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Happy Earth Day!


Happy Earth Day!

We at BurdaStyle would like to congratulate you, all our members, on making a difference in the world. Because you all make your clothes, even one t-shirt or one pair of pants, you are contributing to a cleaner planet. Making clothes yourself helps decrease the emission of Carbon Dioxide and various by-products of mass production that harm the environment.

Burda News Feed: 100 Skirt Project


Depending on which fashion site you read, 2008 is going to be the year of the skirt. If you follow this season’s trend, no doubt you’ll be sewing up at least one of these garments for yourself, but while you’re at it why not sew up a skirt for someone else? Vintage Threads has started the 100 skirt project – she’ll be making embellished skirts (with coordinating tops) ranging is sizes 3T to misses small, wrapping and numbering each set, and sending all of them to an orphanage in Guatemala. As she began documenting her progress, readers of her site began taking an interest in her projects and began to send skirts to her cause. If you’re interested in contributing to this charitable project, then be sure to read this entry where Charity lists what sizes are still needed before the 100 skirt project is complete!

Prom Dress Pattern Variation!


Hi Everyone!

Well it’s that time of the year again; over the next couple of months those of you in high school have many a momentous occasion arising. All eyes will be on you from prom to graduation, flash bulbs will be flying every which way, are you ready for it? If not, we have great news for you and anyone who needs a dress for a special occasion. The BurdaStyle team decided that since we know how incredibly talented and fun you all are, that you would appreciate a dress that spoke of your elegance as well.

Sewing Universe News Feed: 14 April 2008


On a recent Ellen, program host, Ellen DeGeneres, expressed her extreme dislike for anything with sparkles or glitter Ever since, Crafty Chica has been on a mission to bring “Glitter Awareness” to the world. On the 8th, the Crafty Chica herself, along with other LA crafters gathered outside NBC’s Burbank studio to bring her message to everyone. Those in the area gathered their handmade glittered goods and signs to “promote glitter awareness and safe sparkle alternatives” and headed on out to the rally. For more details about gathering check out this entry on the Crafty Chica.

Nikkishell: Pressing tools and sew along update


Where has the past week gone?! Life seems to be so full at the moment that time just goes by in a flash. I still haven’t managed to work on my Jorinde blazer or finish my JJ blouse. I did however manage to make myself a tailor’s ham. I figure that since I’ve spent a lot of money on the fabrics I’m using for the blazer I should really make sure I do a good job of making it. The most important part of making a garment look good is pressing as you go so I decided to look into the tools of the trade. I came across these posts on The Sewing Diva’s website with heaps of info.

I’m in the process of making my own set of tools and will post how-to’s here on BurdaStyle so you can make your own. A tailor’s ham is probably the most often used pressing tool, it is used for pressing any seams that you find hard to press on a flat ironing board, you will find my how-to here, it is very easy to make. Next is a seam roll, useful for pressing long seams such as sleeves and pant legs. I have partly made my own version using a rolled up newspaper, batting and cotton fabric, I have just a few last minute touches to make and need to take a photograph of the finished roll and I’ll post my how-to. Next I’m going to make a few pressing cloths which are basically just squares of lint free fabric such as muslin or cotton drill. I’ll also make a pressing mitt using some terry toweling. I’m not sure how much I need the wooden tools such as a clapper or press blocks, although I do like the idea of beating the hell out of a piece of fabric, it would be great stress relief! If and when I do need such tools I’ll look into making them myself or having someone make them for me locally. Do you use pressing tools when you sew? Do you have any tips or recommendations?

Now, onto the sew along. April’s sew along pattern, ’Nichola’ has been quite popular and has also had an extra few weeks running time due to me not being around but now it’s time for something new. I have set up a new thread in the forum for our new sew along which will be the Ellinor blouse. For those about to enjoy the summer months this could be made in a light weight fabric and for those of us about to enjoy winter it could be made in a heavier fabric. I’ve made one of these before and hopefully will find the time to make another for this sew along. Let us know your plans for sewing this pattern, show us your fabric choice and tell us of any changes you plan to make. Don’t be shy and ask questions if you are unsure of anything.

Make sure you take the time to check out the Nichola pants of member that took part in April’s sew along. You can also read about any problems members came across, their solutions and any changes they made while sewing this pattern in the forum.

Wearable Technology: Blythe Church – Electronic Objects Reinvisioned as Soft Sculpture


Blythe Church – Electronic Objects Reinvisioned as Soft Sculpture

Blythe Church, a Canadian artist working in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia has made some lovely soft replicas of household objects, cameras and robots. Church says her work is inspired by the art of Claes Oldenburg, who has made such sculptures as the Soft Bathtub and Clothespin (a giant sculpture of a Clothespin displayed outside of Philadelphia’s City Hall). Church, who has an upcoming show, was kind enough to answer some questions about her work.

Sewing Universe News Feed: 10 April 2008


As the sun starts to make a brighter appearance in the sky this spring, your sewing and wardrobe will likely start to brighten up as well. If you’re working with a lot of whites this season, be sure to check out the article from Threads about sewing with whites. From prepping your work area to making sure your marks don’t stick around permanently, there are a lot of great tips for working with white fabrics.

Letter From the Editors: Pricing


Hey there everyone!

Today we just wanted to preempt some questions that might be coming up. We wanted to explain why some patterns cost money and why some are free of charge. Though we would love to give every single pattern away for free, there are some costs that a website must cover in order to stay in business. The majority of our patterns (both Basic and User Designed) are completely free but about once a month a trend piece will be offered at a low cost.

Nikkishell: Back in the saddle and setting up shop


Hey there! I’m back in the saddle after having a little break to have my baby. Heidi Grace was born five days past my due date but made up for that by arriving after a very quick 50 minute labour on the bedroom floor in the presence of four paramedics and my husband. Talk about eventful! We’re settling well into being a family of five and life is good! Do you know what else is good? I’m skinny again!! YAY!! Well, not quite back to my pre pregnancy self yet but I’ve joined the gym and should be there soon. I do fit into the Sidonie skirts and Lydia tops (which I have yet to photograph) I made while still pregnant; it’s so nice to wear regular clothes again.

In the few weeks leading up to and after the birth my sewing machine has collected a good layer of dust. After the disaster with my JJ blouse I decided my mind just wasn’t able to concentrate on anything that required attention to detail, I was also too big to be able to sit at the machine comfortably for anything longer than ten minutes at a time. So, the machine was put to one side and instead I took to knitting, stitching and trying to relax on the sofa. It was actually quite nice to be able to do this, I had not knit much in almost a year and a half but once I got into it the bug bit me. At the moment I’m knitting a pair of socks using some of my stash that I organized.

Oh yes! I forgot to tell you, I organized my sewing room after my last post. I spent that night dreaming of it and the next morning I woke up, rolled out of bed and straight into my sewing room. I don’t think I came out except for food, drink and the odd visit (ok, they were pretty regular) to the loo until 8pm that evening. I rearranged my shelves; transferring books to one book shelf, removing the books destined for EBay and used the other bookshelf to store my fabric stash. I organized my yarn stash, my knitting needles and embroidery floss. Magazines, paperwork and bowls of ‘stuff’ and boxes were sorted through and I found stuff I didn’t know I had. I hung my BurdaStyle patterns from hangers in the closet, a friend of mine found me a spool holder which she is delivering to me next week and I stuck a tape measure to the edge of my desk for easy measuring. It may not look like I did much but it was a big job.

I’m more organized now and I know exactly what I have in my stash. I have so much stuff that I have decided to start using it to make items to sell in my online store that I’ve been planning in my head and on paper. It may take a little while longer to get it off the ground but I’m good with that. I plan on taking it easy; I want it to fit in around my family life. I’m not going to pressure myself to get things made and up in the shop by a certain date, I’ll do it as and when I can and build up from there if I feel comfortable. I’ll be doing this for fun, to create just because I can and want to, to use up some supplies and of course I hope to make a little extra money in the process.

I’m thinking of opening a Big Cartel store that I will link to from my website. I have an Etsy store but it has sat empty for longer than I can remember. There are pros and cons to both. First of all the cost, Big Cartel has a set monthly fee which depends on the amount of items you want to sell and they do not charge a listing fee per item, just one payment per month and that’s it. Etsy have no monthly fee but charge per item listed and if you’re listing a lot of items this can get quite expensive. Next up is the exposure, with Big Cartel my store will only be seen by those that visit my website whereas Etsy has an enormous amount of visitors each day increasing the chance of my goods being seen and bought. Another option is to go with the new PayPal storefront widget which is a badge that you display in the sidebar of your blog or on your website. I think this would be great for those that only sell a few items and do so infrequently. So, I need to weigh up these pro’s and con’s and decide what is going to be best for me, a little more research is needed. As I work towards opening my online store I’ll be discussing this subject in future posts. I’m interested to hear from those of you already doing this and I especially want to hear from those of you that are using BurdaStyle patterns to make and sell, so if you are doing wither please leave me a comment and tell me about it.

Now, I’m off to catch up on everything I have missed here on BurdaStyle. I’ll give you a sew along update next week and we’ll decide on a new project. I’m also going to get back into my sewing room. I have a Jorinde jacket to make, a JJ blouse to finish and many other projects to finish that have been sitting idle for far too long. I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things!

Base Drawing!


Hey everyone check out out newest how to on how to use a technical figurine (croqui) to create drawing flats!

Sewing Universe News Feed: 3 April 2008


A new magazine has hit the newsstands this spring, Make It Mine. Not only does it have great ideas for making edgy accessories, but this issue gives the readers a challenge – Transform anything into a fantastic purse! You’ll need to become a registered user to submit (and vote for your favorite) your creation, but if you’re one of the top 3 designers, you’ll get a $75 Visa gift card. Read here for more information on the contest rules.

Sewing Universe News Feed: 2 April 2008


We all know that it’s the little finishing details that really pull a project together, but if hand stitching and finishing scares you, check out Make it Mine’s Sewing Basics Videos. You can watch online demonstrations of the blindstitch, backstitch and slip stitch and more, and see there’s really no need to fear hand work.

April Fools!


April Fools! We are so sad to say it, but there will be no cookies and fun gum weekly blog. Yet again we were so impressed with the quality of the writing and the thought that went into your submissions, you made us wish that this blog really did exist!!! Here are some excerpts from our favorite submissions:

Etsy.com talks DIY Bridal!!


Our friends at Etsy.com have weddings on the brain!! Today, the Storque blogs about Handmade Weddings: DIY & Refashioned Dresses. Our very own Benedikta contributes to the article, making pattern, variation, and fabric suggestions. You, our BurdaStyle community, even gets a shout-out as the friendly and helpful resource that you are!

So head on over to the Storque. Hopefully you’ll get some inspiration for your next creation, variation, or even wedding dress!

Sewing Universe News Feed: 1 April 2008


If you have a fresh, new sewing tutorial brewing in your head, April may be the time to perfect it and post it to your blog or Flickr. Sew, Mama, Sew! is having a Tutorial Contest beginning April 1. Read more information on their blog about how to enter, and what you could win.


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