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The folks over at Make it Mine have noticed a growing trend in clothing: grommets. They have posted a teaser of an article in their Spring 2008 issue that will show folks how to easily add grommets to their wardrobe and accessories, and even have posted videos on how to set grommets using a a plier setting tool and how to set grommets using a tool kit and hammer. They’ve even compiled a list of tips when working with grommets. I never noticed how much fun it is to say, “grommets” … almost as much fun as adding them to my wardrobe!

Girly Jane Nightdress


I didn’t bother making a muslin for my Jane night dresses this week. Instead I went straight to work on the fabric I bought on my most recent fabric store adventure. I figure since it was inexpensive and the pattern is easy I’d be fine and I was right although I did need to shorten it 10cm due to not having enough fabric so now it will fall just below my knee. I used the orange fabric and I think it has turned out really well even though I’ve yet to finish it. All it is waiting for are the straps, I’m going to have to try it on over my bust to decide how long they should be, there’s no chance of me getting it over my bump at the moment! I made a size 40 which is a size smaller than I’ve been using to make maternity clothes but 2 sizes bigger than I am when not pregnant. It’s going to take a little while to get back to that size, although I’m hoping not too long! I’ll use some of the fabric to make the straps and have them fasten at the front with snaps which I will hide on the facing so they don’t show at the front of the dress.
Do you like the trim? It’s some cotton lace I had in my stash that I bought on sale a while back, I love it and will feel very girly wearing this night dress, it beats the slouchy jog pants and my husbands t-shirts I’m wearing at the moment! In total this night dress has cost me about $7 to make. This week I’ll whip up the other two in blue and white, I have some more cotton lace trim in a peachy colour which may go well with the blue and I think I may leave the white one plain, I’ll see when it’s made up whether it needs something extra but some embroidery may be nice if I can find the time. I’m also going to work on the Desira pattern to be changed into a dressing gown to match my night dresses. Maybe I should use linen for this too, what do you recommend?

How are you all going with your skinny jeans? Have you managed to finish them yet like Fashion1 has? Go check hers out for some inspiration. If you have any tips or questions while sewing these then head on over to the forum and let us all know.

Did anyone make a scrap patchwork skirt this past weekend? Remember to upload a picture in the creations section if you did I’d love to see it. Watch out later this week for a refashioning post from me!

Letter from the Editors: Support from Members Like You


We hear it every time we tune into NPR or after watching Antiques Roadshow on PBS, or any other member funded media. “something, something, something. . .with support from members like you.” But its never quite sounded so good until we said it ourself!

Reading a Pattern!


Oh no! We’ve taught you how to thread a machine and how to

layout the pattern, but now what?! What are all those dashes and dots! Why are there three vertical solid lines?. Don’t worry, it might look like a highly advanced mix of binary and Morse code, but it’s just the pattern talking to you, and the pattern has nothing but nice and helpful things to say! Learning to read a pattern, instead of just guessing, which is what I did when I was in my oh-so-young-and-just-can’t-wait-to-start-sewing-already stage, will help you immensely. Darts and buttonholes, facings and folds! All of these things are indicated on the pattern, and can help you as not only a seamstress, but possibly when you start making your own patterns, which, of course, you will post on BurdaStyle! So follow the instructions in the Reading a Pattern How To, then get to cutting!

NikkiShell's Scrap skirt


Do you save all of your fabric scraps? I do, with the idea that I’ll make something from them someday. I’ve been working on a quilt and ended up with a heap of fabric pieces and strips left over. On a play date with my girls last week we met a little girl that was wearing a cute patchwork skirt and that light bulb moment came to me! I knew then what my scraps were meant to be.

Check out my simple tutorial to see how I made this cute scrap patchwork skirt. The skills used are patchwork sewing and gathering, very easy. The size could be adjusted to fit anyone, even you. I look forward to seeing your take on it.

NikkiShell's Print Magazine: Get the Mixtapezine!


Who would’ve thought that our great columnist NikkiShell who’s got 2 children and one of the way, and who is such a prolific writer on Wardrobe Refashion, as well as on her blog has got time for yet another project? Well, apparently she must be sleepless in Australia!

NikkiShell and her publishing partner Justine just printed issue 3 for their DIY magazine Mixtapezine. Interested to find out 10 ways to green your wallet, or How to be more alive? Want to read reviews about eco books, learn about Crafty Lady ‘Gemma Gordon’ or become an accidental gardener?

Then order your issue here or at the Mixtapezine Etsy store. Happy reading!

9 January 2008 Sewing Universe News Feed


Tweedy fabrics giving you trouble? Trying to sew a buttonhole in tweed can be tedious. Amanda at BeSewStylish has a simple tip to create buttonholes that blend in to, rather than pop out of the tweed background.

Featured Member: Lauriana


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

I live in the Netherlands, in the city of the Hague (Den Haag in Dutch)

Fabric store adventures


Thanks for your comments on my last post. To tell you the truth I’m not sure if I’ll bother removing the sleeve cuffs, more out of laziness really but you never know I may find a burst of energy and do it before the 9 weeks are up! I have had a few compliments while wearing it which is good.

It wasn’t as hot as it has been yesterday so I managed a trip to the fabric store with my girls which always turns out to be an adventure. I went searching for fabric to make the Jane top which I’ll be altering into a night dress. I was followed around the store by my little munchkins or should I say I ran around the store after them. They like to hide in amongst the fabrics; I’ll lose them then hear little giggles coming from a stack of brightly coloured glittering chiffons. I’m also constantly asked “What are you buying? Is it for me? Will you make me a dress? Can you buy me some of this pink fabric please? Why? Why? Why?”, so what could possibly be a 20 minute visit if I was alone turns into an almost 2 hour cat and mouse chase and a pretty frazzled Mamma at the end.

Anyway, back to the fabric! I ended up choosing lightweight linen to make the nightdresses and bought enough to make 3 in different colours, orange, blue and white. I’m thinking some trim would look nice on these too, maybe something simple like cotton lace or ricrac which I already have in my stash around the hem, what do you think? I made a quick and easy alteration by lengthening the top to 80cm long which should mean the hem will sit halfway down my calf. I think I’m going to leave out the elastic cord under the bust too, I found it a little uncomfortable in the last Jane top I made. I’m going to whip up a muslin with my last $2 cotton sheet to make sure the alteration is ok then it will be full steam ahead.

Don’t forget about the new sewalong, join in and create a pair of sexy skinny jeans for yourself and give me some tips and the incentive to get back into shape once baby arrives. I want skinny jeans but I have a feeling they’re going to have to be made from some very stretchy denim!

If you have little girls to sew for like I do and a ton of scraps of fabric watch out for a post from me later in the week where I’ll be showing you how to make a simple skirt. You could even scale it up for yourself!

8 January 2008 Sewing Universe News Feed


When I was a kid, I remember – very vividly – that mom’s sewing scissors were OFF LIMITS. If she caught us even thinking of using them to cut paper or something else, there was hell to pay (not really, mom’s a sweetie!) If you need to gently let a non-sewing friend exactly why you cringe when they grab your sewing scissors and head for paper, you can send them to Tim’s post on Final Embrace. He’ll help you set them straight.


This is an exciting day for us and for our friends over at Mood! We finally implemented the fabric link, that will lead you guys to the fabrics that make our creations what they are. Our <a href:“http://www.burdastyle.com/creations/show/2146&gt; featured pattern of the week,<a href:”http://www.burdastyle.com/creations/show/2146&gt; the Minna Variation 2 made out of Charmeuse, is the first example for the link. When you scroll down you now find a button “buy fabric” right underneath the creation’s picture, next to the pattern download button. This button will link you over to Mood, who so kindly are working together with us to get beautiful fabrics to you. And this is only the beginning. More fabrics for more creations and hopefully lots of notions are in the coming.

Have so much fun shopping!

7 January 2008 Sewing Universe News Feed


Here’s a blog to add to your feed reader. Sewer-Sewist is the blog of a sewing couple in Portland. They team blog about various sewing projects and fabric adventures. Between ideas for using up leftover fabrics, testing out new patterns, and even a brief history lesson of fabric manufactures in Oregon, it’s a must-read for sewers everywhere.

Not long to go!


Not long to go!

Happy New Year to you all! My celebrations weren’t all that exciting, we had planned to go away for a few days but the heat put a stop to that. It was 42 degrees here on New Years Eve and instead of partying I went to sleep underneath the air conditioner in my living room wearing only my undies! Classy huh?! It’s still sweltering and I’m struggling to keep up with things because all I want to do is lay down and crunch ice. Yes I have an ice crunching craving which I also had in my last pregnancy; at least there are no calories, better than a chocolate craving I say.

Did you make any resolutions for 2008? I prefer not to call mine resolutions but goals and I don’t feel so bad if I don’t fulfill them. This year I have a few creative goals:

• Finish the two quilts I’ve started

• Take an overlocker course and learn more about pattern making

• Keep a creative journal

• Make all gifts instead of buying, including cards or buy handmade

• Continue to make my own clothes but also refashion more

• Use up my yarn stash

• Use what I have when and where I can

• Relax more, I’m not superwoman!

I did manage to pluck up enough energy this week to sew up another Desira over the past few days. For this one I used a cute cotton sheet I bought at the thrift store for $3 which I think is a much better fabric for this pattern than the sheet I used for my muslin, which I have been wearing anyway. I decided not to shorten it and added the vents in the side seams. I also added the sleeve cuffs, added a little extra fabric to the side flaps and cut the neck facing on the bias which worked much better, I didn’t even need to gather the bust like I thought I might. All in all I feel this version turned out much better but I’m just not so sure about those sleeve cuffs, I think they look a little odd on me like I’m some character from StarTrek or Flash Gordon! I’m considering taking them off, what do you think?

I’m done with making maternity clothes now. I have around 9 weeks left with this pregnancy and I think I’d rather do with the clothes I have and start making some new clothes for after baby arrives. What I’m thinking of doing first though is making myself some nightwear and a dressing gown for my hospital stay, if I manage to get there in time! Baby number 2 made an appearance within 3 hours of labour starting and I only just managed to get to the hospital in time, I’m thinking this one could be quicker. Looking through the patterns on the site here I’m thinking that Desira could be made into a cute dressing gown by lengthening it to just above the knee and adding some sleeves. It will still be warm here around March so I’ll probably make it from a heavy cotton rather than toweling. As for the nightwear I’ll need something with easy boob access since I’ll be breastfeeding. I’m thinking the Jane top lengthened into a night dress will work well and rather than making the alteration I made last time I’ll just add snaps to the straps so I can flip the bust down to feed bubs. I’ll need a few of these and will make them in colours that compliment the dressing gown. So these will be my project for the coming weeks, maybe I’ll also find the time to make up a washbag using the Carolina pattern.

There were some fantastic aprons made in December for the Layla sewalong. Check out the creations section for pictures! It was hard to choose the pattern for the next sewalong since there were 3 favourites. I won’t be taking part in this sewalong because I have so many things on the go at the moment and I want to wait to make some skinny clothes. I’ve decided to choose the Anita jeans, I really want to make these and by seeing what you all come up with will help me when I do get around to them. If you’d like to take part then head over to the new thread and as usual let us know what you plan to do, any alterations, your fabric choice etc. I look forward to seeing all your creations.



Lisa at The Domestic Diva’s Disasters has posted a great design worksheet that you can use to keep up with completed steps on long sewing projects. She highlights the post with a great fashion sketch from her 14-year old daughter!

What’s Your New Year's Sewing Resolution?


Being back at work after a wonderful holiday, a few things right away popped into our mind and face: Nora’s unfinished bikini (Jessica pattern from August is still flying around in the office, same with the half-finished green Vanessa skirt that she urgently needs to finish to show off the striped pleats!

And, there is still this often communicated but never materialized plan: Benedikta’s dream of yet another Talea coat.

Do you have similar skeletons in the closets, or should we say haunting ghosts in your sewing cabinet? Was all that you could think of on New Year’s to quit smoking and to loose weight? Are you in need of a useful New Year’s resolution? It seems that a lot of our members have voiced some in the forum, so we decided to make it all official:

Shout out your the BurdaStyle New Year’s Sewing Resolution 2008! Tell us right here, just comment, what will you make this year. We’ll check in a year to make sure you kept your promise:)

Let us start!

Benedikta: My New Years Sewing Resolution is to replace buying with sewing as much as I can!

Nora: My New Years Sewing Resolution is to finish the Jessica Bikini, the Vanessa skirt, and to sew a Minna dress!

And here all the resolutions from the forum:

Atmomma: My sewing resolution is to correctly make a pair of pants for myself and to make more of my kids clothes instead of buying them.

Clairelovestosew : Mine is to stop being such a fabric addict, and to use up all my existing fabric, and not always rush out to buy all new stuff when I’m on a new project. My other resolution is to not be so lazy – to edge properly, adopt a “black thread means black, not mean the darkest blue I can be bothered to find” policy, not to imagi-pin and then be annoyed when it comes out wonky. etc.

Jj: I’m with Claire for using up fabric stash. Next would be try to design and draft the pattern instead of just knocking off and using commercial pattern as is. The last would be organize the sewing stuffs and keep sewing room neatly.(not a fun project that why it came last).

Maha1965: I hope I can stop being so lazy and do more sewing and don’t take it on my nerves and enjoy it

Oonaballoona: My resolution: to pin fit my patterns before i start, and continue to fit along the way no matter how much i don’t want to take off my !@*%?! sweatshirt for the 80th time. I’m always mad at myself when i finish and then have to Frankenstein it because i was impatient.

Sunnyb64: My main one is also to use up things that I have instead of rushing out to buy more fabric all the time— especially since I have fabric that I bought for projects over a year ago and never sewed! I also want to learn how to make garments more “finished”, especially inside, and finally take the time to work on a jeans pattern enough so I can have a pair that really fits!

Happy new sewing year 2008!


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