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Top Ten Summer Dress Patterns


The full heat of summer has yet to hit us here in New York, which is why we are bringing you the top 10 summer dress patterns on BurdaStyle. Perfect for the sultry month of August and early September these dresses will carry you through the remainder of the hot summer days.

  1. Azalea

  2. Maryy

  3. Mila

  4. Dots Invasion Dress by AnaJan

  5. Sabrina

  6. Kristen

  7. Coffee Date Dress by Elainemay

  8. Paola

  9. Ulla-Maaria

  10. African Dress by AnaJan

Awesome Bag Making Event


This past weekend’s Bags for the People/Etsy/303Grand event went wonderfully! Participants were very creative and resourceful whether they knew how to sew or learned at the event. There was an abundance of bags made that were given out on Sunday at the Rooftop Farms market and will be given out at the Union Square Farmers Market. Check out photos from the event here and here. Thank you to everyone who helped organize and attended this event. For more information check out Bags for the People

Fall Fashion Forecast 2009


With pattern companies already releasing fall styles, it means that it’s time to start planning for a new wardrobe. Before you start sewing your next project for autumn, be sure to check out Pantone’s Fall Color Forecast which will help keep your new designs fashionable for the season. What’s hot for Fall\Winter 2009? Soft, muted colors such as cream, gray, and light reds will dominate the season leaving the jewel tones of seasons past out in the cold. After checking Pantone’s report, be sure to check out this article by the Textile Digest which not only covers color trends, but prints as well.

Win a Weekend Knitting Retreat!


The amazing Clara Parkes of Knitter’s Review and STC Craft are teaming up for a very special giveaway to celebrate the release of Weekend Knitting in paperback and the beauty of taking time off to knit and learn new knitting skills with friends.

Clara has been hosting an annual knitter’s retreat every fall for the last eight years, and this year’s gathering, which will take place November 20, 2009-November 22, 2009, in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Now, here’s the exciting part. STC Craft has one retreat package to give away. That means that one lucky winner will have his or her retreat expenses covered: to be specific, the cost of all classes and activities, two nights’ lodging in a private room, all meals from Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast, snacks and beverages throughout the weekend, plus all taxes and gratuities, will be covered. In addition, the winner will receive a copy of the new Weekend Knitting paperback in a gift basket in his or her room. The cost of transportation to/from the event is NOT covered.

To enter or for more information, go to Melanie Falick Books.

Volunteers Needed!


I need volunteers to help me out at the Sydney Stitches and Craft Show.

::Wednesday August the 19th, Thursday the 20th and Friday the 21st.
::10am til 4 or 5pm.
::Willing to work between the Wardrobe Refashion Reconstruction Zone and the BurdaStyle stand.
::Must be able to use a sewing machine and know how to thread one.
::You will be helping people with their creations, keeping the area tidy and giving out information about BurdaStyle.

If you think you can help me out please email me at In return for your time you will receive a small thankyou gift. I hope you can join me, it will be heaps of fun!

BurdaStyle Sewing Club Update: BSC Melbourne CBD, AUS!


With 12 members and growing, the BSC of Melbourne, Australia is certainly a sewing super-group from Down Under!

Led by the talented and fabulous Nikkishell, this BSC is sure to have an inspiring and creative time at each meeting. For there next one, they plan to host a Sewing Swap, where members can bring in fabric, patterns or fun books to trade with each other. They are also going to dive into the world of fabrics and learn about different types, their histories and the type of fabrics that are best for specific garments. If that isn’t enough, a fun quiz will be given at the end where members can compete for awesome prizes!

The next meeting will be held at July 23rd at 6:30 p.m., and will be hosted at Tessuti, one of Australia’s best fabric stores! Participants are encouraged to bring completed projects to show everyone, a sewing machine (if available), and a desire to have lots of fun! For more information, check out their Ning page.

For comprehensive listing of all the current BSCs, check out our Directory. Interested in starting your own? Send us an e-mail at team[at]burdastyle[dot]com.

Have a great weekend!

- David
BSC Coordinator

The T-Shirt: How do you style it?


How many t-shirts do you own? Lately, and I don’t know if this is only in New York (nevermind- I think Tokyo wins), I have noticed more t-shirts on girls & boys than ever before. Perhaps it is a reflection of the economy- resorting back to our old faves and personalizing them, or we’ve become more laid back in our fashion sense- and what is a better blank canvas for self-expression than the t-shirt? Or perhaps I ignored the countless band & “expression” tees. I’ve never been one to wear many t-shirts (I think I own maybe 5). Being a designer, I wanted to make knit tops, edgy tops, kooky tops- anything but a t-shirt, but now I seem to have a growing appreciation for the basic or iconic statement a t-shirt can make, which, depending upon how it is styled, worn or adorned, is full of room for interpretation.

How do you wear your t-shirt, I would LOVE to see pictures! What images or statements have you seen on t-shirts that resonated with you? Which ones do you want to disappear?

Credits:, Street Peeper,

Handmade Tire Sandals


In Germany there is a saying that only in months without an R in it, (May-August) is it warm enough to walk around barefooted. But some people do not have a choice to wear shoes, irrespective of the name of the months or the temperature of the day. Yet, as commonly known, necessity is the mother of invention. In Germany many years ago, boys who were herding cattle in the rural areas warmed their bare feet standing in fresh cow droppings during cold mornings. In other parts of the world, people have been more practical, crafting sandals out of old car tires.

In principle, all you need is a piece of old tire (as big as your foot) which can be found even in remote rural areas in Africa and a few pieces of material to tie this tire-sole onto your foot. Leather will do, or some fabric, or simply string. The number of variations and uses are almost unimaginable: or could you imagine running a marathon in tire sandals?

While probably most of us can’t imagine running a marathon even in normal running shoes, in 2008, six Maasai men came from Northern Tanzania to run the London Marathon to raise money to provide their village with clean water. They ran in their full traditional Maasai dress, including spears and tire sandals. They may not have won but they easily raised enough money to finance the much needed infrastructure.

Lots of tourists traveling to Africa are fascinated by those sandals. A couple from Britain was so intrigued that they even opened an online store, Jambo Jambo, that sells tire sandals in various designs, made by men and women who live in Kibera the biggest slum in Sub-Saharan Africa. If you watch the film the Constant Gardener you get a bit of a romanticized idea of Kibera (it was actually partly filmed there).

But you don’t find tire sandals just in Africa. You will find them in Latin America, Asia and at least some decades ago, you would even find them in the US (check out the comments).

Curious? If you want to make your own tire sandals, maybe you can use schickchick’s flip flop creation as pattern.

Photo © Binh Giang

Featured Member: Ashchaser


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

I have lived in a suburb of Nashville Tennessee for all but one year of my life and have finally begun to appreciate this region for its craftiness and thrift stores. It can get pretty country out here in a city only known for music, but if you know the right places to go for a drink or or a craftacular you will definitely survive.

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

I can’t be sure of the first thing I made but I can take a good guess that it was a macaroni necklace, or something else with pasta. There have always been projects to work on for as long as I can remember, which set a good foundation for craftiness later in me. It wasn’t until high school that I began to investigate the DIY way of doing things, but I was really into thrifting and eventually taught myself to sew so that I could rearrange the old pieces and band t-shirts to fit in a decent way. Soon after I became a knitter and have spend the last 4 years learning more.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

As an knitter and apparel design student sewing plays a huge part of my life now. Not only has it vastly improved my Etsy shop, but now I can create any piece of clothing I am inspired to, be able to sell it, and sincerely enjoy what I am doing. It always surprises people to meet a 21 year old that is so into knitting and sewing, but I love it and haven’t looked back since learning! The past few years have been devoted to learning and creating my shop, Ravelry page, my blog Kerseymere, and my account here on BurdaStyle.

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

The best part of any project for me has to be when you get to take lots of pictures of the finished product, which is something I love to do anyway. As for the worst it would have to be cutting out the pieces, because I always seem to get really bored during that step.

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

Hmm…lets see, if I could make absolutely anything it would have to be some kind of couture dress, but a cross between something that Christian Joy would make and something Miss Van would paint. Once this amazing piece is real I’m not sure what I would do with it, maybe keep it on permanent display for inspiration or something.

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

I absolutely love this site and have seen it grow tremendously over the last year! I do love that there are free patterns and am very happy that the site kept them, yet would love a few more baby items as well as knits. Also I like that we are able to have friends, but wish we could interact a bit more somehow. As for the beta site, I really like the photos, especially the "best of " months, and that there is a wall now. I cannot wait until it is ready to be the main site, and will continue to use it often to try it out.

7. What is your motto?

“I could make that!” is something that comes out of my mouth often, especially when in places like American Apparel or some cute boutique that specializes in simple clothing I cannot afford.

Ashchaser has some awesome creations. Take a look at some of her inspiration and don’t forget to take a look at her store and her blog

Staring Contest


So the other night Dane & I went to a cocktail party hosted by the effervescent and talented writers Joanna Goddard (of the coveted blog A Cup of Jo) & SMITTEN, and her fiance Alex Williams, a New York Times reporter. What we didn’t know was that the cocktail party was to be a staring contest!

What? I quickly drank down some of my wine and added my name to the list. Sometimes I like meshing into the background of a party, have intimate conversations with people- but this time we were all to be in the center of the room, being watched (and judged) by everybody! The contest rules were “first to laugh is out”. We found “blinking first” to be too challenging. Have you ever done a public staring contest? If you know me at all you’d know I am just about always cracking a smile, it’s just the way I am. And if you ask me to frown, I cannot for the life of me. I was quickly “out”. The girl pictured top left was the winner of the evening, and you know what? She was biting her tongue! A technique I had not considered. I think she’s wearing Vivienne Westwood for Melissa rubber heels right?

In the meantime, I came across 4th & Bleeker today, some may find it fashion-sense inspiring.

Photos courtesy of Joanna Goddard’s Flickr.

Join BurdaStyle, Etsy and Bags for People at 303Grand this Saturday to Sew up Reusable Grocery Bags


On July 18th, BurdaStyle, Bags for the People & Etsy will be at 303GRAND (in Brooklyn NY) with an all day event called “The Sweatshop” from 1pm-6pm.

Bags for the People is a non-profit organization that provides people with a sustainable alternative to plastic bags. The organization makes re-usable bags from recycled clothing and fabric and handed them out at New York City’s Green Markets for free. In addition to giving out free bags, Bags for the People holds workshops and events to help people make the switch from plastic to re-usable and teach the importance of sustainability.

There will be up to 15 sewing machines set up in the store and loads of fabric and patterns available to create a hands-on experience of designing your own unique reusable bag. There will also be sewing tutorials, complimentary drinks and snacks and music playing all day.

Check out the 303Grand website for more information


History of the Sewing Machine


It’s not something we stop to think about very often, but did you know we all use one of the top 10 greatest inventions of the last 100 years? While hand sewing had been around for thousands of years, the invention of the sewing machine revolutionized the garment and shoe industry and in 1860 allowed those at home to be able to eliminate tedious hours of sewing by hand. Want to know more about the history behind your machine? Then be sure to read BurdaStyle’s article along with this one about the birth of mechanical sewing.

BurdaStyle Sewing Club Update: BSC Aiken, SC, USA!


Seven ladies with different backgrounds and skills make up this fun BurdaStyle Sewing Club!

Meeting at their local library, they cover everything from hemming each other’s dresses to creating super cute aprons. Visit their group blog,, and check out their upcoming projects, including how to make a blouse from men’s shirts and their future plans to help out The Aiken Community Playhouse, a local theatre company. They also encourage their members to bring their own personal projects and share their special talents. One member from India, for instance, plans to share a special draping technique!

There first meeting on June 20th was a great success, and they are busily preparing for the next date on July 11th, where they hope to discuss fun projects to make with bandanas!

For more information, contact leader AthenaWeeena.

Great job guys!

- David
BSC Coordinator

Summertime Collage


Greetings readers! I am writing to you from the depths of my imagination where I am on a deserted island swathed in silky prints sipping on a piña colada. Aren’t you just the happiest during summer days?

This month I hand-picked some warm weather looks I am dying to recreate for myself. Using this user-generated simple dress pattern you too can make a lovely printed summer frock. Aren’t the pin-tucks on the hip charming?

I’m seeing bold, bright solids floating down the Resort 2010 collection runways and am inspired to make this other user generated bandeau top dress with bow in cherry red or aquamarine.

Missoni knows how to make a dramatic statement in a flowing floor length dress and so can you with this free, simple pattern.

Does the Marc Jacobs bag (pictured far left) not look just like our Anna Boho bag? They could totally be related. I have yet to decide on which canvas print to make this out of…or should it be suede?

Oh! And I saw the most adorable Fabric Postcard on the site today & need to share it with you all. Have you ever seen one so thoughtful? Whoever gets this in the mail is a lucky duck.

Ciao for now my pretties!

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


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