Learn How SIMPLE
Digital Patterns Really Are!

Sign Up to Receive
The Ultimate Guide to Digital Sewing Patterns eBook + a FREE Skirt Pattern!



Hi Everybody,

We are SO SO SORRY! You might have received email notifications that informed you that you received a comment on your creation, which, when you clicked on the link turned out to be SPAM! That said you might have gotten also a message to your BurdaStyle account. We have been fighting the spam and hopefully will end the battle next week, including the Spam underneath your creations!! WE ARE SO EMBARASSED and horribly sorry. Please bare with us.

Good news is, once this is fixed there won’t be any spam anymore EVER , and you will finally receive a notification whenever somebody leaves a real comment underneath your wonderful creation!

In shock,
Your BurdaStyle Team

Collar ID


Collars are an integral part of fashion. Peter pan collars- collars that lie flat against the garment- and stand up collars- like mandarin collars- are always coming in and out of style, and can drastically change the look of a blouse or jacket. Even tailored-wear has to keep up with trends in lapel size and collar stand height. A bigger lapel can make a classic-fit jacket immediately trendy. Adding a shawl, or roll collar, to a blouse or jacket quickly softens the silhouette and accentuates the feminine neckline and collarbone.

Trick or Treat on BurdaStyle


Post your costumes and get a treat!

The upcoming months hold the first major holidays BurdaStyle gets to celebrate with you, and we are so excited. We’ve got lots of great patterns for you to make magnificent gifts for your friends and family. We will also post more patterns for the perfect Holiday outfits, in addition to the Shari and Cate dresses. So not only are you giving the best handmade gifts, but you will also be the best dressed- whether you are cooking or simply eating the big dinners!

To start the Holiday season off, we are going to get all dressed up for Halloween! Our friends and neighbors, Etsy and MAKE: Magazine, are having a big crafty Halloween party and we are hoping to make some extraordinary costumes! And we want you to as well! Trick or Treat at BurdaStyle.com by posting your Halloween costumes as creations under the costumes category and we will send our favorite 10 costumes some spooky (and probably sewing-related) treats!

Dogs Can Look Even Better


The BurdaStyle team says congratulations to their friends in Germany who launched today Hallo Hund, a fun and informative community all about dogs. As a gift for the launch (we know how stressful that is!) we prepared an awesome dog vest How To, elegantly worn by Daisy. So, dress your dog in style!



There are really only two responses to the edict pink is back. One goes something like, “Back? When was it ever out?” Girls in kindergarten, Southern debs, Legally Blonde heroine Elle Woods and women obsessed with making themselves into facsimiles of Barbie, via aggressive plastic surgery – that’s one faction. The alternative reply, usually accompanied by a grimace and a mental referencing of much believed-to-be-forgotten feminist theory, tends to come out a long, guttural sound much like: Uggghhh.

Well girls, pink is back. John Galliano’s 60th anniversary collection for Dior last season threw up the first major flares of a Pepto revival, as the designer did a victory lap around the storied house’s ultra-femme, ultra-soigne past. Then Gucci’s rockabilly-themed resort show added fire to the flame, and Frida Giannini’s Spring/Summer show for the line made it official – again, and again, and again. (Methinks Ms. Giannini has been watching a bit much Grease. Also: Grease II.) Truly, her retro-themed paeans to pink proved some of the season’s more ill-conceived looks, and there’d be nothing to reinforce the trend if not for Alexander McQueen.

McQueen’s Spring/Summer show was one of the season’s standouts, an education for less disciplined and original designers in how to use a personal design idiom to make vintage ideas new. Dedicated to the memory of his mentor and muse, Isabella Blow, McQueen’s show took numerous key trends and pushed them through the keyhole of his own dark, Hitchcockian imagination. One of those key trends was the color pink. If you never thought that cotillion staple, the strapless pink dress, could ever look edgy, look again at McQueen’s floor-length version, with its subtle ombre and gothic blackbird print. It’s a lesson for all of us in the lost art of deviance: In order to be subversive, there must first be something to subvert. Enter pink.

Choices to be made


Thanks for the welcome back, it’s wonderful what a mini break can do for you. I’ve spent this week working out how to alter the Shari dress pattern to fit my rapidly growing bump, my idea (as you can see in the image above) is to join the waistband pieces to the skirt pieces then split the front skirt piece in two and move apart at the hem. I would also extend the front hem downwards to allow for my bump lifting it. What do you think? Would this work or do you have any other suggestions?

I’ve also been playing around with colours and fabrics trying to decide which to use for my Shari dress. I was going to do some drawings but decided to spare you (and myself the humiliation) and instead I copied the drawing from the instruction. I simply used colour pencils to fill them in finding inspiration in my fabric stash. Since I won’t be having the waistband this means I can’t have a contrasting fabric there. Instead I plan to use Benedikta’s wonderful ‘make your own piping’ how to and will have the piping covered in a contrasting fabric, the results will be more subtle but just enough to give the dress that little something extra. I have narrowed it down to four fabric choices from my stash with contrasting fabric for the piping. This is where I need your help, you can see my choices above, the main dress fabric is to the right and the contrasting fabric to the left. Let me know your favourite in the comments, 1, 2, 3 or 4.

We had a two favourites to be the next sew-along pattern, DDesira and Shari and since I’m making Shari already I decided it would be a good choice. We’ll spend the next 3 weeks making this dress. Head on over to the new thread I’ve started and let us know what your plans are, your fabric choices, any alterations you may make and ask any questions you may have. I will be doing a post later this week about our last sew-along, the Janina pants. I may contact a few of you to ask some questions and will post photos of your finished work here on the blog. If you haven’t yet uploaded your photos in the forum, creations section or on your home page please do so in the next day or two, thanks.

I’m still working on the bump for Betty and hope to have it made by the end of the week so I can start sewing.

Not Dressed Up and Somewhere To Go?!


Has this ever happened to you? You’re invited to a party at the last minute. Of course, the inviter intended to call you ahead of time, but they simply forgot. Or perhaps you entirely forgot about the party- you’re a very busy person. . .

Featured Member: Elainemay


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

I’m originally from New York, but have moved around quite a bit and currently live in Aachen, Germany. I can walk to Belgium and the Netherlands in half an hour from my apartment!



So much news from Paris! Looks from the City of Light will keep us busy unto eternity, or at the very least well until November. For the moment, though, let us now train our eyes on the single most galvanizing collection by any designer, anywhere, at any time in the recent past: Balenciaga.

Several key seasonal trends were distilled in designer Nicolas Ghesquiere’s Spring/Summer show for the label, notably vivid prints, the nipped waist and sculptured shoulders and hips. But what was remarkable about Balenciaga was the way Ghesquiere’s synthesis of those trends came off looking less like a dispatch from the near advance (next season) than a dispatch from the distant future.

Exit after exit saw models swathed in hoary floral prints, many of them taken from the Balenciaga archives, some blown out into a lushness almost blinding. Everything was short, extremely so, concentrating the prints’ power and highlighting Ghesquiere’s masterful use of couture techniques of tailoring and construction. Color and pattern were classicist, yet silhouettes were space-age; indeed, the collection had a whiff of sci-fi costume design about it, with its emphasis on uniform dressing. More contrast derived from the toughness of the shapes on which those unabashedly pretty-pretty prints were blazed, a toughness underscored by Ghesquiere’s dominatrix-worthy gladiator boots. The smallish collection played so many notes at once, in each of its looks, that it effectively negated the usual terms of critique; trying to make out whether the collection was “elegant,” or “sexy,” or “young,” for example, was as much a dead-end as it must have been for critics raised on Beethoven trying to make sense of the first twelve-tone symphony.

Likewise, for Balenciaga a new language must be invented. The collection won’t nullify the styled, mix and match ethos of fashion as its been, but it argues in favor of a totally new idea of dress – one, it must be noted, that hearkens back to very old ideas of dress, ones that stretch back as far as Marie Antoinette and that are epitomized in the “total look” of ‘50s couture. In light of Spring/Summer ‘08, Balenciaga’s Fall/Winter ’07 show, so hyper-styled, so eccentrically-mixed and matched, seems ever more like a comment on fashion now, Ghesquiere taking a snapshot of a fashion moment he was about to render obsolete.

Recharged and ready to go!


Well hello there! It has been while since I last posted here on Burdastyle, I needed to take an unexpected break to recharge my batteries. You wouldn’t think I was last pregnant only 2 years ago, I seemed to forget how tiring pregnancy can be but I think that’s the idea, you forget so you’ll do it all again! Anyway, I have been keeping watch here on the site even though I haven’t posted.

The Janina Sew-Along is going well although we seem to have a technical difficulty with the third page of the thread, so I ask that those of you taking part please take the time to post in the new thread. Let us know how you went making these pants, were they easy/difficult? Did you make any alterations? What fabric did you use? If you were to make them again, would you make any changes? Also, please upload photos of your finished Janina pants either in the thread (check the how-to if you have trouble) or in the creations section of the site by this weekend. Next week I will post an update and announce the next project, which you can help decide by leaving a comment in the forum.

Personally I’ve not done any garment sewing this past month, visiting family, sickness and a very untidy sewing room contributed to this. I will have help with my sewing from now on, Betty came to stay with me a few weeks back and am looking forward to working with her. Unfortunately Betty’s waistline doesn’t expand as much as I need it to so before I start on any garment sewing I’m going to make a bump for her. A fellow blogger Rowena has made one of these and has given me a few tips on how to make my own. I’m considering filling it with rocks and making my husband wear it for a day so he can find out what it’s really like to be pregnant! It will have a slit in the back so that I can stuff it as needed.

I’m starting afresh with a new project, I will be sewing the new Shari pattern. I will spend the next three or four weeks working on this pattern, making alterations and giving you weekly updates of my progress. I love this pattern as it is so shouldn’t need to make many alterations but the obvious change I will make is an allowance for my bump. I’ll be digging out my sketchbook and pencils to jot down some possible changes and if you promise to not laugh at my terrible drawing I shall show you next week along with a few fabric choices and you can help me make a decision.

Pleats, Please. . .


This week, there are two, that’s right, TWO “two”-torials! I just couldn’t resist when I realized how handy pleats can be. I’ve been noticing so many pin-tucked yokes and insets and even sleeves in the latest runway shows,



“Are people really wearing that?” is one of the most common questions when it comes to the ‘Dirndl’ and the ‘Lederhosn’, traditional costumes in Bavaria that are still worn by all generations on festive occasions. “Yes we are!” And ‘we’ includes Bavarians (Benedikta) as well as ‘Zugezogene’ (people who moved to Bavaria, like me). And the best time to prove this is the ‘fifth season’ of the year: The Oktoberfest.

And although most dresses and pants look the same, the expert’s eye will quickly detect the authenticity and quality of dress and pants. The latter ones are most respected if made out of real deer leather – and best-case scenario, inherited from the great grandfather. New ones can cost up to several thousand Euros. No wonder that the cheaper goat or cow version is happily bought for a few hundred or second hand.

The Dirndl is an even more difficult subject matter, and opinions about what’s authentic and what modern elements go beyond the scope are crucial to some, and practically invisible to others. Some believe short Dirndls are sacrilegious and that black ones can only be worn by elderlies or in mourning. Another issue of dispute: The corset. To tie or not to tie is the question here, and zippers are often frowned upon.

We went last week to the Wiesn (how Oktoberfest is called by the locals) and took some pictures for you, so you can study what Dirndl you like yourself!

And of course there are also some BurdaStyle members who just make their traditional clothes themselves! Check out the beautiful Dirndl of Kihli.



We interrupt our coverage of the Spring/Summer ‘08 fashion weeks for cultural news of infinitely greater consequence. (At least according to this correspondent.) PJ Harvey’s new album, “White Chalk,” comes out next week, and good god, if you’re not on the Peej’s bandwagon by now, you’d better get on it ASAP. The woman has literally never released an album that wasn’t surprising, scary and scarily beautiful. “White Chalk” sees PJ trading in her usually guitar-based sound for piano-drenched balladry, muted in volume but not in spirit. She is a genius; all hail the amazing Polly Jean.

Returning to fashion: Let’s talk about Miuccia Prada, likewise a talent who chooses to dare herself in new directions. She’s followed last season’s weirdly apocalyptic collection (astro-turf hats! rubberized leather!) with one even more evocatively strange. Basically, she showed pajamas. This was very much in keeping with Spring/Summer’s emerging lingerie theme, but still. To Miuccia’s credit, the oddball show managed to induce plenty of mouthwatering; there was something ultimately winning about her Poiret-meets-Aladdin aesthetic. But Ms. Prada is nothing if not an intellectual, and I was forced to wonder if this collection signaled some conceptual resignation on her part. Fall’s controversial Prada show was nothing if not fiercely engaged, seemingly taking on issues such as global warming and unimpeded biotech. This season, well, apparently Miuccia wants to take a nap. Either that, or she’s decided that everyone watching is half-asleep anyway.

As for the rest of Milan: Meh. Raf Simons show for Jil Sander was typically cool, and offered a more youthful vision for Sander. The puffball dresses were a little loopy, if brilliantly constructed, and good luck to anyone but the anorexiest models who wish to pull off the rest of the show’s severely skinny silhouette. Karl Lagerfeld was feeling Op-Art for Fendi; individually, the long, featherweight dresses were hypnotic; taken together, the show was migraine food. Gucci: Boring but wearable in the yellow/black, ‘80s-influenced section, to-die-for accessories, please no more bubblegum pink or rockabilly skirts. Frida, methinks, has been watching Grease. Dolce and Gabbana: Boudoir Versailles, and consequently nuts. Versace: Donatella doesn’t think women should look like sluts, after all. I think that about covers it. Think prints.

In other news, Radiohead’s new album is out on the 10th, and only available online.

Make your point!


For those of you who participating in the Sew Along with NikkiShell, especially the first one for the Susan Blouse, you might find this How To a bit too late. But after a special request from a member, I decided now is as good a time as any to share the trick for sewing sharp corners and angles.




Granted, the preferable thing is to be a big fish in a big pond. London Fashion Week, however, is making an ever-stronger argument for the next-best option. Emerging, independent designers are getting ever-shorter shrift in New York, never less so than this season, which saw a week of shows at once so rushed and so over-scheduled that even Marc Jacobs was threatening to decamp for Blighty. The small pond atmosphere in London, in contrast, helped to shine a spotlight on the several big fish swimming these formerly inhospitable waters.

Enough of a bad metaphor; on to fashion. The point is, London has plenty of it right now. New York had many good ideas; maybe too many. The refreshing thing about London was that numerous designers all seemed to coalesce around one big idea – the body, miraculous and dynamic – but each found an idiosyncratic way of developing the theme. Gone, for the most part, the retro sexyback styles – Leger banding, Versace vamp – that have characterized recent collections by the London stars. In those references’ place, a new idiom has emerged, an intellectual and architectural take on body-conscious dressing, expressed most poetically by Marios Schwab.

Schwab literalized an obsession with the body he’s played out over several seasons, which saw him working out a patternmaking debt to Alaia in the neutral palette of Armani. This season, he stepped away from curve-hugging seams in favor of a looser silhouette, and did a complete 180 when it came to color and print. The first dress down the runway featured a bright digital image of body heat so photorealistic that it seemed to adapt itself in time with the model’s catwalk sashay, and its long sleeves were made in a swirling pastel print you’d never guess was inspired by the mysterious layers of tissue inside us. The best exits in Schwab’s collection paired that print with black roping and corsets redolent of viscera and bone. You didn’t need to get the reference to take the subliminal charge. Truly, the collection was a breakthrough. The Jonathan Saunders, Sinha-Stanic and Richard Nicoll shows packed almost as much of a wallop, working the body theme in their own distinctive ways, and meanwhile this season, the buzzed-about Christopher Kane and Henry Holland lit out for new and interesting territory of dress, Erdem sent out an intelligently commercial collection that could give Philip Lim a run for his money, and newcomers Louise Goldin and Clare Tough emerged on the scene with a bang. Maybe London isn’t such a small pond, after all.


  • Editors' Pick
  • Pattern Collections
  • BurdaStyle Academy
  • Burda Challenge
  • Backstage Report
  • Fashion & Trends
  • DIY to Try
  • Tips & Techniques
  • Member Highlights
  • Sewing Projects
  • Outta Town
  • Contests & Competitions
  • Archive
  • Guest Columns
  • Videos
  • Meg's Magazine Mash Up
  • As Seen In
  • Podcast
  • Holiday