hellagabrielle has posted a tutorial to her shirt to cardigan post over on Craftster. She’s provided simple instruction on transforming a plain t-shirt into a snazzy, fitted v-neck cardigan.



The Glasgow School of Art Library web site points to the Vintage Sewing Reference Library – a not-for-profit organization that provides free access to primary source reference material on vintage fashion and lifestyle.

If you’d like to make clothes on a smaller scale and for a good cause, check out the Twirls for Girls project where you can get free, downloadable patterns to make doll clothes that will be donated to local Toys for Tots campaigns.



The deadline for the Sublime Stitching/Chronicle Books Handmade Gift Swap is less than a month away. With some amazing gifts and fun sponsors, you’ll be grabbing your needles and floss faster than you can say, “Embroidery Hoop.”

Craftster and Alternation are sponsoring a Thrift Store inspired contest – Super Ugly to Super Awesome. The window to post submissions to Craftster is December 1-5. Read more here.



Head over to The Domestic Diva’s Disasters™ and follow through her Sewing Room Organization Challenge. The challenge is over, but her information and pictures are still great.

Not sure what holiday gift to get for your fellow sewing enthusiast? (or need a few hints to pass along to the folks who will be shopping for you?) Sewing Sunsets has a post on shopping for sewing fans that will help you find or hint for gifts for the sewing inclined.



A bit of inspiration and wool felt transform a thrift-store find into


“> fabulous new outfit.

Is your sewing room in disarray and need some inspiration to get it

cleaned out an organized? Check out Material Mama’s sewing room

makeover by her daughters.

Back to Basics- Laying out a Pattern


Just starting to use patterns? We know some people are hesitant to use patterns, but its really quite easy! Everything you need to know is right on the pattern, and once you start, you’ll never stop! But before you start, you need to understand the importance of laying out a pattern. In the fashion industry, the layout of the pattern is one of the most important processes, because it maximizes the use of the fabric and that can really help cut costs in the long run. Whether or not you are a pro, you can check out the cutting layout provided with a pattern in order to save yourself future frustrations that can occur if, say, you are like me, and just cut any which way until you realize you are out of fabric! So whether you are a beginner, either new to patterns or new to sewing all together, or a veteran who could use a little brush up, you can check out this How To on layout out pattern pieces to make sure your pieces are cut perfectly every time. Hope its a helpful lesson for everyone, and look forward to next weeks How To for a translation of all those crazy symbols all over your patterns!



Starting today, we’ll have a regular Sewing Universe News Feed for you, written by our new member and contributor AverageJaneCrafter. We met her at STITCH AUSTIN where she told us that she reads ‘a million craft blogs a day". Perfect for us! She’ll be finding you news, tipps, and tricks from clothing reconstruction to organizing your sewing space. Posts contain 1 or 2 news and will be 1 – 2 blogged times per day, so stay tuned!

And here’s your first dose of web highlights:

VenusZine has a “No-Sweat” project guide on turning a sweatshirt into

a wrap-around skirt here

If your jeans are feeling a bit too full in the legs, grab the “Skinnies Tutorial” from underpressure on Threadbangers and skinny ’em

up! Look here.



One of the compensations of going to a Florida high school filled with stick-thin, beach-blond, snub-nosed cheerleaders was knowing that a decade or so hence, they’d all be fat and boring, working HR at some midsize company in the suburbs, shuttling between play dates, voting Republican. And I, meanwhile, would be all awesome somewhere: Trendsetting in the big city alongside people who waited, as I did, with bated breath for My Bloody Valentine’s follow-up to the shoegazing classic “Loveless;” dating someone like Ian Svenonius, Sassy magazine’s first and only “Sassiest Boy in America.”

That Sassy article came out in ’91, and to be honest, I hadn’t thought much about Ian Svenonius since. I remember listening to his first band, Nation of Ulysses, but I don’t really remember what they sounded like. I was semi-into his later band, Weird War, back when they were briefly called Scene Creamers, and I even went to see them play; about a year ago, I picked up a copy of the short film he’d made, but I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet. So, I’d thought about him, but I hadn’t thought much about him. For me, “Ian Svenonius” is like one of those words you have rolling around in your head that you never have reason to use. ‘Disembarkation,’ say, or ‘perambulate.’ He’s a totemic presence, a figurehead of natural cool.

But Svenonius is back on my brain, because the Sassiest Boy in America is up to his old tricks. The second season of his webisode series “Soft Focus” launched last month on, the mostly-excellent online network produced by VICE. “Soft Focus” sees Svenonius play Charlie Rose to a host of indie rock heroes, and season two takes the act to London town. There, he’s accomplished mission impossible by getting My Bloody Valentine mainman Kevin Shields to commit, on camera, to an MBV reunion and the sixteen years-awaited “Loveless” follow-up. It’s nice to see my figurehead restored to his rightful glory; it’s nicer yet to anticipate the album that I, like most MBV fans, despaired would never appear. Half a lifetime later, I feel the moment of my awesomeness has finally arrived. Take that, cheerleaders.



The darkest days of the year are upon us again. Last light leaves the sky long before we trudge home from work, and the cold of winter settles in. We bundle up, hunker down, put extra blankets on the bed. As we settle down for our long winter’s nap, instead of visions of sugarplums, let’s imagine something even more delightful and inspiring . . . SUMMER IN THE CITY!

What do we want to wear when the days get long and warm again, darlings? We want you to dream up the summer fashion forecast, design it, and share it with everyone on BurdaStyle!
Though we decided to leave Workingland and instead jump into a world a bit closer to home, we will continue to look for submissions in these three categories: Women’s Trend, Women’s Plus Size, and Men’s Basic.

We hope you might find some time over this Thanksgiving Holiday to get started, though you don’t have to rush that much because the deadline isn’t a week away this time! But be sure to have your easy to wear, stylish, and creative designs to us by December 22nd! For more information and registration information, see here.

Liz- Almost Com-pleat!


It seems that I had cut out the correct size for my Liz blouse all along, what wasn’t right was that my printer’s settings had been changed somehow and was printing the pattern out larger than it should have been hence the very large muslin I had to show you last week. So this week I started out by altering my muslin to a more suitable size and marking any changes I needed to make straight onto the fabric. I’ve lengthened the blouse slightly so it will cover my bump and I also marked just under the bust on either side where I intend to start the inverted pleats in the princess seam. I printed out the pattern again and cut it out in the correct size then I went ahead and used my intended fabric. My blouse is now sewn together and all that is needed now are the inverted pleats. I’m wondering how wide to make them, maybe about 8-10cm? I’ve also realized that I should have cut the pleat extensions as part of the front pattern piece but it’s a little too late for that now. I’m thinking a contrasting fabric would look nice inside the pleats, maybe a white or green to match the colours of the fabric pattern. Once the pleats are in I’ll hem the blouse and I’m done, except for a ribbon or band to tie around under the bust. What do you think would be best, some matching ribbon or a band made with the same fabric inside the pleats which I would attach to the side seams and tie at the front? I’m leaning towards the matching bands I think.

I’ve spotted a finished Lydia creation here on the site already, altered to have long sleeves and a sash around the waist. Very cute! For my version of Lydia I was going to start with the basic pattern and add a little extra in the front for my bump but I’ve been inspired and think I may try making it into the v-neck dress instead. I need airy clothing and by making the dress rather than the top I won’t need to wear trousers. I have some red jersey that has been sitting in my stash for far too long which would be perfect for this pattern. I’ll probably lengthen it to just below the knee and add the extra in the front for my bump. I’m also going to give the dress short sleeves since it’s so hot here at the moment, I’ve been sweltering this past few days in our 38 degree summer heat, I’ve even taken to switching on the air conditioning and I rarely do that! Being pregnant in the heat isn’t much fun, I feel slow and sluggish and all I want to do is lay around like a beached whale (I feel like one!). I did treat my aching feet to a pedicure today though, much deserved I think!

As always, please leave your comments and suggestions below, I really do love reading them and having you involved with what I make.



Last Saturday we went for a quick trip to Austin Texas to check out AUSTIN STITCH, which we think is the hottest DIY fashion show around, with a fun ‘Guerrilla Craft Bazaar’. During the day we ran into old and new friends: We saw our sweet member Kristen (1), who won two tickets from us, our old friends Corinne and Rob (3)from the fabulous Threadbanger (BurdaStyle was featured on Threadbanger here.), had a quick chat with the amazing organizer Jennifer Perkins (4) who heads the The Naughty Secretary Club and finally met our contest winner Melissa (5) – whose design is produced and will be shot this coming Monday in our photo shoot!

We saw Bradley Baumkirchner (2, on the left) from Project Runway and and were impressed by the artistry and creativity of the fashion show. You can see some of the wonderful designs in our picture collage! Especially spectacular were Tina Sparkles’ intricate and glittery embroidery that displayed American presidents. Also impressive were all dressed up and shy, the romantic looks of the Boudoir Queen, Ramonster and many more…

BurdaStyle featured on Mashable!


BurdaStyle got featured as one of the Top 25 fashion sites! They put us in the category Outfit Tools (nice!) and describe us as “A site for adventurous fashionistas to try their hand at creating their own clothes with patterns, tips, a forum and more.”. Thank you! Check it out here.



The passing of Halloween can mean only one thing: Candy canes, Christmas trees, tinny versions of “Little Drummer Boy” on the drugstore P.A. system. The holiday season is here, and with it comes the annual delivery of sparkle and shine to dress departments throughout the land. This season stands to be even more sparkly and shiny than usual, inasmuch as the key look from now until New Year’s is flapper-inspired and as decadent as the roaring ‘20s themselves. The trend has its origin in last year’s Poiret exhibit at the Met’s Costume Institute, and got its legs at the Fall/Winter shows, with their unapologetic Poiret debt. Proenza channeled the master best – their opulent cocoon coats and cloche hats were pure Dorothy Parker and basically to-die-for – but it’s at Kate Moss’s for Topshop that you’ll find the pithiest expression of the Gatsby mood. Spotty until now, Moss’s line is finally living up to its notoriety with this Holiday collection. Think: Dropwaist dresses chandeliered with beads, lace boleros, reflective patent leather accessories, gold and silver lame. And, like Moss herself, think simple: At last month’s Fashion Rocks outing in London, Moss’s flapper look was stripped down; she’d modernized the aesthetic by simplifying it. Needless to say, she was a roaring success.

Time for Turkey


Its Turkey time!! Time to go home and spend some quality time with the fam, but more importantly time to enjoy some nice home cooked food! Who is not excited about that. We certainly are and we wanted to share that with you, by presenting you our mini cooking collection!

The BurdaStyle apron makes you look like a cooking champ, but more importantly it will keep your other pretty clothes clean, while the mittens save your hands from burns (sometimes I feel, there should be mittens to iron looking at my messed up hands). We would love to see, how you look when you cook, if you do! If you are like me, you rather hang out in the kitchen, watching others preparing wonderful dishes, but even then you may want to consider wearing an apron, all the trying may get you just as dirty as the cook!

A little too large!?


Am I glad I took my own advice from last week and made a muslin of Liz?!! According to my measurements a size 42 is the best size for me to make at the moment which is what my Shari dress was. So naturally I went ahead and cut out the size 42 pattern for the Liz blouse. I’m thinking this was a big mistake, it’s HUGE!! How can one pattern be so different from another? Anyway, the muslin sort of fits around my bump but is just too big across the bust. I’m going to need to make a smaller size and go with the alteration I suggested last week, this size is just no good at all. Not only did I sew up a huge blouse but I sewed some of the pieces on upside down twice and needed to unpick and sew again. My brain seems to be in slow motion this week, I’m blaming the dreadful cold and cough I’m suffering from, I need to blame something right? Ugh. Do you have any advice for making this blouse?

I’ve worn my Shari dress a few times this past week and have received numerous compliments both in person and on my blog. I’m really pleased with how it turned out and I have decided (when I have worked out how to add an extra 4 hours to the day) that I’ll be making more. I have added to my how-to. I have seen a number of other Shari’s here on the site made for the Shari. I’m amazed at how different each one is from the other considering they come from the same pattern. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to put your own spin on something and make it your own? Who wants to buy the latest trend from the high street when we can sew up our own clothes and alter them to suit our shapes and individual styles?! Check out Kallers 75c Shari, a true Refashionista if I ever saw one and she shares some modification tips too. Lacheen has made some changes to her fabulous polka dot Shari by changing the sleeves and adding ribbon and lace, so girly and romantic yet I think there’s a little rock chick going on there too! And Juliamomo has given her version a classy look by using black silk fabric. A nice take on the ‘little black dress’ I think.

Are you taking part in the Lydia Sewalong? I’m hoping to take part and will most probably make the top as it is but with a bump alteration. Then once i know how it fits this way I may move onto making more from the same pattern but with different modifications.

Now, where is that measuring tape?


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