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Featured Member: Nicole


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

I have lived in a small Maryland town my entire life.

Thrift Store Adventures


In the column before last I asked you to choose a pattern from the new range for me to make. It seemed that patterns three and six were the most popular, both of which are dresses, but number six came out on top.

Last week I booked my kids free time in with my husband, left them with him and wrapped up warmly to fend off the cold. I went off on a fabric hunt to a new-to-me thrift store. In fact, the thrift store was in an area of Melbourne I’d never been to before, it was like an adventure. I’d heard of this store, Savers, but had yet to visit any of their locations and was I in for a treat, this place was HUGE and two floors high, heaven! I was looking for fabrics to make the dress, three different fabrics, one for the underskirt, one for the overskirt and another for the yoke and belt. I headed straight for the bedding/fabric section to check out their selection of sheets, fabric pieces, tablecloths and curtains and I was not disappointed. I found a few tablecloths that I could use for the underskirt. I then checked the net curtains for something suitable for the overskirt and spent a while holding them up to the tablecloths I had chosen. I decided to go with the cream net, I wanted a plain background so I could add something unusual to decorate it. In the fabric section I came across a piece of gold coloured silk for the yoke and belt. Now all I needed was something to make the dress stand out and that’s when I noticed the crocheted doilies! They were fabulous, so much work had gone into making these and for the price of a dollar each I just had to add them to my dress. I then wandered around the rest of the store picking up some clothes for myself, all-in-one pj’s for my little one and some cool Japanese mugs. In total I spent less than AUS$38 and what I had told my husband was going to be a two hours turned into something closer to four.

Once home the fabrics were washed, dried and pressed ready for cutting. I’m glad I picked up two tablecloths and that the net curtain was huge because I learned this week that it’s not such a good idea to start cutting and sewing your fabric when you are feeling overworked and stressed. I managed to cut the wrong pattern pieces from the wrong fabric and didn’t realize until I started sewing the yoke onto the dress, ARGGHH! Some shouting and swearing happened and I put the dress down and went to find something else to do for a while. The next day, with fresh eyes I got to work, cutting the pattern pieces from the correct fabric whilst listening to my audio book, what a multi-tasker I am!

Other than my mishap cutting the wrong fabric this dress was really easy to make, evenly spacing the gathers of the overskirt being the part that took the most time. So now after an evening and an afternoon of stress free sewing I now have a very different but beautiful dress. It’s just a pity it’s so cold here and I can’t wear it out, I was freeeezing when I took the photos outside. I think my next project needs to be something that covers more flesh and keeps me warm, maybe a jacket or trousers? Brrrrrrrrrrr.

You can see more details of how i recycled Azalea in this How To.

Former columns of NikkiShell:Old Men’s Shirts to New Emily Blouse!,Don’t Find Wanted Fabrics, But Still Sew!.

How To: NOT Tie-Dye!


I spent a lot of my childhood doing the following crafts: Sand Art (remember!?!- colorful layers of sand in bottles of Bear-shaped honey), making “scrunchie” hair ties, and tie-dyeing. Tie-Dyeing was of course, the most fun, but also required the most prep and patience (I always complained about the tie-DRYING part). However, I was never really a big fan of the way tie dye looked. I thought about dyeing a lot of things, but never wanted a solid color, I wanted texture! Texture, that beautiful word that implies depth, varying intensity, shades, hues, feel, rough, smooth, bumpy. . . !

Featured Member: Mal


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

I’m from Massachusetts and live in Worcester which is a city located about 40 miles from Boston.

Win a Sewing Machine in the Etsy Contest


Our friends from Etsy partnered with Instructables to “celebrate their communities” and launched Sew Useful: “Entrants will bring their skills to practical projects that make life easier, then share the how-tos.” Prizes are 3 Singer QUANTUM 9940 computerized sewing machines, 3 Leatherman knives, and, 3 Etsy gift boxes.

What we really like is that Etsy will support the one laptop per child initiative. They “will donate all fees from participating listings to ”http://laptop.org/“>OLPC as well as $1 per entry”.

Deadline is 16 July 2007 and you find more info here.

And, remember, the BurdaStyle Design and Pattern Competition deadline is 15 July 2007! Prizes for the winners are 300 and 500 USD.

NOTE: The cute illustration you see is created by our dear member Anda.

TREND: Hi, Society


Socialite Rank exposed! Paris Hilton in prison! Tinsley vs. Olivia: Does Anyone Care?!

If the news is to be believed, the mini-moment of the socialite is over. Or “ov-ah,” as it should be pronounced in one’s best New Canaan accent. But the resort runways say different: Indeed, John Galliano’s show for Dior made the opposite point, and in spectacular fashion. His Lilly Pulitzer palette, boxy Jackie O. tops and scarf-wrapped hats were tailor-made – literally – for the ladies-who-lunch, and who summer in Capri, and who yearn for glamour and decorum in equal measure when they swathe themselves in lime chiffon for the latest mus-do function. In other words, the old school socialite is back.

There seems to be a multi-media longing for such throwback gals, the Nan Kempner and Pat Buckley types who kept couture in business, sat on charity boards and kept up appearances at the club. Susanna Salk’s new book, A Privileged Life: Celebrating WASP Style, got a great big launch at arriviste prepster shop J. Crew; meanwhile, the incomparable doyenne Iris Apfel snagged a feature and fashion spread in ACNE paper, the twice-yearly magazine published by Swedish style avatars ACNE. Does this mean everyone will be in shantung and Pepto-pink by winter? Hardly. But there is a trend afoot, one that aims to reassert the line between downtown and uptown, the difference between chic and cheap, or stuffy and subversive, if you prefer. Either way, class is in session.

Etsy's 2 Year Anniversary and Renegade Craft Fair


This was a busy weekend for the BurdaStyle team. We attended the 2 year anniversary party for Etsy, which was conveniently held the night before the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, so craftsters from all over had an even better excuse to head to the big city! The party started at 7 pm, though guests started trickling in as early as noon! As more and more people got here, you could hear giggling and screaming all over the place- we realized that a lot of these Etsy sellers knew each other from the Forums and were just meeting face to face for the first time! It was so exciting, we got a little jealous and can’t wait to meet the BurdaStyle members sometime too! Regardless, Happy Birthday, Etsy! And congratulations on an awesome party: this party was also unlike any party we’ve been to lately. Of course there was pizza, a bar, and a dance floor, but when was the last time you’ve been to a party with a piñata and a paper hat-making station! They even broadcasted the entire party over a web-cam in a chat room so friends of Etsy who couldn’t make it could still be a part of the fun!

Then came the Renegade Craft Fair! It was held in McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on both Saturday and Sunday! There were over 150 sellers, with everything from prints, stuffed animals, accessories, clothing, soaps, and stationary. We met lots of people who make things, write about making things, buy things that other people make, and want to start making things. It’s so encouraging to see so many people who are not only interested in making, but have making as an intrinsic part of their lives! We spread the word about BurdaStyle, since everything we do is also about making, and hope to have some new members after this fun-filled weekend!

Old men's shirts to new Emily blouse


Browsing the web i came across a post on

“>CRAFT showing people at the ”http://www.makerfaire.com/

“>Maker Faire re-making their shirts during the ” http://www.swaporamarama.org/makerfaire07.htm ">Swap-o-rama-rama. They cut up their shirts, added extra pieces to them, patched them or changed them into something entirely different such as a sarong skirt. This got me thinking, it’s not often i use items of clothing to make something new, instead i tend use lengths of fabric found at the thrift store or given to me by other sewers clearing out their stash. So i decided that my project for this week should be Swap-O-Rama-Rama style and made with recycled clothing. Rummaging around in my donated boxes of goodness i came across a bunch of men’s shirts that had their collars removed and some of the sleeves, perfect for making Emily! So they were washed, dried and ironed then i cut across the shoulders to lay them out flat. It took a bit of time to fit my pattern pieces to the shirt fabric and decide on the colour combination. Luckily they fit without me having to piece fabrics together although i think this could look cool and may try it next time. I did cheat a little, my Emily blouse is not entirely recycled, yes i know i’m a bad refashioner.I wanted to use a pretty fabric for the collar and cuffs so used a scrap piece from my stash, no money spent, honestly! I think it worked out well.

Is there anything i’d change? maybe the length but other than that no. This is a great pattern, i’m really pleased with how the blouse turned out considering this is only the second time i’ve actually made a blouse with a collar. My first attempt was made when i was first learning to sew, i think i made the collar without interfacing and messed up the top stitching, i was still proud of it though and did wear it. I know i’ll be making more from this pattern now that my sewing skills have improved since then!

You can see more details of how i recycled Emily in this How To.

Now onto my next project, after counting your votes it seems dress number 6 is the favourite so check out my next column for details of my adventures finding fabrics and how i make my version of the dress.

Former columns of NikkiShell:Don’t Find Wanted Fabric – But Still Sew!,Finding Recycled Fabrics and Franzi Vest Made from Thrift Store Skirts.

Embroidery- Gone Wild!


Want to get wild and crazy with your sewing machine tonight!? Ever wonder what your machine would make if you weren’t controlling it? Push the feed dog down and let the machine do the thinking. Try free-form embroidery. This is one of my favorite projects to do, especially after sewing and pattern making for a long time, because it requires hardly any technical expertise and looks pretty awesome! It’s also incredibly easy and relaxing. Here is a detail of a rose motif I attached to a tote bag. All you need is some water soluble backing and whatever scraps, trims, yarns, and ribbons you can garner, and you are all set. (Well, you also need a sewing machine. . . ). You can check out my how to, which also shows how to use this technique to make your own fabric!

Trend: SUN OUT


True story: When I was in junior high, I washed my hair with Woolite.

Not all the time, but every once in a while, when “things,” as I called my hair back then, got a little “extreme” (my mom’s word.) We’d been in Florida about a year when the Woolite tip came, from a Supercuts stylist with a mass of thick curls just like mine. Things had gotten a little extreme: Humidity, daily sunshine, swim team chlorine, saltwater at the beach, the overabundance of product I put in my hair every day to try to deal with the bleached, frizzy, freaked-out mess on top of my head. This is what happens to hair when your life is endless summer.

I don’t recommend Woolite. I cite my Woolite experience as a cautionary tale about summer hair, only. We all love those insouciant sunny highlights and a few straight-from-the-beach tousles, but take heed: I watched the pilot episode of “John from Cincinatti” the other day, glimpsing endless summer hair again on the heads of surfers, and really, it is only a look that pulls off with a wetsuit and a thousand-yard stare out of bloodshot eyes. Protect thyself. Frederic Fekkai has made it easy, launching three elegant, easy-to-use, effective new products for summer, my favorite of which is Wash & Wear, spray-on shampoo that lifts the oil, toxins, dirt and product out of your hair without exposing it to the strip-search of water. Spray, re-style, and head out into the blazing sunshine safe in that Wash & Wear, like all Fekkai’s Summer Hair products, is charged with the brand’s proprietary suncreen technology, Solarshield, I don’t recommend not showering not showering all summer. That would be a little extreme.

Winner of the Fabric Contest: LindaL


We are so proud to announce our winner for the Fabric Contest. Her name is Linda and in her blog she writes how she felt: “I hardly ever win anything, so to respond to a pattern/fabric contest and to be told you won, well I am just truly tickled pink.”

Linda was so kind to tell us a little bit about herself and how she started sewing:

I am a native of a small city in Virginia called Danville. I have a degree in Social Work and have been a CEO or senior level staff person working with two non-profit, charitable organizations that serve adults and/or children with disabilities or disadvantaging conditions.

I started sewing when I was around five years old using a Singer sewing machine that you turned the crank to sew. (I still have this machine.) I made a small quilt with the help of my grandmother who was a great seamstress/sewist. I inherited the “sewing gene” from her. She later bought me a Singer sewing machine that was rather old and only had a straight stitch. My husband and I were both going to college at the time and to have clothes I sewed them myself.

My career took me to various locations throughout the United States (Texas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania and back to Virginia). I continued to sew my clothes even though my salary improved with each move and I could easily buy what I wanted (within reason). However I have always enjoyed making my own clothes as I know I will not see someone wearing the same suit, dress, or skirt. Plus it is specifically sewn to fit my measurements.

While living in Florida I made wearable art jackets as well as purses and sold them in a small consignment store just for one of a kind item. As a result of this, I had two ladies commission me to make them wearable art jackets for St. Patrick’s Day. I enjoyed doing this and was pleased that they thought enough of my work to have me make them special jackets. However, I truly like the pleasure and leisure of sewing for myself and family members so did not pursue making garments for sale.

I love to sew and when possible I take online classes or read about new sewing techniques to continue to hone and improve my sewing skills. I love reading other sewing blogs and started one of my own over a 18 months ago. Blogs are a great source for sharing and learning.

Please also check out Linda’s blog that she started 18 months ago, and of course her member profile!

Featured Member: fialottajansson


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

I was born in Kronoby and am now living in Vasa, Finland, in a little house with my husband.

BurdaStyle on GeekEntertainment TV


Watch our newest interview on GeekEntertainment TV here. We loved chatting with our new friend Eddie Codel. We talked about the site concept, open source, and the new design and features that will be launched in July!

Pillowcases- Not Just For the Sleepy!


I used to tell everyone that I loved everything beginning with the letter B. Bikes, Bears, Bagels, Bananas (oh, bananas. . . ), Boys, etc. . . I realized that while I will always like these things, I’m ready for a new letter to tell my friends about (who, obviously, are always more than excited to hear about my feelings on a variety of mundane things, including but not limited to, the alphabet, shower curtains, coasters, and strawberry milkshakes).



Get ready for the summer patterns!!! Last week we posted our drawings and asked you which ones of our next patterns you would like to see first. Yesterday we had our big photo shoot and are almost ready to begin with our summer fashion. Now you can win the same fabric, that we chose to make our samples in. Check out the four swatches you see above and let us know which one you think goes with which drawing. Let’s say the red one (A) goes with dress (#7), write fabric (A) goes with garment (#7)… Write your answer to answers@burdastyle.com. The one who gets the most correct answers the fastest will win enough of one of the fabric for the corresponding outfit. We will announce the winner on Monday. BEST OF LUCK


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