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TREND: Chick Habit

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Welcome to a summer blockbuster season like none other. Hollywood has already pummeled the public with three mega-sequels (Spiderman, Shrek, Pirates), and Ocean’s 13, Hostel II, Fantastic Four and the final installment of Die Hard will soon be upon us. That’s June. There’s more exploding stuff, grand guignol, fart jokes and CGI in store for July and August.

It’s tempting to imagine the summer cineplex as a cool storage facility for our many brains, just stick it in there, boys, won’t be needing my mind for a while. But consider this, as you debate rocking the A.C. at a matinee performance of Transformers: Robot chic is so last year. A more fashion-forward chill-out flick? La Vie En Rose, the story of Edith Piaf. T the gutter girl who sang la France through World War II, Piaf makes for a compelling subject, and actress Marion Cotillard scorches the earth in her portrayal. But never mind all that. The movie is kind of meh, in that tepidly melodramatic way of biopics, but pay attention to the clothes. Fall’s ‘40s-influenced accessories, silhouettes and beauty do’s are all over the screen, and you don’t even have to read the subtitles to get the message. Call it a chick flick if you want, but bear in mind: They called Piaf The Sparrow.

The arthouse is the place for a chick flick fix this summer – notably excepting Knocked Up, which is basically a chick flick for guys. Ageless indie queen Parker Posey reigns over Broken English, the feature debut by Zoe Cassavetes, a great place to pick up tips on how to wear peasant blouses and big sunglasses without looking like a Mischa Barton-wannabe, and another master class in acting from Gena Rowlands. Then comes Evening, based on Susan Minot’s best-selling novel and a master’s master class in acting, with Dame Eileen Atikins, Dame Vanessa Redgrave, Dame Vanessa Redgrave’s daughter, Meryl Streep, Meryl Streep’s daughter, Glenn Close (but not her daughter), Toni Collette and, last but not least, Claire Danes, who has the enviable task of love-juggling Hugh Dancy, her current real-life fling, and Mr. Little Children, Patrick Wilson. Kind of a blockbuster, as a matter of fact.

Featured Member: Anda

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1. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?

The first thing I ever made were drawings, but the very first thing I ever sewed was this astoundingly monstrous jersey knit outfit for a Girl Scout badge. Ohh, I wish I still had that thing. It was amazing. Amazingly terrible. The fabric was unbelievably ugly—-I think it has a pineapple print—-and about five seconds into the pattern I freaked out from the difficulty of it all and demanded that my mom finish the entire project for me. I was 10 years old and I actually have never used a store-bought pattern since then. Sometimes I try, but I always end up panicking and just drawing my own patterns.

Competition Deadline Extension

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The deadline for our pattern and design competition is extended to 15 July 2007. We’ve received several worried mails that were concerned about international shipping procedures and the time that takes. Many of you were afraid that because of overseas shipping they would miss the deadline. So, we quickly decided to extend it! Keep in mind to finish your pattern or design before June 15th, that gives you a whole month of shipping time, that should be sufficient!

Pretty Pretty Piping!

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Piping is a terrific detail that can be used to accentuate style lines in clothing or add contrast and interest. It can be used in projects for the home as well. It’s quite simple, but can seem daunting to new sewers. No fret! Here’s a simple way to make sewing in piping into a task that is no sweat! It’s so easy, I was almost disappointed that I didn’t have as many of my trademark “Photoshopped” images to post in this How To! Also, this How To can illustrate a bit more of what we are doing over here in BurdaStyle Land. You’ll have the option to test this How To out sooner than you think!

TREND: Birk It Out

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When a young designer sends a breakthrough collection down the runway, the shoes aren’t usually hot topic number one among the attending cognoscenti. But when the the first model sashayed down the catwalk at Sari Gueron’s Spring/Summer show last September, every eyebrow in the front row shot up a mile: Birkenstocks?

Learn How To Screen Print Garments

Our office is placed amidst lots of craft activities and today we decided to give you some insight of what’s happening around us. Our friends and office mates Bre Pettis from MAKE: magazine and Matt Stinchcomb from Etsy filmed a super How To about screen printing. This is a great way to add some decoration and fun to garments!

For more of Bre’s projects check out his podcast and join the EtsyLabs to make it yourself!

Featured Member: Stacysews

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1. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?

If you talk to my mother, she would mention that when I was little, I used to ‘design’ Barbie clothes. Apparently, I spent a great deal of time drawing elaborate gowns for her and at times trying to sew them up (by hand). I didn’t use a sewing machine until an 8th grade home economics class where we were told to follow a pattern to sew up a sweatshirt. Unfortunately, that garment didn’t turn out quite as expected! I didn’t try using a sewing machine again until 8 or 9 years ago (I made a pajama set for my daughter and had much better results) – and I haven’t stopped sewing since!

Forum section of new site

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Our new forum pages will be much more intractive: Members will be informed via RSS or email of new posts in their thread. It will also be more visually appealing. Every member will be displayed with avatar. Posts can include links, pictures, and video!

Don't Find Wanted Fabric - But Still Sew!

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Making from recycled fabrics is proving to be hard work sometimes. As i have mentioned before i want to recycle to save money and be more environmentally friendly but when you have a project in mind, like i did this week, it can sometimes be difficult to find a recycled fabric that will suit and buying new is very tempting. My project this week has been the new pattern Anda, such a fabulous dress and a dress i so much wanted to make but did not have the required fabric type in my recycled stash.

The pattern calls for linen, viscose-rayons or crepe. I was expecting to have to make a trip out to scour the thrift stores, which to be honest i really didn’t have the time for this week (i had a birthday to celebrate and a massage to enjoy!), when i received an email from a blogging friend: She had been clearing out her stash and came up with a pile of fabrics that she no longer wanted and thought i may make some use of them. Are you kidding me? Of course i can! She popped them in the post and they arrived a few days ago. So, now there was no need to go out or to spend any money because amongst them was a piece of green knit jersey, roughly a metre in length. I decided that even though it wasn’t the recommended fabric for Anda i thought it could be a good replacement. It could give the dress a more casual day look, which with my lifestyle i need a lot more than a dress for a night out.

Due to the size of the piece of fabric and a small mark i needed to shorten the dress. I changed the pattern slightly to suit my fabric by twin top stitching the neck and armhole edges using a twin needle. I also used the leftover strip of fabric with the mark hiding the mark on the underside, to make a belt as an alternative to adding casings and ties therefore using up the whole piece of fabric.

Although i am happy with how it turned out i would have liked to have made the dress smaller, i did use the smallest size on the pattern (38) but i feel the dress gapes a little too much at the armholes. Shortening the dress worked out well though as i’m only 5’ 2’, i think i took off around 4 or 5 inches in total and it seems to be the perfect length.

It amazes me how thoughtful people can be, not only did i gain new-to-me fabrics from this fellow blogger but she also helped me to save money and the fabric was put to good use.

You can see more details of how i made Anda in this How To.

My current project is Emily but i would also like to get you, the readers involved in my projects. I’d like for you to choose what i make next from these patterns, leave a comment and once a pattern has been chosen i shall then document my adventures here. This should be interesting!

Former columns of NikkiShell: Finding Recycled Fabrics and Franzi Vest Made from Thrift Store Skirts.

How To: Make a Mock Fly-Front

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At some point or another, everyone comes to this decision: Do I make a Mock Fly-Front or Real Fly-Front zipper. . . You think to yourself, Do I reaaaaally want those extra few pattern pieces??. After much desperate deliberation, you, like many others, will decide that the Mock Fly-Front is the way to go. So, in preparation for this day, I have taken it upon myself to make an illustrated how-to which will help you celebrate this decision, with “Photoshopped” photographs and explanations galore! Here’s a hint- you are likely to find this very helpful when sewing one of the new patterns from our upcoming collection- keep your eyes open! And stay tuned—- I smell a Real Fly-Front How To cooking in the oven

TREND: Here Comes the Bride

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People get married all the time, for all reasons, in all ways, but to believe the media, June is the month when a certain kind of wedding prevails. One need travel no farther than the word “Bridezilla” to summon the paradigmatic June nuptial, a choreographed, soundtracked, camera-ready piece of theater in the round in which every detail must be rehearsed, and feature. The sighing floral arrangements, the ring bearer fumbling on his pillow for the glistening band, the ice sculptures, the first dance, the mothers with their damp eyes, the shellacked bridesmaids, the seared tuna hors d’oeuvres and the towering cake. And, oh yeah, the bride and groom themselves, stars of this spectacle, the players with the important lines: “I do.”

Sneak Preview: New Pattern

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Haven’t found the pattern you’re looking for? Vote which patterns we should post next! We’re constantly working on bringing new and revamping old patterns – so have a look at the new designs we will start uploading mid-June. Please tell us which ones you would like to see first – write a comment! – and we will be delighted to follow your wishes!

Featured Member: Mirela

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What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?

As a child, I started sewing using a little toy sewing machine, making pretty dresses for my dolls. I remember as if it was yesterday although it happened about 17 years ago: I was watching my mother sewing a pink outfit for my birthday party and I loved that outfit! It was the first time I showed interest in sewing. Not long after, I started sewing myself and made a circle skirt for my Barbie doll out of leftover pink fabric. The first real clothing item I made for myself was a classic plaid shirt. All along the way, I had benefited from assistance and help from my mother, to whom I cannot give enough thanks for instilling in me her passion for sewing.

How To: Fold and Crop

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If you haven’t noticed yet, I like making things. I especially like making things that are EASY to make, but look great! Here’s another project that uses the “fashion origami” techniques I illustrated in my last How To. This cropped jacket is made by folding (and unfolding) fabric a few times, cutting two curvy lines, and sewing. There is really no limit to the amount of clothing that one could make using this technique, and I really encourage everyone to try at least one of these projects in their free time this week. Find a nice knit or even a medium-weight cotton, and you might have the perfect spring-time evening jacket on your hands (or rather, your shoulders) in no time!

Sneak Preview: New Design II

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Part of the new design will be a pattern catalog, where you can sort according to newest pattern, sizes, if there are hem or seam allowance, recommended fabric, etc. We we also establish a new rating system, where people who used the pattern can share write their experience and help other users to find the right pattern. And, as you might have read already, you will be able to search pattern according to the amount of fabric, so you can use all your left-overs! And the major news: We will give credit to the designer, pattern maker and pattern producer (the latter one is for our case Burda). We will enale users to upload their patterns, it will possible if you make your own PDF.

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