Sew Along!

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In other BurdaStyle news I’m starting a Sew Along! I already posted a thread in the forum, click here.

We’ll share hints and tips, ask questions and help each other out. Then at the end we’ll post our creations and marvel at everyone’s talent and how different the same garment can look just by a change of fabric or a pattern alteration then give each other a virtual pat on the back.

I think we’ll start the Sew Along with the choice of any of the tops from the Burda Style pattern database. The choice to be left up to you. I’m leaning towards Susan or Maddy, since they’re the only two I haven’t tried yet.

Maybe you could use some fabric that you have sitting in your stash or find something at the thrift store to recycle. You could then spice your top up like I mentioned in my last column. Experiment!

NikkiShell meant to post the first pattern on Monday 23 July, but because of the new site design launch, this had to be postponed. Tomorrow we should know!

Every four weeks a new pattern choice will be announced, after starting a week before that to collect ideas from the Sew Along members! For each project, there will be a new thread in the forum category “Sew Along”.

New BurdaStyle Website!!!

Please celebrate with us the launch of the BurdaStyle website! If you find bugs, report them here. Any other feedback, just comment!

Sewing and Snakes

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I am good at a lot of things. I am not good at even more things, including, but not limited to, gardening and sewing with elastic. I really discovered this when trying to sew the Tara top. It’s a beautiful top, with fluttery sleeves and a gorgeous, deep neckline. I love it now, but let me tell you, or better yet, let Nora and Benedikta tell you, about my experience with that top. After only three mini-disasters, I was successful, but not until I tried using a round elastic cord instead of a flat elastic tape to create the fit under the bust. I’m sure many of you had no problem with this, but I’ve decided one’s relationship with elastic is based on the Love/Hate concept. Much like a gardeners relationship with snakes. Snakes are necessary because they keep more plant-destroying predators at bay, but hated because they so sneakily appear and cause fright.

We Proudly Present....

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This is a big week for us. So many big decisions leave us ready for the weekend, which will be just as eventful, considering that we are almost ready to launch the new web design.

Again, we have to express our big amazement with your work. We received lots of very creative submissions with very well constructed patterns.
It makes us realize how much potential is out there and hope that we find more and more ways to bring that to our site.

Enough of the waiting, here is our winner for the design/pattern contest:

Somwan Molzer also known as JJ.

She is the winner of $500 and her pattern will be produced as free download for all BurdaStyle members.

Her Retro inspired blouse is convincing in all criterias. The design, even though very developed leaves room for pattern changes and adaptation. It would work as a simpler version, without the ruffles just as well as replacing them with piping.

Her pattern is technically sound and was presented in a very clean and understandable way. All left to do is create the PDF out of it…

We feel that her pattern is a great addition to our ever growing collection and we hope to see many variations…

"Where Is the New Site Design?"

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Many of you received a newsletter announcing the new design will be launched
several days ago. This did not happen – as you may have noticed…

And that’s how far we are: The site is completely programmed, yay! But, the
data transfer is not finished yet. This contains all the wonderful
creations, How Tos and member profiles you uploaded, as well as our patterns
and How Tos, the forum entries and the myriad comments you left.

We hope that this is finished this weekend and we will launch as soon as
possible after that. Most likely we will ask for your help to detect bugs and the
like…

The sneak previews we got were great, and WE CANNOT WAIT TO SHARE THIS ALL
WITH YOU!!!

Above you see how your creations will be presented in the new site. As you can see as well there are still quite some things that are not correct, such as the search bar, sticking right to the box with the creator’s info, or the members other creations, that are not at all lined up yet…bear with us!!

We are pleased to announce. . .

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Finally, after a long night debating, we have come to a conclusion in our design/drawing contest.

Before announcing the winner we just wanted to state how impressed we are. You all are some of the most talented and creative people out there, it makes all the hard work worthwhile and keeps us going. Looking through the submissions was inspirational, as we found numerous designs that were easy to make, presented beautifully, and incorporated the idea of a global community, just as we try to do here at BurdaStyle.
Nevertheless we had to choose and our winner is:

……. MALISSA LONG!! Also known as mlssfshn.

She, as the winner for design will receive 300 USD. Her design will be produced as free download for all BurdaStyle members.

Her “Sweat Dress” design stood out in all BurdaStyle criteria’s that we used to make a fair and sound decision.

Malissa, who tends to feel cold, often found herself wanting warmth, but not at the cost of looking fashionable, and so created a strong concept of a toasty but stylish dress.

Her inspiration is a common sweatshirt, a garment thrown on casually for warmth. She developed it further, making it into a dress that, depending on the choice of fabric, can be worn for a variety of occasions. Just imagine it in a pastel silk jersey, decked with Swarovsky jewels on the neckline, worn for a formal event. Or suppose it’s made in a more casual knit, accentuated by a different color choice for the rib on the hem and the turtleneck, rocked with slouchy boots to school or work. The possibilities are endless.

Her concept leads right into the open source idea. The dress, inspired by a casual sweatshirt, is an accomplished design in itself, but still leaves plenty room for pattern and design changes. Some of you may prefer it without the turtleneck, or a ¾ sleeves. And that is what we want to encourage you to do, take a pattern and make it yours!

Even though the Design is very distinct, it is simple and easily constructed keeping all skill levels in mind. Last but not least we loved her free and artistic style of drawing.

So many of you impressed us with not only your illustrating skills, but the ideas behind the designs as well! We’ve never been more “WOWed” and are thrilled to be on the receiving end of such brilliance! So, we would also like to share with you two submissions that are receiving our honorable mentions. For design merit, we award Jocelyn Lin’s Tabbed-Waist Top. Not only was it presented uniquely, but the concept was well thought out and explained as well. See also her website. For artistic merit, we were marveled by Marina Pcholkina, who, with her intricate and detailed illustrations, showed herself as both an artist and a designer.

Again, we thank all of you for your submissions and stay tuned for tomorrow, when we will announce the winner of the pattern-making competition!

DOS & D'OHS

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Just when it seemed like the major American fashion rags were never going to do anything remotely awesome ever again, along comes the August issue of Harper’s Bazaar and a glossy spread so FREAKING AMAZING that your humble correspondent finds herself buying a subscription to the usually moribund magazine. The pictures are worth well over a thousand words, but here’s the nutshell version: Simpsons-go-couture. They sit front-row at Louis Vuitton, pay a visit to the Chanel atelier, get dolled up in Lanvin and Versace, and just possibly best of all, hang Viktor & Rolf’s ridiculous light contraption from Fall/Winter ’07 on the meaty shoulders of Patty and Selma. The sleek cartoon brunette along for the ride? Linda Evangelista, who has not looked better since at least ’93. Obviously, the Bazaar layout is part of the press juggernaut for the long-awaited, please-don’t-be-disappointing Simpsons movie, which arrives in theaters July 27th and has already occasioned a pseudo-serious Simpsons history in Vanity Fair and the single best marketing ploy ever, i.e., the transformation of select 7-11 stores into living, breathing Kwik-E-Marts. It’s rare that a movie’s push for pre-release buzz generates something more like actual joy, but the folks behind The Simpsons have done it. And so I say: See the movie. And also: shop at the Kwik-E-Mart, read the article in Vanity Fair and, last but not least, buy at least a few copies of the August Bazaar. This is collectors’ edition stuff.

And the Winner Is ??

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Sunday was finally the closing date for our design competition. Already having received so many unbelievably creative submissions, we did not expect another last minute gush of entries. We are absolutely thrilled and have such a good time going through all the wonderful designs you have sent. As you can see on the photo!

We will still take a couple of days until we can announce the lucky winners, that will carry home a nice chunk of change of either $300 or $500. Expect to find out who won the drawing contest on Wednesday and who won the pattern contest on Thursday. We keep our fingers crossed for all of you amazingly talented people out there and are looking forward to showing you a bit of the best highlights of the contest…

Featured Member: ParaNoire

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

I’m from Germany. I live in a small village near Erfurt (in the middle of Germany).

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

I’ve always been very creative, I started drawing and painting as soon as I was able to grab a pencil:) Although I soon started making ‘dresses’ for my dolls from handkerchiefs, paper and wire, it took me quite long to get into the ‘real thing’, because the time between 10 and 16 I was very obsessed with drawing. The first thing that I can remember having sewn is a corset. This was only 2 or 3 years ago, when i was 17. Um, yes. I always tend to start with the most difficult things, I like to challenge myself. But then it takes me AGES to ever sew anything basic. I finished my first pants (after a few cut-but-not-sewn experiences) a week ago, and I’m still scared of making t-shirts and tops from knit fabrics:P

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Making clothes became a very important part of my life over the past years. I also thought about studying Fashion Design but I concluded that keeping it as a hobby for the time being will be better for me and keep me creative, since there’s no pressure to succeed.

Right now I’m trying to sell some of my stuff via my Dawanda shop to finance my studies.

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

What I don’t like is gathering ruffles, sewing flimsy/stretchy fabrics, setting in sleeves. And when my sewing machine doesn’t do what i want her to.

I LOVE pattern making and altering (so burdastyle.com brought sunshine to my life:D) (Editor’s note: THANK YOU!) and LOVE top stitching. Really. Stitching parallel lines is so relaxing. Serging. Ironing. Cutting. Having finished everything and taking pictures afterwards is also great ;)

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

I’d really like to have the opportunity to make an elaborate costume for somebody (like Cosplay, Reenactment or a movie/play). I love being challenged!

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

I really like that there IS such a site like BurdaStyle! I’m looking forward to new patterns and the new site version!
It would be cool if I was notified via eMail if somebody leaves a comment on my creations or if i was sent a message here ;) (Editor’s note: On the new site, you will! Via Email or RSS, you can choose!)

If you want to find out more about ParaNoire, check out her member profile, she blogs here and sells her items here.

How To: Make Now More Like Then

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I spent some time at home with my parents this weekend- eating, going for drives, talking until late in the night, then eating some more. . . You know, the usual. Every time I go home I tend to mosey around each room to see what is different, what new purchases my parents have made (in the kitchen I found two-tiered toaster oven!), what furniture has moved around…

First BurdaStyle Wardrobe Remake Session!

Get insight into our first Wardrobe Remake Session! See how Saskia starts her shorts, Michelle her dress, Alexis her curtains and Anda……her WEDDING DRESS! Stay tuned, we’ll give every week insight into the progress of everyone. Alison, the two Erins, Sarah, and Andrea will show their challenge next time!

If you live in New York and are interested to join, write to answers@burdastyle.com!

First Berlin Fashion week EVER!!

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The style spotlight shines on Berlin this weekend, where fashion industry powerhouse IMG is launching the first-ever Berlin Fashion Week, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. The event only confirms what locals, expats living in the city and its jetset fans have known for a while: That Berlin is abuzz. Drawn by cheap rents and a bustling café culture, artistic types have come to Berlin from all over the world, putting down roots in ex-East districts such as Mitte. Over the past year, the city’s energy has reached critical mass, crossing the threshold from something underground, gritty and street, to a scene with enough above-board and international appeal to draw IMG and its stable of corporate sponsors.

The four Berlin-based labels competing for the Karstadt New Generation Award – Lala Berlin, Macqua, Kaviar Gauche and Talkingmeanstrouble – certainly deserve wider attention. To judge by these lines alone, the fashions coming out of Berlin cover a broad spectrum, from Lala’s flirty dresses with their punkish wink, to Kaviar Gauche’s slyly feminine space-age sensibility, to the Talkingmeanstrouble sister’s serene, fastidiously patterned and tailored clothes, to Macqua’s draped jersey elegance. More young designers are moving to the city every day, and/or graduating from Berlin’s design school, Esmod, Berlin, style capital, will be with us for a while.

Spicing Up Recycled Fabric: Skirt Marie 9177

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Sometimes recycled fabrics can be pretty plain and sometimes quite boring. Take for example the fabric I used to make the skirt ‘Marie 9177’ this week, a basic blue coloured thick cord fabric which was kindly sent to me by Philippa over at

http://www.supernaturale.com/glitter/">Glitter after she had a clearout. The fabric was nice enough on it’s own but I thought it needed a little something extra, it needed spicing up!

I love ribbons, lace, buttons and all other kinds of notions and trims and I particularly like them to be vintage. I scour every thrift store I go into in the hope of finding a pretty old doily, some cool bakelite buttons or a length of pretty ribbon or lace trim. So, I dug out my stash, spread them out on the table and spent an hour or so matching and narrowing down my choice. In the end I decided to go with some beautiful yellow buttons, lace trim, tiny seed beads and brown and yellow ribbons.

Once the skirt was made up I sewed on the ribbons and lace using my sewing machine then spent the evening watching a movie with my Hubby whilst sewing on the buttons and beads. I find hand sewing very relaxing and have been doing more of this over the winter months (it’s winter at the moment here in Australia) snuggled in front of the fire.

As you can see that extra work has really made a difference to the look of the skirt, what would otherwise be ‘Just another skirt’ is now something pretty special. So, next time you decide to sew something new why not try that piece of boring fabric you have sitting on your shelf which you over look every time and spice it up with some decoration? But you don’t have to stop there; you could spice up some of those clothes lurking in your wardrobe just by adding a little something. Maybe those jeans with the back pocket hanging off would look great with a new fabric pocket or a cute cardigan could be revamped just by replacing the ugly old buttons for some funky vintage buttons. Something you had thought was no longer wearable could become your new favourite item of clothing!

Next time you’re visiting the thrift store, check out their craft section, most have one where they have sewing and knitting patterns, yarn, zips and all of the goodness I have mentioned above, you will find some wonderful bargains. Other places you may find such items are market stalls and specialist vintage stores but you may pay more at these kinds of places. I sometimes visit a stall inside a bazaar the stall is tiny but chock full of vintage trims, the woman that owns it can be a little scary but if you arrive knowing what you’re looking for there are some bargains to be had.

Check out NikkiShell’s How To here.

Featured Member: Katrena

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

I was born and raised in Oakland, CA. I currently live in Richmond, CA with my grandmother, daughter and 2 female Yorkies.

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

I am not sure but I think it was a pair of YELLOW PANTS (hated them) that did not turn out so well when I was about 15 yrs old. My mother suggested that I sew so I could get more money for shoes for school.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

It plays a valuable role for me because it relaxes me, allows me to be creative, people admire what I sew, and I make money at it. I can make gifts for people that no one else will have. I like being original. Also, it allows for me and my 16 yrs old daughter some bonding time.

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

My favorite thing I like about sewing is FABRIC. There are endless textures, colors, and prints. Also, I rather sew than do my homework (I am currently a Grad student at University of Phoenix). I like making clothes before I go to church or work (when I have a job). I like knowing if I need something to wear I can make it in a matter of hours.

My least favorite things about sewing are needles breaking during a project, using the seam ripper when I did something backwards, my machine does not have a sound for when the bobbin is empty, cutting out patterns, and finding that the garment does not fit on my Duct Tape Dress Form (I really need assistance with making one that is correct. My daughter and I have done it twice).

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

I would make God a pillow to rest His head on. Because He has blessed me and countless others with the talent of sewing that allows us to be creative.

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

When I come to burdastyle I am looking for patterns, ideas, and what is new. I think you should improve the emails that go to our personal address. I received an email from Burda that was in another language. I could not read the email. Editor’s note: Oh no! We always send out mails in English – Please tell us if this happens write to answers@burdastyle.com

I really like that you offer Free Patterns and optional patterns to buy. Also, I like that Burda exist.

If you want to find out more about Katrena, check out her member profile!

And: We want to make our blog entries the most relevant to you. Please tell us in the forum what questions you would pose! What are you interested to know from other users?

Expand your Sewing Vocabulary by Expanding Your Sleeves

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This week, we introduce a new column: The Sewpedia Sewing Term of the Week. Make sure to browse through this vast database, and use your expertise to correct, update, and add new entries. As you plan your sewing for this week, browse through the sleeve possibilities defined in Sewpedia. Big sleeves are big these days. Try making some cool tops with bell sleeves, bishop sleeves, or a personal favorite, the dolman sleeve.

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