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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.



sagefemme on Craftster just posted a great recon of sweaters

that were out of date and funky fitting. The <a


turned out great.

Fashion goes green for folks in the bay area. aWear is an Eco

Fashion with guest speakers, DIY workshops, exhibits and a clothing

swap. Read more

about it on Going San Francisco.



It’s hard to resist a fantastic new fashion resource, and Emily at

BeSewStylish confesses to caving in to the lure of a book cover. <a


She’s reviewed American Fashion – a history book of sorts -

and it seems that her impulse purchase was a good one. Read more on

the BeSewStylish blog.



It’s all done! I finished my Liz blouse today and love it, it’s so light and airy and is perfect for this summer weather. I decided to use the same fabric for the inverted pleats which I added to the princess seams in the front for extra bump space. I think they worked really well. One thing I think I would change are the sleeves, I feel that they gape a little too much but I think this could be fixed by shortening the sleeves slightly towards my shoulders and under the arm. I added a little length to the blouse to make sure it covers my bump and I also added ties in a contrasting fabric which I attached to the side seams, this way I can tie them in the front or the back. Just look at my bump though isn’t it getting big?! I’ll be posting a mini how-to later this week for sewing inverted pleats so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Now those jeans you see me wearing in the photograph don’t fit me around the waist anymore. I’m embarrassed to say that they’re actually held together with an elastic band, oh the shame! Plus it’s getting far too warm to be wearing jeans for this pregnant lady so of course I need to make a pair of trousers for my next project and really I can’t pass up making the ‘Nichola’ trousers can I? Considering they’re my namesake. So my plan is to lower the waistband at the front for it to fit underneath my bump. I may also look into making the waistband slightly larger than needed and adding some elastic to the back to give them some room for growth. What are your thoughts on these plans? Do you think they would work? I have some delicious chocolate brown linen in my stash that should work beautifully with this pattern along with elastic and most probably a zip but come to think of it, I may not need one. If I make the pants a little less figure hugging along with the elasticated lowered waistband I may be able to get away with having one altogether. So these pants should cost me $0 since I already have everything in my stash. I like that!

Just one more week left for the Lydia sewalong. I’ve been procrastinating big time about sewing my dress version of this pattern. I need to get over my fear of cutting into the jersey fabric and just go for it. Maybe I’ll get started on it tomorrow, maybe. Someone please give me a boot up the backside and tell me I just need to go for it. Thanks, I appreciate it.

I’ve not seen anymore Lydia creations on the site so if you’re taking part please post your finished creation and let us know your thoughts. Are you happy with the outcome? Did you make any alterations? What would you do differently next time? I have started a new thread in the forum for deciding what our next project will be, head on over there and cast your vote.

Happy Sewing!



“>Individual Chic has started a tutorial on how to make an Obi. She’s using it to jazz up a dress she already has in prep for the holiday party season.



hellagabrielle has posted a tutorial to her shirt to cardigan post over on Craftster. She’s provided simple instruction on transforming a plain t-shirt into a snazzy, fitted v-neck cardigan.



The Glasgow School of Art Library web site points to the Vintage Sewing Reference Library – a not-for-profit organization that provides free access to primary source reference material on vintage fashion and lifestyle.

If you’d like to make clothes on a smaller scale and for a good cause, check out the Twirls for Girls project where you can get free, downloadable patterns to make doll clothes that will be donated to local Toys for Tots campaigns.



The deadline for the Sublime Stitching/Chronicle Books Handmade Gift Swap is less than a month away. With some amazing gifts and fun sponsors, you’ll be grabbing your needles and floss faster than you can say, “Embroidery Hoop.”

Craftster and Alternation are sponsoring a Thrift Store inspired contest – Super Ugly to Super Awesome. The window to post submissions to Craftster is December 1-5. Read more here.



Head over to The Domestic Diva’s Disasters™ and follow through her Sewing Room Organization Challenge. The challenge is over, but her information and pictures are still great.

Not sure what holiday gift to get for your fellow sewing enthusiast? (or need a few hints to pass along to the folks who will be shopping for you?) Sewing Sunsets has a post on shopping for sewing fans that will help you find or hint for gifts for the sewing inclined.



A bit of inspiration and wool felt transform a thrift-store find into


“> fabulous new outfit.

Is your sewing room in disarray and need some inspiration to get it

cleaned out an organized? Check out Material Mama’s sewing room

makeover by her daughters.

Back to Basics- Laying out a Pattern


Just starting to use patterns? We know some people are hesitant to use patterns, but its really quite easy! Everything you need to know is right on the pattern, and once you start, you’ll never stop! But before you start, you need to understand the importance of laying out a pattern. In the fashion industry, the layout of the pattern is one of the most important processes, because it maximizes the use of the fabric and that can really help cut costs in the long run. Whether or not you are a pro, you can check out the cutting layout provided with a pattern in order to save yourself future frustrations that can occur if, say, you are like me, and just cut any which way until you realize you are out of fabric! So whether you are a beginner, either new to patterns or new to sewing all together, or a veteran who could use a little brush up, you can check out this How To on layout out pattern pieces to make sure your pieces are cut perfectly every time. Hope its a helpful lesson for everyone, and look forward to next weeks How To for a translation of all those crazy symbols all over your patterns!


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