Featured Member: Brooke Noelle


1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I’m originally from Portland, Oregon, located in the beautiful
Northwest. I moved out to New York to attend culinary school and
hopefully become an accomplished cake decorator. I’ve lived in
Brooklyn for almost 3 years now, and I love it. I reside in historic
Bed-Stuy, in a brownstone with my partner, Mike, and our two comical

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
I took sewing classes when I was very young, an early sign of the
project mania to arise in my later years. My teacher took pictures of
me with every single finished project, which I still have in a photo
album back home. Some of my earliest masterpieces include a denim
tote bag, fabric dolls, and a hideous sweatshirt covered in neon
numbers. I dropped sewing to pick up crosstitch and didn’t come back
to it until just a few months ago. I’m glad I did!

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Sewing plays an important role as a stress relief and creative outlet.
As forementioned above, I’m a bit of a project maniac, and I take
great pleasure in having new things to create, and I love learning
something new. Now that I’m not in school, I like to spend all my
spare time learning a new crafts. And there’s no better feeling than
when you wear something you’ve made and get a compliment on it!

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
My favorite thing is that I can pick out a pattern, visualize it in a
different way and be able to make it (potentially)! My least favorite
thing about sewing is when I get lost and frustrated. But I know it
comes with the territory, and I’m pretty used to it, being a self
taught knitter.

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

I would have to choose a matching apron, potholder, dress set for
Julia Child, who is my complete hero. She started her life later than
most people and made so much out of it. It teaches me to never give
up, and always remember that you’re never too old to learn new tricks.

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

I always log in to the site to check out everyone elses creations, it
keeps me motivated and provides me with ideas and inspiration, I love
it! I think the site works really well. Maybe provide more links to
other sites, places to get fabrics or notions, blogs, etc. Another
thing that would make it flow better was if you could click on
someone’s picture and go to their profile, so you don’t have to search
for them. Otherwise, I like everything about it, and tune in everyday
for updates and new patterns.

7. What is your motto?
“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” -Jacques Pepin

Learn more about Brooke and see some of the amazing cakes she’s made by seeing her member profile and her photo blog here.

Advent quiz, the 3rd!


…ein Lichtlein brennt! (a little light is burning….) Yesterday was the first advent Sunday (three more to go!), when a light is being lit in German houses to await Christmas eve, and our special first candle question "Which designer made ‘harem’ pants famous?’ was perfectly answered by one of our very active members Zahra…and this is what she said:

“Paul Poiret brought this trendy change to fashion… freeing women from corsets back in early 20s”

We will send our little goodie bag with lovely sewing things to Zahra who lives in Pakistan, we hope she gets the package soon!

So many of you wrote and didn’t win this time. Don’t worry! There are 22 more chances. And here is question number 3:

What segment of your body approximately equals one yard?

Please send your answer to answers@burdastyle.com with subject line: ’Advent Quiz #3". First one to get it right, will win our third goodie bag!

We are looking forward to plenty more responses! Rules and regulations, you find here.



Claire James at Project reFashion has a very interesting commentary

on the dying art of tailoring. She examines the difference between

personal/reconstructive fashion sewing and true, high quality

tailoring. She makes some

great points about the change in quality of how clothes are being

made, and how the lost art of tailoring is affecting small business

alteration shops.

Mermaids has a <a


Neckline Tutorial up – use scraps of fabric to dress up the

neckline of your next shirt.

Advent, the 2nd!


Advent, Advent…and the winner to our first question is:
Kathleen Houlihan. Congratulations! She will receive our little goodie bag with love from our BurdaStyle Christmas team. The answer to How can you test a fabric to make sure it is silk?, is to burn the end of it. The smell is similar to burned hair as well as the remains will tell you where it’s at. Thanks so much for plenty emails and answers..

There is still plenty left to win, since we are only at day two of our challenge, and here is question #2

Which designer made harem pants famous?

Please send your answer to answers@burdastyle.com. First one to get it right, will win our second goodie bag!

We are looking forward to plenty more responses, rules and regulations, you findhere.



Intros are springing up for the new round of Wardrobe Refashion. <a

href=“http://nikkishell.typepad.com/wardroberefashion/&#8221;&gt;Check out the

blog to meet the folks who will be creating and

refashioning their wardrobes for the next 2, 4 or 6 months. Don’t

forget to subscribe to the blog so you can keep up with their sewing


If you still haven’t started dropping hints on what you want

for the Holidays – try sending this link to your gift givers. Or just

enjoy the fabulous suggestions and resources the folks at The Purl Bee

have put together. <a


outline gift suggestions for everyone from the beginning sewer to

“folks who sew clothing.” Great ideas.

BurdaStyle's Advent Calendar


Advent, Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt…..It is the first of December and every shopwindow and radio station reminds us that the holiday season is here. Advent is a season full of traditions in Germany. The advents calendar plays an important role during that season. Since nora and I love this season and miss good old home once in a while, we decided to share the tradition with you.
Every day from the first until the 24th, we will open every day one of the little goody bags on our beautiful Christmas tree. The first user to send us the answer to our question of the day, will win the goody of the day!

Our first question is
How can you test a fabric to see if it is silk?

Send your answer to answers@burdastyle.com. The winner will be announced the following day, together with a new question and a new chance to win. For rules and regulations, see here.

Beginners and Basics- Threading a machine


As many people have mentioned in the forum, there are not a lot of online sites that teach sewing, from the beginning. So, instead of just talking about it, we decided to be the solution. We are beginning with a series of How To’s, including one you might remember from last week- Pattern Layout, intended to help both absolute beginners and out-of-practice seamstresses, and anyone else who could use a little dusting off!



Threadheads Rob and Corinne have started a new Holiday "Holly

Jolly How-To’s" series, and kick off with a great sweater

transformation. One sweater + some scissors and a sewing machine = a

hot shrug and a knit mini. <a

href=“http://www.threadbanger.com/episode/HJH_20071128&#8221;&gt;Check it




aliz just posted a fantastic skirt that was part of a school

project. She’s translated a <a


into an amazing fashion piece that includes twisted wire and an

interesting overlay. So if you need inspiration for your next sewing

project … maybe a trip to the art museum is in order.



Well, it’s upon us.

The holidays, I mean. Maybe it’s because my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, or maybe because Thanksgiving is the big to-do for my clan and so December has an ambience of emotional ebb, or maybe it’s just because the whole ritual has always seemed a bit much to me, but I always approach the gift-giving season with a touch of dread ringing around in my head, like a yuletide carol. For the sake of my friends, who expect to exchange presents, I force myself out to stores, on the lookout for products that can somehow, materially, bespeak my love; no matter how well I do, I always feel I’ve come up short. And then my bank balance, besides.

But this year, I don’t think I’m alone in feeling grim about gifts. There’s the sudden onslaught of news reports about green giving, for one thing, all of them dancing around their own guilty premise: Secret Santa parties, holiday gift wrap, presents piled high under the tree, none of this is even remotely green, nor can be. Then there are the stories about the credit crunch, the American shopping spree suspended as homes are foreclosed upon and stocks topple in on themselves. The article that really caught my eye, however, was a recent piece about the decline of repair shops; apparently, no one thinks much about fixing stuff anymore. Why pay someone to tinker with your twitchy DVD player when a new one will only set you back a cool $50? (Or less, if you’re willing to skimp on bells and whistles.)

All of which got me thinking. I’ve got my own wish list for this Christmas, and it boils down to this: I’d like to fix up the stuff I already own. The A.P.C. snorkel parka I’ve worn day-in, day-out for three winters; there’s a button missing, it needs some patching and a good dry clean, but I love it, and I want it back for another season. Totally fixable. My iPod: The battery died over Thanksgiving, and I teased myself in the Apple store, debating whether to get one of the new video Nanos, but no, what I really want is the iPod I have, the classic one that’s served me so well. While I’m at it, the keyboard on my laptop needs replacing, and the wiring is shot in the vintage lamp I got a few years back, and my favorite handbag requires a new lining. I possess a half-dozen shoes I’m unwilling to part with and unable to wear; maybe this Christmas, one of my friends will donate a date with the Russian shoe repair guy down the block. Perhaps the holiday season has gotten to me after all: I’m feeling rather thankful for everything I have.

In the spirit of fixing and repairing instead of just trashing what once was dearly loved, Nikkishell will start a new section in the blog that is covering that theme. Learn how to alter and repair your favorite clothes that otherwise would have landed in the goodwill pile.



sagefemme on Craftster just posted a great recon of sweaters

that were out of date and funky fitting. The <a


turned out great.

Fashion goes green for folks in the bay area. aWear is an Eco

Fashion with guest speakers, DIY workshops, exhibits and a clothing

swap. Read more

about it on Going San Francisco.



It’s hard to resist a fantastic new fashion resource, and Emily at

BeSewStylish confesses to caving in to the lure of a book cover. <a


She’s reviewed American Fashion – a history book of sorts -

and it seems that her impulse purchase was a good one. Read more on

the BeSewStylish blog.



It’s all done! I finished my Liz blouse today and love it, it’s so light and airy and is perfect for this summer weather. I decided to use the same fabric for the inverted pleats which I added to the princess seams in the front for extra bump space. I think they worked really well. One thing I think I would change are the sleeves, I feel that they gape a little too much but I think this could be fixed by shortening the sleeves slightly towards my shoulders and under the arm. I added a little length to the blouse to make sure it covers my bump and I also added ties in a contrasting fabric which I attached to the side seams, this way I can tie them in the front or the back. Just look at my bump though isn’t it getting big?! I’ll be posting a mini how-to later this week for sewing inverted pleats so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Now those jeans you see me wearing in the photograph don’t fit me around the waist anymore. I’m embarrassed to say that they’re actually held together with an elastic band, oh the shame! Plus it’s getting far too warm to be wearing jeans for this pregnant lady so of course I need to make a pair of trousers for my next project and really I can’t pass up making the ‘Nichola’ trousers can I? Considering they’re my namesake. So my plan is to lower the waistband at the front for it to fit underneath my bump. I may also look into making the waistband slightly larger than needed and adding some elastic to the back to give them some room for growth. What are your thoughts on these plans? Do you think they would work? I have some delicious chocolate brown linen in my stash that should work beautifully with this pattern along with elastic and most probably a zip but come to think of it, I may not need one. If I make the pants a little less figure hugging along with the elasticated lowered waistband I may be able to get away with having one altogether. So these pants should cost me $0 since I already have everything in my stash. I like that!

Just one more week left for the Lydia sewalong. I’ve been procrastinating big time about sewing my dress version of this pattern. I need to get over my fear of cutting into the jersey fabric and just go for it. Maybe I’ll get started on it tomorrow, maybe. Someone please give me a boot up the backside and tell me I just need to go for it. Thanks, I appreciate it.

I’ve not seen anymore Lydia creations on the site so if you’re taking part please post your finished creation and let us know your thoughts. Are you happy with the outcome? Did you make any alterations? What would you do differently next time? I have started a new thread in the forum for deciding what our next project will be, head on over there and cast your vote.

Happy Sewing!



“>Individual Chic has started a tutorial on how to make an Obi. She’s using it to jazz up a dress she already has in prep for the holiday party season.



hellagabrielle has posted a tutorial to her shirt to cardigan post over on Craftster. She’s provided simple instruction on transforming a plain t-shirt into a snazzy, fitted v-neck cardigan.


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