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Awesome Bag Making Event

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This past weekend’s Bags for the People/Etsy/303Grand event went wonderfully! Participants were very creative and resourceful whether they knew how to sew or learned at the event. There was an abundance of bags made that were given out on Sunday at the Rooftop Farms market and will be given out at the Union Square Farmers Market. Check out photos from the event here and here. Thank you to everyone who helped organize and attended this event. For more information check out Bags for the People

Fall Fashion Forecast 2009

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With pattern companies already releasing fall styles, it means that it’s time to start planning for a new wardrobe. Before you start sewing your next project for autumn, be sure to check out Pantone’s Fall Color Forecast which will help keep your new designs fashionable for the season. What’s hot for Fall\Winter 2009? Soft, muted colors such as cream, gray, and light reds will dominate the season leaving the jewel tones of seasons past out in the cold. After checking Pantone’s report, be sure to check out this article by the Textile Digest which not only covers color trends, but prints as well.

Win a Weekend Knitting Retreat!

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The amazing Clara Parkes of Knitter’s Review and STC Craft are teaming up for a very special giveaway to celebrate the release of Weekend Knitting in paperback and the beauty of taking time off to knit and learn new knitting skills with friends.

Clara has been hosting an annual knitter’s retreat every fall for the last eight years, and this year’s gathering, which will take place November 20, 2009-November 22, 2009, in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Now, here’s the exciting part. STC Craft has one retreat package to give away. That means that one lucky winner will have his or her retreat expenses covered: to be specific, the cost of all classes and activities, two nights’ lodging in a private room, all meals from Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast, snacks and beverages throughout the weekend, plus all taxes and gratuities, will be covered. In addition, the winner will receive a copy of the new Weekend Knitting paperback in a gift basket in his or her room. The cost of transportation to/from the event is NOT covered.

To enter or for more information, go to Melanie Falick Books.

Volunteers Needed!

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I need volunteers to help me out at the Sydney Stitches and Craft Show.

::Wednesday August the 19th, Thursday the 20th and Friday the 21st.
::10am til 4 or 5pm.
::Willing to work between the Wardrobe Refashion Reconstruction Zone and the BurdaStyle stand.
::Must be able to use a sewing machine and know how to thread one.
::You will be helping people with their creations, keeping the area tidy and giving out information about BurdaStyle.

If you think you can help me out please email me at nikkishell@burdastyle.com. In return for your time you will receive a small thankyou gift. I hope you can join me, it will be heaps of fun!

BurdaStyle Sewing Club Update: BSC Melbourne CBD, AUS!

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With 12 members and growing, the BSC of Melbourne, Australia is certainly a sewing super-group from Down Under!

Led by the talented and fabulous Nikkishell, this BSC is sure to have an inspiring and creative time at each meeting. For there next one, they plan to host a Sewing Swap, where members can bring in fabric, patterns or fun books to trade with each other. They are also going to dive into the world of fabrics and learn about different types, their histories and the type of fabrics that are best for specific garments. If that isn’t enough, a fun quiz will be given at the end where members can compete for awesome prizes!

The next meeting will be held at July 23rd at 6:30 p.m., and will be hosted at Tessuti, one of Australia’s best fabric stores! Participants are encouraged to bring completed projects to show everyone, a sewing machine (if available), and a desire to have lots of fun! For more information, check out their Ning page.

For comprehensive listing of all the current BSCs, check out our Directory. Interested in starting your own? Send us an e-mail at team[at]burdastyle[dot]com.

Have a great weekend!

- David
BSC Coordinator

The T-Shirt: How Do You Style It?

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How many t-shirts do you own? Lately, and I don’t know if this is only in New York (nevermind- I think Tokyo wins), I have noticed more t-shirts on girls & boys than ever before.

Handmade Tire Sandals

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In Germany there is a saying that only in months without an R in it, (May-August) is it warm enough to walk around barefooted. But some people do not have a choice to wear shoes, irrespective of the name of the months or the temperature of the day. Yet, as commonly known, necessity is the mother of invention. In Germany many years ago, boys who were herding cattle in the rural areas warmed their bare feet standing in fresh cow droppings during cold mornings. In other parts of the world, people have been more practical, crafting sandals out of old car tires.

In principle, all you need is a piece of old tire (as big as your foot) which can be found even in remote rural areas in Africa and a few pieces of material to tie this tire-sole onto your foot. Leather will do, or some fabric, or simply string. The number of variations and uses are almost unimaginable: or could you imagine running a marathon in tire sandals?

While probably most of us can’t imagine running a marathon even in normal running shoes, in 2008, six Maasai men came from Northern Tanzania to run the London Marathon to raise money to provide their village with clean water. They ran in their full traditional Maasai dress, including spears and tire sandals. They may not have won but they easily raised enough money to finance the much needed infrastructure.

Lots of tourists traveling to Africa are fascinated by those sandals. A couple from Britain was so intrigued that they even opened an online store, Jambo Jambo, that sells tire sandals in various designs, made by men and women who live in Kibera the biggest slum in Sub-Saharan Africa. If you watch the film the Constant Gardener you get a bit of a romanticized idea of Kibera (it was actually partly filmed there).

But you don’t find tire sandals just in Africa. You will find them in Latin America, Asia and at least some decades ago, you would even find them in the US (check out the comments).

Curious? If you want to make your own tire sandals, maybe you can use schickchick’s flip flop creation as pattern.

Photo © Binh Giang

Featured Member: Ashchaser

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

I have lived in a suburb of Nashville Tennessee for all but one year of my life and have finally begun to appreciate this region for its craftiness and thrift stores. It can get pretty country out here in a city only known for music, but if you know the right places to go for a drink or or a craftacular you will definitely survive.

Staring Contest

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So the other night Dane & I went to a cocktail party hosted by the effervescent and talented writers Joanna Goddard (of the coveted blog A Cup of Jo) & SMITTEN, and her fiance Alex Williams, a New York Times reporter. What we didn’t know was that the cocktail party was to be a staring contest!

What? I quickly drank down some of my wine and added my name to the list. Sometimes I like meshing into the background of a party, have intimate conversations with people- but this time we were all to be in the center of the room, being watched (and judged) by everybody! The contest rules were “first to laugh is out”. We found “blinking first” to be too challenging. Have you ever done a public staring contest? If you know me at all you’d know I am just about always cracking a smile, it’s just the way I am. And if you ask me to frown, I cannot for the life of me. I was quickly “out”. The girl pictured top left was the winner of the evening, and you know what? She was biting her tongue! A technique I had not considered. I think she’s wearing Vivienne Westwood for Melissa rubber heels right?

In the meantime, I came across 4th & Bleeker today, some may find it fashion-sense inspiring.

Photos courtesy of Joanna Goddard’s Flickr.

Join BurdaStyle, Etsy and Bags for People at 303Grand this Saturday to Sew up Reusable Grocery Bags

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On July 18th, BurdaStyle, Bags for the People & Etsy will be at 303GRAND (in Brooklyn NY) with an all day event called “The Sweatshop” from 1pm-6pm.

Bags for the People is a non-profit organization that provides people with a sustainable alternative to plastic bags. The organization makes re-usable bags from recycled clothing and fabric and handed them out at New York City’s Green Markets for free. In addition to giving out free bags, Bags for the People holds workshops and events to help people make the switch from plastic to re-usable and teach the importance of sustainability.

There will be up to 15 sewing machines set up in the store and loads of fabric and patterns available to create a hands-on experience of designing your own unique reusable bag. There will also be sewing tutorials, complimentary drinks and snacks and music playing all day.

Check out the 303Grand website for more information

EMAIL TO RSVP FOR THE EVENTinfo@303grandnyc.com

History of the Sewing Machine

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It’s not something we stop to think about very often, but did you know we all use one of the top 10 greatest inventions of the last 100 years? While hand sewing had been around for thousands of years, the invention of the sewing machine revolutionized the garment and shoe industry and in 1860 allowed those at home to be able to eliminate tedious hours of sewing by hand. Want to know more about the history behind your machine? Then be sure to read BurdaStyle’s article along with this one about the birth of mechanical sewing.

BurdaStyle Sewing Club Update: BSC Aiken, SC, USA!

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Seven ladies with different backgrounds and skills make up this fun BurdaStyle Sewing Club!

Meeting at their local library, they cover everything from hemming each other’s dresses to creating super cute aprons. Visit their group blog, SewAiken.YolaSite.com, and check out their upcoming projects, including how to make a blouse from men’s shirts and their future plans to help out The Aiken Community Playhouse, a local theatre company. They also encourage their members to bring their own personal projects and share their special talents. One member from India, for instance, plans to share a special draping technique!

There first meeting on June 20th was a great success, and they are busily preparing for the next date on July 11th, where they hope to discuss fun projects to make with bandanas!

For more information, contact leader AthenaWeeena.

Great job guys!

- David
BSC Coordinator

Summertime Collage

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Greetings readers! I am writing to you from the depths of my imagination where I am on a deserted island swathed in silky prints sipping on a piña colada. Aren’t you just the happiest during summer days?

Featured Member: Aur0ra

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

I am originally from Lancaster, CA, in the desert of Southern California. I currently reside in the beautiful Northern Idaho, in the city of Moscow, with my husband. We absolutely love being among the unique combination of wheat fields and forests.

I Don't Want to Work

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Do you have summer angst? Do you have trouble going to work while the sun is shining & the ocean beckons you? Don’t you want to just take the summer off and be a kid again? Splash in the ocean, have BBQ’s, go sailing…I certainly do. But I am a designer (remember?) and I have work to do. A collection to design by September. Good lord.

Why is it that I am suddenly inspired as soon as I begin to drift off to sleep and didn’t have a single good idea all day when I was forcing myself to work? This happens all of the time. If only it were socially acceptable to be a night owl. “Sorry, can’t come in today, had too many ideas last night & didn’t sleep, but boy did I get a lot done”. Why do I feel tired and willy nilly and lazy during the day? I have been trying to figure this out my entire adult life… One thing that gets me through life though is setting goals. I know what needs to be accomplished in my mind but jotting it down really helps. Here’s my to-do list for the next Dahl & Dane capsule collection. We’re doing a small collection bags & basics for “him & her”.

  • Design 2 prints. I want to create painterly prints where I incorporate my drawings and watercolors and have these printed onto fabric. These will be printed onto 100% cotton and used for a bag for her, a blouse & a skirt. Think Liberty of London meets a doodle bug.
  • Make Dane design a print for “him”, our collection is going to be “his & her’s” items; a bag for him, one for her, t-shirts for him, t-shirts for her. Think Slow & Steady meets Dahl & Dane’s quirk and my personal aesthetic.
  • Make my own patterns. I sometimes use my factory to create the patterns & samples. This time, to save money, I want to make my own patterns and have my samples made by my factory so they are “showroom acceptable”, and we all know how expensive that is.
  • Find a reliable & secure source for wholesale fabric. Right now I am locking down a source for organic cotton, soy, hemp & bamboo manufacturers. We want our collection to be primarily organic.

That helped actually. Thanks:)

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