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Nikkishell: Back in the saddle and setting up shop


Hey there! I’m back in the saddle after having a little break to have my baby. Heidi Grace was born five days past my due date but made up for that by arriving after a very quick 50 minute labour on the bedroom floor in the presence of four paramedics and my husband. Talk about eventful! We’re settling well into being a family of five and life is good! Do you know what else is good? I’m skinny again!! YAY!! Well, not quite back to my pre pregnancy self yet but I’ve joined the gym and should be there soon. I do fit into the Sidonie skirts and Lydia tops (which I have yet to photograph) I made while still pregnant; it’s so nice to wear regular clothes again.

In the few weeks leading up to and after the birth my sewing machine has collected a good layer of dust. After the disaster with my JJ blouse I decided my mind just wasn’t able to concentrate on anything that required attention to detail, I was also too big to be able to sit at the machine comfortably for anything longer than ten minutes at a time. So, the machine was put to one side and instead I took to knitting, stitching and trying to relax on the sofa. It was actually quite nice to be able to do this, I had not knit much in almost a year and a half but once I got into it the bug bit me. At the moment I’m knitting a pair of socks using some of my stash that I organized.

Oh yes! I forgot to tell you, I organized my sewing room after my last post. I spent that night dreaming of it and the next morning I woke up, rolled out of bed and straight into my sewing room. I don’t think I came out except for food, drink and the odd visit (ok, they were pretty regular) to the loo until 8pm that evening. I rearranged my shelves; transferring books to one book shelf, removing the books destined for EBay and used the other bookshelf to store my fabric stash. I organized my yarn stash, my knitting needles and embroidery floss. Magazines, paperwork and bowls of ‘stuff’ and boxes were sorted through and I found stuff I didn’t know I had. I hung my BurdaStyle patterns from hangers in the closet, a friend of mine found me a spool holder which she is delivering to me next week and I stuck a tape measure to the edge of my desk for easy measuring. It may not look like I did much but it was a big job.

I’m more organized now and I know exactly what I have in my stash. I have so much stuff that I have decided to start using it to make items to sell in my online store that I’ve been planning in my head and on paper. It may take a little while longer to get it off the ground but I’m good with that. I plan on taking it easy; I want it to fit in around my family life. I’m not going to pressure myself to get things made and up in the shop by a certain date, I’ll do it as and when I can and build up from there if I feel comfortable. I’ll be doing this for fun, to create just because I can and want to, to use up some supplies and of course I hope to make a little extra money in the process.

I’m thinking of opening a Big Cartel store that I will link to from my website. I have an Etsy store but it has sat empty for longer than I can remember. There are pros and cons to both. First of all the cost, Big Cartel has a set monthly fee which depends on the amount of items you want to sell and they do not charge a listing fee per item, just one payment per month and that’s it. Etsy have no monthly fee but charge per item listed and if you’re listing a lot of items this can get quite expensive. Next up is the exposure, with Big Cartel my store will only be seen by those that visit my website whereas Etsy has an enormous amount of visitors each day increasing the chance of my goods being seen and bought. Another option is to go with the new PayPal storefront widget which is a badge that you display in the sidebar of your blog or on your website. I think this would be great for those that only sell a few items and do so infrequently. So, I need to weigh up these pro’s and con’s and decide what is going to be best for me, a little more research is needed. As I work towards opening my online store I’ll be discussing this subject in future posts. I’m interested to hear from those of you already doing this and I especially want to hear from those of you that are using BurdaStyle patterns to make and sell, so if you are doing wither please leave me a comment and tell me about it.

Now, I’m off to catch up on everything I have missed here on BurdaStyle. I’ll give you a sew along update next week and we’ll decide on a new project. I’m also going to get back into my sewing room. I have a Jorinde jacket to make, a JJ blouse to finish and many other projects to finish that have been sitting idle for far too long. I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things!

Base Drawing!


Hey everyone check out out newest how to on how to use a technical figurine (croqui) to create drawing flats!

Sewing Universe News Feed: 3 April 2008


A new magazine has hit the newsstands this spring, Make It Mine. Not only does it have great ideas for making edgy accessories, but this issue gives the readers a challenge – Transform anything into a fantastic purse! You’ll need to become a registered user to submit (and vote for your favorite) your creation, but if you’re one of the top 3 designers, you’ll get a $75 Visa gift card. Read here for more information on the contest rules.

Featured Member: Susisonne


1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I’m living in Karlsruhe in the south of Germany. I grew up next to here and moved to Karlsruhe for my studies.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
The first thing I made were some curtains for my balcony last summer (2007). I needed some curtains but I didn’t want to spend much money. So I bought some fabric, asked my mom for her sewing machine and made my first steps with it. I was very satisfied with how they came out. So I also tried to sew some pillowcases with zippers. I had much fun with it and I still had some fabric left overs. This time I tried to sew my first garment: a skirt. After some weeks I bought my own sewing machine and went on sewing.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
I enjoy sewing. My studies are very theoretical so it is great to do something creative. For me sewing means relaxing. I spend many evenings with my sewing machine so my boyfriend sometimes says that I am a sewing addict.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
In my opinion the favorite thing about sewing is that you can create your own garments which are absolutely unique. You can do things which are exactly your style and fit. You can combine fabrics, colors and patterns the way you like and you can save a lot of money! I love to see the development of new garments: first you have only cut fabric peaces and in the end you have finished clothes. I like wearing things I made myself. It makes me proud because I’ve done it. I also thinks it is great that I do not have to buy clothes which were made in countries where people only get famine wages and have to work under catastrophic working conditions.
What I do not like about sewing is ripping up seams when I made something wrong. It costs so much patience and time. I also do not like hand stitching and cutting fabrics very much. But you have to go through it!

5. If you could make something for anyone, who would it be and what would you make?
There is no one special. I like making things you can wear everyday but also things for going out. I have sewn some things for my sister and my boyfriend, so I am very proud when they are wearing it.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?
I love this site because you get so inspired by all the members. Nearly every day I check the new creations for new ideas. It is great to have the possibility to write comments to other member’s creations. I’m always very happy when I have new comments on my site. The best thing about BurdaStyle is that you can download patterns for free and you can see what other members did with the same pattern! It is great to see the differences and alterations. When I started sewing I only did exactly what was described in the instructions. But with the Sidonie-MiniChallenge I had so much fun with doing alterations on my own. So please go on with such projects! I also like the how-tos because you can learn so many things!
I love that you can add other member’s creations to your favorites. But I think it would be also great if you could see the members who added your creation to their favorites. I only can see the first two of them and often the pictures are not the right ones. So this could be improved.

7. What is your motto?
I do not have a special motto. I just can tell all burdastyle members to go on with sewing and showing their creations on this site! It is so inspiring!

Susisonne has so many awesome creations, check them out here creations!

Sewing Universe News Feed: 2 April 2008


We all know that it’s the little finishing details that really pull a project together, but if hand stitching and finishing scares you, check out Make it Mine’s Sewing Basics Videos. You can watch online demonstrations of the blindstitch, backstitch and slip stitch and more, and see there’s really no need to fear hand work.



BurdaStyle defeats April’s nasty onslaught and proudly presents two exciting news upfront. First and foremost: we finally, finally swept another old bug out of the system – the searching tool is now freshly greased and running more smoothly than a cat could purr. Secondly: we are thrilled to announce a new feature we added to our site: virtual post-its. Born from a minor misfortune, i.e. a burnt Talea coat, was the idea of giving the visual splendor of our users’ creation a mode of verbal expression. So BurdaStyle picks up the hint and starts dropping notes: click the “ADD NOTE” bar under each creation to tag a spot in the photo and leave your comment with it – whether you have advice, a comment or an anecdote to share. After all, every piece of self-made fashion has a story to tell – so go ahead and give it some subtitles.

April Fools!


April Fools! We are so sad to say it, but there will be no cookies and fun gum weekly blog. Yet again we were so impressed with the quality of the writing and the thought that went into your submissions, you made us wish that this blog really did exist!!! Here are some excerpts from our favorite submissions: talks DIY Bridal!!


Our friends at have weddings on the brain!! Today, the Storque blogs about Handmade Weddings: DIY & Refashioned Dresses. Our very own Benedikta contributes to the article, making pattern, variation, and fabric suggestions. You, our BurdaStyle community, even gets a shout-out as the friendly and helpful resource that you are!

So head on over to the Storque. Hopefully you’ll get some inspiration for your next creation, variation, or even wedding dress!

Sewing Universe News Feed: 1 April 2008


If you have a fresh, new sewing tutorial brewing in your head, April may be the time to perfect it and post it to your blog or Flickr. Sew, Mama, Sew! is having a Tutorial Contest beginning April 1. Read more information on their blog about how to enter, and what you could win.

Letter From the Editors: Cookies and Fun Gum


Hi everyone!

So I have some bad news, the new pattern is not going to be posted today. I know, I know… but fear not, there is also some good news! The pattern for super cool high waisted pants are going up on the site tomorrow, ready for your downloading pleasure! We really are excited to see what you guys do with this pattern.

Sewing Universe News Feed: 30 March 2008


I had a love\hate relationship with the super stiff (yet remarkably flexible) interfacing known as Timtex. While I despised working with this stabilizer (it was a tad bit harder to sew and required extra trimming around edges for sharp corners), I knew it was essential to making professional looking bags, hats, and even fabric boxes. Now ,I find out that the company that produced Timtex is no longer able to manufacture the product due to a sudden shutdown of their facility sometime late last year (I’ve read that they are attempting to find someone else to produce their stabilizer, but until then what you are able to find in stores and on the internet is that last remains of their product). What’s a girl to do now? This article has some great options that might just help you find a replacement the next time your project calls for Timtex.

Sewing Universe News Feed: 28 March 2008


In the latest CRAFT Video Podcast, Natalie Zee Drieu takes us on a video tour of Season Two Project Runway, Chole Dao. You’ll get to see results of her work from sketches to completed garments, and hear tips like the ever-important detail of fine pressing. [CRAFT]

Understanding The Needle


None of us would be where we are without these! They are the key ingredient to the success of sewing!! They are the workhorses of any sewer, and we would all feel very naked without them!!! Without a doubt, one of the greatest inventions in the history of mankind!!!! Ok, ok I’ll stop. But seriously, these are the most important, under appreciated tools of our trade! Though they are often the source of frustration, maybe even the cause of a tear to be shed, needles can be our friends. Like anything, appreciate their limits and they will excel at their job.

Featured Member: Ceregana


1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I am originally from Sofia, Bulgaria. I live since 2000 in Kassel – a middle size city in Germany. I came here to study architecture and I almost did the distance. My last exam is in march, so there is a limited number of sewing sessions till then.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
I am not sure I remember the first thing I’ve sewn. It must have been a pant or a blouse, when I was a teenager. My mom used to sew a lot so I somehow slipped neatly into it – I even had a small sewing machine as a kid (actually I think I never sewed something complete with it, it was just fine sewing straight lines…). Than I had a long pause and started doing clothes for myself about 2 years ago again, when I bought my own sewing machine.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Sewing is a relaxing hobby. I love what I am doing and learning, but it can be very stressful and there is a lot of responsibility of being good and being professional in it. So sewing is a perfect distraction, because I still can do my own thing, but still doesn’t have to take as seriously as a profession. I am enjoying my layman status in it… The other role it plays it is this of me being tired of buying stuff, because it is fashionable and because I can afford to buy it, but me ending up with only few pieces I really love. So by sewing I made my resolution to make pieces I will wear for years, because they are exactly my style. And I like the idea it is much more correct and environment friendly… And it has been on the winning spot of best diploma distraction, next to the internet…

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
My favorite thing is to have the finished garment and have the feeling it is just what you wanted it to be and the satisfaction of being able to pull it through (I still have some unsewn dead bodys, that waited to be brought to live…).
I hate it when I do something wrong and must break the seams and start again. It just stops the flow and feels like a step in the wrong direction. And my machine is not very good at buttonholes…

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

I will love to make unique things that they really like for my friends and family. If I just only had the time and motivation for it…

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

Hm, improving? I guess I will be happy to get more news feeds – I have my daily routine of checking website before i start working. I also will be interested in a kind of “behind the scenes” of every pattern that you make – the process from the sketch to the photo shoot.
And off course I love seeing the pattern modification how tos , but it doesn’t have to be you guys – users are also starting to post more of this. Sometimes when I am sewing something and couldn’t decide on a issue I get the desire to discuss is with some other users too.
What i really like about the site off course is the open source community idea. The positive attitude of the other users is a blessing too – it is just keeping one on trying again and being mean, since one can be anonymous is a think I hate about the web sometimes. I definitely sew and enjoy it more since i have the possibility to share the experience and the result.

7. What is your motto?
I don’t really have one. If I have to think of something it will be like “Don’t give up, keep on!” – just very down to earth and unromantic…

Learn more about ceregana by visiting her profile. Also check out her creations! To catch up more with Ceregana and find out what she’s up to, visit her blog!

Sewing Universe News Feed: 27 March 2008


Please pardon the pun, but if your sewing machine has been bugging you, perhaps you can pass it on to sculptor Christopher Conte. His amazing works of art – which include delicately gorgeous insects – are made with, among other things, sewing machine parts. Looking at his pieces of work is like a fun scavenger hunt. The presser foot in the spider above is obvious, but what other parts can you find in his work? [via]


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