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Soft Circuits Workshop Project Presentations


I recently was invited as a guest critic for final project presentations of ‘Soft Circuits Workshop’, a class at NYU’s ITP program that was taught and developed by my colleague Kate Hartman.

BurdaStyle is Going Across America!


We are so excited. As we said yesterday in our Letter From the Editors, we have big plans this weekend.

BurdaStyle will have a booth at the first Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco. It will be July 12 and 13th from 11 am to 7 pm, at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion. Admission is free so you have no excuse not to show up. We will have lots of goodies for all of you that stop by; really cool buttons, stickers and more. We will be there with fellow Brooklynites and friends from <a href";&gt;Etsy and ”;&gt;ThreadBanger along with over 300 other vendors! If this Renegade is anything like the ones in Chicago and Brooklyn, it will be incredible. If you are in the Bay area shoot us an email and come stop by our booth. We are excited to meet everyone from the other coast.

All of you in the mid-west do not fear, we are not ignoring the central time zone. Nora will be in Chi town at the American Sewing Guild annual conference. It is being held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare and it should be a bunch of fun. If you are around make sure you find her among the crowd.

Have a great night and see you this weekend (hopefully).

Technical Drawing Contest- Win $50!


That’s right, we felt it was time for another contest. Get your pen and pencil out, warm up your hand, pull out the paper. We are going to be looking for your best technical drawings. As some of you may have noticed, there is no technical drawing associated with the Alison swimsuit. We thought it would be a great opportunity for all of you out there who are not only a whiz at the sewing machine, but also have the sketching skills of DaVinci, to showcase your talents. We are excited to see all you multitalented members out there. You have until the 18th of July to send us your best technical drawing of the Alison swimsuit. The winner will receive $50! So send’em in to us at and good luck!

BurdaStyle is Faster!


Good news everyone! As you know there has been a lot of talking about a site redesign and code review. Well, our awesome programmers from Area 17 have just rolled out a major improvement. You will notice that the site is much faster now! We know from reading your survey answers that the speed of the site was a big issue. Slow and steady might win the race but we are happy to announce that turtle speed will no longer hinder your pattern browsing abilities. No more little hourglass while the Sabrina loads, no more failed pages, easier download of all the patterns, can you ask for anything more? Well yes, but that is also coming. It’s all very exciting.

Happy July 4th


Happy Independence Day, BurdaStylers! We hope you all have fun plans for tomorrow… Here in the office, we all do:

Benedikta is heading to a German birthday party in Virginia, where she will be decked out in full dirndl regalia. Nora A. will be enjoying a picnic in the mountains of Colorado. Nora K., who is with us for the summer from Germany, will be enjoying TWO traditional American barbecues. (We hope she doesn’t get a bellyache!) Alden is in upstate New York spending quality time with her family. Our awesome new intern Katie is going to a beach house in the Hamptons—fancy! Layla’s watching the fireworks at the Statue of Liberty from a rooftop in Red Hook, and Hikaru is watching fireworks against the Manhattan skyline from a rooftop in Greenpoint.

Ok, everybody. We hope you all stay safe and fun and cool this holiday weekend, and maybe you will even get a little sewing done!

Party Favors


Last night was one of the best parties we’ve been to in some time (if we do say so ourselves). BurdaStyle partnered with Fame Game, Zink Magazine and Volkswagen on a project- This World is Yours- to encourage more thoughtful messaging in fashion. The Red Bull Space in SOHO was packed full of revelers who came out to see the work of five talented fashion photographers including:

Claire Benoist,
Michael Scott Slosar,
Harry Fellows,
Justin Tellian,
Jamie Chung.

The challenge given was to “transmit messages that resonate on a higher level than that of pure consumption”. In that context, each photographer interpreted one of the themes of the night: THINK, PLAY, TEACH, LET GO, and DREAM. We think they all created beautiful work. Especially, Michael Scott Slosar who used our Heidi dress Variation in his shoot for PLAY.
Over the course of the night, participants chose the message that resonated with them and BurdaStyle gave them their very own custom bracelet. If you like the bracelets, tell us, and we’ll show you how to make them for your next event. We promise these are party favors your friends won’t throw away.

Soundtrack for the evening provided by our friends Eclectic Method.

View more photos from the party are on our Flickr page.

Photos on Blogpic (from left to right)
Pic 1: Kyla, Nora, Michael Scott Slosar (Photographer), Benedikta, Alden, Play Team
Pic 2: Benedikta, Julia Allison (Model), Alden, Nora K., Nora

Featured Member: Maya511


1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I was born in Guam and my family moved to Southern California (just north of Orange County) when I was three. I currently live in Hollywood, so I didn’t stray too far from where I grew up.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
When I was a little girl, I used to hand sew little cushions that I stuffed with cotton balls stolen from my mother’s makeup drawer. The first thing I ever made with a machine was a super simple unlined mini tote bag. It’s a shame that I didn’t actually make an effort to learn how to sew until this year—in my mid 30s! I’d always wanted to learn, but for some unexplainable reason, I was extremely intimidated by sewing machines. I finally gathered the courage to enroll myself in a basic sewing class earlier this year (where I made the mini-tote) and I’m so glad I did.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
For me, it’s a well-needed creative outlet after a day at the office. Also, It’s just so gratifying to wear/use something that you’ve made yourself—a feeling to which I’m sure all of you members can attest. I can honestly say that it’s the most enjoyable hobby I’ve ever taken up, as well as the most addictive.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
I’ve got two favorite things: 1) shopping for fabric and letting my imagination run wild 2) that feeling of exhilaration I get when I complete a project. What I like the least is deciphering pattern instructions. I’m primarily an aural and tactile learner and possess very poor spatial awareness —so sometimes diagrams actually serve to confuse more than to help. Oftentimes, I have to make a miniature model of the project in order to figure out the actual construction of it!

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what would you make?
Purely fantasy of course—I would make an insulated cooling wrap for the earth to slow down global warming!

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 for inspiration, above all, and there’s plenty of it here! I love perusing member creations and I’m inspired by what I see on a daily basis. I’m also looking for stylish, versatile patterns, and BurdaStyle has got that covered as well. What’s more, there’s a real sense of community here, which I love. Everyone is so helpful and supportive. I honestly can’t think of anything I’d change!

7. What is your motto?
My general motto is a quote by Bertrand Russell: “The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.” My sewing motto is “Don’t sacrifice enjoyment for perfection!” I sometimes take a lot of short cuts when I sew for myself, which I don’t necessarily encourage, but I think it’s important, when undertaking any creative endeavor, to relax, have fun and to not beat yourself up when you make mistakes. I mean, when it stops being fun, what’s the point in doing it, right? That’s what I say, at least!

Maya511 has a great sense of color and style, just take a look at her fun floral top or any of her many creations. She also has a blog which chronicles her sewing adventures.

Taking Better Pictures


So, some people have been wondering how we go about picking images for the home page. Basically, everyday we look through the creations page at the new uploads. What we are looking for is quality, both in the creation and in the photo.
We have some helpful hints for how to take better pictures.

- Have a nice background. Stand in front of a wall or be in your garden. Make sure when you take your picture that your dirty laundry is not strewn about the floor and you aren’t in front of a messy bookshelves. Clutter only distracts from the beauty of your creation!

- Make sure there is lighting. Don’t take a picture in the bat cave.
- Make sure you are well lit. You should be facing the light source when taking your pictures, not back lit. This allows everyone to see the creation much more clearly.
- Show your lovely face. We understand that people sometimes feel a little uncomfortable with this but it is so much easier to see the proportions of the outfit plus we want to see how happy you are with your new creation.
- Make sure the picture is clear. It’s so nice to be able to see the details and really admire the work you put into this. A fuzzy picture makes us sad.

If you want to get really fancy and edit your photos with Photoshop, use these tricks (not necessary though)

- To adjust the darkness go to Image>Adjustments>Level
- To increase the vividness go to Image >Adjustments>Hue/Saturation
- To adjust final Brightness go to Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast

There are our quick tricks for taking great pictures. We look forward to seeing what you do with this!

Overlocker machine review


If you’ve ever gotten a new, special sewing machine or serger, you know how exciting … and scary … it is to open it up for the first time and figure it all out. Lisa and u-handbag just got her first overlocker machine, and has a great post full of beautiful pictures and a review the new addition to her sewing studio.

Four New How Tos


Hey BurdaStylers

We have four, yes four, amazing new how tos for you. Things have been a little glitchy around the site but the how tos are up and running again. Because its been a while we felt like we owed you a few. Ladies and gentlemen, your new how tos:

-Line the Charlie Bag

-Sew a Charlie Bag with Bias and French Seams

-Serge the Charlie Bag


-Sew the Pete T-Shirt

The first three how tos show the various ways to make the Charlie bag. One of these is bound to be the perfect fit for you depending on your skill level, resources and time. Creating a lining for the Charlie bag ensures that it wont rip when carrying your groceries or whatever else you were planning on carrying in there. By using a bias and French seams, your bag gets a polished touch. And using serger on the Charlie is a quick easy way to finish the seams…provided you have a serger.

The Sew the Pete T-Shirt how to not only shows you how to sew the Pete with a serger, it gives the long awaited size chart conversion! So if you have been wondering what S,M,L,XL means look no further than the Sew a Pete how to.

Have a good night everyone!

From Maternity to Empire


Anitra Cameron of Coffee Pot People shows us how she took a $0.25 maternity top and transformed it into a cute empire waist shirt. It’s a great reconstruction that you could work on your thrift store finds or on maternity clothes you are no longer using. Thanks, Diane !

Featured Member: Jeffrey


1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan; born and raised. I currently live in Grand Rapids and am attending Calvin College

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
The first thing I sewed for myself was a pair of short shorts, for basketball. My friends and I play recreation-league-intramural basketball at Calvin and we dress in 70’s clothes, including short-shorts. I wanted a pair that matched the colours we picked for the team.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Sewing plays the role of helping define my style and attitude towards life. Sewing is a hobby, but I would say that the role is practical. I like making things that I will use. I have made a lot of bags because bags are functional. Making rather than buying changes how I view my possessions. I appreciate them more because I have put something personal into them.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
My favorite thing about sewing is brain storming, looking at something and thinking how to make it for myself. My least favorite thing about sewing is not having time to sew.

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what would you make?
I guess I would make a camera bag for my older brother. I would really like to see him appreciate my hobby in the same kind of way that I do

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 for a place to be together with like minded people. People who like to create; people who prefer homemade to brand-named. I’m not sure how the site could be better, more guy-oriented stuff would be nice, but it makes sense that there is so much women’s stuff.

7. What is your motto?
Make don’t buy

Jeffrey is one of the most prominent men on our site. Not only does he have great creations to share with us, he has taught us all how to weave our own cloth in his awesome how to. This month Jeffery is featured in Burda Mode magazine. Congrats Jeffrey and we look forward to seeing more of your creations on the site.

Sorry about that!


As many of you have noticed we had a slight glitch in our site earlier today. It is resolved now and we are sorry for any problems this might have caused. is going through a major code review and site redesign. What this means is that our awesome programmers are going through the foundation of our site and fixing the bugs. Thank you all for your continued reporting of the problems you find. And now without further ado we would like to present the ONE and ONLY Francesca!!! Check it out, it’s another member suggested pattern.

Using and underlay when cutting slick fabrics


If you’re working with a slick piece of fabric that constantly shifts when you are trying to cut it, check out The Sewing Divas latest post about using an underlay. She’s given a great tutorial on this technique that will help you keep your fabric straight and keep you from getting frustrated when you work with special fabrics.

Wanna be creative, stop global warming and win prizes? You bet!


Here at BurdaStyle we try to be as green as possible in our living. We bring out Charlie bags to the stores, try to refashion old clothes and up cycle old cloth. We believe in trying to reduce the impact we have on this world which is why we were so happy to hear about this project. We, along with, Craftster, Etsy, Craft: and ThriftyFun have all partnered with the climate awareness group to bring you a creative way to save the world, or at least do our part. The effort is called Creativity 350. This project aims to creatively spread the word about lowering greenhouse gasses to below 350 parts per million. Now here is where you come in.
There are two creative contests that you can enter: the Creativity 350 Craft Contest and the Creativity 350 T-Shirt Contest. Both contests are accepting submissions up to August 15th. There are tons of great prizes and this is a really great cause. Check it out and help us spread the word!


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