I was watching Eddie Codel’s LunchMeet interview with Nora Abousteit and Benedikta von Karaisl of BurdaStyle today. BurdaStyle is still in beta, but they will be launching their new site in July. It’s a new open source sewing site, with clothing patterns that are free or very inexpensive to download. BurdaStyle is a community where you are encouraged to submit your own ideas, variations on designs, and feedback on what you would like to see next.
Nora and Benedikta want to carry on the tradition of Aenne Burda who founded Burda Mode, of which I have been a longtime fan, after WWII to make the latest clothing designs accessible and affordable to German women, and to give women a chance “to look across (their) borders for the first time in many years.” Their theory is that fashion is one way in which people from different cultures can communicate with and relate to each other. In the interview, they were saying that people who love sewing will always seem to develop a camaraderie, regardless of whether or not their countries are “friends”. I think this is true of the DIY/sewing/crafting community in general, and the Internet has given us all a unique opportunity to be a part of a community.
In high school and college, I made most of my own clothing, and I seemed a bit alone in that. I had a friend or two who gave it a try, probably out of curiosity, but I had no real peers that I knew, in that regard, only fictional peers like Molly Ringwald‘s character in “Pretty in Pink”, or maybe Carol Burnett‘s Scarlet O’Hara with her curtain-with-rod couture. Oh, those dresses! The one still makes me cringe with embarrassment for poor Molly and the other still makes me laugh.
When I was more advanced at sewing, I got a subscription to “Burda World of Fashion,” which is a great magazine because not only can you look at what’s new in Burda’s clothing designs, but the patterns for all the clothing come with the magazine. All you need is a roll of tracing paper and a ruler to add on the seam allowances. Burda patterns are known for their excellent fit, nice tailoring, and European look. The “World of Fashion” patterns have all sorts of extra detailing that you don’t find in the store patterns as well. The magazine is available through GLP International, which specializes in German publications.
I have an issue coming my way, and I’m hoping to squeeze in a little time to get back into making some clothing. I have bolts of fabric stacked in my closet and I don’t know how many partially done projects…my usual.