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BurdaStyle is open for design submissions


BurdaStyle is open for your design submissions!

You are the talent and we want to give you even more room to show it.

Starting immediately we will at all times accept design submissions. Any time you have a fabulous idea for a new piece, send in a sketch of the piece from the front and back as well as a technical drawing. Think about why that piece is not only a perfect design for you, but for all other members on BurdaStyle and write it up in a short essay. Make sure to mention what category you are designing for (men, women’s, women’s plus, children, accessories) and what fabrics you had in mind.

Your design will be produced into a real Burda pattern, famous for its fit! Please keep in mind, producing one pattern for our site is extremely cost and labor intensive. Each pattern will first be drafted in our studio, sewn up, optimized and redrafted until it reaches perfection, this process takes several months.

Afterward, we take it to Germany where it takes another couple of months to be made into a CAD pattern, graded, trued and set into a pattern pdf. While grading it the studio in Germany sews it up several times to make sure it works in all sizes. For each pattern, the German Team will create instructions and technical drawings.

Therefore, we have to choose carefully and select only the best and most versatile designs from your pool.

Submitting a design does not mean it will automatically be produced, we also don’t guarantee to choose any design. Drawing on our experience, we will choose only designs that are valuable for the community and catalog. No style that could be created by altering an existing pattern will be produced. We will choose designs that are unique, stylish and of interest for our members.

If BurdaStyle chooses to produce the pattern, you will get a grant of $160 dollars. A sample of your design will be made up and shot in a professional photo shoot. You will receive pictures in high resolution that you can use to for your portfolio. You will also be proudly presented as the Designer of the pattern and eternal gratitude of the community is yours.

We are looking forward to many submissions in all categories.

Email the following to submissions(at)BurdaStyle(dot)com:

  • Sketch from the front and back

  • -Technical drawing

  • -Short explanation of design’s value to the community

  • Category and recommended fabrics

Japanese Craft and Sewing Books - Translated!


I’m so happy to see that more publishers are translating popular Japanese craft books into English. One of the latest? Patchwork Style: 35 Simple Projects for a Cozy and Colorful Life. This was one of the first books that ever piqued my interest in foreign sewing books, but at the time I was too nervous about sewing in any other language so I never purchased it. So, when it became available in English a few weeks ago, I snatched it up – and it was definitely worth the wait! Not only are the pictures gorgeous (I’m in love with the fabrics), but the projects are adorable. Included in this book are instructions for 34 projects including tissue pouches, quilts, pillows, handbags, and cozies all created in a patchwork style. The instructions are easy to follow as all of the steps are illustrated and the measurements have been converted to inches. Now I can finally sew up the little mini handbag that I’ve been eying for years!

Interested in other Japanese sewing titles? Check out Linen, Wool, Cotton: 25 Simple Projects to Sew with Natural Fabrics released by the same publisher. Vertical Publishing has also released several of the Aranzi Aronzo titles including: Cute Stuff, Baby Stuff, Cute Dolls, The Cute Book, and Aranzi Aronzo Fun Dolls. Lastly, there’s My Favorite Felt Sweets – an adorable, calorie free treat!

Show update


I’ve been back from the Brisbane Stitches and Craft Show for a week. I represented BurdaStyle with a booth and a daily fashion show. I spent a lot of time explaining the ins and outs of BurdaStyle to the older ladies who assumed i was selling the Burda Magazine and they left the booth armed with their postcards and a smile telling me they were off home to check out the site.

The fashion show’s were great and drew big crowds each day. Heaps of school kids on school textiles class excursions watched and got excited and i spotted some BurdaStyle members there too, in particular Caity who was very excited!

Can i tell you how lovely it is to actually see the garments for real!? I’ve fondled some of them and even tried a few on…shhh (if only i could be as tall as the girls in the picture above, i’d want to wear them on the catwalk each day too!) and am patiently waiting the patterns of some of those that are yet to be published here on the site.

Now i’m preparing for the next show in Sydney from August 19th to 23rd. I’m still looking for more volunteers to help with BurdaStyle and Wardrobe Refashion, if you are interested in helping out please email me at

More photos of the show to come soon.

Featured Member: Etcpantoufle


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

I am from the Bay Area, although I moved around as a kid, which allowed me to see different fashion cultures. Right now, I’m back in my home base of San Francisco.

The Launch of Social Designer


Felissimo Design House has just launched, Social Designer: Goods for the Greater Good. It is an online marketplace for designers, artists and consumers who want to make a difference. Social Designer promotes social awareness through hosting weekly rotating design competitions online. They invite all individuals to create original art and products that support meaningful causes. Through the votes from the online community and a panel of judges, a winner will be chosen and receive $2,000 and their design will be featured and sold on the Social Designer website.

Social Designer will donate from 20-50% of profits from sales to participating organizations and charities including UNESCO/Tribute 21 DREAM Centers, the American Cancer Society, Aikido International Foundation, SPCA International, Architecture for Humanity, The Edible Schoolyard, The September Concert Foundation, Kiva and 826 National.

This is a not only a great opportunity it is a great cause with great designs. Check it out!

Prom Mini Blog: Like something out of the movies...


Follow California Senior, Grace Samson, through her prom journey. Track her progress as she goes from her dream board, to drafting her pattern, to creating her dream dress and sharing the pattern with you.

Hi, I’m Grace Samson – high school senior, future filmmaker, major movie buff.

My prom is on the 22nd of this month. I can’t believe it’s almost here. I have heard so many stories about the big night and it’s hard to believe that this is actually happening to me. In less than a month I will be walking out onto that dance floor, with my date, in a fabulous dress I designed and made myself. .

One of my favorite scenes from a classic movie is from “It’s a Wonderful Life” – Jimmy Stewart walks Donna Reed home from prom after they’ve fallen into the swimming pool. He’s in a soggy, striped football uniform and she’s wearing nothing but a bathrobe. It’s the first time he promises to lasso the moon for her. So romantic.

I hope to avoid a prom situation like the one in “Carrie.” Ha, ha! Good thing I’m not telekinetic! I found a list of the best prom movies of all time on the ELLEGirl magazine website: Top 10 Prom Movies.

Good list, I think. Some of my faves. It still chokes me up in “Pretty in Pink” when Molly Ringwald’s dad buys her that pink prom dress from the thrift store. Ah, the prom dress! So much pressure to have the perfect one, right? This is one of those moments in your life that is a notch on you lifeline. You know it’s up there with the first kiss, your engagement party, your wedding (!).

So, I said to myself “this is a big moment in your life and I know you want it to be a memory”. I decided to start what I call a “dream board”. I have been buying a lot of prom magazines lately and I went though them all and tore out pictures that are ideas for what I want for my dress, my friends and my date.

My dream board (an old bulletin board that I decorated) lets me focus on all the elements that will make my prom night perfect. It seems silly at first, but it works. I want my prom night to be like something out of the movies, and I want my dress to be the height of Hollywood glamour. Check back in with me as I create my own pattern to share with all you BurdaStylers!

Editor's Pick: Make These Top Looks Yourself!


Match the numbers of the looks above with the pattern numbers below to find patterns, how-tos and inspirational notes for these looks.

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, hand and hand with warmer spring days. This month we are offering a romantic approach to fashion featuring chiffons, ruffles and feminine touches. Whether you want to create a lovely gift for Mom, or need to make the perfect spring accessory, here are some projects to get your juices flowing!

Cotton: the wool that grows on plants


Cotton candy is magical and so was cotton for Romans and Europeans when traders first brought cotton fabrics from Asia. As old as silk (see last week’s blog) or even older, cotton had been grown, spun and woven in the Indus Valley and Egypt at least 3,000 years bc. In Mexico, first evidence of cultivated cotton dates back to eight thousand bc. Never having seen cotton grow, the “wool that grew on plants” spurred the fantasies of medieval Europeans. John Mandeville the supposed author of a book telling of travels around the world that inspired Christopher Columbus and Marco Polo (published in the late 14th century) writes: “here grew [in India] a wonderful tree which bore tiny lambs on the endes of its branches. These branches were so pliable that they bent down to allow the lambs to feed when they are hungrie.” Today, we are pretty certain that neither John Mandeville nor the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary ever existed, but for people in medieval Europe that was far from clear.

In India a whole cotton industry developed, growing, processing and trading with cotton fabrics. Yet, once the British came to colonize the country in the late 18th century, India’s cotton processing industry faltered, giving way to an absolutely absurd trading system: raw cotton was picked by Indian laborers at petty wages, shipped (in British ships) all the way to Britain on a three week journey; was turned into cloth by English laborers; and shipped back to India were the cloth was sold to Indian kings and landlords. Britain benefited of wages and profits.

Cotton trade with India was soon replaced by cotton production in the United States. Why? Trading routes were shorted and production even cheaper “thanks” to the employment of unpaid slaves. Until the 1950s when machines reliably took over the picking of cotton in the fields, cotton production remained a laborious task which whether officially called “slavery” or not went hand in hand with some sort of exploitational work in the fields, no matter whether workers were black or white.

Today cotton is anywhere either pure or mixed with other fibers: bath towels, denim, socks, underwear, t-shirts, bed sheets, yarn for crochet and knitting, fishnets, coffee filters, tents, gunpowder and in many, many of the BurdaStyle patterns and creations: the Thai Fishermen’s Pants and Light Cotton Summer Dress may be just what you are looking with Summer fast approaching.

Join a BurdaStyle Sewing Club

View BurdaStyle Sewing Clubs in a larger map

[Updated 7/1/2011] There are over 260 BurdaStyle Sewing Clubs (BSCs) throughout the world, and there may be one in your neighborhood, too!

The Club Leaders are listed by State and City, or Country and City. Feel free to message the leaders to sign up for a group, discuss meeting times and find out the location. Don’t see your city listed? Learn how you can use our Meetup Everywhere platform to start your own.

For a visual depiction of just how many BSCs there are, check out our Google Maps!

How to locate the nearest BSC with Google Maps

Find your nearest BSC by entering your city and state in the Google Maps search engine. Click on the BurdaStyle Sewing Club tabs at the bottom left corner, then check the BurdaStyle Sewing Clubs category. Zoom out on the map to see just how far your nearest BSC is!

US List


In Foam Magazine This Month!


This month a How-To I created for Foam magazine hit the stands. I was asked to create a fun, eco-friendly or upcycled project for the summer so I used the Burdastyle Alison vintage bathing suit pattern and old t-shirts to create (3) multi-colored vintage bathing suits. Why 3 you ask? Because the first time around the camera I was using was not set to a high enough resolution for the images to go to print! I had to do it all over again…why there is still an extra one I just cannot recall… “Stand out on the sand in a homemade (but still so chic) bathing suit. Project Runway alum Alison Kelly shows us how it’s done. ”>Click here for your pattern, and follow the direction in this month’s Foam Magazine to make your own!"

The rest of this week I am prepping for my fitting next Tuesday at Cosmo magazine and praying all of my looks will look amazing. Also, I am looking into bamboo and other eco-friendly textiles for the next Dahl & Dane collection, does anyone have any advice?

Has anyone heard of DOSSIER JOURNAL? My friend blogs for them and the content is quite interesting. These stories caught my eye:




Patterns for Reusable Grocery Sacks


Many states are already charging you a fee for not using recyclable grocery sacks. If you haven’t started using them for yourself, maybe it’s time sew up a few for yourself. There are several styles available: For those who prefer totes,

Made in China


Sometime around 3,000 bc, a little princess, wife to the great Yellow Emperor of China, was sitting in the palace gardens under her favorite Mulberry Tree sipping tea, chatting, and laughing with her friends, when a cocoon with modest splash fell into her cup of hot tea. Seven faces gathered to cast an eye on the little floating object. Princess Xi Ling Shi carefully caught hold of the thing but just as she was about to drop it into the grass she hesitated to take another look. Moving the creature on her flat hand closer to her eyes, she discovered layers of fine threat, fragile and soft as a cobweb that enclosed whatever was inside. Endlessly slowly she started to unravel the threat into long loops across her hand. So fine it was, yet it lasted, didn’t break until she had reeled the entire cocoon, spun and weaved it into what according to Confucian legend was the first piece of silk.

Even before the Silk Roads were traveled by Chinese traders, silk garments from China reached far beyond the country’s borders, not to the happiness of everyone: as the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger writes “I can see clothes of silk, if materials that do not hide the body, nor even one’s decency, can be called clothes. … (and) a husband has no more acquaintance than any outsider or foreigner with his wife’s body”.

Although it was forbidden by death to smuggle silkworms or the secret of making silk beyond the borders, China gradually lost its monopoly. Yet, Chinese silk was for a long time, some of the finest and most precious thanks to Bombyx mori. This blind and flightless moth – originally unique to China – produces 500 or more minuscule eggs, one ounce of which will produce about 30,000 worms that together eat 1 ton of mulberry leaves and their cocoons produce 12 pounds of the smoothest and finest silk threat, a single one of which can reach between 600 to 900 meters. Not only that, according to Chinese sources already in 1090 they had invented a machine to help with the laborious task of unwinding the silkworms and silk spinning machines were introduced in the 13th century!

The story of silk continues for those who want to know more, the Silk Association of Great Britain has plenty of information.

The painting (12th century) shows women striking and preparing silk

To Bebe or not to Be


Sarah Livingstone is a fashion designer based out of Los Angeles, California. She was kind enough to share with us her day to day experience working for the huge fashion house Bebe in LA.

Did you go to design school?

I went to FIDM here in Los Angeles. Instead of the normal 2-3 year program, it is an intensive 15 months. I would highly recommend this for prospective students who already have their degree and KNOW they want to be a fashion designer.

New Sneak Peak: Projects


Sneak Peak number two is about our first newly structured navigation point of our new platform, the “Projects” section.

This section will from now on include all finished sewing projects (currently named creations), meaning both projects that are derived from patterns and projects that are solely based on instructions. The latter is currently living in the how to section.

For that matter, at the moment we are dividing the How To section on the current site into Projects and Techniques. Techniques will be hosted under Learning, but more about that in another sneak peak. The projects data is being transitioned right now to fit the new section and we may be contacting some of you that have projects living in the current how to section, to do the same. No worries! Easy as pie.

To properly host all the necessary information for the projects, each creation has its own step by step instructions if needed. BurdaStyle’s pattern instructions will be posted here, and accessible at all times, even before pattern purchase!

The Project showcase has optimized sorting capabilities and a great filter system, which allows you to sort out projects that you can make from the projects to be inspire by. You will also have the ability to sort projects by season, material, garment type, and style making it much easier to find the projects you are looking for.

As you see, there is a lot to look forward to and please, ask questions as we go along. And don’t forget, we will help you transition slowly and be there all steps on the way.

Stitches & Craft Show Day 1


I arrived safely in Brisbane and got straight to work setting up the booth at the show. If you’re in Brisbane i’d love to see you so stop by and visit me at stand 106 which is right next to the Service Centre as you enter the hall.

The fashion show runs at 11:30.


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