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Sewing Vintage: Retro Foundation Garments


{image courtesy of rechappo2002 on Flickr}

Most modern women consider it a blessing that we’ve escaped the eras of the corset and girdle. Sure, shapewear still exists, but it’s purely optional now. However, many young seamstresses who sew from vintage patterns are seeking out the foundation garments of the 40s, 50s, and 60s to get a truly authentic retro look.

It’s pretty hard to avoid that controversy when it comes to this subject. I tend to disagree with those who fall too dramatically on either side of the coin, which is either 1) you’re not doing vintage “correctly” if you don’t wear the right shapewear or 2) you’re participating in the oppression of women if you do wear shapewear. A girl can’t win!

V Magazine Sizes Women Up


On January 14th, V Magazine’s size issue hits select news stands and there is already much buzz about over the argument of professional models vs. “actual, real, normal, regular, realistically (or whichever term you choose)” proportioned women.

Featured Member: loyl8


1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
Made in the USA, but born to be a abroad. I was born in Spring Valley, IL and in 1991 my family and I moved to Arizona. After nursing school I moved to Southern California, Orange County, where I met my husband. A year ago we moved to south west Colorado and now my husband and I live in the ourskirts of Phoenix, Arizona where we are in the process of buying a house with my own sewing room…YEAH! My husband and I have many aspirations to travel the globe and maybe even settle down in some faraway place.



Until last week I’d never heard of Mademoiselle Agnès, a French television personality and fashion insider and portrayer of young, raw fashion talents. She thinks that Paris is dead for young designers seeing that it is impossible to top the gilded fashion houses of Paris, and has highlighted some of her favorite new designers in her mini-documentaries. I’ve recently watched a series of her videos she has made with the The Sundance Channel called Full Frontal Fashion. A hand-held camera follows Mademoiselle Agnès from Rodarte’s front row face-off between Tavi and the Ice Queen to Alber’s (Lanvin) somber mental state wondering where has all of the glamour, romance and class has gone in fashion? If you’ve wished to catch a glimpse of the hidden interiors of fashion designer’s studios and showrooms or have the desire to see close ups of runway shows or catch some rare interviews, you should tune in.

No matter how jaded one can get from working in the industry, or sick and tired of all of the inauthentic buzz about fashion, these 1-off videos exude a passion and intensity which makes me shiver and want to get to work! Try that for inspiration.

Challenge: Coats & Clark Pink & Red Fashion Show at the Sewing & Stitchery Expo


Hey all, so this is the longest title ever, but this challenge is super great and for a great cause!

The Sewing & Stitchery Expo held February 25-28 in Puyallup, WA is the largest consumer sewing show in the country. Coats & Clark is sponsoring this year’s charity Pink & Red Fashion Show, with BurdaStyle hosting the virtual event!

Fashion Trends


If you have a passion for sewing up the latest styles in the season’s hottest colors, then you’ll definitely want to keep tabs on 2010’s fashion forecast. Helping keeping you in the loop: Fashion Trendsetter details Pantone’s color reports, runway trends and as well as upcoming accessories; Fashionising details men’s and women’s catwalk designs (and even hair) and trends for the upcoming year; and online magazines such as Vogue, Bazarr, and Elle, just to name a few! Have a favorite? Be sure to list them here!

The Wardrobe Sewalong

Hello there and happy 2010 to you. I’ve not posted here for some time, 2009 was spent traveling Australia with the Stitches and Craft Shows to tell everyone about this wonderful creative online community we have.

As you may know i organise the Melbourne CBD BurdaStyle Club and we have decided to start regular sewalongs. At first we tossed around the idea of using one pattern and then we thought about all sewing the same garment but choosing our own pattern but some weren’t keen as they’d have to sit out those that they didn’t want to make, for example someone doesn’t like to wear trousers.

BSC Quick Project Idea: Bunting Flags


Are you a leader or member of a BurdaStyle Sewing Club? If so, this project was made just for you!

Sewing Vintage: Year in Review


Sewing Vintage: My Most Popular Posts
I hope everyone had a great holiday season and a very happy new year! I’m looking forward to all that 2010 has in store, but as the year changes over, I thought I would take a moment to look back at the most read posts on vintage sewing on my blog, Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing. I hope you enjoy them!

Tutorials were very popular! Check these out:
• How to make your own vintage-inspired half slip—no pattern required!
• I did a two-part tutorial on sewing a 50s-style full skirt, and lots of readers have made this up in no time. Here’s the first part, where you draft a simple pattern. And here’s part two, where I show you how to whip it up.

Fairy Tale Fashion


I tend to see the world through rose colored glasses and find heaps of inspiration hidden within innocent fairy tales of imaginary lands full of beauty and intrigue. There is a bit of a resurgence of fairy tale fashion happening now, and I’d like to see more of it. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland comes out sometime this year, Roald Dahl’s novel adapted for the screen by Wes Anderson, Fantastic Mr. Fox, the stop animation wonder made quite a splash, and we’ll never forget our childhood favorite fairy tale coming to life in Spike Jone’s Where the Wild Things Are (which I have yet to see as I’ve mixed feelings).

Featured Member: Zozowahine


1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I’m originally from Essex, England and have been living in Barcelona, Spain, for the last year and a half. However, next year is set to be another year of change. Exciting times!

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
I’d imagine something like curtains for a doll’s house! My mum has always sewn and used to do dressmaking and alterations when I was little. I remember her teaching me how to use her sewing machine when I was about ten. I found her sewing box very exciting. At some point I must have lost interest, but I rediscovered the attraction of sewing in my late teens when it became my primary means of creative output. Then I went on to study Fashion Design at university.

Winning Looks


The Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation awards, announced early this month, gave seven lucky designers $25,000 to put toward their Fall 2010 shows. One winner’s looks are pictured above. The collection, states Nepalese designer Prabal Gurung, was inspired by a 1970s bottle of his mother’s YSL perfume. He adored the packaging and tried to incorporate whatever that was that lured him to this attention to detail, into his collection.

Says Prabal about his evolution as a designer: From one season to the next, it’s an evolution, not a revolution. Whatever I do in one season, I can do better, and I want to get to a point where it reaches perfection. The vision gets clearer and clearer every season. But it’s going to be the same idea: beautiful fabrics, lots of draping and tailoring, an old-school way of making clothes done in a modern way. But it’s my first runway show and it’s definitely going to have a little bit of attitude.

What do you think of these looks? What kind of pieces would you design for NOW, in an economic climate such as thus. If you were given $25,000 to design a collection what would you do differently from now, where would you splurge? Would this win allow you to create what you’ve always dreamed of creating?

And the WINNER of the PFAFF® hobbylock™ 2.0 Overlock Machine is......


Congratulations to SunSpot she won the PFAFF® hobbylock™ 2.0 Overlock Machine! Her comment was picked at random from over 4000+ comments! Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming contests (we have some great one’s this year)!

Outerwear: I Am Freezing


It’s cold here in New York city. No, that’s an understatement, it’s freezing: with the windchill & snow & ice it can be dreadful. Must dress warmly. There are many chic coats out there that look wonderful but leave you shivering in your boots. I have numerous pretty vintage woolen coats & capes, the kind that are sharply tailored and smartly cut from English houndstooth and Irish wovens, but cannot block the wind if their imaginary little lives depended on it. What is a gal to do to stay warm?

Sewing Resolution


With the new year comes a desire for change. For many, this means making New Year’s Resolutions. While increasing healthy habits, losing weight, and being more charitable generally top most people’s list, sewing dominates mine. I mean, who wouldn’t want to finally discover the perfect pair of pants (or in my case, pants pattern)? So while everyone else is making the ‘same old, same old’ resolutions, let’s make a few for our craft. What’s on your list?


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