TREND: Trick or Treat?

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Happy Halloween, kids. Rather than pontificate, as planned, on the aspirationally porny horror of the “sexy” costume, this year, in honor of our annual frightfest, your intrepid correspondent has decided to face down her current fashion nightmare. There’s nothing I fear more than a new silhouette. Sure, it might look great on a model, it might tantalize on the street, but push come to shove, conversion is hard. The eye advances before the nerve, and I think a lot of women feel this way. To wit: About five years ago, a few friends and I had gathered at a downtown basement dive bar, one of those bleeding-edge places with no sign, etc. We were all downing beers, contentedly stylish in our relatively new bootcut Sevens and Paper Denims, when in walked a pair of girls just impossibly cool, wearing paint-on jeans tucked into knee-high boots. They looked amazing; they looked like what was next. A pall came over our table. We’d seen the future, and the future darkly hinted at a ten lb. crash diet and the purchase of some (hopefully forgiving) blouson tops. We were scared. It took a year for the bravest among us to get on board with the skinny denim trend.

These days, every one is trying to figure out what’s going to dislodge that skinny denim silhouette. High waisted and wide-legged is gaining traction, but one senses a general fear that it’s a fad, and not anything worth another 10lb crash diet and some major wardrobe reshuffling. Mannish trouser cuts are coming back; New Zealand designer Karen Walker has some smart versions of these, and Twenty8Twelve (Susannah and Sienna Miller’s new line) is doing an exceptional trouser-jean for Spring, lightweight and hip-slung. They are easy to integrate into your closet. But the pant that keeps catching my eye, the one I’ve seen on the impossibly cool girls around my neighborhood, and by ahead-of-the-click designers such as Mayle and ACNE, present the sternest challenge to the style nerve. Gathered at the waist and baggy through the thigh, they taper at the ankle, for a subtle parachute effect. One wears them, probably, with skin-tight tank, a slouchy sweater or open flannel, a pair of flat granny boots and a hat. Or: A leotard, long necklace and ankle-shaking heels. The pair by Australia’s LOVER, coming for Spring, are the best parachutes I’ve seen, soft, black, with some jerseyish drape. I know I want them. I know I fear them, too.

Aenne Burda Charity - German Art Auction

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We thought to let you know that our friends from Germany are having an art auction to honor Aenne Burda and to support a tumor biology clinic and an associaton for children with cancer. The exhibition is taking in the old printing press of Burda in Offenburg, where Aenne used to live and conquered the world with her magazines. If you understand German, you can bid online via eBay here. The auction runs from Nov 1st till Nov 9th, 2007.

The making of Shari-part 2

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The plan for my Shari dress this past week was to sew in the invisible zipper, the sleeves and adjust the hem to the correct length over my bump. I hunted high and low for an invisible zipper foot in my local fabric haunts but couldn’t find one anywhere, luckily my friend Justine came to the rescue and loaned me hers. This was the first time I have ever inserted an invisible zipper and although I think I did an ok job I could probably do with practicing a little especially when it comes to lining up piping and seams.

I found that once I had the zipper in and tried on the dress I had a gaping problem at the back above the waist. I’m not sure how to fix the problem, I’m thinking that my bum has grown along with my belly and this may be the cause of it, the dress is tighter around that area which in turn is making the waist bunch up. Would widening the back skirt piece like I did the front have worked? Do you have any suggestions for fixing the problem? Kallers seemed to have a similar problem with her dress and tightened it up by adding last elastic to the back. How did this work for you Kallers? The sleeves were very straightforward to sew in and took no time at all. I still haven’t managed to sew the hem though, I did think about asking my husband to help out but thought better of that idea, the hem would turn out wonkier than it already is! I’m going to get my friend to help me out but I want to wait until I’ve fixed the gaping problem at the back first just in case it makes a difference to the hemline.

I’ve decided not to line this dress, with the hot weather fast approaching here in Australia I think less layers would be best. I will however finish the inside of the dress properly by tacking down the zipper, piping and any seams that need it. I love a good night of hand stitching on the sofa! So, this dress is going to be another week in the making, please leave a comment with any suggestions you may have for fixing the gaping at the back.

My next project in line is to be the new Liz blouse uploaded to the site yesterday. To alter this blouse to fit me I’m thinking of adding inverted pleats in between the front pieces and lengthening quite a lot at the front. I’ll draw a few sketches for next week to make it a little clearer. Again, any suggestions for alterations are welcome.

Remember, only one week left for the Shari sewalong. Please upload a photograph of your dress to the creations section or on your homepage and let us know what you thought about sewing this dress. Did you make any alterations? What fabric did you use? Did you encounter any problems? What would you do different of you decided to make another? I have opened a new thread in the forums for suggestions for the next sewalong. If you want to take part please leave a comment with your suggestion by the weekend and I will announce a decision based on the most popular vote in my blog post next week.

SHEER MADNESS

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This was a season of curious looks. From Marc Jacobs’ “too small” shoes and front-loaded heels, through the unraveled goth on Olivier Theyskens’ Nina Ricci runway, to Chanel’s stars ‘n’ stripes-denim collection, designers were testing out a broad array of (sometimes questionable) ideas for next Spring. In that context, the prevalence of sheer materials hardly merits a raised eyebrow. But then again, sheers were one of only a few big trends this season, and of those, easily the strangest. The very prevalence of see-through silks and chiffons demands its close inspection.

So: What’s up with sheers? The first inklings of the trend came along early in New York, as stylists again and again deployed much-reviled sheer black hosiery. Transparency’s first standout moment happened at Marc, where his deshabille theme, referenced in haphazard pajama dressing and visible bra straps, made its biggest statement with all but invisible dresses revealing the lingerie beneath. (Needless to say, the lingerie itself was key to the look.) Prada augmented the trend in Milan, echoing Marc’s boudoir looks, while adding some Orientalist flair; the item from the show sure to gain the most traction come press time was Miuccia’s see-through pajama pant, worn below tunic-style tops and mini-dresses. But sheers received their most directional outing at Raf Simons’ show for Jil Sander, where models were all but cocooned in multi-color wisps of fabric. Numerous shows in Paris served to confirm the trend.

This critic, for one, is a bit stymied. Were designers sick of the last few seasons’ ping pong match between loose volume and ultra-tight, body-conscious dressing, and seeking out a third way? Or was this merely some typical fashion reactionism, responding to an exceptionally dark, finished and heavy Fall/Winter season by showing styles weightless and a little off? There seems to be more to this trend than that, something sticky and strange and fetishistic relating to the always-complex relationship between carnality and virginity, sex and romance, nudity and dress. The designers are playing a game, and I can’t put my finger on the rules yet, but I suspect that the prevalence of sheers is a rallying cry around a new perversion.

More to the point – as they say in retail – does this trend have legs? Will women be swathing themselves, Simons-style, in ribbons of gossamer chiffon? Will they dare to go bare, with only some fine-spun, naked silk between the elements and their midriffs? Or (this seems most likely) will we be seeing a major uptick in sales of sheer black pantyhose? Comments welcome…

The making of Shari-part 1

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Thanks for all your comments on last weeks blog post. In the end I decided to go with the paisley fabric most of you chose and instead of the blue fabric for the piping I used brown like Kirsten suggested. I’m glad I did because I think it works much better than the blue would have.

I made a few alterations to the pattern before getting started. Since my bump starts under my bust there was no need for a yoke, instead I added the yoke pattern pieces to the skirt pieces. I then split the front skirt piece in half lengthways and extended the pieces outwards to give more room for my bump (see step 2 in my how-to for details). I also needed to lengthen the hem at the front of the dress to allow for my bump lifting it. Rather than altering the pattern I decided to leave the front fabric pieces long so I can adjust them once the dress is done and I can try it on.

I’ve really enjoyed sewing this dress and feel like I my sewing mojo has finally returned. So far I have put the dress together up to (but not including) the zipper. This is the first time I have sewn piping and I must say I’m pretty darn proud of my first attempt. It was much easier than I expected it to be due to the fact that I had Benedikta’s tutorial to show me how to make the piping and this tutorial showing me how to sew it in.

I’d say that this dress is pretty easy to make, just as long as you take your time and pin each piece precisely. This week I’ll be inserting my first ever invisible zipper but first I need to purchase the zipper and an invisible zipper foot for my machine unless I can find a way to sew it in without one?! Then it’s just a matter of inserting the sleeves, adding the lining (does it need it?) and hemming at the correct length. I’m looking forward to finishing it and being able to wear it, I’m running out of clothes that fit very fast!

There are a few finished pairs of Janina pants uploaded in the creations. I’m particularly impressed with WenStuPen’s, as far as I can tell the only alteration she made was to not add the back. She mentions that if she were to make them again she’d try the shorter version, go down a size and add the pockets. I was also impressed with Lucelu’s ability to match up the pattern of the fabric, something I often forget to do. She made a few alterations such as shortening the length, decreasing the seam allowance at the upper thighs where they meet at the crotch, decreasing the seam allowance at the waist, increased the seam allowance (graded) at center back and the center back waistband so it wouldn’t gap.

I didn’t manage to get around to making these for the sew-along but I do plan to make some, maybe adding a stretch knit band at the waistline.

We have two more weeks for the current sew-along, Shari. So, if you want to join in there’s still time.

SORRY FOR THE SPAM

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Hi Everybody,

We are SO SO SORRY! You might have received email notifications that informed you that you received a comment on your creation, which, when you clicked on the link turned out to be SPAM! That said you might have gotten also a message to your BurdaStyle account. We have been fighting the spam and hopefully will end the battle next week, including the Spam underneath your creations!! WE ARE SO EMBARASSED and horribly sorry. Please bare with us.

Good news is, once this is fixed there won’t be any spam anymore EVER , and you will finally receive a notification whenever somebody leaves a real comment underneath your wonderful creation!

In shock,
Your BurdaStyle Team

Collar ID

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Collars are an integral part of fashion. Peter pan collars- collars that lie flat against the garment- and stand up collars- like mandarin collars- are always coming in and out of style, and can drastically change the look of a blouse or jacket. Even tailored-wear has to keep up with trends in lapel size and collar stand height. A bigger lapel can make a classic-fit jacket immediately trendy. Adding a shawl, or roll collar, to a blouse or jacket quickly softens the silhouette and accentuates the feminine neckline and collarbone.

Trick or Treat on BurdaStyle

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Post your costumes and get a treat!

The upcoming months hold the first major holidays BurdaStyle gets to celebrate with you, and we are so excited. We’ve got lots of great patterns for you to make magnificent gifts for your friends and family. We will also post more patterns for the perfect Holiday outfits, in addition to the Shari and Cate dresses. So not only are you giving the best handmade gifts, but you will also be the best dressed- whether you are cooking or simply eating the big dinners!

To start the Holiday season off, we are going to get all dressed up for Halloween! Our friends and neighbors, Etsy and MAKE: Magazine, are having a big crafty Halloween party and we are hoping to make some extraordinary costumes! And we want you to as well! Trick or Treat at BurdaStyle.com by posting your Halloween costumes as creations under the costumes category and we will send our favorite 10 costumes some spooky (and probably sewing-related) treats!

Dogs Can Look Even Better

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The BurdaStyle team says congratulations to their friends in Germany who launched today Hallo Hund, a fun and informative community all about dogs. As a gift for the launch (we know how stressful that is!) we prepared an awesome dog vest How To, elegantly worn by Daisy. So, dress your dog in style!

IN THE PINK

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There are really only two responses to the edict pink is back. One goes something like, “Back? When was it ever out?” Girls in kindergarten, Southern debs, Legally Blonde heroine Elle Woods and women obsessed with making themselves into facsimiles of Barbie, via aggressive plastic surgery – that’s one faction. The alternative reply, usually accompanied by a grimace and a mental referencing of much believed-to-be-forgotten feminist theory, tends to come out a long, guttural sound much like: Uggghhh.

Well girls, pink is back. John Galliano’s 60th anniversary collection for Dior last season threw up the first major flares of a Pepto revival, as the designer did a victory lap around the storied house’s ultra-femme, ultra-soigne past. Then Gucci’s rockabilly-themed resort show added fire to the flame, and Frida Giannini’s Spring/Summer show for the line made it official – again, and again, and again. (Methinks Ms. Giannini has been watching a bit much Grease. Also: Grease II.) Truly, her retro-themed paeans to pink proved some of the season’s more ill-conceived looks, and there’d be nothing to reinforce the trend if not for Alexander McQueen.

McQueen’s Spring/Summer show was one of the season’s standouts, an education for less disciplined and original designers in how to use a personal design idiom to make vintage ideas new. Dedicated to the memory of his mentor and muse, Isabella Blow, McQueen’s show took numerous key trends and pushed them through the keyhole of his own dark, Hitchcockian imagination. One of those key trends was the color pink. If you never thought that cotillion staple, the strapless pink dress, could ever look edgy, look again at McQueen’s floor-length version, with its subtle ombre and gothic blackbird print. It’s a lesson for all of us in the lost art of deviance: In order to be subversive, there must first be something to subvert. Enter pink.

Choices to be made

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Thanks for the welcome back, it’s wonderful what a mini break can do for you. I’ve spent this week working out how to alter the Shari dress pattern to fit my rapidly growing bump, my idea (as you can see in the image above) is to join the waistband pieces to the skirt pieces then split the front skirt piece in two and move apart at the hem. I would also extend the front hem downwards to allow for my bump lifting it. What do you think? Would this work or do you have any other suggestions?

I’ve also been playing around with colours and fabrics trying to decide which to use for my Shari dress. I was going to do some drawings but decided to spare you (and myself the humiliation) and instead I copied the drawing from the instruction. I simply used colour pencils to fill them in finding inspiration in my fabric stash. Since I won’t be having the waistband this means I can’t have a contrasting fabric there. Instead I plan to use Benedikta’s wonderful ‘make your own piping’ how to and will have the piping covered in a contrasting fabric, the results will be more subtle but just enough to give the dress that little something extra. I have narrowed it down to four fabric choices from my stash with contrasting fabric for the piping. This is where I need your help, you can see my choices above, the main dress fabric is to the right and the contrasting fabric to the left. Let me know your favourite in the comments, 1, 2, 3 or 4.

We had a two favourites to be the next sew-along pattern, DDesira and Shari and since I’m making Shari already I decided it would be a good choice. We’ll spend the next 3 weeks making this dress. Head on over to the new thread I’ve started and let us know what your plans are, your fabric choices, any alterations you may make and ask any questions you may have. I will be doing a post later this week about our last sew-along, the Janina pants. I may contact a few of you to ask some questions and will post photos of your finished work here on the blog. If you haven’t yet uploaded your photos in the forum, creations section or on your home page please do so in the next day or two, thanks.

I’m still working on the bump for Betty and hope to have it made by the end of the week so I can start sewing.

Not Dressed Up and Somewhere To Go?!

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Has this ever happened to you? You’re invited to a party at the last minute. Of course, the inviter intended to call you ahead of time, but they simply forgot. Or perhaps you entirely forgot about the party- you’re a very busy person. . .

Featured Member: Elainemay

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

I’m originally from New York, but have moved around quite a bit and currently live in Aachen, Germany. I can walk to Belgium and the Netherlands in half an hour from my apartment!

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

I started sewing dresses for my Licca doll at the age of about 6
(sound familiar?). My mother dressed me in the ugly hand-me-downs of a very frumpy family friend and the other kids made fun of my clothes :) I lived vicariously through my dolls by constantly making ball gowns for them. Since then I’ve mostly sewn craft projects and occasionally clothing that almost always looked homemade and didn’t fit well because I’m so short and skinny. I only started sewing clothing “for real” a few months ago, when I met my friend Johanna who makes beautiful, stylish clothing for herself. She showed me her clothes and introduced me to Burda Modemagazin (aka. Burda WoF), and I decided it was time to learn to sew using proper techniques and methods.

What role does sewing play in your life?

To be perfectly honest, in addition to being a fun and addictive
hobby, sewing pads my ego and my vanity. Regardless of whether I’m sewing for myself or others, when something turns out well, it makes me feel like I am AWESOME (I hope everyone feels that way when they make something nice.) And it allows me to treat myself to luxurious, well-fitting clothing while feeling productive rather than guilty- you don’t get that from shopping for velvet coats at the mall :)

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

I like most aspects of sewing, but I especially appreciate the stage in sewing a garment when it starts to bear a real resemblance to the thing I designed in my imagination. That first glimpse of the object I’d previously seen only in my head is very satisfying. My least favorite thing is laying out the pattern pieces and cutting the fabric. I don’t know why it annoys me so much. Maybe I’d like it better if I had a rotary cutter. Or someone to do the cutting for me :)

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

I love seeing my family and friends wearing things that I’ve made for them, but if we’re talking about fantasy, I’d want to make ornate tutus for the New York City Ballet in the luxurious and uncompromising style of the legendary costume designer Karinska.

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

I troll the creations for inspiration – I get so many ideas for things I want to make by seeing the fantastical designs from ParaNoire, the elegant, wearable pieces from Jj and Lilo, the playful and trendy designs from Myk, and so many other talented and creative hobbyists. I always see a detail or a line or a color in people’s creations that I want to steal to use in my own sewing, and that I would never have thought of myself. I know you can’t judge people by the way they dress, but I also feel like I get to know and appreciate the other community members in a way by seeing the products of their imagination and what they have to say about them, so that is a nice unexpected bonus. And although I have not yet had the chance to make a BurdaStyle pattern, I also love the philosophy of BurdaStyle; what a resource to have such stylish and wearable patterns available to anyone- I download all the instruction PDFs and imagine how I’d make them if only I had more time! What should be improved? I don’t know… you could all drop by my profile page and post a hello—I think I’d like that :)

What is your motto?

My sewing philosophy is that if I’m going to expend the time, effort and resources to make something, it should either be something spectacular and uncompromising, or a huge blazing failure (preferably the former, as the latter is expensive and wasteful). I know I should make practical, pretty things, but I never have an urge to sew a cute cotton tank top as a quick afternoon project even though I’m sure I’d use it a lot!

If you want to learn more about Elainemay, check out her beautiful member profile

PARIS: PRINTS CHARMING

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So much news from Paris! Looks from the City of Light will keep us busy unto eternity, or at the very least well until November. For the moment, though, let us now train our eyes on the single most galvanizing collection by any designer, anywhere, at any time in the recent past: Balenciaga.

Several key seasonal trends were distilled in designer Nicolas Ghesquiere’s Spring/Summer show for the label, notably vivid prints, the nipped waist and sculptured shoulders and hips. But what was remarkable about Balenciaga was the way Ghesquiere’s synthesis of those trends came off looking less like a dispatch from the near advance (next season) than a dispatch from the distant future.

Exit after exit saw models swathed in hoary floral prints, many of them taken from the Balenciaga archives, some blown out into a lushness almost blinding. Everything was short, extremely so, concentrating the prints’ power and highlighting Ghesquiere’s masterful use of couture techniques of tailoring and construction. Color and pattern were classicist, yet silhouettes were space-age; indeed, the collection had a whiff of sci-fi costume design about it, with its emphasis on uniform dressing. More contrast derived from the toughness of the shapes on which those unabashedly pretty-pretty prints were blazed, a toughness underscored by Ghesquiere’s dominatrix-worthy gladiator boots. The smallish collection played so many notes at once, in each of its looks, that it effectively negated the usual terms of critique; trying to make out whether the collection was “elegant,” or “sexy,” or “young,” for example, was as much a dead-end as it must have been for critics raised on Beethoven trying to make sense of the first twelve-tone symphony.

Likewise, for Balenciaga a new language must be invented. The collection won’t nullify the styled, mix and match ethos of fashion as its been, but it argues in favor of a totally new idea of dress – one, it must be noted, that hearkens back to very old ideas of dress, ones that stretch back as far as Marie Antoinette and that are epitomized in the “total look” of ‘50s couture. In light of Spring/Summer ‘08, Balenciaga’s Fall/Winter ’07 show, so hyper-styled, so eccentrically-mixed and matched, seems ever more like a comment on fashion now, Ghesquiere taking a snapshot of a fashion moment he was about to render obsolete.

Recharged and ready to go!

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Well hello there! It has been while since I last posted here on Burdastyle, I needed to take an unexpected break to recharge my batteries. You wouldn’t think I was last pregnant only 2 years ago, I seemed to forget how tiring pregnancy can be but I think that’s the idea, you forget so you’ll do it all again! Anyway, I have been keeping watch here on the site even though I haven’t posted.

The Janina Sew-Along is going well although we seem to have a technical difficulty with the third page of the thread, so I ask that those of you taking part please take the time to post in the new thread. Let us know how you went making these pants, were they easy/difficult? Did you make any alterations? What fabric did you use? If you were to make them again, would you make any changes? Also, please upload photos of your finished Janina pants either in the thread (check the how-to if you have trouble) or in the creations section of the site by this weekend. Next week I will post an update and announce the next project, which you can help decide by leaving a comment in the forum.

Personally I’ve not done any garment sewing this past month, visiting family, sickness and a very untidy sewing room contributed to this. I will have help with my sewing from now on, Betty came to stay with me a few weeks back and am looking forward to working with her. Unfortunately Betty’s waistline doesn’t expand as much as I need it to so before I start on any garment sewing I’m going to make a bump for her. A fellow blogger Rowena has made one of these and has given me a few tips on how to make my own. I’m considering filling it with rocks and making my husband wear it for a day so he can find out what it’s really like to be pregnant! It will have a slit in the back so that I can stuff it as needed.

I’m starting afresh with a new project, I will be sewing the new Shari pattern. I will spend the next three or four weeks working on this pattern, making alterations and giving you weekly updates of my progress. I love this pattern as it is so shouldn’t need to make many alterations but the obvious change I will make is an allowance for my bump. I’ll be digging out my sketchbook and pencils to jot down some possible changes and if you promise to not laugh at my terrible drawing I shall show you next week along with a few fabric choices and you can help me make a decision.

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