Technical Drawing Contest- Win $50!

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That’s right, we felt it was time for another contest. Get your pen and pencil out, warm up your hand, pull out the paper. We are going to be looking for your best technical drawings. As some of you may have noticed, there is no technical drawing associated with the Alison swimsuit. We thought it would be a great opportunity for all of you out there who are not only a whiz at the sewing machine, but also have the sketching skills of DaVinci, to showcase your talents. We are excited to see all you multitalented members out there. You have until the 18th of July to send us your best technical drawing of the Alison swimsuit. The winner will receive $50! So send’em in to us at team@burdastyle.com and good luck!

BurdaStyle is Faster!

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Good news everyone! As you know there has been a lot of talking about a site redesign and code review. Well, our awesome programmers from Area 17 have just rolled out a major improvement. You will notice that the site is much faster now! We know from reading your survey answers that the speed of the site was a big issue. Slow and steady might win the race but we are happy to announce that turtle speed will no longer hinder your pattern browsing abilities. No more little hourglass while the Sabrina loads, no more failed pages, easier download of all the patterns, can you ask for anything more? Well yes, but that is also coming. It’s all very exciting.

Happy July 4th

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Happy Independence Day, BurdaStylers! We hope you all have fun plans for tomorrow… Here in the office, we all do:

Benedikta is heading to a German birthday party in Virginia, where she will be decked out in full dirndl regalia. Nora A. will be enjoying a picnic in the mountains of Colorado. Nora K., who is with us for the summer from Germany, will be enjoying TWO traditional American barbecues. (We hope she doesn’t get a bellyache!) Alden is in upstate New York spending quality time with her family. Our awesome new intern Katie is going to a beach house in the Hamptons—fancy! Layla’s watching the fireworks at the Statue of Liberty from a rooftop in Red Hook, and Hikaru is watching fireworks against the Manhattan skyline from a rooftop in Greenpoint.

Ok, everybody. We hope you all stay safe and fun and cool this holiday weekend, and maybe you will even get a little sewing done!

Party Favors

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Last night was one of the best parties we’ve been to in some time (if we do say so ourselves). BurdaStyle partnered with Fame Game, Zink Magazine and Volkswagen on a project- This World is Yours- to encourage more thoughtful messaging in fashion. The Red Bull Space in SOHO was packed full of revelers who came out to see the work of five talented fashion photographers including:

Claire Benoist,
Michael Scott Slosar,
Harry Fellows,
Justin Tellian,
and
Jamie Chung.

The challenge given was to “transmit messages that resonate on a higher level than that of pure consumption”. In that context, each photographer interpreted one of the themes of the night: THINK, PLAY, TEACH, LET GO, and DREAM. We think they all created beautiful work. Especially, Michael Scott Slosar who used our Heidi dress Variation in his shoot for PLAY.
Over the course of the night, participants chose the message that resonated with them and BurdaStyle gave them their very own custom bracelet. If you like the bracelets, tell us, and we’ll show you how to make them for your next event. We promise these are party favors your friends won’t throw away.

Soundtrack for the evening provided by our friends Eclectic Method.

View more photos from the party are on our Flickr page.

Photos on Blogpic (from left to right)
Pic 1: Kyla, Nora, Michael Scott Slosar (Photographer), Benedikta, Alden, Play Team
Pic 2: Benedikta, Julia Allison (Model), Alden, Nora K., Nora

Featured Member: Maya511

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I was born in Guam and my family moved to Southern California (just north of Orange County) when I was three. I currently live in Hollywood, so I didn’t stray too far from where I grew up.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
When I was a little girl, I used to hand sew little cushions that I stuffed with cotton balls stolen from my mother’s makeup drawer. The first thing I ever made with a machine was a super simple unlined mini tote bag. It’s a shame that I didn’t actually make an effort to learn how to sew until this year—in my mid 30s! I’d always wanted to learn, but for some unexplainable reason, I was extremely intimidated by sewing machines. I finally gathered the courage to enroll myself in a basic sewing class earlier this year (where I made the mini-tote) and I’m so glad I did.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
For me, it’s a well-needed creative outlet after a day at the office. Also, It’s just so gratifying to wear/use something that you’ve made yourself—a feeling to which I’m sure all of you Burdastyle.com members can attest. I can honestly say that it’s the most enjoyable hobby I’ve ever taken up, as well as the most addictive.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
I’ve got two favorite things: 1) shopping for fabric and letting my imagination run wild 2) that feeling of exhilaration I get when I complete a project. What I like the least is deciphering pattern instructions. I’m primarily an aural and tactile learner and possess very poor spatial awareness —so sometimes diagrams actually serve to confuse more than to help. Oftentimes, I have to make a miniature model of the project in order to figure out the actual construction of it!

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what would you make?
Purely fantasy of course—I would make an insulated cooling wrap for the earth to slow down global warming!

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?
I’m looking for inspiration, above all, and there’s plenty of it here! I love perusing member creations and I’m inspired by what I see on a daily basis. I’m also looking for stylish, versatile patterns, and BurdaStyle has got that covered as well. What’s more, there’s a real sense of community here, which I love. Everyone is so helpful and supportive. I honestly can’t think of anything I’d change!

7. What is your motto?
My general motto is a quote by Bertrand Russell: “The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.” My sewing motto is “Don’t sacrifice enjoyment for perfection!” I sometimes take a lot of short cuts when I sew for myself, which I don’t necessarily encourage, but I think it’s important, when undertaking any creative endeavor, to relax, have fun and to not beat yourself up when you make mistakes. I mean, when it stops being fun, what’s the point in doing it, right? That’s what I say, at least!

Maya511 has a great sense of color and style, just take a look at her fun floral top or any of her many creations. She also has a blog which chronicles her sewing adventures.

Taking Better Pictures

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So, some people have been wondering how we go about picking images for the home page. Basically, everyday we look through the creations page at the new uploads. What we are looking for is quality, both in the creation and in the photo.
We have some helpful hints for how to take better pictures.

- Have a nice background. Stand in front of a wall or be in your garden. Make sure when you take your picture that your dirty laundry is not strewn about the floor and you aren’t in front of a messy bookshelves. Clutter only distracts from the beauty of your creation!

- Make sure there is lighting. Don’t take a picture in the bat cave.
- Make sure you are well lit. You should be facing the light source when taking your pictures, not back lit. This allows everyone to see the creation much more clearly.
- Show your lovely face. We understand that people sometimes feel a little uncomfortable with this but it is so much easier to see the proportions of the outfit plus we want to see how happy you are with your new creation.
- Make sure the picture is clear. It’s so nice to be able to see the details and really admire the work you put into this. A fuzzy picture makes us sad.

If you want to get really fancy and edit your photos with Photoshop, use these tricks (not necessary though)

- To adjust the darkness go to Image>Adjustments>Level
- To increase the vividness go to Image >Adjustments>Hue/Saturation
- To adjust final Brightness go to Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast

There are our quick tricks for taking great pictures. We look forward to seeing what you do with this!

Overlocker machine review

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If you’ve ever gotten a new, special sewing machine or serger, you know how exciting … and scary … it is to open it up for the first time and figure it all out. Lisa and u-handbag just got her first overlocker machine, and has a great post full of beautiful pictures and a review the new addition to her sewing studio.

Four New How Tos

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Hey BurdaStylers

We have four, yes four, amazing new how tos for you. Things have been a little glitchy around the site but the how tos are up and running again. Because its been a while we felt like we owed you a few. Ladies and gentlemen, your new how tos:

-Line the Charlie Bag

-Sew a Charlie Bag with Bias and French Seams

-Serge the Charlie Bag

And

-Sew the Pete T-Shirt

The first three how tos show the various ways to make the Charlie bag. One of these is bound to be the perfect fit for you depending on your skill level, resources and time. Creating a lining for the Charlie bag ensures that it wont rip when carrying your groceries or whatever else you were planning on carrying in there. By using a bias and French seams, your bag gets a polished touch. And using serger on the Charlie is a quick easy way to finish the seams…provided you have a serger.

The Sew the Pete T-Shirt how to not only shows you how to sew the Pete with a serger, it gives the long awaited size chart conversion! So if you have been wondering what S,M,L,XL means look no further than the Sew a Pete how to.

Have a good night everyone!

From Maternity to Empire

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Anitra Cameron of Coffee Pot People shows us how she took a $0.25 maternity top and transformed it into a cute empire waist shirt. It’s a great reconstruction that you could work on your thrift store finds or on maternity clothes you are no longer using. Thanks, Diane !

Featured Member: Jeffrey

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan; born and raised. I currently live in Grand Rapids and am attending Calvin College

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
The first thing I sewed for myself was a pair of short shorts, for basketball. My friends and I play recreation-league-intramural basketball at Calvin and we dress in 70’s clothes, including short-shorts. I wanted a pair that matched the colours we picked for the team.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Sewing plays the role of helping define my style and attitude towards life. Sewing is a hobby, but I would say that the role is practical. I like making things that I will use. I have made a lot of bags because bags are functional. Making rather than buying changes how I view my possessions. I appreciate them more because I have put something personal into them.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
My favorite thing about sewing is brain storming, looking at something and thinking how to make it for myself. My least favorite thing about sewing is not having time to sew.

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what would you make?
I guess I would make a camera bag for my older brother. I would really like to see him appreciate my hobby in the same kind of way that I do

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?
I’m looking for a place to be together with like minded people. People who like to create; people who prefer homemade to brand-named. I’m not sure how the site could be better, more guy-oriented stuff would be nice, but it makes sense that there is so much women’s stuff.

7. What is your motto?
Make don’t buy

Jeffrey is one of the most prominent men on our site. Not only does he have great creations to share with us, he has taught us all how to weave our own cloth in his awesome how to. This month Jeffery is featured in Burda Mode magazine. Congrats Jeffrey and we look forward to seeing more of your creations on the site.

Sorry about that!

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As many of you have noticed we had a slight glitch in our site earlier today. It is resolved now and we are sorry for any problems this might have caused. BurdaStyle.com is going through a major code review and site redesign. What this means is that our awesome programmers are going through the foundation of our site and fixing the bugs. Thank you all for your continued reporting of the problems you find. And now without further ado we would like to present the ONE and ONLY Francesca!!! Check it out, it’s another member suggested pattern.

Using and underlay when cutting slick fabrics

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If you’re working with a slick piece of fabric that constantly shifts when you are trying to cut it, check out The Sewing Divas latest post about using an underlay. She’s given a great tutorial on this technique that will help you keep your fabric straight and keep you from getting frustrated when you work with special fabrics.

Wanna be creative, stop global warming and win prizes? You bet!

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Here at BurdaStyle we try to be as green as possible in our living. We bring out Charlie bags to the stores, try to refashion old clothes and up cycle old cloth. We believe in trying to reduce the impact we have on this world which is why we were so happy to hear about this project. We, along with, Craftster, Etsy, Craft: and ThriftyFun have all partnered with the climate awareness group 350.org to bring you a creative way to save the world, or at least do our part. The effort is called Creativity 350. This project aims to creatively spread the word about lowering greenhouse gasses to below 350 parts per million. Now here is where you come in.
There are two creative contests that you can enter: the Creativity 350 Craft Contest and the Creativity 350 T-Shirt Contest. Both contests are accepting submissions up to August 15th. There are tons of great prizes and this is a really great cause. Check it out and help us spread the word!

Featured Member: Lalalalayla

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1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I grew up mostly in Arizona with frequent visits to Manhattan, cut my teeth in Los Angeles, and gypsy’d across America last summer before landing in Brooklyn.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
Making has always been a natural and constant thing for me, so I don’t have a specific answer to this question. I come from a family of makers. My dad is a fixer/maker/builder, and I have a box of things my mom and aunties and grandmas made for me as I was growing up, from ceramics to costumes to party dresses to stuffed animals. I also grew up in a family that would get excited about a pile of garbage because ‘maybe we can make something out of this’.

With all that, though, I don’t remember starting to sew until college. I remember trying to recover a couch and choosing really bad material. And I remember getting my roommates to dress up with me as a rock n’ roll band for Halloween, and I made my costume from scratch: it was awful and too small and I obviously had no idea what I was doing and I looked like a hooker. A few years later, my ex-husband bought me a nice sewing machine, and it was onward and upward after that.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Sewing IS my life these days. Freelancing for BurdaStyle, I get to sew a lot of the beautiful garments you see in our Creations. And I’ve also been working on my Etsy shop, Led Thread, which keeps me busy and satisfied. I’m also doing a TON of custom work. Last year I dreamt of taking a sewing vacation (just sewing for a week), and now I dream of taking a vacation FROM sewing (no sewing for a week)! That said, though, I love sewing and the creative process and I am incredibly proud of how far my craftsmanship has come in the last few years.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
I hate trying to get fabric to do something it doesn’t want to do.
I love the sense of accomplishment I get knowing garments I’ve made are out in the world living separate lives that I know nothing about. I like to imagine what they are doing: maybe shoved in the back of the closet, maybe in the donation heap, but maybe on a tropical vacation or fancy party.

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what would you make?
I would make myself a really avant-garde gown.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?
Ah, well, I really truly love BurdaStyle and I think it is a beautiful project. I am very excited about the site redesign, because right now it is a bit clunky and difficult to navigate. I love having a place where people can share their creations, and I really like all the positive feedback our members are so generous with. I like seeing how people execute the patterns, what fabrics they choose and what changes they make. I also use the How To’s quite a bit to jog my brain if I’m coming up to a sticky construction issue. Oh, yeah, and the patterns!!

7. What is your motto?
There is no place to go save up.

Layla has been here at BurdaStyle since October of last year. In addition to keeping us laughing and being a major force behind our cookie consumption, she is also responsible for many of the patterns and creations put up by BurdaStyle (the Charlie bag, the Bella pants and Pete, the Men

Appliqued Flower Pillows

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Hello everyone in BurdaStyle land!
Today we have an awesome how to for you! We are teaching you how to create awesome appliquéd flower pillows; these can be seen all over the Sadie dress variation. These are an easy, fun way to dress up any piece of clothing you have lying around the house. Old jeans with a big hole? Now it has an awesome appliqué. Old pillow with a stain… appliqué. You get the point. We are not the first to do how tos on this, Mirela made this how to cutout applique for sheer fabrics and baerbelborn taught us how to appliqué with stamps. By following these how tos, you will be modifying everything in sight. Have fun with this one!

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