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Featured Member: Aur0ra


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

I am originally from Lancaster, CA, in the desert of Southern California. I currently reside in the beautiful Northern Idaho, in the city of Moscow, with my husband. We absolutely love being among the unique combination of wheat fields and forests.

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

The first thing I made was a quilted potholder. I have been sewing ever since my grandmother taught me the basics when I was about seven. I started out sewing little, simple things, like pillows and pot holders. My mom got me started sewing clothing, and she’s always been there to help me through some of the tougher aspects of sewing. Later, I taught myself how to design and sew clothing and accessories. I also began experimenting with reconstructing vintage items as well. I have always enjoyed owning unique clothing and accessories, it’s so fun to know that nobody else has the same clothing as you.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

I spend pretty much all of my free time at my sewing machines. No matter where I am throughout the day, I am always thinking of new designs to sew. I find inspiration everywhere I go. I carry a notebook with me at all times so that I can draw quick sketches of my ideas before they escape me. So, basically sewing is a very important part of my life.
Sewing for me is also an escape, and a way for me to relax. I am by nature a very anxious person, but when I am sewing I am at rest and peaceful.

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

My favorite thing about sewing is the brainstorming stage, from figuring out designs to finding the right fabric. Thinking of new ideas is the easiest part for me, my head is always overflowing with designs to try. I also love it when I am finished with a piece and try it on, that is the most rewarding experience.

My least favorite thing about sewing is cutting the fabric out. I can’t explain why I don’t like it, I just don’t. I usually have to plan to do all of the cutting in one day for the pieces I’m working on, and the sewing another day.

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

Creating clothes for my family and friends is my favorite thing to do. It is so much fun to create clothing for those you are close to, according to the unique aspects of their personalities. I have made dresses for my four sisters for their birthdays, and each one is so different and exciting. They are all so very supportive, and I love making gifts for them. I would love to make a few things for my husband soon. It will be my first venture into making men’s clothing (we’ll see how it goes).

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

I love having a place where I can “show and tell” my creations. I also enjoy seeing the creativity of others and being inspired to create myself. It’s awesome being able to interact with other people who sew, and giving and receiving feedback and ideas.

7. What is your motto?

– If it won’t matter in a day, a week, or even a month, it’s not worth getting upset over. (Living with this thought in mind is very helpful in stress reduction, something that I am always in desperate need of.)

- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

For more information on Aur0ra check out her blog, Facebook page, her website or her Etsy shop. Phew! You should also make sure to check out her top ten picks from BurdaStyle

I Don't Want to Work


Do you have summer angst? Do you have trouble going to work while the sun is shining & the ocean beckons you? Don’t you want to just take the summer off and be a kid again? Splash in the ocean, have BBQ’s, go sailing…I certainly do. But I am a designer (remember?) and I have work to do. A collection to design by September. Good lord.

Why is it that I am suddenly inspired as soon as I begin to drift off to sleep and didn’t have a single good idea all day when I was forcing myself to work? This happens all of the time. If only it were socially acceptable to be a night owl. “Sorry, can’t come in today, had too many ideas last night & didn’t sleep, but boy did I get a lot done”. Why do I feel tired and willy nilly and lazy during the day? I have been trying to figure this out my entire adult life… One thing that gets me through life though is setting goals. I know what needs to be accomplished in my mind but jotting it down really helps. Here’s my to-do list for the next Dahl & Dane capsule collection. We’re doing a small collection bags & basics for “him & her”.

  • Design 2 prints. I want to create painterly prints where I incorporate my drawings and watercolors and have these printed onto fabric. These will be printed onto 100% cotton and used for a bag for her, a blouse & a skirt. Think Liberty of London meets a doodle bug.
  • Make Dane design a print for “him”, our collection is going to be “his & her’s” items; a bag for him, one for her, t-shirts for him, t-shirts for her. Think Slow & Steady meets Dahl & Dane’s quirk and my personal aesthetic.
  • Make my own patterns. I sometimes use my factory to create the patterns & samples. This time, to save money, I want to make my own patterns and have my samples made by my factory so they are “showroom acceptable”, and we all know how expensive that is.
  • Find a reliable & secure source for wholesale fabric. Right now I am locking down a source for organic cotton, soy, hemp & bamboo manufacturers. We want our collection to be primarily organic.

That helped actually. Thanks:)

The BurdaStyle Sewing Clubs are on!


With over 200 BSCs in existence, we wanted to create a place for all the clubs to meet and mingle. Share group pictures, discuss sewing tips and techniques, and plan group meetings with BSCs all over the world on our Ning social networking site! Go to today to sign up and start the fun!

BSC Leaders should create groups for their clubs. Please title all groups as “BSC [City, State, Country],”or “BSC [City, Country]” if international, in order for members and prospective members to easily find your club.

If you have not done so already, join The BurdaStyle Club Flickr group, and post pictures of your club meetings, group creations and anything else you’d like! Feel free to send us group photos directly too! Send them to team[at]burdastyle[dot]com along with a short description of the group’s last meeting itinerary and information on your next meeting date.

Also, be sure check out our new forum category at Scroll down to the second to last category to advertise your club, offer comments or suggestions or meet other club members!

Interested in creating a sewing club in your area? Send an e-mail to team[at]burdastyle[dot]com. And for a complete list of all the current BSCs, please visit


BSC Coordinator

Fashion Trendsetter


I went shopping over the weekend and noticed that the summer styles are now on the clearance racks, fall\winter fabrics have arrived in fabric stores, and school supplies are stocked on shelves. Even though we are in the midst of summer here in the US, it’s already time to start planning ahead for fall. Since my sewing time is limited, I try to plan my wardrobe sewing carefully – selecting fun and trendy pieces inspired by the latest designs. However, while making my ‘must sew’ list for the upcoming season, I stumbled across a new fashion forecasting website, Fashion Trendsetter. Not only does this site predict upcoming color trends, but also hot fabrics, and accessories. Be sure to check it out before you start your next project!

Send us Your Measurements and We Will Make You a Handmade Suit


If we visit the bespoke tailors in London’s Savil Row we cannot but have to pass by the bespoke tailors in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Their skills are world famous and not only Asians with heavy wallets but tourists and prominence from around the world take a trip to get a bespoke suit made in China. In the internet you find endless discussions on how to find the best quality tailors in between the scams and what to look out for when having a suit tailor-made. Obviously the experience is so exhilarating that Philiph Shenon (head of the Bangkok bureau of the Times, at least in 1995) dedicated a whole article to his first bespoke suit made in Hong Kong. Even my parents couldn’t resist the temptation when they visited China to pass by one of the tailors to have a coat made for my Dad. What fascination!

As fascinating is the history behind it, as told by Tailor Dave: imagine Shanghai at the turn of the 19th century: China had lost the two Opium Wars, with the result that it had to open its doors to trade with Britain. Foreigners flock into Shanghai, make their fortunes some more, some less and bring with them their taste for all things Western, including Western suits. Savile Row is far, but luckily a number of tailors from Bombay (now Mumbai) and Baghdad have made their way to Shanghai quickly filling the void of Western suits and their nimble fingers match the quality of any Savile Row suit.

Then enter the Communists and their preference for uniform labor suits and other ideologies obviously drives out demand for Western suits. The tailors move and take refuge in Hong Kong where they restore their trade. One of them is <href=“;&gt;Sam, or better Manu Melwani, Hon Phd., F. Inst. D., FRSA, Medal of Honour and recipient of Belgium’s Golden Plams of the Order of the Crown whose list of clients include Coldplay, Rod Steward, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and any junior guy that may walk into his shop because “one day he’ll be a senior guy.”

Armani and Versace may be the kings on Western catwalks but behind the scenes Chan, Ah Man and Sam supply the rank and file.

Photo © 2004 ¡ngel Riesgo MartÌnez

Your Ultimate Make-it-Yourself, DIY, Sewing Summer Guide!


Summer is absolutely upon us. We have decided to give you the ultimate backyard fun and beach guide. Sew and craft up all of these projects to create your perfect summer!

Spotlight On: IVANAhelsinki


IVANAhelsinki is currently the single brand which speaks to my own roots fully. Behind the brand is a sweet faced Scandinavian girl with a sneaky dark side, I’m in love. IVANAhelsinki is an exclusive art fashion brand which delicately brings together Slavic rough melancholy and pure Scandinavian moods.

Behind the brand is the artist Paola Ivana Suhonen who pulls from her dark naive mind-landscapes, northern legends and western romantics, doing prints, graphics, short movies and well, everything that is involved with the visuals. Paola runs the family-owned company with older sister Pirjo. Paola has created an exclusive collection for Topshop and has gone so far as to curate Dress-go-Around where 10 girls are given IVANAhelsinki dresses, are documented in them, then the dresses are passed on to loved ones.

Here’s a special slide show of her gorgeous designs as well.

Paola was kind enough to answer some of my questions below. I hope you enjoy this feature as much as I do:

What is your earliest memory?

We were playing lions in the cage of one Finnish film directors backyard- he actually had had there some wild animals, back in the 20´s.

What is your most treasured possession?

My rescued dog “affe” and my belief in eternal love

What would your super power be?

To sense the ghosts- actually I already have it:)

What is a secret treat that you love?

Old whiskey

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

A good-mad man

Who in your life has inspired your sense of style the most?

My mom in her 60´s bold dresses and silk scarves and huge sunglasses being a young psychoalalytic-chick (sic) She rocks

What is the worst job you’ve done?

Selling matches from door to door—and wc paper—oh, that was a bit too much!

Who would play you in the film of your life?

Maja Ivarsson

What is your favorite smell?

Lily-of-the -valley

What keeps you awake at night?

My endless projects which I just can´t get enough of..

Describe IVANAhelsinki in three words.

“dresses for beautiful girls”

Tell us a joke.

I hate jokes. I´m a serious girl:)

Thank you Paola.

Photos courtesy of IVANAhelsinki. Artwork by alison dahl.

Featured Member: Scrumptiousdelight


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

I was born and grew up in Bournemouth on the south coast of England but since I’ve moved about a lot. I spent 3 yrs in Portugal and Spain and 8 yrs in France and now here I am in Vancouver, BC. We’ve been here for just a year and love it!

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

The very first things I remember sewing were little felt mice and bears. My brother and I spent lots of time with our grandparents and they were both pretty good at various crafts and happy recipients of anything hand made by us. My grandmother used to knit all the time so I guess it was natural that I had to sit there creating too.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

My sewing passion really took off when my son was a baby and I found myself a little isolated and in need something to help fill my days, I got a sewing machine and started to make clothes but soon went back to my first interest of making toys. Sewing is something that I do for me. Its all to easy to lose track of yourself in all the day to day sewing and creating helps me to express myself as an individual.

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

My favourite thing about sewing is that moment when it all starts to come together, when what was once a piece of flat fabric takes on a whole new life. My least favourite thing is cutting out, with toys its very often fiddley and time consuming.

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

I would love to make some kind of outrageous toy for Jean-Paul Gaultier…I admire him so much! He was once stood behind me looking in a shop window in Paris and I was too star-struck and shy to speak to him…what a missed opportunity!!

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

I look for inspiration and great clothing patterns on BurdaStyle site. I think the How to section could be a little easier to navigate but it really is a wonderful site a mne of information and the patterns are really up to date.

7. What is your motto?

My motto as far as sewing is concerned is measure twice cut once..or is that woodwork?

Scrumptiousdelight’s creations are awesome, just plain old awesome. Check out her top ten favorite creations. You can find photos of her creations at her Etsy shop or at Flickr. You can also see them in person at the London Miles Gallery in London. Also at Stitch Wars in Florida and Mortal Plush

Style for a Cause


Growing up in Trinidad meant that I spent my entire childhood and adolescence in a school uniform. They were strict about everything- if I wore socks that didn’t match, we had to change them or go without, and if our skirts were too short or our blouses were too tight, we’d have to go to the supply closet to wear a new one!

Sheena Matheiken grew up in India, where it was mandatory for her as well to wear a school uniform. Recently, she decided to embark on a activity inspired by her experience called the Uniform Project. Part exercise in sustainability, part fund raising venture, Sheena’s decided to wear the same dress a day for an entire year. Boring? No! Each day, Sheena comes up with an outfit that’s quirky and inventive, making use of layers, accessories (most of which are donated), thrift store finds, and crafty alterations. The dress itself is pretty innovative- designed by her friend Eliza Starbuck, it can be worn both ways (front-to-back, back-to front) and as a blouse or jacket. The best part about the project is that it raises money for the Akanksha Foundation in India. Pioneered by college students in India, this foundation provides children from the slums with all the supplies (and uniforms!) that they need for school, and also runs summer camps, drama, computer, and dance classes to equip kids with the skills they need to succeed. Every day Sheena donates a dollar to the organization, and also accepts donations of money for the organization and accessories to keep reinventing her outfits.

Check out Sheena’s site, as well as the site for the Akanksha foundation. Get involved by donating to the Uniform Project, or even by signing up to volunteer to assist the kids with the foundation in India. Well worth a trip, don’t you think?

BurdaStyle Team

Stylist for a Day


Recently I joined forces with my stylist friend and visionaire Elissa Raymond to assist her in a Manhattan based photo-shoot for Kohls, an American department store similar to Target who carries licensed lines like Simply Vera & ELLE.

Has anyone ever worked as a stylist? I’ve styled my own shoots and have done some editorial but I had never worked on such a large scale production. Our base was an enormous RV parked outside of Pastis, an incredibly beautiful & infamous restaurant in the meatpacking district of Manhattan. Elissa has the back of the RV; there were racks to hang the looks we’d be shooting and couches and tables for shoes & accessories. Elissa had heaps of accessories; gold, silver, brass chains, sunglasses, clear glasses, bracelets, stockings, shoes, boots, hats, scarves galore. Now wouldn’t it be fun to scour the Earth for those things on someone else’s budget?!

Every stylist has a “book”, and when I arrived (ahem, at 4:30 a.m.) to meet everyone, Elissa had me take a look. Inside are spec sheets and snaps of the approved looks to be shot with editor’s notes. The marketing team at Kohls adds notes in the margins like “make sure to show lapels and cuff details” and “no leggings with this” or “show the pant’s cuffs” and it’s Elissa’s job to follow suit. Sometimes she does and sometimes the notes sound as if they are coming from a man in a suit in an office in Milwaukee- not a style guru.

The actual shoot consists of a dance between photographer, model, stylist, guy with fan, and hair & make-up. Around her waist, or in our case, my hands, as Elissa thinks the belt ruins her look, a stylist has clips, pins, double-stick tape, snips. A few snaps then “stylist in!” a tug here, flatten a wrinkle there, pin that collar down, clip the back, make it more snug, while hair is acting against nature; trying to tame stray hairs with spray and gloss. The photographer is lucky if she gets 5 shots in before these adjustments need to be made.

All in all I enjoyed the day. The locality made it simple, most of the time they are in a studio in Milwaukee which to me sounds a bit tough. A stylist needs to be in pretty good shape and be on her feet all day. Elissa miraculously can wear her cute, pointy Italian leather lace-up boots without complaint. And she will never be caught dead wearing knee pads.

Patterns and Tutorial for Convertible Tops and Dress


Looking for a dress that gives you more bang for your buck? Try sewing yourself up a convertible dress! Not only is this style all the rage in Hollywood at the moment, but it also allows the wearer to change the look of their outfit just by altering the ties. There are several tutorials for making this frock including Rostitichery’s Infinity Dress and BurdaStyle’s own scriptandserif. Dresses not your style? Try the convertible dresses’ sister tute, the convertible shirt!

We'll Miss You, Michael!


Yesterday, the whole BurdaStyle office was in shock. It seemed so strange that the King of Pop would be gone so soon. Though his life was plagued with controversy, Michael Jackson has had an undeniable influence on culture, music, and style. Michael Jackson singlehandedly popularized aviator glasses, leather jackets, gloves, and his signature white socks. He resisted fads, sticking to his own edgy and unique take on fashion. Most of us in the office grew up listening to and watching Michael Jackson, and like the rest of the world, we’re still in shock. Rest in peace Michael! We’ll miss you.

BurdaStyle Team

All pictures are from

BurdaStyle Sewing Club Update: The Milwaukee Sewing Club!


The BurdaStylers of Milwaukee were armed with their sewing gear and ready to mingle at this Tuesday’s very first Sewing Club! This event was packed with a super-fun show-and-tell and conversations on what the next meeting would bring.

This club mixes sewing veterans with beginners, and aims to have fantastic sewing fun for both! Tentative plans for what they may do in the future include sewing quilts for an international adoption agency and baby kimonos for local hospitals. How cute!

At the next meeting, though, the first order of business is to work on the pleated clutch pictured above. Their next meeting will be held July 21st at 7 p.m. If you are in the Milwaukee area and would like to join, please contact Club Leader Tekstile.

For more information on BSC Milwaukee, visit their blog at

Keep up the great work guys!

BSC Coordinator

Join one in your neighborhood!

Winner of the Sew News Subscription is....


Congratulations to Easbrooke! The handy dandy Random number generator helped pick us our winner. Thank you all for entering!

Antique Sewing Machine Collector


Here is a really cool interview with an antique sewing machine collector over at Collectors Weekly. It’s a really interesting article, with great pictures, I recommend it!


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