How To: NOT Tie-Dye!


I spent a lot of my childhood doing the following crafts: Sand Art (remember!?!- colorful layers of sand in bottles of Bear-shaped honey), making “scrunchie” hair ties, and tie-dyeing. Tie-Dyeing was of course, the most fun, but also required the most prep and patience (I always complained about the tie-DRYING part). However, I was never really a big fan of the way tie dye looked. I thought about dyeing a lot of things, but never wanted a solid color, I wanted texture! Texture, that beautiful word that implies depth, varying intensity, shades, hues, feel, rough, smooth, bumpy. . . !

Featured Member: Mal


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

I’m from Massachusetts and live in Worcester which is a city located about 40 miles from Boston.

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

I’m pretty sure the first thing I made was a mess…which seems to be my signature creation! Then in 7th grade Home Ec. class I managed to clumsily hand-sew a pillow. Since then I’ve picked up other crafts like crocheting, knitting and cross-stitch but just recently learned how to use a sewing machine about 6 months ago. The first thing I made using a sewing machine was a graphic black and white A-line skirt which is posted under my creations.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Sewing is becoming one of my most favorite things to do. I’ve always considered myself to be a creative person and wish I had started sewing earlier. Now I have a full-time job in marketing and design websites and other marketing pieces in my spare time. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for sewing…I may be doomed to be a novice forever!!

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

I think my favorite thing about sewing has to be…well, sewing! It’s a great feeling to have everything situated – all of the cutting done, pressed, pinned and ready to go. When I can finally sit down in front of my machine and press that foot pedal is when I’m at my happiest.

It may be obvious what my least favorite part about sewing is. That’s right…all of the prep work. Being pretty new to sewing I’m always nervous when cutting out a pattern for fear of making a huge, irreversible mistake to some beautiful fabric that I probably DIDN’T get on sale. And all of those pins…Ouch! I’m surprised I have any feeling left in my fingertips!

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

I would love to make an apron for my best friend, Brenda. A really unique and sort of sarcastic apron to match her personality. She’s become quite the domestic diva but not your typical one…she has an edge to her and she’s hilarious. I think one of those super flirty 1950’s patterns made with some really funky fabric would be perfect for her. Maybe the fabric could have skulls on it or some appliques that look like tattoos. I’ll be sure to post it if I ever get to it.

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

It would be great if there was a list that lets you see all of the member profiles. Not only am I curious to see how many members there are but it would be cool to see where everyone is from. It could be a great way for members to meet up if they live in the same area.

I actually found in Bust Magazine and as soon I read what it was all about I knew I would be hooked. I love all of the inspiration, the How Tos and especially the user comments under my posted creations. It’s a nice way of knowing that although I’m new at this, people other than me (and my mom) like my stuff. It’s encouraging and motivates me to want to create more!

If you want to find out more about Mal, check out her member profile and her website See Spot Design.

Win a Sewing Machine in the Etsy Contest


Our friends from Etsy partnered with Instructables to “celebrate their communities” and launched Sew Useful: “Entrants will bring their skills to practical projects that make life easier, then share the how-tos.” Prizes are 3 Singer QUANTUM 9940 computerized sewing machines, 3 Leatherman knives, and, 3 Etsy gift boxes.

What we really like is that Etsy will support the one laptop per child initiative. They “will donate all fees from participating listings to ”“>OLPC as well as $1 per entry”.

Deadline is 16 July 2007 and you find more info here.

And, remember, the BurdaStyle Design and Pattern Competition deadline is 15 July 2007! Prizes for the winners are 300 and 500 USD.

NOTE: The cute illustration you see is created by our dear member Anda.

TREND: Hi, Society


Socialite Rank exposed! Paris Hilton in prison! Tinsley vs. Olivia: Does Anyone Care?!

If the news is to be believed, the mini-moment of the socialite is over. Or “ov-ah,” as it should be pronounced in one’s best New Canaan accent. But the resort runways say different: Indeed, John Galliano’s show for Dior made the opposite point, and in spectacular fashion. His Lilly Pulitzer palette, boxy Jackie O. tops and scarf-wrapped hats were tailor-made – literally – for the ladies-who-lunch, and who summer in Capri, and who yearn for glamour and decorum in equal measure when they swathe themselves in lime chiffon for the latest mus-do function. In other words, the old school socialite is back.

There seems to be a multi-media longing for such throwback gals, the Nan Kempner and Pat Buckley types who kept couture in business, sat on charity boards and kept up appearances at the club. Susanna Salk’s new book, A Privileged Life: Celebrating WASP Style, got a great big launch at arriviste prepster shop J. Crew; meanwhile, the incomparable doyenne Iris Apfel snagged a feature and fashion spread in ACNE paper, the twice-yearly magazine published by Swedish style avatars ACNE. Does this mean everyone will be in shantung and Pepto-pink by winter? Hardly. But there is a trend afoot, one that aims to reassert the line between downtown and uptown, the difference between chic and cheap, or stuffy and subversive, if you prefer. Either way, class is in session.

Etsy's 2 Year Anniversary and Renegade Craft Fair


This was a busy weekend for the BurdaStyle team. We attended the 2 year anniversary party for Etsy, which was conveniently held the night before the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, so craftsters from all over had an even better excuse to head to the big city! The party started at 7 pm, though guests started trickling in as early as noon! As more and more people got here, you could hear giggling and screaming all over the place- we realized that a lot of these Etsy sellers knew each other from the Forums and were just meeting face to face for the first time! It was so exciting, we got a little jealous and can’t wait to meet the BurdaStyle members sometime too! Regardless, Happy Birthday, Etsy! And congratulations on an awesome party: this party was also unlike any party we’ve been to lately. Of course there was pizza, a bar, and a dance floor, but when was the last time you’ve been to a party with a piñata and a paper hat-making station! They even broadcasted the entire party over a web-cam in a chat room so friends of Etsy who couldn’t make it could still be a part of the fun!

Then came the Renegade Craft Fair! It was held in McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on both Saturday and Sunday! There were over 150 sellers, with everything from prints, stuffed animals, accessories, clothing, soaps, and stationary. We met lots of people who make things, write about making things, buy things that other people make, and want to start making things. It’s so encouraging to see so many people who are not only interested in making, but have making as an intrinsic part of their lives! We spread the word about BurdaStyle, since everything we do is also about making, and hope to have some new members after this fun-filled weekend!

Old men's shirts to new Emily blouse


Browsing the web i came across a post on

“>CRAFT showing people at the ”

“>Maker Faire re-making their shirts during the ” ">Swap-o-rama-rama. They cut up their shirts, added extra pieces to them, patched them or changed them into something entirely different such as a sarong skirt. This got me thinking, it’s not often i use items of clothing to make something new, instead i tend use lengths of fabric found at the thrift store or given to me by other sewers clearing out their stash. So i decided that my project for this week should be Swap-O-Rama-Rama style and made with recycled clothing. Rummaging around in my donated boxes of goodness i came across a bunch of men’s shirts that had their collars removed and some of the sleeves, perfect for making Emily! So they were washed, dried and ironed then i cut across the shoulders to lay them out flat. It took a bit of time to fit my pattern pieces to the shirt fabric and decide on the colour combination. Luckily they fit without me having to piece fabrics together although i think this could look cool and may try it next time. I did cheat a little, my Emily blouse is not entirely recycled, yes i know i’m a bad refashioner.I wanted to use a pretty fabric for the collar and cuffs so used a scrap piece from my stash, no money spent, honestly! I think it worked out well.

Is there anything i’d change? maybe the length but other than that no. This is a great pattern, i’m really pleased with how the blouse turned out considering this is only the second time i’ve actually made a blouse with a collar. My first attempt was made when i was first learning to sew, i think i made the collar without interfacing and messed up the top stitching, i was still proud of it though and did wear it. I know i’ll be making more from this pattern now that my sewing skills have improved since then!

You can see more details of how i recycled Emily in this How To.

Now onto my next project, after counting your votes it seems dress number 6 is the favourite so check out my next column for details of my adventures finding fabrics and how i make my version of the dress.

Former columns of NikkiShell:Don’t Find Wanted Fabric – But Still Sew!,Finding Recycled Fabrics and Franzi Vest Made from Thrift Store Skirts.

Embroidery- Gone Wild!


Want to get wild and crazy with your sewing machine tonight!? Ever wonder what your machine would make if you weren’t controlling it? Push the feed dog down and let the machine do the thinking. Try free-form embroidery. This is one of my favorite projects to do, especially after sewing and pattern making for a long time, because it requires hardly any technical expertise and looks pretty awesome! It’s also incredibly easy and relaxing. Here is a detail of a rose motif I attached to a tote bag. All you need is some water soluble backing and whatever scraps, trims, yarns, and ribbons you can garner, and you are all set. (Well, you also need a sewing machine. . . ). You can check out my how to, which also shows how to use this technique to make your own fabric!

Trend: SUN OUT


True story: When I was in junior high, I washed my hair with Woolite.

Not all the time, but every once in a while, when “things,” as I called my hair back then, got a little “extreme” (my mom’s word.) We’d been in Florida about a year when the Woolite tip came, from a Supercuts stylist with a mass of thick curls just like mine. Things had gotten a little extreme: Humidity, daily sunshine, swim team chlorine, saltwater at the beach, the overabundance of product I put in my hair every day to try to deal with the bleached, frizzy, freaked-out mess on top of my head. This is what happens to hair when your life is endless summer.

I don’t recommend Woolite. I cite my Woolite experience as a cautionary tale about summer hair, only. We all love those insouciant sunny highlights and a few straight-from-the-beach tousles, but take heed: I watched the pilot episode of “John from Cincinatti” the other day, glimpsing endless summer hair again on the heads of surfers, and really, it is only a look that pulls off with a wetsuit and a thousand-yard stare out of bloodshot eyes. Protect thyself. Frederic Fekkai has made it easy, launching three elegant, easy-to-use, effective new products for summer, my favorite of which is Wash & Wear, spray-on shampoo that lifts the oil, toxins, dirt and product out of your hair without exposing it to the strip-search of water. Spray, re-style, and head out into the blazing sunshine safe in that Wash & Wear, like all Fekkai’s Summer Hair products, is charged with the brand’s proprietary suncreen technology, Solarshield, I don’t recommend not showering not showering all summer. That would be a little extreme.

Winner of the Fabric Contest: LindaL


We are so proud to announce our winner for the Fabric Contest. Her name is Linda and in her blog she writes how she felt: “I hardly ever win anything, so to respond to a pattern/fabric contest and to be told you won, well I am just truly tickled pink.”

Linda was so kind to tell us a little bit about herself and how she started sewing:

I am a native of a small city in Virginia called Danville. I have a degree in Social Work and have been a CEO or senior level staff person working with two non-profit, charitable organizations that serve adults and/or children with disabilities or disadvantaging conditions.

I started sewing when I was around five years old using a Singer sewing machine that you turned the crank to sew. (I still have this machine.) I made a small quilt with the help of my grandmother who was a great seamstress/sewist. I inherited the “sewing gene” from her. She later bought me a Singer sewing machine that was rather old and only had a straight stitch. My husband and I were both going to college at the time and to have clothes I sewed them myself.

My career took me to various locations throughout the United States (Texas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania and back to Virginia). I continued to sew my clothes even though my salary improved with each move and I could easily buy what I wanted (within reason). However I have always enjoyed making my own clothes as I know I will not see someone wearing the same suit, dress, or skirt. Plus it is specifically sewn to fit my measurements.

While living in Florida I made wearable art jackets as well as purses and sold them in a small consignment store just for one of a kind item. As a result of this, I had two ladies commission me to make them wearable art jackets for St. Patrick’s Day. I enjoyed doing this and was pleased that they thought enough of my work to have me make them special jackets. However, I truly like the pleasure and leisure of sewing for myself and family members so did not pursue making garments for sale.

I love to sew and when possible I take online classes or read about new sewing techniques to continue to hone and improve my sewing skills. I love reading other sewing blogs and started one of my own over a 18 months ago. Blogs are a great source for sharing and learning.

Please also check out Linda’s blog that she started 18 months ago, and of course her member profile!

Featured Member: fialottajansson


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

I was born in Kronoby and am now living in Vasa, Finland, in a little house with my husband.

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

My mother had a good sewing machine and I always wanted to sew something when I was younger. I think I made Barbie clothes as one of the first things I sewed. I made t-shirts for myself and tried to make pants out of my own pattern, but that did not work out. That was the last thing I sewed for years. I’m unfortunately very unpatient and if it doesn’t go my way I give up. Nowadays I’m working on my patience when it comes to sewing.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Right now it plays a very big role. I am on leave of absence for a year from my work as a youth leader (to be able to be a singer and a songwriter full time) and I have more time to create and sew now than before. I have found new inspiration to make my own clothes, a big reason is my pledge to wardrobe refashion that forbids me to buy anything newly manufactured. I have also been collecting and buying fabrics over the years as I love thrifting and I feel driven to sew something out of them. Planning and sewing is a source of creativity and great handicraft and I live for that creativity, I also knit and crochet even more than sewing.

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

I am still as stubbarn as before and do not want to follow ready made patterns but make up my own designs. As I am not that skilled in drawing patterns and sewing it takes me a whole lot longer to sew something cause I have to rip up and start over several times. But I love the learning process and figuring out how it has to be done to work, I guess that is the difference from when I was younger. But I am taking more and more help from ready made patterns.

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

I made a big bunny in patch work for my best friends newborn baby, so soft animals are a favourite and to make something for children. Right now I am making a top in my own design for a friend of mine. She liked the one I made for myself and wanted one for herself.

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

I really like the designs, because that is what I miss the most, trendy and original and different. I have found those designs here. I also love browsing the site for other peoples creations. I get a lot of inspiration here!

If you want to find out more about fialottajansson, check out her member profile and her

BurdaStyle on GeekEntertainment TV


Watch our newest interview on GeekEntertainment TV here. We loved chatting with our new friend Eddie Codel. We talked about the site concept, open source, and the new design and features that will be launched in July!

Pillowcases- Not Just For the Sleepy!


I used to tell everyone that I loved everything beginning with the letter B. Bikes, Bears, Bagels, Bananas (oh, bananas. . . ), Boys, etc. . . I realized that while I will always like these things, I’m ready for a new letter to tell my friends about (who, obviously, are always more than excited to hear about my feelings on a variety of mundane things, including but not limited to, the alphabet, shower curtains, coasters, and strawberry milkshakes).



Get ready for the summer patterns!!! Last week we posted our drawings and asked you which ones of our next patterns you would like to see first. Yesterday we had our big photo shoot and are almost ready to begin with our summer fashion. Now you can win the same fabric, that we chose to make our samples in. Check out the four swatches you see above and let us know which one you think goes with which drawing. Let’s say the red one (A) goes with dress (#7), write fabric (A) goes with garment (#7)… Write your answer to The one who gets the most correct answers the fastest will win enough of one of the fabric for the corresponding outfit. We will announce the winner on Monday. BEST OF LUCK

TREND: Chick Habit


Welcome to a summer blockbuster season like none other. Hollywood has already pummeled the public with three mega-sequels (Spiderman, Shrek, Pirates), and Ocean’s 13, Hostel II, Fantastic Four and the final installment of Die Hard will soon be upon us. That’s June. There’s more exploding stuff, grand guignol, fart jokes and CGI in store for July and August.

It’s tempting to imagine the summer cineplex as a cool storage facility for our many brains, just stick it in there, boys, won’t be needing my mind for a while. But consider this, as you debate rocking the A.C. at a matinee performance of Transformers: Robot chic is so last year. A more fashion-forward chill-out flick? La Vie En Rose, the story of Edith Piaf. T the gutter girl who sang la France through World War II, Piaf makes for a compelling subject, and actress Marion Cotillard scorches the earth in her portrayal. But never mind all that. The movie is kind of meh, in that tepidly melodramatic way of biopics, but pay attention to the clothes. Fall’s ‘40s-influenced accessories, silhouettes and beauty do’s are all over the screen, and you don’t even have to read the subtitles to get the message. Call it a chick flick if you want, but bear in mind: They called Piaf The Sparrow.

The arthouse is the place for a chick flick fix this summer – notably excepting Knocked Up, which is basically a chick flick for guys. Ageless indie queen Parker Posey reigns over Broken English, the feature debut by Zoe Cassavetes, a great place to pick up tips on how to wear peasant blouses and big sunglasses without looking like a Mischa Barton-wannabe, and another master class in acting from Gena Rowlands. Then comes Evening, based on Susan Minot’s best-selling novel and a master’s master class in acting, with Dame Eileen Atikins, Dame Vanessa Redgrave, Dame Vanessa Redgrave’s daughter, Meryl Streep, Meryl Streep’s daughter, Glenn Close (but not her daughter), Toni Collette and, last but not least, Claire Danes, who has the enviable task of love-juggling Hugh Dancy, her current real-life fling, and Mr. Little Children, Patrick Wilson. Kind of a blockbuster, as a matter of fact.

Featured Member: Anda


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

The first thing I ever made were drawings, but the very first thing I ever sewed was this astoundingly monstrous jersey knit outfit for a Girl Scout badge. Ohh, I wish I still had that thing. It was amazing. Amazingly terrible. The fabric was unbelievably ugly—-I think it has a pineapple print—-and about five seconds into the pattern I freaked out from the difficulty of it all and demanded that my mom finish the entire project for me. I was 10 years old and I actually have never used a store-bought pattern since then. Sometimes I try, but I always end up panicking and just drawing my own patterns.

2. What role does sewing play in your life?

I taught myself to sew so I could avoid getting a normal job and instead just sit around all day at home making stuff to sell on Then after a year of that I accidentally got an abnormal job working for Etsy, and now I teach other people how to cheat at their intimidating sewing projects. I love cheating.

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

I hate screwing up and having to undo everything via the seam ripper. This happens alot, as I hardly ever measure, iron, pin or do much planning at all. So actually, my least favorite thing is probably doing most anything you’re supposed to do to avoid sewing disasters. I really enjoy connecting things to one another.

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

I want to make my fiance dinner. He’s been away at school for two months now and I miss him.

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

I became immediately addicted to BurdaStyle the moment I started poking around and playing. I really like being able to upload How Tos and link them to related creations. Alot of the stuff I find most exciting I haven’t even tried yet, like adding video. I think the site has so much potential and its only going to get better and better as more people use it.

Anda is our office neighbor, we love her energy, never ending creativity and all the diamonds she makes that bring sparkle in our lives! She is working in the EtsyLabs and is still a seller at Etsy, check out her shop stopsandstarts. To find out more about Anda check out her member profile, her website and this Wikipedia link. And guess what: Anda is getting married to Pete and she will sew her own wedding dress and share her endeavor step by step on the site! So stay tuned for Anda’s make of the wedding dress!


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