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Vote for your Favorite in the Recycled Mini Challenge


Vote for your favorite recycled creations in the Recycle Mini Challenge! You have until 11:59 pm on the 4th of November, that’s only one week! You can browse through all the entries by going to the Creations section and clicking the “Mini Challenge” category, the pictures are also displayed when you cast your vote!

The Metal Shop


Today my rep asked me if I would like to participate in a pop-up store called THE METAL SHOP curated by an arts organization called Performa. Performa is the first non-profit visual and performance art organization in NYC with board members including RoseLee Goldberg, Yoko Ono, Cindy Sherman and many world-renowned artists. This year, along with the Bauhaus inspired Metal Ball, they are launching a pop-up store which will take place at the Issey Miyake Tribeca Flagship store, where there are a lot of metal architectural designs and fixtures…In the shop they have asked various artists & designers to provide them with metallic pieces of art, clothing or accessories. Today is October 27th…can I have something ready by November 6th?!

They have asked me to show some of my jewelry. The pieces will be on sale in the pop-up shop on consignment. I provide a wholesale price & they add on a small percentage, thus if the piece sells, they will donate their small percentage to their foundation and the designers take their share. As well as a good amount of press. A win-win situation for all. It seems to be getting a lot of attention & I am anxious to have some of my work in the shop- and in Issey Miyake‘s flagship store? It’s amazing! He is one of the most innovative artists designing clothing…I have this book called Radical Fashion, the pages full of my most favorite designers, and he has a spread of an amazing installation he did with gigantic rolls of knitwear he designed- look it up! I believe the accompanying installations are at the V&A Museum in London at the moment. Oh, the Chanel Pod has arrived in Central Park, has anyone been? I am trying to find the time to check it out myself.

Vintage sewing videos


Does anyone else absolutely love vintage sewing information? I’ve got a small collection of vintage patterns and sewing books of my own, but I just love seeing how our mothers and grandmothers sewed in their time with the fashions of the day. I’m proud to carry on this tradition in my family, but I was never lucky enough to be gifted with much more than a pattern or two…

But vintage fashion isn’t just restricted to printed materials – thanks to the internet, we can now watch some great vintage sewing videos, too! have a lot of pre-1975 fashion videos (including this home sewing gem from 1948!), and over on my side of the Atlantic,

the BBC have a “What We Wore” archive collection (UK viewers only, I’m afraid!) including a series of “Clothes That Count” shows from the late sixties that demonstrate how to sew your own shirt waister, suits, and coats using only “paper patterns”!

If you’re still wanting more, have a look at these vintage sewing ads on YouTube. I’ll have to start thinking of BurdaStyle as “our own private club” now, like the Sewing Center shown in the ad!



Don’t forget that today is the last day to submit your creation for the recycle mini challenge. Have it uploaded by midnight tonight to be in the running for some fabulous prizes! See more details here.


Details about how to vote will come soon.

Threadbanger Halloween Party: Win a Sewing Machine Costume Contest


Our friends from Threadbanger are throwing a very promising DIY Halloween party. They promise a Zombie transformation booth, a DJ, The Delyle Sisters, Live band Midnight Fistfight, organic catering, goody bags, plus a costume contest where you can win a sewing machine!

If you’re in New York next Thursday October, 30th pass by the Mercury Lounge in New York City at 8 PM.

Featured Member: Lalunanueva


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

I was born in Belgrade, Serbia, which is where I live now. I spent a couple of years in NYC and I go there as often as I can.

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

I am not sure what was the first thing I made by myself, as I started sewing when I was very young, helping my mum and aunt. I devoted more time to sewing by myself only a few years ago, when I found the perfect piece of fabric. Its funny, but my sewing machine was broken at the time, so I made a T-shirt by hand.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Sewing is one of the few things in life that I can dedicate myself to completely, and that I enjoy in whole

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

I dislike the beginning of the process. I don’t like doing the patterns… but, when it comes down to buying the fabrics and finishing of the piece I simply adore it and am capable of working for hours without taking a break until its finished.

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

Nothing special, but I like designing clothes for my friends. It makes them very happy to own something I designed especially for them. At the same time they are one of a kind and unique presents.

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

Thank you, thank you, thank you… I remember the period when I discovered your website, and since then I keep being inspired by all the artistic people on your website.

7. What is your motto?

Reuse, recycle, reduce. At least a third of the things I own (furniture, clothes…) I found at flea markets or found them on the street left all alone in the pouring rain… I love re-designing my mum’s and grandmum’s old clothes, for them to have a more modern look.

Lalunanueva‘s awesome creations are fun and lively, take a look at this pete shirt she created! She has recently made a women’s version of the pete which totally rocks

Quality Thread


If you’re like me, when I start a sewing project, I put very little thought into the type of thread I might use. However, quality thread, along with proper needle size will make a world of difference in your finished garment. This article, written by YLI, discuses how thread is made, it’s types, sizes and weight, and needle sizes. All the information (and more) that you need to arm yourself for your next project.

Deciding on Details and Hypothetical Gowns


Gosh I have had a terrible cold all weekend & am looking very much forward to a healthy, fruitful week. I was at Metro Textiles (on 38th & 8th in Manhattan’s garment district) last Friday & I ran into a lovely BurdaStyle member and it struck me that there are so many others out there in the world, like you & me, who love to create…and how special it is to be able to connect with these like-minds.

I stopped by my “factory”, which sounds worse than it is, it’s really a workshop where I bring my patterns to be fine tuned, graded, marked & have my pieces cut & sewn from, as I am preparing a special order for Thistle & Clover, a very cute shop that has just popped up in Fort Green, Brooklyn. Once you begin a wholesale line there are many headaches, hangups & after thoughts. It can be frustrating (and incredibly expensive) when really, you just want some dresses sewn, but since you’re making them in sizes 2,4,6,8,& 10, your pattern must be graded to each size, marked, cut & sewn. Pricey but completely necessary- so if you want to branch out into wholesale, you CAN do this one at a time and build up to a complete collection.

The fun parts come in when you get to decide how you’re going to hem the dress, (rolled) or what the seams will look like (french in this case)…and choosing label types & designing your hang-tags and order forms…it can be so exciting.

I was also asked to design a hypothetical inaugural gown for the hypothetical first lady (let us pray her surname is Obama) for a magazine feature, using one or all of the following: a potato sack (good lord), Laura Bush’s glitzy-glam silver sparking gown she wore for her hubby’s inauguration, and the American flag. Ideas? I need to turn it in by the end of the day!

Ciao for now!

Spot Trends and Follow Fashion


Little Sweethearts is great fashion resource for everything from food to trends to craft. The author, our very own Karencilla was featured here back in may. Follow her styles and take her advice, she has a very keen eye.

Pimp Your Sewing Machine and Win $100!


BurdaStyle Presents:
Pimp Your Sewing Machine Contest!
-Vamp, hack, and b’dazzle

What if your sewing machine flew like a spaceship, played music while you were sewing, or took part in the steampunk movement?

BurdaStyle would love to see your dream sewing machine!

Join us in the Pimp Your Sewing Machine Contest and win $100!

Send in drawings, video or photos of your pimped out machine to team(at)

The prize for a great pimped out sewing machine drawing will be $50. However, if you send in photos or video of your pimped out machine you could win $100!

Send in as many entries as you would like. Just get them to us by 11:59 pm, November 30th 2008

Once all of these are collected, you will get a chance to vote for your favorite!

Pattern Drafting


Are you curious about how sewing patterns are made? Or how some people can just look at something in a shop and then recreate it exactly at home? Pattern drafting is a fine art in itself, but if you want to start drafting on your own without expensive courses or textbooks, then you might want to try one of the projects from the fabulous Weekend Designer blog.

Just measure yourself accurately (but you’ve already done that, right?), get out a calculator, ruler, and some big sheets of paper and follow the directions. Who knows, this might be just the inspiration you need to start drafting your own patterns and sharing them on BurdaStyle!

Featured Member: QueenB


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

I live in Laakdal, a small village in the Flemish part of Belgium. The cities of Antwerp and Hasselt are just a 30 minute drive away. We bought our 1950’s house 4 years ago and have completely renovated it ourselves. At least my husband did, I was his clumsy sidekick…

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

As a young teenager I used to wear skirts all the time. So the first thing I made was a skirt made of a pair of old jeans. My mom showed me how to do it. It was my first experience using the sewing machine.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?

Sewing didn’t play a big role in my life until a couple of years ago. Before I only sewed to shorten pants or to make curtains. Now it is a true addiction. I’m totally hooked on it. In 2006 I started making lingerie and I opened an online shop on Etsy a year ago. My little enterprise takes up every free second of my time. I’m always designing, promoting, sewing,… and trying to combine it with a full time job as an administrative coordinator.

Besides my lingerie I try to make myself some regular clothing from time to time, using patterns from Burda WOF-magazine and other similar magazines. Most of those projects are posted here on BurdaStyle.

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

My least favorite thing is transferring pattern on to fabric and cutting it out. It always takes up so much time and I can hardly wait to start sewing.

My most favorite thing is being able to make something exactly how I pictured it in my head. When that happens I can feel really proud. It’s so rewarding making things yourself.

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

If my youngest sister would ever get married, I would love to make her wedding dress. That would be a real challenge, but I’m up for it. Now I only have to wait for her boyfriend to ask her…

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

I visit BurdaStyle a lot, for a lot of things: to find original patterns, for tips/how to’s on sewing techniques that I’m struggling with, to look at other people’s creations (which can be very inspiring!!!), … I have really learned a lot of things visiting this site. And looking at creations from other people has really showed me things that I never even thought of. I like that sewers worldwide now have a channel to communicate and learn from each other.

7. What is your motto?

‘Life is just a moment in space’

I don’t know where I ever heard this, but it says everything for me. I try to take the day as it comes and enjoy life. Life is so short, so you better make the best of it.

QueenB’s work is so much fun, she really knows how to use vibrant color and prints to their full advantage. As she mentioned she has a great online shop full of her fun/funky lingerie.

Choosing good fabrics


I recently made a knit dress that I loved – the style was perfectly “me”, it fit great and I felt great wearing it. So great, in fact, that I’ve worn it 3 or 4 times in the past month, including yesterday to the office. But to my horror, I noticed the back and right side were pilling already, and those little balls were just from everyday wear, as I hadn’t even washed it yet! The worst part was, the fabric I used was one that I’d seen lots of sewers rave over so I thought I’d be okay!

If you spend all that time getting the fit perfect and creating the garment of your dreams, then your time deserves a fabric that will stand up to the test of time. So how do you know if your fabric will be worthy of your masterpiece?

Look at fiber content – I’ve learned from experience that natural fabrics like cotton, wool, linen, silk, and bamboo feel so much nicer to me than synthetics like polyester and lycra. The latter definitely have a place in sportswear, but natural fibers tend to hold up better to everyday wear in my experience. If you’re not sure what your fabric is made of, a quick burn test can usually narrow it down.

Look at weight – some online fabric stores list the weight of the fabric in gsm, but other times you just need to infer to from hand and drape whether it’s suitable for your project. I once tried to use babywale corduroy to make trousers even though it was far too lightweight and was intended for shirts. The end result was that the corduroy rubbed away in the thighs in a matter of months! So a lightweight fabric might be great for a drapey blouse, but not so great for a jacket or coat!

Cheap fabrics are great for muslins – if you’ve already got some “what was I thinking?” fabrics in your stash, don’t throw them away! They’ve still got great uses for practice garments since they don’t have to stand up to repeated wearings or even leave the house!

There’s always a chance you’ll be caught out like I was with my knit, but if you follow this advice, you’ll hopefully be well on your way to fabric harmony!

Photo: onebyjude under Creative Commons

Recycle Mini Challenge!


The BurdaStyle Mini challenge is back but with a twist! Starting today Sunday the 12th of October you have 2 weeks to make and upload your creation to the site for a chance to win some special secret sewing treats and BurdaStyle goodies! And the twist? Your creation MUST be recycled. You may use any patterns, how-to’s or techniques featured on the BurdaStyle site.


• You need to be a registered member to take part.

• Your creation MUST be recycled.

• You must upload your creation into the ‘Mini Challenge’ category by Sunday the 26th of October.

• Put the word “recycle” into the name/title of your creation so we can tell it’s for this MiniChallenge

• When you upload your creation you must give a detailed description of how you made your creation, the patterns, how-to’s or techniques you used, materials you used and how it was recycled etc.

• Show us your ‘before’ materials in a photograph.

The mini challenge will be judged by you the members. Voting will start on Tuesday the 28th of October, more details about how to vote will be given at a later date. When voting you should take the following into consideration:

• Creativity.

• Wearability.

• Skills and techniques used.

• Best use of recycled materials.

• And of course your favourite!

• You can vote once only.

This is going to be fun!!! Are you up for the challenge?

Feel free to ask any questions.

EDIT TO ADD: Anyone can take part, no matter which country you live in. Upload your creation in the ‘creation’ section of this site and add it to the ‘mini challenge’category. Make sure you put RECYCLED in your title.

Quick Easy Holiday Cards from Ruby Lime Designs


This week’s member blog showcases Ruby Lime Designs from BurdaStyle member, RubyLime. Her cool and interesting ways of using fabric can certainly give many people inspiration. My favorite are her card something I am certainly going to remember as we enter the holiday season.


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