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Sewing Universe News Feed: 26 February 2008


This weekend, more than 30,000 people are expected to visit the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington – just south of Seattle. With seminars, exhibitors, celebrities and shopping, it’s no wonder so many people flock to the event. Will any BurdayStyle.com members be able to attend? Let us know in the comments!

Nikkishell: Jorinde blazer plans and sew along update


Have you seen the newest pattern?

Jorinde is going to be just perfect for my Autumn/Winter wardrobe and I have my muslin cut out all ready to sew up! I do plan on making changes though. Instead of the flap pockets I am going to give my version bound pockets. A bound pocket looks like a large bound buttonhole from the right side, see the picture above. Making bound pockets can take some patience and a little practice which is why I have uploaded a

step by step how-to. I suggest you practice a few times on scrap fabric before attempting to try this on your intended fabric; we don’t want any tears now do we? I may also consider changing the collar but I will wait until I have my muslin sewn up before I decide on that.

As much as I like the wide-rib cord that BurdaStyle have used I have decided to go with the 100% wool olive tweed you see in the sample above. I want it to be plain enough so it will go with many of my outfits. There won’t be any elbow patches on my version and I’ve yet to decide on my button choice, this will probably be decided once the jacket is finished. I may take a trip to the button shop in the City where they will help me find the best match. They have an abundance of delicious vintage buttons there, I’m sure to find something.

This week marks the end of the

JJ blouse

sew along. I still haven’t managed to finish mine but I do have a few days left before February is over! This past week I have given in to taking much needed naps in the afternoon instead of sewing, I figure I need the rest more than I need the JJ blouse at the moment. I am impressed by the many versions that have popped up on the site though which you can see in the

creations section of the site. You can also read all about what each member thought about this pattern and any changes they made etc in the


The next sew along will be the

Nichola pants; they were by far the most popular vote. I personally won’t be taking part in this sew along since I plan on having a baby in the next few weeks, plus I think I should wait until I’m back to a regular pre-pregnancy weight before attempting these since they are quite fitted. I have started a

new thread in the forum for this sew along and the same applies as all the others, tell us your plans, fabric choice, pattern changes you may make etc. Feel free to ask questions and give tips too.

Oh and I just wanted to let you know that all of the maternity alteration how-to’s I have made throughout my pregnancy have been organized into

their own category, if by chance you need them!

Letter From the Editors: Sharing Secrets


Secrets, secrets, are no fun. . .

So BurdaStyle is going to share some secrets with you! We’re sure everyone is curious how the patterns turn from muslins in our Brooklyn studio or illustration submissions from one of our design calls, into Print at Home PDFs for everyone to download on BurdaStyle. Well, its actually a pretty long, detailed process, involving a lot of talented people and lot of work!

Sewing Universe News Feed: EXTRA News Flash!


The folks at the Stitch Lounge in San Francisco are working on an article for Etsy’s Storque magazine about handmade weddings. If you worked on DIY wedding projects at the Stitch Lounge, email hope@stitchlounge.com with photos and a short description of your project. There’s a time crunch, as the deadline is tomorrow (Feb 26) so send the projects pronto!

Sewing Universe News Feed: 25 February 2008


Winter is still upon us, but it’s never too late to start thinking spring. When it comes to sewing, one of the biggest decisions is selecting a pattern, but the next is usually the color. Pantone’s Fashion Report for Spring 2008 can make the whole process much easier. Their forecast not only includes the top 10 colors for women’s fashion, but also inspirational sketches and quotes from designers. While you’re there, be sure to check out Pantone’s Fall 2008 forecast!

Nikkishell: Subversive Seamster book review


I was recently sent a copy of the book Subversive Seamster for review. Subversive Seamster follows Sew Subversive and is published by Taunton Press. It is the creation of The Stitch Lounge Girls: Melissa Alvarado, Hope Meng and Melissa Rannels. The Stitch Lounge is an urban sewing studio in San Francisco, where you can rent time on a sewing machine or take classes.

Subversive Seamster shows you how to refashion your thrift store buys using many simple but effective techniques. It shows you how to take those tired and unwanted clothes and turn them into something funky, wearable and individual!

The first chapter gives you tips and tricks about thrift store shopping. Tips such as planning ahead, carrying a tape measure with you and what to look for in clothing such as stains and smells. It also tells you how to look out for sales and ask for deals.

Chapter two shows you simple but effective techniques that are used throughout the book. Techniques include patches, Lettuce edging, ruffles, pin tucks and Darts. There is also a section for how to make your very own Ms. Double Trouble: The Duct Tape Dress Form.

The next three chapters are dedicated to various projects including making mittens from an old sweater (I have a <a href"http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikkishell/514188900/in/set-72157600266962712/&#8220;&gt;pair of these made for me by a fellow Melbourne blogger ”http://onegirldesignwrks.blogspot.com/&quot;&gt;’Onegirl’ and they’re great), making a bolero from a turtleneck sweater using a lettuce edging technique, cuffed city shorts from old men’s pants and a checkbook cover from an old tennis racket cover.

As you may know I run the website Wardrobe Refashion so this book seems very appropriate for me. What do I think of it? Well, I think it is well laid out with great instructions and enough images throughout to help you with the techniques. The techniques themselves are simple enough for those starting out in sewing and refashioning. However I’m not too keen on the actual refashions but this is a personal preference, they aren’t garments I would particularly wear myself. I also feel that from the images in the book that the projects are not quite built to last, the finish of the garments look rushed but this could be overcome in your own creations by taking your time.

Do you have this book? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

How To: Make a Clean Finish


This might not be the most exciting How To I’ve posted on the site, but its certainly an important one! Finishing the raw edges of seams is crucial if you want to make a garment that can last, and one that looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside. Serging the seam edges is the most obvious and easy solution, but can’t always be done, either due to a lack of machinery, or because it wouldn’t suit the garment. For higher-quality finished, you can try Binding, French Bias Binding, or even French Seams.

Sewing and Art: The Aeolian Bike Ride


We always love to look at projects that use sewing as a means to create something unseen before.

Freelance designer and artist Jessica Findley uses her sewing machine to create suits that are part of her Aelian Bike Ride – a “public art piece, driven by people, to change space within the city”

Featured Member: Zahra


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

Hi, I’m from Karachi, the Brain of Pakistan.

Letter from the Editors: Back to Basics (for your bottom!)


We know how much all of you love the basics, because they give you an opportunity to flex those pattern making and garment altering muscles of yours. And we love to encourage it. That’s why last week we brought you the Sidonie skirt! As with the all basics, like the Lydia top, we want to inspire you to make your own variations by showing some variations we’ve made ourselves! So over the next few weeks, we will be sharing a few variations of the skirt, and even introducing a new project, along with NikkiShell, to get even more out of these basics! Start with this first how to, which shows how to create a “paper bag” version of the Sidonie, and keep in touch!

Nikkishell: Sidonie skirts


I finished embellishing my denim Sidonie this week. I decided to go for the simple look and added some appliquéd leaf shapes using the scraps of denim left over from making the skirt. I’m really happy with the result, do you like? I also made up another Sidonie using the fabric I ordered from Tessuti Fabrics. Unfortunately my package never arrived but Colette sent out my order again. I love this fabric, it’s so bright and the fabric feels nice against my skin. I kept this one simple but I did make one change, I added some in-seam pockets using Nayantara’s fabulous tutorial. It was so easy to do and pockets are always great to have, I love pockets. I did have a complete pregnant brain moment when making the skirt though, I forgot to add in the pleats and didn’t realize until I’d sewn the waistband on, ugh. So the waistband was unpicked, the pleats sewn in and the waistband sewn back in place. Actually, make that two pregnant brain moments, I also cut out the skirt using the lining pattern rather than the main pieces, it doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference though, thankfully!

I’ve actually cut out another 8 denim Sidonie skirts in various sizes. I’m making them to sell in a cool little store here in Melbourne called ’Meet Me at Mikes’. I thought I’d use my increased sewing mojo to make myself some $$’s before it disappears. I’m hoping it doesn’t though; I’m quite enjoying being so productive recently. Has anyone else used BurdaStyle patterns for this purpose? I‘d be interested to hear all about it and how you do with selling your handmade items. Leave me a comment.

Since my fabric arrived I’ve finally been able to start working on my JJ blouse, YAY! So far I’ve cut out the fabric and it’s waiting for me to start sewing. I’m considering leaving out the ruffles, I haven’t quite decided yet, other than that I don’t think I’ll be making any changes. I’ve noticed a few of those taking part in the <http://www.burdastyle.com/forum/show_topic/4216&quot;&gt;sewalong have already finished their JJ blouses, check them out:

Whiti’s Tetris JJ

Lulusmomma’s ochre JJ

Bathina’s black JJ

SewLikeCarolyn’s orange JJ

We have ten days of the <http://www.burdastyle.com/forum/show_topic/4216&quot;&gt;sewalong left so I’ve made a new thread over in the forum for us all to choose the pattern for the March sew along. Head on over there to you’re your vote and I will announce the winner next week in my blog post. Don’t forget to upload a photo of your finished creation to the site and let us know how you went making the blouse.

I was also thinking we could have a mini challenge/sew along. More about that in another post!

Nikkishell: Vintage apron to new


Being a mum of two small children means things can get very messy. To combat this I like to wear an apron for those messy occasions. Not just any apron though, I like to wear my vintage apron. I have collected a number of vintage aprons but my favourite style is the full bib which gives maximum protection! I have one apron in particular which is my favourite, the pink one above. Unfortunately since it is vintage and I wear it often it is starting to fall apart. The binding is coming off and there are a number of holes appearing in the ‘Oh so soft’ but very fragile fabric. What to do? Why take it apart and make a pattern from it of course! Then I can make as many as I like.

I pulled the apron apart and used a big roll of brown paper to make my pattern. The fabric I used is from my stash, something that’s been sitting there for far too long begging to be used. This apron uses around 7 or 8 metres of bias binding so altogether I used around 1.5 metres of fabric since I made my own binding but of course you can buy it ready made if you wish.

So, an afternoon of cutting and sewing and I have a brand new apron! Pretty cute huh? I will be sharing the pattern with you in the next day or so, I’m having a scanner issue today which prevents me from uploading it. In the meantime why not check out the following links for more apron inspiration.

The Apron Book by EllynAnne Geisel

Tie One On

Vintage Apron Flickr Group

Vintage Apron Sewing Patterns Flickr Group

Apron Outfits Flickr Group

The Apronista!

Do you wear an apron? Which is your favourite style? Is it vintage or new? Maybe you purchased it at a thrift store or you were given it by a member of the family. What do you do when wearing your apron? Let me know in the comments. I’m thinking of making a kind of apron that i can wear out, something that can be attached to or worn over a skirt or trousers. Hmm the cogs in my brain are in motion.

How To: Button Up!


What did you get from your Valentine? Chocolates? Flowers? Home-made dinner? The best book about cheeses! (My boyfriend is the best for knowing how much I love cheese!)

Wondering what you can do now in exchange? Well you know the phrase “Give a man a fish. Feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime”? Well, why don’t you teach your loved one a skill that can be with them for a long time: How To Sew Buttons. Not only will it be incredibly helpful for them, it will free up some time for you to continue with your sewalong project or upload that pattern you’ve been meaning to upload, instead of sewing on tons and tons of buttons!

Wearable Tech: Love and Circuits at the Seamless Computational Couture Show


Hi, I’m Jenny Chowdhury, a researcher in wearable and physical

computing at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. I’ll

be writing about interesting ways that technology has been integrated

in fashion. I’ll also be posting some methods that you can follow to

add some tech to your own creations. I’m very excited to be working

with BurdaStyle!

Featured Member: Yoshimi


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

I am a molecular biologist who was born in Japan. I am married to a husband, who is also a molecular biologist. He has been very supportive to my sewing and taken all photographs of my creations. We moved to UK 10 years ago with our daugther as we both got jobs as researchers there and stayed for about 5 years. Since we came back to Japan, we have been living in Mishima city. I started sewing half a year later after coming back to Japan, because I could only find similar clothes in similar colors with only 1 or 2 average sizes in the shops. I didn’t like those clothes, besides, they didn’t have my size. Eventually I stopped moaning and decided to make myself what I want to wear instead. 3 years ago, I went to see a color analyst who tells which colors would suit you by seeing your colors of eyes, skin, hair, etc.,
thinking knowing what color would suit me might be useful for sewing. She then condemned me to stop wearing bold colors and black. She also showed me the colors that suit me perfectly, and I had to admit I was way too far better in pink and pale blue. The effect of the colors on my face was too obvious. As I had been such a black wearer, I was utterly flattened by the verdict. My wardrobe was full of blacks at that time. But I realized for the first time that I had been wearing what I thought was cool, not what was making myself look better. I started to wear soft pale colors experimentally and my life has changed so much. I’m getting lots of compliments on what I wear (not on me, that’s the point I have to laugh at), and I’m happy with myself looking a bit better, now.


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