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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 20, 2010, 02.21 PMby dolowoyo

    Calendars are a huge help. And the Outlook Quickstep is a great shortcut tool that helps me quickly create some of my common tasks, appointments, and emails while on the go. The win phone 7 will be a great mobile tool to aid in this.

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    Nov 20, 2010, 02.16 PMby amber0721

    I just found a tutorial for homemade felted dryer balls, something I’ve never heard of before. I plan on using a holey sweater for the yarn, and they cut down on drying time (i.e. electricity)! Online tutorials have changed everything.

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    Nov 20, 2010, 11.22 AMby menschi

    I recently entered the world of “photoshop” and learned how to work with it in connection to “textiles”. I learned to prepare files to use on a lasercutter, to cut out sewing paterns.. no more mistakes and very precise work! I know how to change the design of a fabric in one click, to prepare weaving files,… It makes my work so much easier and richer!

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    Nov 20, 2010, 06.24 AMby sstran

    I use an automatic mini embroiderer, I never had one before and couldnt believe the results once I got one yay for new toys :)

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    Nov 20, 2010, 04.45 AMby misslivia

    I love the baby computer in my sewing machine! My sewing is so much more efficient with the flexibility of my BabyLock machine. I also love how much photo inspiration I can get free and fast on the internet!

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    Nov 20, 2010, 01.34 AMby malky

    I’m not much of a sewer, but I really love photography. Although I loe using the old methods of a film camera and a darkroom, it seems to be losing popularity and becoming a novelty so recently, I’ve done a lot of digital photography. Photosho, especially Lightroom, has helped me make awesome images without too much of trial and error, as in film!

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    Nov 19, 2010, 04.04 PMby dolowoyo

    Microsoft OneNote saves me a huge amount of time. I can write notes, sketch, etc.

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    Nov 19, 2010, 03.53 PMby krysia

    I would say the internet has been a major tool aiding in my creative process. Burdastyle was the site that really influenced me to start sewing. Now 4 years later, whenever I feel overwhelmed or uninspired in my creative process I usually go to Burdastyle or Etsy to get my creative juices flowing. Seeing projects, ideas and what people create in their very own homes, from all over the world is awesome. I also find Youtube to be a very useful site-I have learned how to knit, embroider and make a samosa on Youtube;)

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    Nov 19, 2010, 12.37 PMby amber0721

    I would not know how to do a single knit stitch if it wasn’t for YouTube!

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    Nov 19, 2010, 11.05 AMby yogi76

    By using Quick Steps in Microsoft Outlook, I do more and do it quicker.

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    Nov 19, 2010, 08.15 AMby mayfly

    Definitely the advent of blogs – the amazing standard and quality of fashion blogs online inspires me to create new, innovative designs.

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    Nov 19, 2010, 06.04 AMby sstran

    blogging has helped a great deal for inspiration. the ease of sharing ideas on the internet

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    Nov 19, 2010, 03.48 AMby mlssfshn

    Wow! it really opens door with out the web, social networking, ect. I never would have heard of Burda Style or had the opportunitys you and other sites have given me to share my talent with others and develope my passion into a career.

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    Nov 19, 2010, 03.18 AMby amoney3

    the mobile internet has been invaluable in getting information on demand.

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    Nov 19, 2010, 03.04 AMby Alison Friedel

    The internet. It is the best place to find new ideas.

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    Nov 18, 2010, 11.28 PMby ggexpansive

    One thing i think has helped me are sites like Burdastyle because I am a novice. This site is full of helpful information. If i only had the info from a book i would not be able to complete most of my projects. I come on and ask, wa la I can hold a finished project :)

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    Nov 18, 2010, 07.56 PMby tina-c

    i has to be the openness of the internet and people sharing ideas, hints and tutorials for doing things. combined with the amazing ability and ease of posting pictures and videos, instead of reading about how to do things in books, as our foremothers did, we can see little videos, and pictures about how to do it. that is so helpful for the visual learners among us!

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    Nov 18, 2010, 07.52 PMby allychanchan

    I think all in one sewing machines are the best thing created. I love my sewing and embroidery machine combo. Everything I need to do I can just have one machine on my desk instead of two or three. Also, having portable internet devices are wonderful because you can just use a small device instead of your laptop that you have a open, turn on, wait and then search for what you want.

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    Nov 18, 2010, 07.18 PMby dolowoyo

    Doing more with less sometimes means working on the go. Which is where my laptop and a good smartphone comes in handy. Go windows phone

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    Nov 18, 2010, 06.30 PMby yogi76

    I use Microsoft OneNote to scan and store patterns.

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    Nov 18, 2010, 06.02 PMby jennifer8582

    Just having free patterns and tutorials at my fingertips (through many different sources) is amazing. Just the other night, I was stuck trying to figure out how to bind off on a knitting project (I’m typically a crocheter). After a quick search on my phone, I was able to find a step-by-step with pictures.

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    Nov 18, 2010, 05.24 PMby misa619

    I love using the Internet, especially Google Images, to find my inspiration for special projects! For instance, a couple years ago when I was a fashion design student I found some lovely gold print chiffon and needed some inspiration for a draping project. The print reminded me of something a queen might have embroidered on a gown in the 17th century, so I started looking up images and ended up being inspired by the drape of a print over a solid fabric on a canopy bed. I bought some solid gold silk to go under the chiffon print and a gorgeous gown was born! (And it won second place in a fashion show!)

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    Nov 18, 2010, 03.28 PMby hardingnews

    The machines of today assist with the production of my projects, but I have to say that by far the internet, and sites like BurdaStyle have been the biggest inspiration and timesaver. I love to sew, recycle, and produce gifts for my family and friends that are unique and attractive. BurdaStyle has given me timesaving tips and sewing patterns with ideas on how to reconstruct garments that might have ended up in a landfill. Thank you BurdaStyle! SewGrateful, Sandra

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    Nov 18, 2010, 02.32 PMby chicgeek-1

    Conversions. I’m a Frankenstein seamstress – I pick knitting or sewing patterns I like from other people and sit with my laptop and calculate sizing or fit or to work out a geometric pattern. It would be /really/ nice to have a web-enabled smart phone so I could check knitting patterns, stitch tutorials and record row counts easily while on the train….

    Also, I would love to come up with a sizing app that you take a picture, put in your measurements and type of fabric or yarn, a general fit (loose, fitted, long sleeved…) and it would come up with your basic starting pattern and dimensions. Then you could tweak them and keep them in your phone/computer for reference and always have a perfect fit (and always remember the washing instructions for specific fabrics…)!

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    Nov 18, 2010, 12.16 PMby amber0721

    Etsy is just fantastic, not only for finished crafts, but for finding great unique crafting materials.

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    Nov 18, 2010, 08.14 AMby oneslyrooster

    i kick my husband out of the kitchen, it’s easier and faster when he’s NOT helping, lol

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    Nov 18, 2010, 07.47 AMby libbysharf

    As many here, I love burda magazine. Many times, on fabric shopping sprees I was so sad I couldn’t take my entire burda collection with me because I never remembered to buy everything I wanted and never knew the exact amount of fabric I needed. So, just recently thought of this brilliant idea: I put a “posit” note with the required amount of fabric next to each garment I like in the magazine, then take a photo of it with my iPhone, then use the “Sort Shots” app to tag the photos by fabric type, garment type, print pattern etc. When I see a nice fabric, I just open the app, go to the tag of the fabric type, see the gallery of garments and select the garment that would suit the best this fabric… and know exactly how much fabric I need!

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    Nov 18, 2010, 05.41 AMby sstran

    I love the new ideas i can find for scrapbooking besides sewing things. Since i scrapbook so much its hard sometimes to keep it original :)

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    Nov 18, 2010, 02.14 AMby mandymcg

    Sewing and fashion blogs have really inspired me to expand my style and to not fear creativity! I feel comfortable wearing and making clothes that are not as usual as normal!

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    Nov 18, 2010, 02.04 AMby tru

    Oops! I meant needle-up needle-down, but i bet you figured that out. Tru

    • This is a question
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