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Featured Member: Squirrellypoo


We would like to introduce to you a new blog category: Featured Member! Many members of the site have been very active and supportive, and we think they should be in the spotlight. We prepared a set of questions that will be posed to the respective user.

Today we are featuring Melissa Fehr, known to the sewing community as Squirrellypoo.

BurdaStyle 1st Design and Pattern Competition


UPDATE: Due to shipping issues, the deadline is extended to 15 JULY 2007 Items should be at our office either before or on that date.

Dearest BurdaStyle members,

We are thrilled to announce our first BurdaStyle Design Competition. As an open source website, we are hoping to facilitate more creative opportunities for the sewing community all over the world. Now we’ve come up with the perfect way for you to contribute to the site as well as to your own trophy case, or in this case, pattern library. Send us your designs and we will choose two winners to have their patterns professionally created, shot in a photo shoot, featured on BurdaStyle.com, and downloaded by other BurdaStyle users! Also, did we mention that this competition can make a contribution to your wallet!?!

There are two categories to which you can submit. If you are great at designing, but not patternmaking, submit an illustration and tech drawing along with specifications, and we’ll do all of the pattern work. If you feel confident in your patternmaking skills, show them off! Send us a pattern you made along with a muslin of the design and technical drawing.

Design-based competition

PRIZE $300
Design a garment or outfit (if you choose to illustrate an outfit, make clear which piece you are submitting as we will only choose 1 garment to produce)
Submit an illustration of your design (front and back), a technical drawing (front and back) and specifications. Also send a document telling a little bit about yourself, the inspiration for your design, and a description of the fabrics you envision your design in.
Send everything as low-res jpeg [indicate size] and contact information including a picture of yourself in an e-mail to
. All contestants must have a filled-out user profile on BurdaStyle.com, which will be used to introduce you as a participant.

Pattern-based competition

PRIZE $500
Design a garment.
Submit a self-made paper pattern, muslin, and technical drawing. Also send a document telling a little bit about yourself, the inspiration for your design, and a description of the fabrics you envision your design in. All contestants must have a filled-out user profile on
BurdaStyle.com, which will be used to introduce you as a participant.

Send through the good old Postal Service to

Attn: Benedikta Karaisl,
325 Gold Street,
6th Floor,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

All submissions are due in our inbox (e-mail and post) by July 15 (formerly June), 2007. We will choose one winner from each category and notify him/her by the end of June.
Please note, by entering and winning this competition you are giving us the permission to make your design and pattern open-source, and for the pattern produced from your design to be posted on our website.
Please note: Some people where confused if they were allowed to enter altough they didn’t live in the US, yes, they are! For more information check the official rules!

By the way: Interesting and creative submissions that didn’t win will still be featured on the site!

Sneak Preview: New Pattern


We are right now working on the new creations to get them ready for the photo shoot beginning of June. On the picture you see Benedikta sewing shorts and in the background you find a shirt that is being prepared by Nayantara!

Sneak Preview New Design


Some of you might have wondered what went on lately, not hearing from us. Some of you heard it already, and now it’s official: We will have a new design! And of course, it’s about time to give you a little preview.

We’ve stayed up long hours, worked on weekends, and skipped quite a bit of social life to be able to improve the structure and launch new tools. We’ve read your comments and made sure to incorporate your feedback. E.g. we will offer you to search patterns by the amount of fabric you have. Also, forum threads will indicate where new posts are made, and you will be notified when comments are left on your thread. Very exciting is a highly flexible user profile. On your personal page, you can share pictures of anything, your dog, your cat, your sewing place, your family, anything you like.

With our new Category “BurdaStyle Backstage” we will also keep you in the loop with what’s going on behind the scenes: New patterns in progress, design and site feature updates, photo shoot insights and and and.

So, stay tuned for our new Backstage Report!

Benedikta and Nora

Saturday Trend

This week BurdaStyle says hello to summer, and goodbye. YOU STUD

Conjure summer style and the pictures in your head are invariably the same: Frothy, airy, breezy on the one hand, short, sexy, punchy on the other. There’s not a lot of room in the summer wardrobe for tough-girl chic, functional and urbane fashion with a touch of baditude. Last summer, girls in New York walked around town in slouchy boots, barely conceding the look to July’s weeklong, 100 degree heat wave; behind that look, I suspect, was the urge to toughen up last summer’s gossamer shifts. We’ve got more shifts in store this coming heat wave season, as well as a summer due, as the last ones have, to break all kinds of temperature records. Boots are out. Instead, look to smart designers like Tiffany Tuttle to fill the void: The Chaconne sandal in her LD Tuttle line beats the heat with some punkish panache, courtesy of the black studs poking out of the leather. If flip-flops bleat, these sandals snarl. Midnight-blue pedicure optional.

Friday Playlist

This week BurdaStyle says hello to summer, and goodbye. THIS BITES

I like naps. Over the past few years, I’ve developed my own little napping ritual, which involves catching up on the first ten or so minutes of my favorite NPR podcasts before I doze off, and then waking up to the familiar closing credits of shows such as Studio 360 and This American Life. A few months ago, I fell asleep to Fresh Air – Terri Gross’s soft, dulcet voice makes for a particularly good send-off to sleep – and woke up again a little later with the audio still going and my head spinning. Was that Alex Kapranos, the singer from Franz Ferdinand, on Fresh Air talking about food? Or was I dreaming? This had to be some kind of weird alternastate – rock dudes do not, as a general matter, go on NPR to regale high-minded interlocutors with tales of the road, and they certainly don’t go foodie. Tour dining is Taco Bell and backstage riders of vodka and Cheetos, yes?. But, no: I was definitely awake, and Alex Kapranos was definitely on Fresh Air, talking to Terri Gross about his punk-pop palate, promoting his book on that subject, Sound Bites. It was weird.

Thursday Fashion

This week BurdaStyle says hello to summer, and goodbye. SWIMWARES

Bathing suit season invites so many fitting room anxieties, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact, amid the skimpy butts and sagging tops, that bathing suits are clothes, too. They ought not be exempt from fashion, but as a general matter, they are. The only designers to think outside the box, swimwear-wise, are usually Brazilians like Rosa Cha, whose cut-out maillots and barely-there bikinis could strike fear in the heart of even the buffest, Bundchen-esque glamazon.

How to: Make a Dress Without Using a Pattern


The next time you find yourself with nothing to wear, and perhaps, a few extra hours in the morning, try making this!

Wednesday Beauty

This week BurdaStyle says hello to summer, and goodbye. FREEDOM

I give up. When I was a kid, the healthiest thing I could do was a spend a day in the sunshine. I’d be sacked out waching cartoons on a Saturday morning, or playing paper dolls some afternoon with a friend, and all of a sudden my mom would burst in, and deliver the edict: “Go outside.” Then, somewhere along the line, sunshine became an axis of evil and Mom starting packing gallons of SPF 60 sunscreen into my trunk every summer when I went to camp. More recently, the harmful effects of sunlight have been deemed so nasty, doctors and SPF retailers warn us that it’s not enough to bathe in sunscreen before a day at the beach – we’d better work sun guard into our everyday routine. The daily walk from my apartment to the subway station three blocks away, under cloudy skies, apparently cumulates frightening ultra-violet damage. I was a lifeguard. In Florida. I’m totally screwed.

Tuesday Icon

This week BurdaStyle says hello to summer, and goodbye. LOTTE BERK

Damn you, Lotte Berk. Damn you, I’m thinking.

I can’t remember the name of this instructor, so I’m going straight to the source with my curses in Lotte Berk class tonight. We’re catbacked over the barre, crushing a gym ball between our thighs as we squeeze and lower and lift through the last of a thousand tiptoe plies. And three, and four, and five and… Damn you. Damn you.



This time last year, I was packing my bags. I’d received a grant, a month of free food and lodging upstate and permission to do nothing but go for long walks and write, my two favorite occupations. I sublet my place, bought a new pair of sneakers, and took off for the country. It rained all month, basically, and so I didn’t do as much walking as I’d planned; neither did I write as much as I hoped, though I wrote quite a bit. But it was nice to get out of town for a while, and into some relative seclusion; my sojourn upstate punctuated what I already sensed as a time of transition for me. I was leaving behind my life of fashion, and magazines articles, and concerts, and gossip, and retreating into my art. When I returned to the City, I shot my first film. I’m only finishing it, now.

Saturday Trend

This week BurdaStyle gets Stockholm syndrome. CLOG POST

Hippie chic is roaring back into style this summer. Forget the bag lady boho of Rachel Zoe starlets and the Olsen Twins, however. The new thing is to steal tricks from the flower children: Maxi dresses, moccasins, wide-leg denim, and that Swedish staple, the clog. The best pair you can by is from Sven, and the good news is that this is one footwear trend your feet will thank you for. Sven clogs are the Volvo of shoes – solid, functional, comfy. The bad news is that Sven clogs are the Volvo of shoes – solid, functional, comfy. It takes some doing to make them modern. The trick is irreverence. Summer of love literalism will make you look like your in costume, anyway, so keep the peasant dresses and batik-print wraparound skirts in the closet. Pair your clogs instead with urbane streetwear, the skinniest jeans you’ve got and a neon top, a slinky draped dress or baggy mannish suit. Get a pair of Sven’s high-heeled clogs, and you can even vamp a skintight pencil skirt or make a new proportion for your mod mini shifts; over-the-knee socks add a Harujiku girl twist. Clogs may be the Volvo of shoes, but they can take the curves, too.

Friday Playlist

This week BurdaStyle gets Stockholm syndrome. A BAND APART

My obsession with Sweden began with The Knife. Somehow, I managed to miss last year’s hype about the Stockholm band’s third album, Silent Shout, the first Knife release to make it Stateside and king of many critics’ year-end lists. But the hype unearthed The Knife’s earlier records, the eponymous debut and sophomore effort Deep Cuts, and from the moment I heard the latter’s opening track, “Heartbeats,” I was hooked. Deep Cuts is a uniquely odd album: Techno-pop propulsive and sexy invites you in, and then the record progressively deforms, creeping you out with surreal applications of vocal effects and steel drum. I would say that I’d never heard an album so simultaneously poptastic and alienating, except that I have – The Sugarcubes’ Life’s Too Good. The two albums don’t sound alike, but like The Sugarcubes’ debut, Deep Cuts establishes something entirely new in sound, and it doesn’t wear out; the record is one of those rare ones that reveals something new every time you press play. It’s taken nearly 20 years, but Scandinavia has finally managed to cough up Bjork’s true heirs, The Knife’s Dreijer siblings, and whatever small hesitation I might have had about making so large a claim was entirely laid to rest when I finally came around to Silent Shout.

Thursday Fashion

This week BurdaStyle gets Stockholm syndrome. GEAR DU NORD

H&M may be the 800 lb, gorilla of Swedish fashion, conquering the world with its aim high-sell low retail strategy, and coercing the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Madonna into producing sell-out collections for the store. Everyone knows that story. But if you really want to take the pulse of style in Sweden, you’ve got to start with the jeans.

Wednesday Beauty

This week BurdaStyle gets Stockholm syndrome. NORTHERN LIGHTS

“Scandinavian” and “blond” are nearly inseparable ideas in the pop culture. I’ve met swarthy Swedes, and unprepossessing Stockholm exiles with mops of unruly brown hair, but think Sweden and still I conjure a mental nation of flaxen-haired, alabaster-skinned, enviably cheekboned natives, all of them ruddy with good health after a day on the slopes, all of them preparing to retire to the sauna and then onto the lodge for a smorgasbord meal. It’s all very Swedish bikini team and fun-loving stewardess, if you know what I mean, and I can’t help envying my imagined Swedes, even if I know the picture in my head is mostly pap culled from beer commercials. Such are the rewards of growing up American.


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