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One of the things that’s so great about living in our modern society is the range of technological advances through the past few decades that have enabled us to streamline many of our crafting processes and ultimately achieve more in less time with less effort. From software that aides us in design to machines that help to execute what our hands alone may not, to the vast expanse of Internet platforms allowing us to share and learn, it’s now easier than ever for us to not only create but to engage and share our creativity with the rest of the world.

Whether it’s BurdaStyle, Etsy, Ravelry, StyleTrek, or FashionStake, there are a number of websites set up to help creatives of all kinds to not only get inspired but also to reach new audiences they may not have had access to before. We can now find patterns, tools and materials, share ideas, get tips and sell or buy goods with the click of a button, all while connecting to an innumerable amount of people in the process. Technological advances have revitalized and revolutionized craft and DIY, making creativity more popular and more accessible than ever before.

We want to hear from you: What recent technological advances have aided your craft the most? What in our modern society helps you to be more creative and get more done with less effort? Or maybe you have an idea for a new invention that could streamline your creativity. Give us your feedback and you could find yourself in possession of a brand new Windows 7 phone from Microsoft! Simply leave your comments below between now and Monday, November 29th, 2010 for your chance to win. For full contest rules click here and we can’t wait to hear your ideas!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C.) 18 YEARS AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sweepstakes ends 11/29/10. For Official Rules, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit our discussions post. Sponsor: Federated Media Publishing, Inc., 2 Harrison Street, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105.

This giveaway is brought to you by the new Windows Phone 7. Less tech tired. More tech trendy: Learn about Windows Phone online [www.windowsphone.com] and see it in person at local T-Mobile stores today.


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    Nov 26, 2010, 06.49 PMby plutosan

    I’d have to say that the program Adobe Illustrator has made things so much easier for me. When I first found out about this program, I thought that it was so difficult to use but now I use it all the time creating art and to aid my mother in her sewing activities. It is so much easier than most people think since you can re-size your image and it will still retain it’s shape! No ugly pixelated images!

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    Nov 26, 2010, 06.06 PMby yogi76

    I do more with less redundancy by syncing my files using Windows Live Mesh.

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    Nov 26, 2010, 07.35 AMby corinneski

    Having a sewing site has been fantastic because it has given me access to blogs full of information and made me feel part of a huge network of people who love to do the same things as me. I have a second thank you to technology that is a direct result of the first and that is my current sewing machine. Recently I injured my arm preventing me from doing most things except sewing by machine. So sewing hems and buttons was out of the questions. Thanks to a blog showing me how to successfully use the blind hemming function on my sewing machine I was able to hem a dress and sew on buttons. I was so thrilled with my achievement.

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    Nov 26, 2010, 12.04 AMby dorrellc

    I sometimes use a laser level to cut or sew straight lines – that way it isn’t necessary to mark fabric at all.

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    Nov 25, 2010, 11.10 PMby vancouverista

    What I would really love is a GIANT electronic drawing pad to draw patterns, immediately upload them onto my computer and print them out on a huge printer with giant paper. THat would be amazing. I don’t think it exists yet. Also, I am still using the same old terrible cell phone I’ve had since 2007 so a fancy new windows 7 phone would be sooooooo wonderful.

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    Nov 25, 2010, 09.27 PMby malky

    Something that stirs up my creativity are blogging sites like this, or tumblrs and photographer’s online portfolios. It’s so inspiring to be able to do what you really want to do yourself and it’s great to get some ideas from these sites.

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    Nov 25, 2010, 08.25 PMby Kate Gilligan

    i love being able to search through pictures online for inspiration k k g r a y 8 8 @yahoo

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    Nov 25, 2010, 07.41 PMby hatchiko

    It is ridiculously old school, but quite simply i like my pen and paper. i like to be able to jot down ideas, sketch inspirations, and random thoughts that can be translated later into whatever i want. so to me nothing beats the weight of a good pen in my hands, and the beauty of a blank sheet of paper.

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    Nov 25, 2010, 06.35 AMby staceyolson

    I watch sewing video podcasts/youtube tutorials, download patterns and buy sewing supplies online. Technology has really revolutionized domestic sewing. It’s amazing!

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    Nov 25, 2010, 06.19 AMby sstran

    looking at fashion magazines actually helps to give me ideas on how i want things or even how i do not want things

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    Nov 25, 2010, 04.37 AMby dorrellc

    Before deciding whether it is worth repairing a shirt or socks with a patch or mending the tear, I do some quick online comparison shopping to see if the job is worth my time.

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    Nov 25, 2010, 01.15 AMby nadinewoods

    I think the internet (in all its developing forms) has added the most to enhancing & streamlining my sewing experience. First, there were forums such as SewingWorld.com (which sadly doesn’t exist anymore) that certainly opened my eyes to all sorts of innovations whether to notions or better ways of doing things. Then there were email groups that further inspired & enhanced my sewing like turning me onto the idea of using washable glue sticks in my sewing. Then there are blogs with all sorts of tutorials & ideas. I can’t tell you how amazing it was to find BurdaStyle with its PDF downloads & unique creations which opened another whole world. Now we have smartphones with all sorts of apps to make fabric shopping easier and keep us connected to our favorite internet sites, blogs, & groups. I know that electronic sewing & embroidery machines make sewing and embellishing easier, but for me finding an easier way to do the same old things is what keeps me always wanting to sew.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 11.39 PMby blist

    I am a pattern hoarder. I’m sure this is a hereditary trait that I got from my mom, since she has given me tons of patterns (mostly unused). Until recently whenever I would find a pattern I wanted to try I would either save it somewhere on my computer or print it out and file it away just like my mom. Then when I really wanted the pattern I could never find the one I was looking for.

    However, OneNote has changed all of that. Now when I find a new pattern that I want to try I just copy it to the appropriate OneNote folder (I have one each for sewing, knitting and crochet) and I can find it easily when I am ready to try it. It has completely cut out the time I used to spend looking through files on my computer and in various craft files for the pattern I wanted as I have them all available in one place!

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    Nov 24, 2010, 10.34 PMby malky

    One thing that helps me get more done with less effort is my laptop! Before, I only had a home PC so I couldn’t work on assignments when I was away, but mylaptop helps me do work and fun stuff when I’m away. It’s astounding how fast technology is developing!

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    Nov 24, 2010, 10.24 PMby kelroc

    The internet itself has been my access to everthing sewing related. I buy all my fabrics, supplies, and even brought my sewing machine all online. I rarely set foot in a brick and mortar store. My inspiration also comes from the internet through sites such as burdastyle, blogs, and fashion sites. The internet allows me to comparison shop and find the best deals, industry techniques and tips for sewing , knitting, and crocheting. Instead of spending time traveling from store to store to find I have more time to concentrate on sewing and crafting projects and life itself.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 10.22 PMby dolowoyo

    Doing more with less means keeping your cars as long as possible especially when they are paid off.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 09.37 PMby maureene

    There is all kinds of information about crafts and instructions on the internet. It is amazing what you can learn about.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 06.56 PMby jeanderbyny

    i have built my business with very little. i have 2 kids, and i have managed to be a stay at home mom and do what i love for a job. i use twitter and facebook to promote my business. i found this website years ago and have made things from your fabulous tips and patterns. i personally think that the internet is a good tool for me. i have expanded so much with so little. all of my projects are upcycled. and most of my sales come from social networks. and from word of mouth. so i know without that, my business would be non existent. i am very excited that you are giving away a windows phone. this would make my life even simpler. i could control every aspect of my business from anywhere!

    thanks for the amazing stuff you burdastyle people have done!

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    Nov 24, 2010, 06.30 PMby configurator2

    I have a sewing-embroidery machine. I use to net to take digitizing lessons, get free designs, buy designs, and get wonderful ideas. I watched videos to learn how to fix my husband’s jeans and shirts. I researched ideas for pilgrim costumes for my grandkids. I am teaching my grandkids to knit and sew and put links to videos for them to practice when I’m not visiting (I live in a different state from all of them. I Skype with the grandkids to help them with their questions. I shop for fabric, patterns, and notions. I get coupons from the web. Technology is wonderful.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 05.24 PMby momsgotanewhobby

    To answer the question in the title of the blog…how do I do more with less?

    I use the tools that I do have to the best of my ability, I shop for fabric in places where my dollar will stretch farther and I use coupons a lot. I never sew when I am tired to minimize mistakes and I plan each project in advance so that I don’t make impulse buys when I am in the store.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 05.17 PMby momsgotanewhobby

    What recent technological advances have aided your craft the most? Well I wouldn’t say it is recent but it is developing and I find new ways to use it everyday. Technology in general in the combination of my phone, PC and the web. These three tools enable me to be more efficient, more organized, I can act on creative urges more quickly. One of my biggest challenges is to stay organized (I have three kids and like everyone else, a lot going on) so when I have an idea or see something that inspires me I need a place to put it (that is not a pile on the floor). If I’m out and about it goes to my phone, once I get home it goes to the PC and if I"m surfing the web and see something I can send it to my phone. No need to use paper, no need to haul things around with me. Store patterns, tutorials, tips and designs that are easy to get to when I need them.

    What in our modern society helps you to be more creative and get more done with less effort?

    BurdaStyle and other similar blogs/forums!!!! Being able to connect with other crafters in real time is amazing. Getting almost immediate responses to requests for help, having your work viewed and critiqued by others, learning new techniques from people who are demonstrating them in easy to understand ways. Saves a lot of time and stress when you get stuck on a project, looking at the tutorials and speaking to others- it is immensely helpful. I generally log on to Burdastyle every day. It is an important part of my daily routine and even if I don’t pick up a sewing project that week I have had the opportunity to participate in this wonderful, creative community.

    Maybe you have an idea for a new invention that could streamline your creativity.

    If I could ask for a new product to make my life easier I would ask for a more affordable, very portable serger. I do not consider myself an advanced sewer and I really struggle with finishing seams. Financially we just can’t afford one of these great machines but I recognize that my garments and projects would look better and last longer if I had one. So a mini-serger that I could pick up for $75.00 or less!

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    Nov 24, 2010, 04.44 PMby Alyssa Lorraine

    The Arduino LilyPad, arduino has transformed the world of microcontrollers and reduced so much of the bulk of creating and programming wearable/soft circuits. A really good example of doing more with less technology.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 04.11 PMby jamipetner

    I honestly think that more is more and less is less, and I really really like MORE…so what I do is just get really creative about the materials that I use. I use almost everything recycled or I buy things that are really clost to what I want, are supercheap, and I alter them. I will also just completly disassemble something that I like the fabric of, and make something entirely new with it. And I can’t look at anything without thinking about what it COULD be…not that it always gets there, but I try.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 04.03 PMby missbridget

    I love to sew and craft I can do almost anything. I repurpose things all the time.for fun. I love the blogs. What did we do without them?

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    Nov 24, 2010, 03.55 PMby swankypot

    The Internet has been an invaluable source of design inspiration and knowledge. From YouTube videos to blogger tutorials, the Internet makes it so easy to find the answers I need to complete even the most difficult creative projects.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 01.58 PMby yogi76

    I get my screen more organized with less hassle using Windows 7’s Snaps feature.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 01.33 PMby vickisue

    I get more from sites like Burda. So many ideas are found on here. I haven’t went out yet to sell my items but they sure come in handy for Christmas and other things. I even got the idea to sew aprons and got 3 of my nieces making them . Found its so much fun teaching them how to sew. Again thank you Burda for your chat which has helped me and inspired me.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 11.54 AMby photodoll

    what I love is my surger and 3 sewing machines I use when I start working. I’ll so if I get sewer block and can not think how something works or does not fit right and I just can not get it… I love site like burda to help with getting the answer…I now other people are out there with the same question and answers. Thank you everyone…

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    Nov 24, 2010, 09.23 AMby Joy Balmer

    Internet is the biggest facility for every one all over the world,because through internet anybody can learn any type of tutorial superbly,like stitching,cooking,crafting & so many fields at once…so i love to have internet access..although i am from a poor country!!!!i am sorry to tell you, i will not feel good to tell you the name of my country…i will love to have your giveaway!!!!!plzzzzzzzzzzz…i know you can not send this out of US but nothing is imposable in this world…you can send it to me if you want…..

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