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As a novice I am always impressed by people’s skills when it comes to sewing. Smocking mystifies me, I think it adds so much to an outfit with (what I’ve heard) not too much effort. This smocked fan is absolutely breath taking. It was made in a class by the author’s (Liesl Gibson of Disdressed and Oliver+S) grandmother. Someone left a comment directing people to this Etsy store full of smocked jewelry.

To learn how to use smocking, we have two great member produced How To’s. One shows how to smock jersey another shows how to faux smock.

Featured Member: XmasKid74


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

I originally came from Korea about 9 years ago to study in US. After finished my degree, I found a job in Albany, NY which located about 180 miles north from New York. All my family is still staying in Korea so I miss them so much.

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

My mom was a avid knitter when I was little and she taught me how to make knits and pearl stitches. I should say the first thing I ever made was a small knitted scarf for my Barbie. As I grow up, my interests on making things gets greater and greater. I took up every craft such as knitting, crochet, jewelry making, bookmaking and so on. I didn’t start sewing until recently because buying sewing machine intimidated me both financially and emotionally (^^). After I got my new job and started having regular paychecks, I bought my first sewing machine. Since then, I’m sewing only and nonstop.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

It’s the only thing I never get tired of. It’s is so rewarding that you can create the look you dream. So many ideas I want to try and I never get bored. Also there is something therapeutic about sewing. After a long and stressful day, I can be calm and relaxed by focusing on my projects. I once thought about quitting my job and devoting fully to the career in fashion and I even tried to be a part-time student for a while, but I found out that I might enjoy sewing less if this is a real job. Now I can be more easy-going on my not-so-perfect outcomes.

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

I hate putting zippers. I just can’t make it very nice. I’m trying hard to avoid them by using stretch fabrics and elastic bands. Luckily I don’t expose much of my midriff so that I can always substitute pants zippers to the elastic bands. My favorite part of sewing is to put it on after everything is done. It’s such a great feeling of accomplishments.

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

I love to make something to my little niece. She just turned one year old and she is as cute as pie. Good thing is that she can’t complain yet about the uneven hem lines.

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

I searched over internet and so far is the best site and the most valuable site I have ever found. I didn’t do much of pattern modification because I prefer draping, but now I can make clothing a lot quicker just by changing existing patterns. Overall I’m very pleased with One thing can be improved would be the connection speed. Sometimes it takes so long to connect and see the creations.

7. What is your motto?

There is no motto for me in formal words, but I want to live today without looking back. Without worrying too much about future, and without regretting too much about past, I’d like to live today fuller. Also I want to be a person who can fit every corner of the life. I can be very graceful having dinner at Daniel but I can be playful buying hot dogs from the street vender.

XmasKid74 Has some great creations and a great sense of style. She keeps a blog (in Korean) taking a picture of her outfit everyday. Because she has great taste in her outfits, even though I can’t read Korean, it is fun to look at the clothes and gain inspiration. Keep up the great work!

Finding Forgotten Gems in the Pattern Archive


Finding Forgotten Gems in the Pattern Archive

Even though it’s still summer in the Northern Hemisphere, August is the time when my sewing brain starts thinking about fall fashion and what I’d like to make over the next few months. So I’ll take a fresh look at all my pattern envelopes and magazines at home, sift through my fabric stash, and start putting them together based on what I need in my wardrobe. I like to scan my patterns so I can look at them in an online album whenever I find inspiration, but BurdaStyle makes this even easier by having everything about the pattern online already!

With a new pattern every week, it’s easy to become focused on the new and forget about all the great free patterns in the archives, so a few times a year I also like to browse through these patterns past to find ones I’d forgotten all about! Sometimes even just seeing the versions sewn up by other members is enough to make me see a pattern in a whole new way. This weekend I sewed the Marcel sleepmask, which was one of the very first BurdaStyle patterns, for instance. And knowing that my closet is severely lacking in trousers and skirts for Fall, I’m now also eyeing up Nichola, Ellen, and Marie.

So go on and have a look through the archives and see if you can find some forgotten gems!

We Want Your Blogs and Sites!


We are going to be creating a new feature on our blog. Every Saturday and Sunday we will post a members blog, site or store. What this means is if you post something cool on your blog (which I’m sure you do) and you want us to check it out send us the link and maybe you will get chosen for that week’s member blog spot. This goes for stores and sites too, we want to see what you are made of! So if you have something for us to see, send it to us at, we will check it out and the pick the ones for that coming weekend. Have a great long weekend everyone and we will see you back here on Tuesday!

100K Open Studio Party - Check Out the Pix!


Check out the <;&gt;photos

The studio almost burst with the amount of people that came- we had to take out furniture, even our beloved pattern table.

The room was certainly abuzz with creative energy. We had a good turn out of members: (wzrdreams, Kasia26, cmintrator, Desira_Pesta, bellamabella, motozulli, Julia) as well as tons of smart and creative people from DIY, fashion, media and the online scene.

Some of the people who have inspired us through the years joined in our celebration. Admired Esther Dyson came, Robert Kalin, founder of Etsy (who taught Benedikta and Nora Illustrator and got them on the opens source track), Etsy’s new CEO Maria Thomas – super nice and smart! – as well as tons of our Etsy friends.

We were especially happy to welcome independent designers that use BurdaStyle patterns for their line! Check out the following:

- Layla Delridge Ledthread

- Das Design Team ruffeoheartslilsnoty

- Desira Pesta Desira Pesta

And of course our sweet new addition to BurdaStyle contributor Alison Kelly (known from Project Runway, who is always wearing her beautiful line Alison Dahl) and also a young guy named Alex Yoo (founder a fun site where you can design men’s shirt online:

People were certainly having fun and celebrating all that is BurdaStyle: “Awesome party — very colorful! Burdastyle is a fantastic idea, and it’s great to see it flourishing. Viva la DIY!” says Tom Bennett of Pond5.

After Benedikta and Nora introduced team and welcomed the guests we turned up the music and danced like there was no tomorrow. As Robert Kalin from Etsy said, “The dance floor was as jumpin’ as BurdaStyle’s online community, with joy until late in the night.” Unfortunately we did remember there was a tomorrow and decided to pack it in. Though it was certainly hard to get Jeff (Hikru’s fiance) and Mike to stop (break) dancing. As everyone left they got a bag of goodies: personal measurement cards, buttons, and lollipops.

There was a lot of work that went into this party and we just want to take a minute to give the team a shout out: We all worked hard on our customized T-Shirts, playing around with Hikaru’s iconic button design. Alden organized the party with the huge help of Layla. Juniors was responsible for our big super cheese-chocolate cake, picked up by Sabsi. Tristan caught the perfect mood with the perfect music. And finally to everyone who contributed and attended the party, thank you.

There will be a video next week, stay tuned!

Check out pictures:

Antwan Duncan was our photographer and his pics really captured the moment.

And Bre Pettis took some awesome photos, as well!

The most controversial piece of fabric: the veil in fashion.


The most controversial piece of fabric: the veil in fashion.

What comes to your mind when you think about headscarves? Female oppression? Religious extremism? At least in Germany, the controversy about female Muslim teachers wearing headscarves in school has turned this little accessory into one of the most contested pieces of cloth. Yet, this controversy is not new: Just to give you an example, already when the French colonized Algiers in the 19th century, French soldiers dragged women from villages into towns where they had to publicly take off their headscarves. What for the French was a symbol for the liberation of oppressed women, was for Algerian men AND WOMEN a symbolic rape.

Mind you, in Europe, it was not only fashionable but also convention for women to wear headscarves until the 1970s and men would not leave the house without their hats. Some people of world fame still appreciate headscarves not just for their practicality against cold winds and rain but also for their style: a 2007 issue of the British Vogue called Queen Elizabeth II of England, “as glamorous in her brogues and headscarf as she is wearing the crown jewels.”

But not only old queens can look glamorous in headscarves. In fact, where Muslim women have a bit of room for experimenting within their religious dress code, a fully covered body including veiled hair cannot just look incredibly sophisticated but also creates an aura of female mystery. What it looks like to “show the beauty of the flower while covering the flower” shows us Turkish fashion designer Rabia YalÁin who made her debut as at New York’s Fashion week last February. Autumn and winter are coming and why not get inspired by a tradition that searches for and reveals the beauty of a woman in a completely different way than we are used to.

And while you get your patterns and sewing machines ready, just remember for a moment all those women in this world, for whom it is not a question of choice what to wear.

Featured Member: Kgallagher3


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

I’m from Tallahassee, Florida and I’m currently going to school at Georgia Tech and living in Atlanta, GA.

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

I don’t really remember probably a pillow or tote bag out of scraps from my mom. The first thing I remember making on my own was a huge messenger bag for school. I started sewing because I wanted cool clothes and accessories that no one else had, I had always seen my mom sewing so it was easy for me to pick up.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

I literally sew something everyday. I go to a school that is very structured and sewing is my creative outlet, not to mention way cheaper than buying clothes.

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

My favorite thing about sewing is when people ask me where I got something I’m wearing and I get to reply “I made it”. My least favorite thing about sewing is when I mess up and have to spend 30 minutes ripping out seams.

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

I would make a cool sling for my dad (he broke his elbow) because he doesn’t like his black one. I’d also love to make myself a fantabulous wedding dress someday.

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 to learn more about sewing, I’ve learned a lot from this site and I look forward to learning more! I can’t think of any improvements I love this site! I love to look at user creations, I think there are so many talented people on this site, I could sit at my computer and flip through the creations all day.

7. What is your motto?

I don’t really have one, I guess it would be never give up, cause I never give up on my sewing projects.

Kgallagher3’s creations are sweet feminine and stylish. Her Potato Stamped Anda was one of my personal favorites for the Anda Sewalong Mini Challenge. Her status say’s she is sewing up fall clothes and I, for one, am excited to see what her fall clothes turn out to be

Alison Kelly: Introduction


I decided I wanted to become a fashion designer by default; having always a strong interest in art, my mother being an extraordinary painter (who also taught me to sew), my father, an English major with an obscure sense of humor in language as well as in illustration, I graduated high school planning to become a sculptor, painter, or jeweler. I moved to San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico, to study fine arts at an international institution and became entranced by silver-smithing. A year went by and I realized that body adornment was extremely important to me, having always worn clothes that had been altered to my liking, or as a teenager, made by myself, I decided I was keen to study fashion design. True to my wandering nature, I enrolled myself in another international program which landed me in the morosely beautiful city of Florence, Italy. Our design rooms were perched upon a striking yellow ocher building which nested at the base of Ponte Vecchio on the river Arno. Learning to drape changed my perspective on fashion design completely. With a few props & tools there are endless patterns and forms to create, it’s incredibly addictive.

To bring my message to you in less than 1000 words, I will sum up the meaning of this explanation by saying that sewing & design changed my life. And created what is meaningful in my life now. To be able to create a unique piece of clothing is invaluable, and being able to wear this creation and interact with the world while in it is incredibly fulfilling, a unique experience unto itself. I have had my own line since the day I graduated from college. I moved to Los Angeles upon getting my BFA and set up shop in a tiny little closet above the stairs in my apartment. I would scour the garment district for old bolts of washed silk and jersey to make limited edition, 1-off collections and bring them around to stores where many buyers placed the limited collections on consignment. I also did many "punk-rock flea markets, and other more upscale flea markets where I’d sell t-shirts and dresses to boys & girls for $20 each.

The popularity of these mini-collections became an issue at a certain point; the buyers always wanted more, yet I had used up the entire roll of a vintage washed silk print and it was gone. Forever. As much as I loved the exclusivity of 1-offs, I decided it was time to transform the line into a wholesale collection. I moved to New York City in the winter of 2006 and while searching for an apartment, I auditioned, much against my own will at first, for Project Runway, the hit fashion design competition series. I found out I had been cast as a contestant in May. Everything changed.

Venus Zine's 4th Annual Craft-Off


Want to win a Singer Sewing Machine? Well here is you chance! Venus Zine has partnered with Singer to bring you the 4th Annual Craft-Off. To enter you need to have a great DIY gift idea which costs less than $40 to produce. The best ideas will be pulled from the submissions and their creators will be featured in the winter issue of Venus Zine. Submission’s are due by the 18th of September, so get crackin!

Problems Purchasing Patterns


We have noticed a slight problem with the “submit order” button while purchasing patterns. Our programmers are working hard to fix this but for the time being we ask you not to purchase any patterns until further notice. The free patterns are still available for download. Thanks for your patience!

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week


I know that many of you live in my neck of the woods so I wanted to let you know about Melbourne Fashion Week. It runs from the 1st to the 7th of September and has over 100 free and ticketed events showcasing the latest and hottest Spring-Summer fashion and a few events on the program have caught my eye. The Gorman Organic Ship Shop is made from a 20ft used shipping container, constructed from recycled ply and other sustainable materials and it moves!! There are no plastic bags and no cash register. You try on then buy online at the ship shop and have your purchase sent to you. All of Gorman’s clothing is organic. The Ship Shop will be docking in the City Square all week long. I’ll be taking a trip into the city to check it out.

The other event that I’m interested in attending is the RAW Sustainable Fashion Parade. The parade will promote sustainability in fashion with the use of organic, vintage and recycled fabrics. Australian designers will demonstrate that fashion can be stylish and sustainable. It will be held at FIX Docklands on Friday the 5th of September from 9 till 11pm and costs $15. Of course I’ll have to come up with a fabulous refashioned outfit by next Friday, I have a few ideas and will show you what I come up with. Would anyone care to meet up with me there? I’d love to get together with some of you so email or message me if you are interested.

I’m still working on the Jorinde jacket for the sewalong. My second muslin is almost done then I can get started on my final piece. I’m taking it slow and making sure I (hopefully) do a good job but more on that next time. I also have a new mini challenge planned for the very near future so keep you eyes peeled for that.

Ready for a Hong Kong Finish


Here at BurdaStyle, we love learning new sewing tricks to help us execute our projects as well as beautifully as possible. Sometimes, of course, the fancy techniques can be a bit much, but it’s nice to have the confidence and knowledge to make a really high-end garment once in a while.

Uni- or Unique-forms, Dress Codes From Around the World


Uni- or Unique-form

It’s “back to school” and millions of students are pulling out their school uniforms. And curiously, no matter what continent or country, no matter the diversity of styles and clothes around the world, school uniforms are uni-form: in the choice of darkish colors and a somewhat European designs.

How can that be, you ask, that school uniforms in Africa, look the same as in Asia, as they do in Latin America, Europe and elsewhere in the world? The answer is simple: thanks to a certain colonial influence, many school systems around the world were modeled after the European school system not just with respect to their curricula but also their fashion.

Take the “traditional” Japanese school uniform: the boy’s secondary school outfit, the gakuran, which sports a dark jacket with stand-up collar and buttons down the front, is modeled after the Prussian army uniform worn in the 1870s when Japan was looking to Europe for ideas to build its education system. Today, school uniforms have become a Japanese fashion item inspiring fashion parades to show off latest designs. Especially the sailor fuku, the naval uniform worn by girls is well known thanks to its appearance in Japanese cartoons known as mangas. Nevertheless, the super-short skirts that you may have seen be worn by Sailor Moon, the High School Girls or in Gonz·lez IÒ·rrituís Film Babel are likely to be fiction rather than reality: there is a minimum length for skirts in schools and teachers do enforce them; although, I wouldn’t vouch for what happens outside school.

In the US school uniforms, especially in public schools, have not just a shorter but a less inspiring history. Uniforms or strict dress codes started to b introduced in the 1980s to “prevent kids from shooting each other over designer sneakers”. Whether it helps is difficult to say but, it has sparked some strong reactions not just in children but also in parents who feel their freedom of expression to be violated. But do dress codes and uniforms really have to infringe on rights? Maybe a uniform design contest could turn a nerds uni-form into a unique-form and a fashion statement · la Japan.

And in case you are looking for a new supplier, you can have your new batch of school uniforms hand tailored by HandCrafting Justice and give mothers in Mexico and Laos the opportunity to send their children to school, too.

Donate your unwanted fabric!


Despite our best intentions, sometimes we end up with fabric in our stash that just screams “what was I thinking?”. Rather than let it take up space (either in our homes or gasp a landfill), why not clear some space and donate it to a good cause at the same time?

Reading through the Dutch site Naaipatronen, I’ve just learned about Stichting Toekomst Rwanda (Future Foundation Rwanda), a charity set up by a Rwandan refugee in The Netherlands to help underage mothers and children still vulnerable in Rwanda. They’re taught skills and given homes, and just because they’re on the other side of the world doesn’t mean they’re very different from us BurdaStyle sewers – when asked, they said they wanted to set up a sewing studio! So in October the charity is taking several sewing machines and a seamstress to train the girls but they’re now in need of fabric and haberdashery donations to take along to them!

So have a look through your stash and if there’s anything you can spare, send it to Stichting Toekomst Rwanda, Weipoortseweg 89, 2381 NJ Zoeterwoude, The Netherlands or get in touch through

And with all that new-found space in your sewing room, you may just have to go fabric shopping!

Featured Member: Polychromatin


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

I originally come from a small town in Germany, called Eisleben, but since I started studying I live in Halle, which is only 30 km away from my hometown.

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

I think the really first thing I made was some patchwork pillow case, I must’ve been 13 years old. Then a long pause followed until 6 month ago I decided to start sewing again, because I wanted garments that actually suit and appeal me! I searched the internet and found BurdaStyle, and the story began ;)

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Ask my boyfriend, actually half of the time I search the internet for fabrics and/or patterns, the other half I sew ;D No, that is not exactly the case, but I’m a little bit of a fabric-addict and sewing became my hobby number one. I don’t have my own sewing machine and only have the possibility to sew, when I visit my parents on weekends or during semester break. I actually could buy my own sewing machine, but I think that would change my priorities to the disadvantage of my study …

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

I absolutely love to start a new project, to transfer the pattern, to cut the fabric and the first steps of sewing, because mostly they’re the easiest and fastest ;) To finish a project completely is also very satisfying! Not so enjoyable is a project that just doesn’t come to an end, because the fabric is difficult to handle and I have to rip seams and redo a lot of steps or I have to alter a lot until the fit is how I imagined it (which could take long, because I’m a little perfectionist).

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

I never thought about this opportunity, but I guess it would be really cool to make a dress for an actress for her Oscar night or something, but I think I have to practice a little bit until I get there ;)

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

Of course I love the patterns, the How-To-section and the other member creations! It is a great inspiration and very interesting to see what other people are doing! And the forum is a great platform when you have questions!

BurdaStyle is a really great site, but as I am from the design field I think you should check on the usability! Especially the forum and the profile site are a little bit confusing.

7. What is your motto?

I don’t have a real motto, but in the past “Wait and see” turned out to be a good advice ;)

I cannot believe that Polychromatin only started to sew 6 months ago. Her creations are fun and daring. From the patterns she chooses, it is obvious that she is not afraid of a challenge. We look forward to seeing her grow and develop around the site. Best of luck at school!


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