Pillowcases- Not Just For the Sleepy!

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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).

WIN FABRIC for the SUMMER!!

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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 answers@burdastyle.com. 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

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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

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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 Etsy.com. 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!

Competition Deadline Extension

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The deadline for our pattern and design competition is extended to 15 July 2007. We’ve received several worried mails that were concerned about international shipping procedures and the time that takes. Many of you were afraid that because of overseas shipping they would miss the deadline. So, we quickly decided to extend it! Keep in mind to finish your pattern or design before June 15th, that gives you a whole month of shipping time, that should be sufficient!

Pretty Pretty Piping!

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Piping is a terrific detail that can be used to accentuate style lines in clothing or add contrast and interest. It can be used in projects for the home as well. It’s quite simple, but can seem daunting to new sewers. No fret! Here’s a simple way to make sewing in piping into a task that is no sweat! It’s so easy, I was almost disappointed that I didn’t have as many of my trademark “Photoshopped” images to post in this How To! Also, this How To can illustrate a bit more of what we are doing over here in BurdaStyle Land. You’ll have the option to test this How To out sooner than you think!

TREND: Birk It Out

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When a young designer sends a breakthrough collection down the runway, the shoes aren’t usually hot topic number one among the attending cognoscenti. But when the the first model sashayed down the catwalk at Sari Gueron’s Spring/Summer show last September, every eyebrow in the front row shot up a mile: Birkenstocks?

Learn How To Screen Print Garments

Our office is placed amidst lots of craft activities and today we decided to give you some insight of what’s happening around us. Our friends and office mates Bre Pettis from MAKE: magazine and Matt Stinchcomb from Etsy filmed a super How To about screen printing. This is a great way to add some decoration and fun to garments!

For more of Bre’s projects check out his podcast and join the EtsyLabs to make it yourself!

Featured Member: Stacysews

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

If you talk to my mother, she would mention that when I was little, I used to ‘design’ Barbie clothes. Apparently, I spent a great deal of time drawing elaborate gowns for her and at times trying to sew them up (by hand). I didn’t use a sewing machine until an 8th grade home economics class where we were told to follow a pattern to sew up a sweatshirt. Unfortunately, that garment didn’t turn out quite as expected! I didn’t try using a sewing machine again until 8 or 9 years ago (I made a pajama set for my daughter and had much better results) – and I haven’t stopped sewing since!

2. What role does sewing play in your life?

Sewing is my way to relax, unwind, and express my creative side. I like sewing things for myself, family, and friends – trendy garments, bags, even an occasional quilt…just about anything that requires fabric and thread! If I’m not sewing on my machines, I try to find some time each day to either trace or cut a pattern, read sewing blogs\websites and magazines, cut fabric, or shop for fabric to add to my stash. Did I mention that I’m a self proclaimed fabric junkie?

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

While I don’t mind making modifications in my patterns or even tweeking the fit of a garment during it’s construction, I really don’t like having to make alterations to finished clothing (like ready to wear). I don’t even like having to re-sew on a button if it’s fallen off!

I really like the whole process of taking a piece of fabric and turning it into something new and beautiful. And like everyone else, I can’t wait to get to the point where I can try the garment on and see what it’s going to look like once it’s finished! It’s also very rewarding to be able to wear your new outfit out (or show off a new bag) and be able to tell people that you made it yourself.

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

One of my favorite things to make are costumes. They lend themselves to endless design and embellishment possibilities, not to mention the fact that you can wear absolutely anything and no one will think a thing of it! For quite some time I’ve wanted to make a gown from the Renaissance period – I believe this would be a perfect way to play with lots of fabrics, trims, embroidery designs, and other adornments that will really bring the garment to life. I would also like to try my hand at making an art quilt – I think it’s amazing that you can take scraps of cloth and turn them into fabric portraits, fantastic abstract designs, or landscapes that can hang on a wall!

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

I love the idea that Burda Style is an all inclusive community – you can talk to talented people who share the same passion as you (fashion and sewing), if you don’t know a sewing term you can look it up on the site, you can see other member’s creations, and you can even learn new tips and tricks in the how to section! My favorite part about the site has to be the patterns, though. Not only are they trendy and stylish, but are always available in the comfort of your own home (perfect for those late night sewing inspirations)!

I’m very excited about some of the upcoming changes as Burda Style moves from beta testing to their official launch! What I am most looking forward to getting notification of comments posted to my finished garments, how to’s, and forum threads. I think it will be a perfect way to keep on top of the site!

Stacysews also just created a podcast about BurdaStyle, which you can check out here
If you want to find out more about Stacysews, check her member profile, her website and her
Etsy store!

Forum section of new site

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Our new forum pages will be much more intractive: Members will be informed via RSS or email of new posts in their thread. It will also be more visually appealing. Every member will be displayed with avatar. Posts can include links, pictures, and video!

Don't Find Wanted Fabric - But Still Sew!

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Making from recycled fabrics is proving to be hard work sometimes. As i have mentioned before i want to recycle to save money and be more environmentally friendly but when you have a project in mind, like i did this week, it can sometimes be difficult to find a recycled fabric that will suit and buying new is very tempting. My project this week has been the new pattern Anda, such a fabulous dress and a dress i so much wanted to make but did not have the required fabric type in my recycled stash.

The pattern calls for linen, viscose-rayons or crepe. I was expecting to have to make a trip out to scour the thrift stores, which to be honest i really didn’t have the time for this week (i had a birthday to celebrate and a massage to enjoy!), when i received an email from a blogging friend: She had been clearing out her stash and came up with a pile of fabrics that she no longer wanted and thought i may make some use of them. Are you kidding me? Of course i can! She popped them in the post and they arrived a few days ago. So, now there was no need to go out or to spend any money because amongst them was a piece of green knit jersey, roughly a metre in length. I decided that even though it wasn’t the recommended fabric for Anda i thought it could be a good replacement. It could give the dress a more casual day look, which with my lifestyle i need a lot more than a dress for a night out.

Due to the size of the piece of fabric and a small mark i needed to shorten the dress. I changed the pattern slightly to suit my fabric by twin top stitching the neck and armhole edges using a twin needle. I also used the leftover strip of fabric with the mark hiding the mark on the underside, to make a belt as an alternative to adding casings and ties therefore using up the whole piece of fabric.

Although i am happy with how it turned out i would have liked to have made the dress smaller, i did use the smallest size on the pattern (38) but i feel the dress gapes a little too much at the armholes. Shortening the dress worked out well though as i’m only 5’ 2’, i think i took off around 4 or 5 inches in total and it seems to be the perfect length.

It amazes me how thoughtful people can be, not only did i gain new-to-me fabrics from this fellow blogger but she also helped me to save money and the fabric was put to good use.

You can see more details of how i made Anda in this How To.

My current project is Emily but i would also like to get you, the readers involved in my projects. I’d like for you to choose what i make next from these patterns, leave a comment and once a pattern has been chosen i shall then document my adventures here. This should be interesting!

Former columns of NikkiShell: Finding Recycled Fabrics and Franzi Vest Made from Thrift Store Skirts.

How To: Make a Mock Fly-Front

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At some point or another, everyone comes to this decision: Do I make a Mock Fly-Front or Real Fly-Front zipper. . . You think to yourself, Do I reaaaaally want those extra few pattern pieces??. After much desperate deliberation, you, like many others, will decide that the Mock Fly-Front is the way to go. So, in preparation for this day, I have taken it upon myself to make an illustrated how-to which will help you celebrate this decision, with “Photoshopped” photographs and explanations galore! Here’s a hint- you are likely to find this very helpful when sewing one of the new patterns from our upcoming collection- keep your eyes open! And stay tuned—- I smell a Real Fly-Front How To cooking in the oven

TREND: Here Comes the Bride

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People get married all the time, for all reasons, in all ways, but to believe the media, June is the month when a certain kind of wedding prevails. One need travel no farther than the word “Bridezilla” to summon the paradigmatic June nuptial, a choreographed, soundtracked, camera-ready piece of theater in the round in which every detail must be rehearsed, and feature. The sighing floral arrangements, the ring bearer fumbling on his pillow for the glistening band, the ice sculptures, the first dance, the mothers with their damp eyes, the shellacked bridesmaids, the seared tuna hors d’oeuvres and the towering cake. And, oh yeah, the bride and groom themselves, stars of this spectacle, the players with the important lines: “I do.”

Sneak Preview: New Pattern

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Haven’t found the pattern you’re looking for? Vote which patterns we should post next! We’re constantly working on bringing new and revamping old patterns – so have a look at the new designs we will start uploading mid-June. Please tell us which ones you would like to see first – write a comment! – and we will be delighted to follow your wishes!

Featured Member: Mirela

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

As a child, I started sewing using a little toy sewing machine, making pretty dresses for my dolls. I remember as if it was yesterday although it happened about 17 years ago: I was watching my mother sewing a pink outfit for my birthday party and I loved that outfit! It was the first time I showed interest in sewing. Not long after, I started sewing myself and made a circle skirt for my Barbie doll out of leftover pink fabric. The first real clothing item I made for myself was a classic plaid shirt. All along the way, I had benefited from assistance and help from my mother, to whom I cannot give enough thanks for instilling in me her passion for sewing.

What role does sewing play in your life?

I try to keep sewing from taking over my life. Although sewing is my hobby, it requires a lot of time and passion and I try to fit it into my schedule without ignoring my family, friends, or other domestic activities. Sometimes I feel like something is missing if my drawers do not overflow with fabrics. Sewing is a time when I can be myself, with my own imagination trying to shape it into reality and Burda has played a major role in making this possible.

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

I enjoy sewing something from start to end but I dislike making alterations to existing clothes. I’m very patient when I sew, but when it comes to using the seam ripper too often, I can get a little bit frustrated.

After filling a shopping cart with fabrics, my favorite part is seeing them take shape. I like that first fitting session, where I can finally see how the outfit will look like. If it looks good and I get positive feedback from everyone, especially my husband that is the most rewarding experience. It is amazing how Burda patterns speed things up so that I can start sewing in the morning and have a beautiful and unique dress ready for the evening out.

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

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamt about sewing my own wedding dress and that dream came true. Now, I would love the chance to sew wedding dresses again for my girlfriends when they get married. Even with classic designs, wedding gowns allow so much room for creativity plus they get to be worn at one of the most special events in one’s life. As far as future projects, I’d like to make fun toys and blankets for my nephew Ryan, but also try something different like sewing kite surfing equipment. Right now, I’m working on high waistline dresses in collaboration with a friend who hand crochets the bustier part.

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

I love the fact that BurdaStyle is about open source patterns. I really appreciate the fashion collections and patterns available as a free download. I look for inspiration and ideas on BurdaStyle, and the members are very talented persons from which I have a lot to learn. I also enjoy the tips posted in the How Tos database would love to see more instructional videos added.
As an improvement to the site, I would like to see notifications to help stay in touch with what’s going on in the BurdaStyle community. I’m also looking forward to seeing how BurdaStyle will integrate with Etsy stores.

Mirela is anxious to find out more about other users and said that our last featured user Squirrellypoo almost took the words out of her mouth. If you want to find out more about Mirela (who also shares many How Tos), check her member profile, her website Cutting Edge herphoto gallery of things she’s made and her Etsy store Everywear!

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