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Baby Lock Halloween Costume Contest



Malissa Variation Winner Is...


Congratulations to Gertie!

She received the most votes in the Malissa Cocktail Dress Variation Contest! Not bad for a first time upload! Her red silk jersey variation received 304 votes, in second place Mirela‘s great variation (bottom right) with 253 votes and with third place Prudencerabbit’s great green dress (bottom left) with 114 votes. Thank you to everyone who voted and submitted their work, this has been our most successful contest yet!

Gertie will have her dress photographed in our photoshoot, receive a look book, get cards or the dress and receive all the high res pictures from the shoot.
Congrats again Gertie!

Sewing Silk Pajamas for Christmas


Over the past few years, my friends and family have wised up to the fact that if they want a handmade gift from me at Christmas, they’d better get your orders in a few months early! Right now I’m in the midst of planning a pair of silk pajamas for my good friend Pip, and I thought these might be a good idea for others, too.

Loads of you have already made the lovely ladies’ Jane pajamas but you could also easily adapt Andre as silk boxers for the men in your life, too. Add a Marcel sleepmask or Alice slippers and you’ve got a great gift worth staying under the covers for!

If you’ve never sewn with silk before, it’s not nearly as difficult as it would seem. Silk charmeuse (sometimes called “silk ”">satin") feels ultra luxurious next to the skin and is what a lot of super expensive lingerie manufacturers use. Since it’s a natural fiber, it lets your skin breathe and feels cool in the summer and warm in the winter, too.

You’ll need to use a small microtex sharp needle in your machine to avoid pulled threads, and cutting out slippery fabric can be made easier with some cleverly-placed paper. Once I made the mistake of sewing regular seams on a silk blouse, only to have it fray and unravel everywhere! Eventually I was forced to bias-bind all the seam allowances by hand to save it, but I definitely learned my lesson. Don’t make my mistake – it only takes a few minutes more to sew french seams in silk garments and you’ll end up saving yourself time later!

Does anyone else have any Christmas presents on the go yet?

Suiting females?


Ladies, have you ever considered how lucky we are that compared to guys we can wear whatever pleases us, we could take the male jacket pattern of our BurdaStyle website and sew a fantastic jacket for us. In contrast, a guy running around in skirts and dresses is likely to be frowned upon, although some of them really do look fantastic (like my ex- ex- boyfriend who picked me up from high-school one day dressed in a long skirt that a friend of his had designed).

One thing that feminism really has achieved is not only paving the way for women wearing trousers but ridding them from the most uncomfortable clothing etiquette. Until the end of the 19th century, it was next to impossible for women to wear trousers, unless you called yourself George Sands, and were a French aristocrat whose real name was Amandine-Aurore-Lucille Dupin, who attracted much attention wearing male suits and hats and smoking cigars in public. Mind you, the situation was quite different in theaters, where women playing male characters were an erotic attraction for wearing trousers revealing the shapes of their legs. But outside the theater you would have been dressed in rigid corsets, skirts and dresses with undergarments weighing up to 14 pounds! No wonder that the first argument for female trousers, promoted by an American feminist called Amelia Bloomer , was based on concerns of comfort. Alas, her alternative design, ankle-length baggy trousers worn under a knee-long skirt or overcoat, called “bloomers”, were rather unsuccessful, ridiculed in the press and failed to be commonly accepted.

Then came the bike, and with the bike a technical justification to wear trousers, since skirts on bikes caused quite a few accidents (many people would have preferred if women stopped cycling rather than change clothes). In company of a bike, a woman could wear her cycling trousers, but cycling trousers without a bike, forget it!

Etiquette was so stubborn that neither Parisian fashion designers who designed an Arabian style combination of dress and trousers in 1911, nor two World Wars which necessitated women to put on men’s working clothes to replace them in factories, could create the legitimacy for women to wear trousers in public. In fact, it was considered inappropriate for women to wear trousers until the 1960s! Today, women have a choice between trousers and skirts, while men are mostly confined to their trousers, but that is an issue I will write about in a future blog.

Featured Member: MadameWu


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

I was born in Chojnice, Poland. Chojnice is approximately one hundred thirty kilometers from Toruń where I am studying at Nicolaus Copernicus University.

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

I started sewing when I was six – seven years old. My first models were my dolls and Barbies :). I remember that my grandmother was knitting some tiny sweaters for them too.
I always wanted to sew but I started it for real last year when I realized that we have a sewing machine at home. My very first clothing was a long skirt for my mother – she loved it! That was a success! :) Then I made a dress for Her…, and then I had a few months break. When this year’s summer holiday started I decided that I needed to do something in my free time and then I saw my sewing machine. I guess that was the moment… it became my most important hobby.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Very big! While sewing I forget about stress. It is so calming and relaxing.

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

My least favorite thing is basting or pinning… when something, for example Anita’s trousers that I made, have a lot of parts… I don’t like cutting either. And my favorite thing about sewing? Well I like putting parts of fabric together… and jump into new clothes or watch other people in them! Especially when they suit well.

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

For everybody who would like to wear my clothes! And well it would always be my mother. I’d like to (maybe soon) try to do something for men. And if I should choose celebrity it would be… I don’t know, maybe Cameron Diaz. She is so slim and beautiful.

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

I found this site when I was looking for some free patterns and inspiration. In my opinion, a site like this is a great place for people who like sewing. It is so interesting to see what other members are doing with basic patterns or at their projects.

7. What is your motto?

My motto is a verse of Wisława Szymborska’s poem “Nic dwa razy” – “Nothing Twice”.

Why are you, the bad hour,

mingling with needless fear?

You are here now – but will be gone.

You will be gone – and that’s beautiful!

MadameWu ’s creations can often be seen on the front page. When you look at her work you can tell she is having fun. Keep up the great work, we are excited to see what comes next!

Dahl + Dane = True Love Always


This week has been an exceptional one. I have been working on a collaborative project with my boyfriend called Dahl & Dane (named after us respectively). We want to do a series of limited edition projects focusing on certain art forms and the first one to launch this series is called: Dahl + Dane = True Love Always.

We are offering custom, screen printed “I heart_____” organic t-shirts & tote bags until Christmas 2008. We hand-screen each custom t-shirt in our loft (yes, we’re crazy) with the initials of your secret crush or whomever/whatever you’d like to admit your love for.

Have you ever scribbled the name of your crush all over your notebook cover, or write your name plus his or hers along the sole of your sneaker? The inspiration for our website came from

One day I was musing over the “I heart” phenomenon and thought wouldn’t it be sweet to have a custom one…I think it’s really nice to make people happy & spread the love. We designed & built this website ourselves over the past few weeks. We wanted it to look a bit naive with drawings and notebook paper ripped & torn. We use an interface called and I would recommend it to someone who wants to build their own website and has a lot of time to troubleshoot. We have actually transformed the template they offer and went to it and entered a lot of HTML ourselves to make it look authentic (gosh what a headache!), but they do have templates you could use as a sewing blog or a place to upload photos of creations…

Monday was the official launch date for our website & we were featured on

We had 37,000 hits on the first day! And the orders are pouring in…I’d better get back to work!

Welcome Back Timtex, We Missed You


Early this year, I wrote a post about the “demise of Timtex” and what happened to the product (the manufacturer who was producing Timtex suddenly shut down). If you’ve done a search for this super stiff interfacing, you’ll quickly find that the supply, even on the internet, is gone. Pattern companies who rely on Timtex (such as Amy Butler) have been forced to alter their instructions to accommodate alternate materials. I’m happy to report, starting in late November, Timtex is back (new and improved). C&T Publishing, known for their wide variety of craft books and notions has not made a formal announcement, but here is some of the details that I have received:

C&T Publishing announced today that Timtex, the firm, flexible interfacing treasured by so many crafters has returned with a new and improved formula, and will now be manufactured and distributed by C&T Publishing.

Crafters Breathe a Sigh of Relief

“Timtex has been sorely missed on the market over the last year, says Jake Finch, a crafter and author of Comfort Quilts from the Heart and Fast, Fun & Easy® Book Cover Art. “To have C&T Publishing begin to distribute Timtex is a wonderful no-brainer.”

Crafters use Timtex to provide a stable shape for purses and bags, fabric bowls, vases, boxes, hats, cap brims, placemats, altered books, and any project that needs flexible firmness to hold its shape. Timtex is machine washable and dryable, and easy to cut, mark and sew. It can be set in shape with a hot iron.

Jake Finch credits Timtex for inspiring some of her favorite projects. “I would never have been able to come up with my Cover Art book covers without Timtex.”

New Formula Guarantees Uniform Thickness

The new Timtex is 100% polyester, which guarantees consistent thickness throughout every bolt. The old formula’s polyester/rayon blend produced considerable variations in thickness.

Timtex Joins Complete Line-up of Craft Interfacings

Timtex extends the interfacing choices available to crafters through C&T’s existing line of fast2fuse Double-Sided Stiff Interfacings. All fast2fuse products have fusible web on both sides, while Timtex is designed to be sewed.

So spread the good news, Timtex is back!

Nora Goes to Novi


This weekend Nora had barley landed in New York before she had to pick up and fly to Novi Michigan for the American Sewing Expo. There she met up with our friends Nancy and Lynn from Coats & Clark. She also ran into our friends Rob and Corrine from ThreadBanger, along with a couple of their fans Kearsten Hall and Zachary Hutchinson. ThreadBanger, along with Janome, created a very cool “Re-Construction Zone” where people were invited to upcycle old, worn out jeans into new usable objects. Great idea guys! It was a lot of fun and we are looking forward to next year.



Procrastination-the act of procrastinating; putting off or delaying or deferring an action to a later time

I’m procrastinating over my jacket. The muslin hangs almost finished on my dressform in my sewing room taunting me every time I walk in there. It makes me feel guilty for not finishing it. I want to finish it and have good intentions of sitting down at my machine to finish it but other projects creep their way in. Oh yes, a fine example of procrastination if I do say so myself. These projects include the Sophia pattern, having three little girls to dress makes this pattern perfect for me! I made up the top for little Esme this week using some fabric from my stash. It took me about an hour from start to finish with a little hand sewing to secure the binding around the neckline. Instead of doing a baby hem on the sleeves I used the rolled hem setting on my overlocker. Esme was very pleased with her new top so my girls and I made a trip to the fabric store to purchase more summery fabrics. Pink was the colour of the day, well it’s the colour of everyday around here, what is it with little girls and the colour pink.

Other projects I’m working on are the Kasia skirt. I’ve seen so many of these here on BurdaStyle and each one is fabulous. I have a silly amount of denim and have particularly loved the denim versions of this pattern so I’m jumping on the bandwagon. It’s all cut out and the edges have been overlocked, I just need to sew it together. As well as fabric to make heaps of clothes for my girls I also bought fabric to make myself theAlison swimsuit, large black and white polka dots. It’s warming up here in Australia and I plan on spending some time at the pool and the beach with the girls. My body has been wrapped up against the cold all winter so a little work will be needed before I feel brave enough to wear it.

I have started a new sewalong in the forum. It was a close competition between workout wear and the Laura dress but the dress came out on top. Head on over to the new thread in the forum to take part. This sewalong will last for four weeks starting today. I personally won’t be taking part in this sewalong but I should be working on my jacket from the last sewalong. I need a good swift kick up the rear end to get my jacket made before it’s too warm to wear, anyone want to offer their boot? Maybe if enough of you do I’ll have something to show you next week.

Starting a clothing company? Already Produce Apparel?


I can’t provide a better introduction to this blog, so I will let them do it:

“Starting a clothing line? Are you a designer or manufacturer of apparel or sewn products and want to run your company better? If so, you’ve come to the ”“>right place. Rub elbows with clothing industry professionals including manufacturers, sales reps, buyers, factors, sewing contractors, suppliers, pattern makers and designers. With over 1400 pages of content, you’re sure to find advice you can use today.”

This blog is full of helpful tips and connections for everyone in the sewing industry. Kathleen f writes this great blog and is also the author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing check out her blog and her book and you will gain a wealth of information.

Vote Now for your Favorite Malissa Variation


Vote for your favorite variation! Voting will be open for one week, closing October 2nd. What are you waiting for, get voting!

What is Modern Dress?


What is modern dress?

Are jeans more modern than a Bavarian Dirndl? What is modern dress? Does it depend on age? but blue jeans are about as old as the dirndl’s rise to fame (see my previous blog). Are clothes worn in New York, Paris and London more modern than others? Does it depend on who wears them? That is what I have been asking myself since reading various comments on previous blogs.

I have not found a conclusive answer in fact, I have become rather more confused reading about the salwaar-kameez, a dress which originally includes pajama-like trousers, a tunic or long shirt whose sides are open below the waist-line, and a shawl made from richly coloured garments and that has been worn by South Asian women (and men) for the past 2.000 years. Sounds pretty historic and traditional to me yet, looking around London and New York, I see plenty of women not just Asian but also European, dressed in various combinations and alterations of this dress, such as wearing it with “Western” clothing such as jeans. In fact, compared to the sari, the salwaar-kammez seems to be an expression of modernity: "As women in South Asia began entering the universities and marrying late (symbols for a “modern” woman), the Punjabi suit filled the niche between the school uniform and the bride’s sari".

On the other hand, take the ao dai, locally and internationally considered to be the authentic Vietnamese national dress. But the tight-fitting silk dress worn over pantaloons is in fact, a hybrid shaped by Chinese, French and American influences throughout the 20th century so, it neither has a very long history nor is it actually as such Vietnamese.

I still don’t have an answer to my question, – but I do recommend checking out both the salwaar-kameez as well as the ao dai. Made from fine colorful garments such as silk they are said to “cover everything but hide nothing” and are perfect to give formal (office) clothes a special touch even for men!

Sewing meets circuitry


If you’ve been to any nightclubs recently, you may have seen some tee shirts with LED news tickers spelling out funny sayings or flashing lights, but did you that the same technology is available to home sewers, too?

Leah Buechley is something of a pioneer in the world of wearable electronics, and a few years ago she teamed up with the cool, open-source circuit board producers, Arduino, to create the Lilypad Arduino, especially for sewing into clothing. Put simply, the Lilypad is a little motherboard (like you have in your computer, and these days, probably your toaster, too!) that you can use to control things like LEDs. I was lucky enough to receive one of these for Christmas last year along with a little light sensor, some conductive (metal) thread, and a ton of LEDs in pretty colors. I had no idea that LEDs come in pastels and teals and mauves these days, and not just green and red! The conductive thread works in my sewing machine’s bobbin, so once I get my circuit diagram mapped out, I just need to sew lines between all the components and tie them together. With the kit I’ve got, I could make a shirt that has glowing LEDs when I walk in a dark room, and that fade according to the light. Or I could make my own fabric switch with just the conductive thread and some felt to turn it on or off manually or even use an ordinary zipper as an electrical switch!

Even though I can’t compete with big companies who weave the LEDs into the fabric itself, I can definitely make some cool, interactive, and open source clothing from scratch. All the possibilities have really made me want to brush up on my electronics knowledge from school and make something truly spectacular! What do you think I should do with my arsenal of sewable electronics?

(Photo: Bekathwia under Creative Commons)

Featured Member: Schickchick


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

I was born in Illinois, USA & lived there until I was 10. Now I live in Mexico.

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

I remember making sock dolls, pillows & bags when I was younger. My mom sewed a lot when I was growing up, So I guess just watching her is how I started.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

It’s a job, hobby, pass time…I think its a great way to express myself!

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

My Favorite thing is being able to materialize the ideas running wild in my head, but then…It sinks when the ideas are too big & something doesn’t turn out perfect.

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

Haha, I don’t know! If it was someone famous I’d freak out & it wouldn’t turn out right. But maybe someone on the BurdaStyle team or Rob & Corinne from ThreadBanger. And, I’d probably make them…a sweet bag, Or if I had super powers, would make them all neat dresses & (for the guys) suits. :]

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

I look for patterns & I LOVE seeing other peoples creations & taking inspiration from them. I can’t think of anything that should be improved. BurdaStyle rocks my socks the way it is!

7. What is your motto?

“We live, We love, We forgive and never give up. ’Cause the days we are given are gifts from above, And today we remember to live and to love…” -SuperChic[k] (I guess this is a lyrics quote, but I love it!)

Schickchick has two websites to share with us, her handmade Etsy shop and her vintage clothing shop. For a while there she was making cool vests and taking cool pictures of them to the point that she was on the home page with every new post. How could we resist putting her as featured member. Great job Schickchick!

Beautifully Tailored Clothes for Women


“Why are women denied the power of feminine tailoring?” That is the question that is the foundation of Kate Starkey Couture. Combining quality, flair and detail, Kate Starkey Couture creates beautifully tailored clothes for women. Unfortunately, they are based in London so all of us across the pond with just have to wait and hope they jump the puddle.


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