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Hanker-'tude – Use a handkerchief to twitter your mood!


 Last week, I wrote a story on Kate Hartman’s Soft Circuits Class at NYU’s ITP) program. I was also teaching at ITP this summer, leading a class called Introduction to Physical Computing. Intro to Phys Comp, as it’s called for short, is a class where students are taught to make basic circuits and to use the Arduino microcontroller. While the class doesn’t concentrate on soft circuits, more students have been making them as innovative flexible conductive materials have become increasingly available. I thought I’d share a fun soft circuit project that came out of my Intro to Phys Comp class by Shirley Palma, who is currently working towards her masters in Computer Science at NYU.

Featured Member: Podge


1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I was Born and bred in Manchester England, I discovered the true essence of Manchester in my teens and have loved it ever since.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
The first thing I made was clothes for my cat when I was eight years old. She used to make horrendous noises and walk backwards to try and get away from my creation but I’d just think that maybe it needed something extra, maybe a bonnet. I come from a very creative family, my mother is a seamstress by trade and she was always either sewing, knitting or crocheting and my father was an avid painter. I have always been creative and into making things but it kind of took a backwards step and everyday life took over, until that is I was given a sewing machine for Christmas 2007 by my beloved husband and soon after I discovered BurdaStyle and I’ve been hooked ever since.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
A happy release from the stresses of everyday life, I hate having to find time to sew, I would love to sew every day and I would love love love to be able to create something that i have designed. I enjoy following patterns and i love seeing the end creation but you see so many people on this site that have come up with amazing designs, I am always inspired to create something of my own but it never works. I always end up copying someone else’s idea, I just wish I could come up with something to inspire others.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
My favourite thing about sewing is seeing your creation come together and just feeling free from the world, I love taking my sewing machine table out into the garden and sewing in the sunshine. My least favourite thing is transferring all the pattern lines onto your chosen fabric, I usually end up skipping this part and just stick pins where the lines should be, but then as you sew the pins end up falling out and you then have to go back to putting your half sewn garment back onto the pattern piece in order to find out where the lines should be. I usually then end up hearing screams from my husband as he has stood on the pin that has fallen out!! Oooops!!

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what would you make?
I would like to make something for my husband, he is a big muscley guy and he finds it hard to find clothes to fit him. He has a 20 inch neck and a 56 inch chest so I’m afraid the items for men on the site won’t go near him. When I am a little more experienced I will try to make a pattern from his measurements and hopefully make him something he will be willing to go out in public in. So watch this space………..

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?
love looking at everyone’s creations and I wait patiently (well I try to be patient!!) every Tuesday to see what the new pattern will be. I check the site at least 3 times a day to see what has been posted. I love the community feel of the site and that we are all like minded people. The site is great and is everything you could ever want or need from an open source sewing site, the only thing that I would like to see, is when you are searching for something, whether its a member or a pattern, it would be nice not to have to know the exact name, and the search engine could say, we couldn’t find anything that matched but we found this that is spelt similar. My favourite part of the site is the Creations and the blog, I like to see what people are doing and i love it when there is someone asking something that I can help with, or maybe I’m having the same problem and some one has posted an answer. I also love the way that members link to other items, whether its something they have used for inspiration or whether it is a blog or tutorial. I have found so many inspirational sites from doing this and I love it.

7. What is your motto?
Love life and be happy!!!

Her embroidery is awesome, and her skirts, dresses and bags are incredible too you have to check out Podge’s creations also make sure to check out her blog too!

Renegade Craft Fair San Francisco


Hey everyone!

We had an absolute blast at the First Annual Renegade Craft Fair San Francisco. The fair took place this weekend at Fort Mason’s Pavilion. As anyone who attended can tell you, it was super busy, so busy that we didn’t realize that we were right near the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz until early evening on Saturday (the jet lag might have had something to do with that too). We had great booth neighbors, positioned between CraftStylish and VenusZine. Amy of VenusZine so kindly supplied us with much needed lemonade during our time of need, and Michaela and Jessica of CraftStylish were the perfect conversationalists during the slow times. When we finally did get to stroll around we checked in with or friends from Brooklyn, Etsy (represented by Pete, Anda and their gorgeous little drool machine Sidone) and ThreadBanger (they were so busy giving away a sewing machine, we didn’t get to spend much time chatting).


The highlight though was meeting so many members. It really was the best feeling to have one of you come up and tell us that you love our site. It was also nice to get feedback from you, thank you for all your suggestions and know that we have taken them to heart and discussed them in a meeting yesterday. I must say California was a very welcoming city. One surprise was the temperature; having to wear a sweater was certainly a welcome change from sweltering New York. Over all a great trip, check out our Flickr page to see pictures. Thanks for stopping by our booth!

Sewalong Minichallenge #2!!!


It’s here again! The BurdaStyle Mini challenge, a fast paced sewalong with a prize!

Starting today the 13th of July you have 2 weeks to make and upload your own version of the Anda dress to the site to be in with a chance to win some special secret sewing treats and BurdaStyle goodies!


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

• You must use the Anda dress pattern.

• You must upload your creation into the new ‘Mini Challenge’ category by July 27th.

• When you upload your creation you must give a detailed description of how you made your version of the dress, the alterations you may have made and materials used etc.

• How-to’s and pattern alterations are encouraged and may earn you Brownie points!

The mini challenge will be judged by you the members. Voting will start on Tuesday the 29th of July, more details about how to vote will be given at a later date. When voting you should take the following into consideration:

• Creativity and variation

• Difference in appearance from original

• Skills and techniques used

• And of course your favourite!

• You can vote once only

Are you up for the challenge? Get creative, dig out those sewing technique books and teach yourself something new while you’re at it, show us your talent and skills!

For official rules, please see here .

MixTape Issue 5 available for presale!


Most of you know our wonderful Nikkishell, her great Sew Alongs and even her Mini Challenges but what you may not know (though you should) is her great craft magazine MixTape. If you haven’t been following the zine, you should. The MixTape zine talks about all the great projects that are being done, news in the craft world, book reviews, how MixTape is doing, what will be coming up next and much, much more. The 5th issue of MixTape features articles like:
 Sunny Buick Interview, Lowdown on Lino, 
10 ways to green your kids birthday, 
book reviews, 
Crafty Lady Profile “Claire” aka loobylou 
and tons more! This issue is now available for presale! So, go to the site, read the blog and catch up on past issues
or get your copy of the newest MixTape today!

BurdaStyle Writes for Etsy's Blog the Storque


BurdaStyle has proclaimed that it is the season for fairy tales. We have trolled the pages of Etsy finding dresses fit for today’s princesses. Would you say Cinderella is emo? Was sleeping beauty a mod goddess or was she a 60’s housewife? Check out our article in the Storque on Etsy and decide for yourself.

Featured Member: Bloom


1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I was born in Shizuoka, Japan, the city known for Mt. Fuji. Currently, I am living in the US.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
When I was a 2nd or a 3rd grader, I made my first flared skirt from a pattern. My mom was (and still is) a great sewer and so I fell in love with sewing before I could remember.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Stress reliever! Finding beautiful fabrics also nurses my stress.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
Favorite – sewing with machine.
Least favorite – blind stitching.

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what would you make?
If I have enough skills, I would love to make men’s suite for my hubby.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?
I enjoy sharing creations with others. So fun to be able to see what others are making because it is very inspiring! This website is perfect!

7. What is your motto?
Life is short, enjoy, take it easy!

Bloom has quite an eye for creating clean lines out of fun fabrics. You have to check out her awesome skirts (Vintage Wool Marie,Jazz Concert Skirt,Gold Funky Marie,and finally her Red Wool Michelle) The creations just keep coming and they are wonderful. Keep up the great work!

Soft Circuits Workshop Project Presentations


I recently was invited as a guest critic for final project presentations of ‘Soft Circuits Workshop’, a class at NYU’s ITP program that was taught and developed by my colleague Kate Hartman.

BurdaStyle is Going Across America!


We are so excited. As we said yesterday in our Letter From the Editors, we have big plans this weekend.

BurdaStyle will have a booth at the first Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco. It will be July 12 and 13th from 11 am to 7 pm, at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion. Admission is free so you have no excuse not to show up. We will have lots of goodies for all of you that stop by; really cool buttons, stickers and more. We will be there with fellow Brooklynites and friends from <a href";&gt;Etsy and ”;&gt;ThreadBanger along with over 300 other vendors! If this Renegade is anything like the ones in Chicago and Brooklyn, it will be incredible. If you are in the Bay area shoot us an email and come stop by our booth. We are excited to meet everyone from the other coast.

All of you in the mid-west do not fear, we are not ignoring the central time zone. Nora will be in Chi town at the American Sewing Guild annual conference. It is being held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare and it should be a bunch of fun. If you are around make sure you find her among the crowd.

Have a great night and see you this weekend (hopefully).

Technical Drawing Contest- Win $50!


That’s right, we felt it was time for another contest. Get your pen and pencil out, warm up your hand, pull out the paper. We are going to be looking for your best technical drawings. As some of you may have noticed, there is no technical drawing associated with the Alison swimsuit. We thought it would be a great opportunity for all of you out there who are not only a whiz at the sewing machine, but also have the sketching skills of DaVinci, to showcase your talents. We are excited to see all you multitalented members out there. You have until the 18th of July to send us your best technical drawing of the Alison swimsuit. The winner will receive $50! So send’em in to us at and good luck!

BurdaStyle is Faster!


Good news everyone! As you know there has been a lot of talking about a site redesign and code review. Well, our awesome programmers from Area 17 have just rolled out a major improvement. You will notice that the site is much faster now! We know from reading your survey answers that the speed of the site was a big issue. Slow and steady might win the race but we are happy to announce that turtle speed will no longer hinder your pattern browsing abilities. No more little hourglass while the Sabrina loads, no more failed pages, easier download of all the patterns, can you ask for anything more? Well yes, but that is also coming. It’s all very exciting.

Happy July 4th


Happy Independence Day, BurdaStylers! We hope you all have fun plans for tomorrow… Here in the office, we all do:

Benedikta is heading to a German birthday party in Virginia, where she will be decked out in full dirndl regalia. Nora A. will be enjoying a picnic in the mountains of Colorado. Nora K., who is with us for the summer from Germany, will be enjoying TWO traditional American barbecues. (We hope she doesn’t get a bellyache!) Alden is in upstate New York spending quality time with her family. Our awesome new intern Katie is going to a beach house in the Hamptons—fancy! Layla’s watching the fireworks at the Statue of Liberty from a rooftop in Red Hook, and Hikaru is watching fireworks against the Manhattan skyline from a rooftop in Greenpoint.

Ok, everybody. We hope you all stay safe and fun and cool this holiday weekend, and maybe you will even get a little sewing done!

Party Favors


Last night was one of the best parties we’ve been to in some time (if we do say so ourselves). BurdaStyle partnered with Fame Game, Zink Magazine and Volkswagen on a project- This World is Yours- to encourage more thoughtful messaging in fashion. The Red Bull Space in SOHO was packed full of revelers who came out to see the work of five talented fashion photographers including:

Claire Benoist,
Michael Scott Slosar,
Harry Fellows,
Justin Tellian,
Jamie Chung.

The challenge given was to “transmit messages that resonate on a higher level than that of pure consumption”. In that context, each photographer interpreted one of the themes of the night: THINK, PLAY, TEACH, LET GO, and DREAM. We think they all created beautiful work. Especially, Michael Scott Slosar who used our Heidi dress Variation in his shoot for PLAY.
Over the course of the night, participants chose the message that resonated with them and BurdaStyle gave them their very own custom bracelet. If you like the bracelets, tell us, and we’ll show you how to make them for your next event. We promise these are party favors your friends won’t throw away.

Soundtrack for the evening provided by our friends Eclectic Method.

View more photos from the party are on our Flickr page.

Photos on Blogpic (from left to right)
Pic 1: Kyla, Nora, Michael Scott Slosar (Photographer), Benedikta, Alden, Play Team
Pic 2: Benedikta, Julia Allison (Model), Alden, Nora K., Nora

Featured Member: Maya511


1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I was born in Guam and my family moved to Southern California (just north of Orange County) when I was three. I currently live in Hollywood, so I didn’t stray too far from where I grew up.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
When I was a little girl, I used to hand sew little cushions that I stuffed with cotton balls stolen from my mother’s makeup drawer. The first thing I ever made with a machine was a super simple unlined mini tote bag. It’s a shame that I didn’t actually make an effort to learn how to sew until this year—in my mid 30s! I’d always wanted to learn, but for some unexplainable reason, I was extremely intimidated by sewing machines. I finally gathered the courage to enroll myself in a basic sewing class earlier this year (where I made the mini-tote) and I’m so glad I did.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
For me, it’s a well-needed creative outlet after a day at the office. Also, It’s just so gratifying to wear/use something that you’ve made yourself—a feeling to which I’m sure all of you members can attest. I can honestly say that it’s the most enjoyable hobby I’ve ever taken up, as well as the most addictive.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
I’ve got two favorite things: 1) shopping for fabric and letting my imagination run wild 2) that feeling of exhilaration I get when I complete a project. What I like the least is deciphering pattern instructions. I’m primarily an aural and tactile learner and possess very poor spatial awareness —so sometimes diagrams actually serve to confuse more than to help. Oftentimes, I have to make a miniature model of the project in order to figure out the actual construction of it!

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what would you make?
Purely fantasy of course—I would make an insulated cooling wrap for the earth to slow down global warming!

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?
I’m looking for inspiration, above all, and there’s plenty of it here! I love perusing member creations and I’m inspired by what I see on a daily basis. I’m also looking for stylish, versatile patterns, and BurdaStyle has got that covered as well. What’s more, there’s a real sense of community here, which I love. Everyone is so helpful and supportive. I honestly can’t think of anything I’d change!

7. What is your motto?
My general motto is a quote by Bertrand Russell: “The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.” My sewing motto is “Don’t sacrifice enjoyment for perfection!” I sometimes take a lot of short cuts when I sew for myself, which I don’t necessarily encourage, but I think it’s important, when undertaking any creative endeavor, to relax, have fun and to not beat yourself up when you make mistakes. I mean, when it stops being fun, what’s the point in doing it, right? That’s what I say, at least!

Maya511 has a great sense of color and style, just take a look at her fun floral top or any of her many creations. She also has a blog which chronicles her sewing adventures.

Taking Better Pictures


So, some people have been wondering how we go about picking images for the home page. Basically, everyday we look through the creations page at the new uploads. What we are looking for is quality, both in the creation and in the photo.
We have some helpful hints for how to take better pictures.

- Have a nice background. Stand in front of a wall or be in your garden. Make sure when you take your picture that your dirty laundry is not strewn about the floor and you aren’t in front of a messy bookshelves. Clutter only distracts from the beauty of your creation!

- Make sure there is lighting. Don’t take a picture in the bat cave.
- Make sure you are well lit. You should be facing the light source when taking your pictures, not back lit. This allows everyone to see the creation much more clearly.
- Show your lovely face. We understand that people sometimes feel a little uncomfortable with this but it is so much easier to see the proportions of the outfit plus we want to see how happy you are with your new creation.
- Make sure the picture is clear. It’s so nice to be able to see the details and really admire the work you put into this. A fuzzy picture makes us sad.

If you want to get really fancy and edit your photos with Photoshop, use these tricks (not necessary though)

- To adjust the darkness go to Image>Adjustments>Level
- To increase the vividness go to Image >Adjustments>Hue/Saturation
- To adjust final Brightness go to Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast

There are our quick tricks for taking great pictures. We look forward to seeing what you do with this!


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