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Advent Quiz #5


Congratulations to yesterday’s winner, Diana Kaiser, for answering yesterday’s question first and correctly- Who was the first person to establish a Haute Couture house?? Her answer-
Charles Frederick Worth (1825-1895) is first the person who was fashion designer and the founder of Haute Couture and established the first Haute Couture House in Paris.
We’ll be mailing her special prize to Dresden!

The 5th Advent question is:

Which designer’s work was coined “The New Look” in 1947?

Please send your answer to answers@burdastyle.com with subject line: ’Advent Quiz #5" and PLEASE be sure to include your mailing address in your response so that we can quickly mail you your Christmas treats!

We look forward to seeing all your responses! Rules and regulations, you find here.

Good Luck!

Susan Beal at BurdaStyle!

Fashion at Felt Club

written by Susan Beal

I had the chance to teach a jewelry class at Felt Club XL Holiday in Los Angeles this year, and after my demo was over I walked around and saw all the handmade work for sale. In the sea of great indie crafts—clever T-shirts, adorable baby gear, and accessories galore—I thought the designs from Bossa Nova Baby, Twospace and Queen Puff Puff were especially gorgeous. Each owner-designer sews her entire line single-handedly, and the attention to detail is remarkable.

Portland designer Cathy Pitters of Bossa Nova Baby had a lovely collection of her handmade skirts and reworked vintage sweaters for sale. She reclaims thrift-store and estate-sale cardigans and pullovers and hand-embellishes each one with Gocco printing and stitching, using classic motifs like sparrows, anchors, and deer. Her skirts include details like piping or rick-rack edged pockets, Gocco printing, and decorative stitching along hems.

The skirts and sweaters in her line are typically one-of-a-kind since she uses vintage materials and frequently updates her designs.

Christine Haynes of Twospace had her current collection of dresses and separates at the sale, all hand-sewn in her Venice, California studio. The fabrics she chooses are fantastic—graphic patterns and solids with lovely drape. And the original patterns she designs (like this Café Dress in gingham) are always figure-flattering, reflecting a vintage-meets-modern sensibility. Christine also created a charming paper doll page to showcase her current collection!

Meanwhile, Petaluma, California accessories designer Nicole Vasbinder had a striking collection of her Queen Puff Puff handbags, clutches, and headbands for sale. She rotates her fabric choices seasonally, always sticking to bold prints and lush colors for her coordinating pieces. She said that these oversized tote styles have been recent favorites…

…but she’s also been busy whipping up these new zippered pouch wristlets.

Since the holiday craft fair season is well underway, you can find each of these three designers at events over the next month, or see their work through each of their websites.

Cathy of Bossa Nova Baby will be at Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle (Dec. 1-2), the BUST Craftacular in New York (Dec. 8), and her own sale, Crafty Wonderland, in Portland (Dec. 16).

And Nicole will be at a flurry of shows with her Queen Puff Puff bags: Indie Sacramento (Dec. 1), Netivot Shalom Arts and Crafts Festival (Dec. 2), Appel and Frank in San Francisco (Dec. 6), Feria Urbana in San Francisco (Dec. 8), and Thread in San Francisco (Dec. 16). Her work will also show at Craftland in Providence (Dec. 1-22).



There’s nothing like inspiration that’s tailored specifically to your

preferences. When your stack of fashion mags gets a little

overwhelming, pare them down and make them into a custom

inspirational magazine. Cut Out and Keep has a <a


to show you how.

So you’re a pro at sewing your own clothes, but what happens when you

need to accessorize your ever-growing DIY wardrobe? Niesz Vintage Home

… and Fabric has a great idea for a quick-change bag that you

can customize

to match all your outfits. And it will put your scrap stash to

good use, too!

Pants with my name on them!


Pants with my name on them!

This week I’ve made up a muslin for the ‘Nichola pants from an old sheet. I made a simple alteration to the front piece of the pattern by scooping the waistline to fit under my bump. Since I’m in need of comfortable clothing at the moment I thought that instead of adding the waistband with buttons and zip that I’d give the pants an elasticated waist. What do you think? I know that this would alter the look of the pants but this doesn’t concern me since I’m not really in need of tailored pants. My bump still has more growing time I so need pants that will fit me until the end of the pregnancy and in my eyes elastic is the way to go. I’m thinking of adding extra length to the waist which I can fold over to create a channel for the elastic and also need to add some length to the rise at the back, when I sit down you get a nice (or not so nice) view of my bottom! So an inch or so will be added to my back pattern piece. I’m also going to leave out the pocket, I’m not sure it would sit right since there will be some slight gathering at the waist but I am considering adding some side pockets like those in Nayantara’s how-to, I LOVE pockets I can sink my hands into. The last alteration I need to do is to shorten the legs, in the picture above I have already shortened them by 15cm and they’re still too long which just goes to show how small I am! I want these pants to be as casual and as comfortable as possible to wear which I think they will be and they are also very easy to make (without having to add the back pocket and waistband) so I should be able to whip up a few pairs in no time.

Now, onto the Lydia sew along. I procrastinated all of last week too and didn’t get around to making mine; instead I spent time making Christmas decorations for our tree and postcards for a swap I organized. Now that I’m making the Nichola pants I think I will make the Lydia top with short sleeves to wear with them instead of making the dress version. I’m loving Julietta’s take on the pattern and Mellu’s cute version with the puff sleeves which she made with the help of Zahra’s how-to. Check out the thread in the forum for more details and see more finished Lydia’s in the creations section.

Since it’s the holiday season and everyone is busy busy busy I thought we would keep the next sew along nice and simple and make the Layla apron and matching mittens. Maybe you’d like to make it for yourself to wear on Christmas Day whilst cooking lunch or dinner or maybe you know someone it would make the perfect gift for, handmade gifts are the best I think. Just remember to use a non-flammable batting/wadding when making the mittens. If you want to take part please head on over to the new thread in the forum and let us know who you are making Layla for, what fabrics you plan to use and any alterations you may make.

Advent Quiz #4


Congratulations to yesterday’s winner, Betsy Moore, for answering yesterday’s question correctly- What segment of your body approximately equals one yard?
Her answer- From the tip of your fingers to the tip of your nose with your head turned away from the hand you are measuring from."

I’m sure that was a great start to her week, and we hope to make even more of you happy, so there are still lots more questions to answer.

The 4th Advent question is:

Who was the first person to establish a Haute Couture house?

Please send your answer to answers@burdastyle.com with subject line: ’Advent Quiz #4" and PLEASE be sure to include your mailing address in your response so that we can quickly mail you your Christmas treats!

We look forward to seeing all your responses! Rules and regulations, you find here.

Good Luck!

Featured Member: Brooke Noelle


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

I’m originally from Portland, Oregon, located in the beautiful

Northwest. I moved out to New York to attend culinary school and

hopefully become an accomplished cake decorator. I’ve lived in

Brooklyn for almost 3 years now, and I love it. I reside in historic

Bed-Stuy, in a brownstone with my partner, Mike, and our two comical


Advent quiz, the 3rd!


…ein Lichtlein brennt! (a little light is burning….) Yesterday was the first advent Sunday (three more to go!), when a light is being lit in German houses to await Christmas eve, and our special first candle question "Which designer made ‘harem’ pants famous?’ was perfectly answered by one of our very active members Zahra…and this is what she said:

“Paul Poiret brought this trendy change to fashion… freeing women from corsets back in early 20s”

We will send our little goodie bag with lovely sewing things to Zahra who lives in Pakistan, we hope she gets the package soon!

So many of you wrote and didn’t win this time. Don’t worry! There are 22 more chances. And here is question number 3:

What segment of your body approximately equals one yard?

Please send your answer to answers@burdastyle.com with subject line: ’Advent Quiz #3". First one to get it right, will win our third goodie bag!

We are looking forward to plenty more responses! Rules and regulations, you find here.



Claire James at Project reFashion has a very interesting commentary

on the dying art of tailoring. She examines the difference between

personal/reconstructive fashion sewing and true, high quality

tailoring. She makes some

great points about the change in quality of how clothes are being

made, and how the lost art of tailoring is affecting small business

alteration shops.

Mermaids has a <a


Neckline Tutorial up – use scraps of fabric to dress up the

neckline of your next shirt.

Advent, the 2nd!


Advent, Advent…and the winner to our first question is:
Kathleen Houlihan. Congratulations! She will receive our little goodie bag with love from our BurdaStyle Christmas team. The answer to How can you test a fabric to make sure it is silk?, is to burn the end of it. The smell is similar to burned hair as well as the remains will tell you where it’s at. Thanks so much for plenty emails and answers..

There is still plenty left to win, since we are only at day two of our challenge, and here is question #2

Which designer made harem pants famous?

Please send your answer to answers@burdastyle.com. First one to get it right, will win our second goodie bag!

We are looking forward to plenty more responses, rules and regulations, you findhere.



Intros are springing up for the new round of Wardrobe Refashion. <a

href=“http://nikkishell.typepad.com/wardroberefashion/&#8221;&gt;Check out the

blog to meet the folks who will be creating and

refashioning their wardrobes for the next 2, 4 or 6 months. Don’t

forget to subscribe to the blog so you can keep up with their sewing


If you still haven’t started dropping hints on what you want

for the Holidays – try sending this link to your gift givers. Or just

enjoy the fabulous suggestions and resources the folks at The Purl Bee

have put together. <a


outline gift suggestions for everyone from the beginning sewer to

“folks who sew clothing.” Great ideas.

BurdaStyle's Advent Calendar


Advent, Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt…..It is the first of December and every shopwindow and radio station reminds us that the holiday season is here. Advent is a season full of traditions in Germany. The advents calendar plays an important role during that season. Since nora and I love this season and miss good old home once in a while, we decided to share the tradition with you.
Every day from the first until the 24th, we will open every day one of the little goody bags on our beautiful Christmas tree. The first user to send us the answer to our question of the day, will win the goody of the day!

Our first question is
How can you test a fabric to see if it is silk?

Send your answer to answers@burdastyle.com. The winner will be announced the following day, together with a new question and a new chance to win. For rules and regulations, see here.

Beginners and Basics- Threading a machine


As many people have mentioned in the forum, there are not a lot of online sites that teach sewing, from the beginning. So, instead of just talking about it, we decided to be the solution. We are beginning with a series of How To’s, including one you might remember from last week- Pattern Layout, intended to help both absolute beginners and out-of-practice seamstresses, and anyone else who could use a little dusting off!



Threadheads Rob and Corinne have started a new Holiday "Holly

Jolly How-To’s" series, and kick off with a great sweater

transformation. One sweater + some scissors and a sewing machine = a

hot shrug and a knit mini. <a

href=“http://www.threadbanger.com/episode/HJH_20071128&#8221;&gt;Check it




aliz just posted a fantastic skirt that was part of a school

project. She’s translated a <a


into an amazing fashion piece that includes twisted wire and an

interesting overlay. So if you need inspiration for your next sewing

project … maybe a trip to the art museum is in order.



Well, it’s upon us.

The holidays, I mean. Maybe it’s because my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, or maybe because Thanksgiving is the big to-do for my clan and so December has an ambience of emotional ebb, or maybe it’s just because the whole ritual has always seemed a bit much to me, but I always approach the gift-giving season with a touch of dread ringing around in my head, like a yuletide carol. For the sake of my friends, who expect to exchange presents, I force myself out to stores, on the lookout for products that can somehow, materially, bespeak my love; no matter how well I do, I always feel I’ve come up short. And then my bank balance, besides.

But this year, I don’t think I’m alone in feeling grim about gifts. There’s the sudden onslaught of news reports about green giving, for one thing, all of them dancing around their own guilty premise: Secret Santa parties, holiday gift wrap, presents piled high under the tree, none of this is even remotely green, nor can be. Then there are the stories about the credit crunch, the American shopping spree suspended as homes are foreclosed upon and stocks topple in on themselves. The article that really caught my eye, however, was a recent piece about the decline of repair shops; apparently, no one thinks much about fixing stuff anymore. Why pay someone to tinker with your twitchy DVD player when a new one will only set you back a cool $50? (Or less, if you’re willing to skimp on bells and whistles.)

All of which got me thinking. I’ve got my own wish list for this Christmas, and it boils down to this: I’d like to fix up the stuff I already own. The A.P.C. snorkel parka I’ve worn day-in, day-out for three winters; there’s a button missing, it needs some patching and a good dry clean, but I love it, and I want it back for another season. Totally fixable. My iPod: The battery died over Thanksgiving, and I teased myself in the Apple store, debating whether to get one of the new video Nanos, but no, what I really want is the iPod I have, the classic one that’s served me so well. While I’m at it, the keyboard on my laptop needs replacing, and the wiring is shot in the vintage lamp I got a few years back, and my favorite handbag requires a new lining. I possess a half-dozen shoes I’m unwilling to part with and unable to wear; maybe this Christmas, one of my friends will donate a date with the Russian shoe repair guy down the block. Perhaps the holiday season has gotten to me after all: I’m feeling rather thankful for everything I have.

In the spirit of fixing and repairing instead of just trashing what once was dearly loved, Nikkishell will start a new section in the blog that is covering that theme. Learn how to alter and repair your favorite clothes that otherwise would have landed in the goodwill pile.


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