Tos.

Silk Screening Madness

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As I mentioned last week my boyfriend & I have recently launched our first collaborative effort together: Dahl & Dane. For the last week we have been burning silk-screens & screen-printing organic t-shirts in our loft at home.
Screen-printing first appeared in a recognizable form in China during the Song Dynasty (960–1279 CE)! A screen is made of a piece of porous, finely
woven fabric called mesh stretched over a frame of aluminum or wood. Originally human hair then silk was woven into screen mesh, currently most mesh is made of man made materials such as steel, nylon, and polyester. Areas of the screen are blocked off with a non-permeable material to form a stencil, which is a negative of the image to be printed; that is, the open spaces are where the ink will appear. Does anyone out there want to learn how to screen print? Here is a great YouTube tutorial on how to burn a screen. Here is another d.i.y. website with goodsteps to follow.

There are several ways to create a stencil for screen-printing. An early method was to create it by hand in the desired shape, either by cutting the design from a non-porous material and attaching it to the bottom of the screen aka sticker or contact paper), or by painting a negative image directly on the screen with a filler material which became impermeable when it dried.

We use the photo emulsion technique:

1. The original image is created on a transparent overlay such as acetate or tracing paper. The image may be drawn or painted directly on the overlay, photocopied, or printed with a laser printer, as long as the areas to be inked are opaque. A black-and-white negative may also be used (projected on to the screen).

2. The overlay is placed over the emulsion-coated screen, and then exposed with an ultraviolet light source in the 350-420 Nanometer spectrum (we use 150 watt bulbs for 30 minutes, works great!). The UV light passes through the clear areas and create a polymerization (hardening) of the emulsion.

3. The screen is washed off thoroughly. The areas of emulsion that were not exposed to light dissolve and wash away, leaving a negative stencil of the image on the mesh.

We are really excited about what else we can do with screen-printing. I want to make some printed fabric out of drawings…I can’t wait until we have some free time:)

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