Burda Style’s New Projects

The open source sewing community  Burda Style are dividing the “How To” section on their platform under two new categories – projects and techniques.

They have blogged a sneak peak of the new “projects” section. The projects area will allow creations to be easily categorised under a number of different descriptions such as season, material, garment type and style…

All  techniques will be filed under a “learning” category.

burda style projects

I love the open source element of Burda Style as it networks  a global community of sewing enthusiasts ( with over 200,000 members)allowing them to share skills and expertise. The platform supports the novice through to the expert and allows users to communicate amongst themselves to support, critique and compliment each others creations. 

The new sections under construction look to improve the navigation and usability and Im excited to see the developments.

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Mass Collaboration

I’m currently reading Wikinomics by Don Tapscot about how mass collaboration changes everything. I was feeling all inspired by the open source movement and decided to check how this relates to fashion by exploring the information available on wikipedia. This open source software can provide an answer to almost any question – but can it inspire me to create/ customise my fashion ensemble’s?
Whilst scanning the definition of fashion and how it has evolved over the decades I came across
the ultimate source for fashion enthusiast. Take a deep breath before reading on …

Wikipedia are currently sorting through over 14,00 articles to present a resource hub for out of print fashion patterns. They date back to 1890 – 1970, with patterns from vogue, simplicity, McCall’s etc… (They are looking for users to contribute, so if you have any hidden away vintage patterns – dig them out!)
There is a short description of the garment accompanied by a beautiful image of the patterns front cover. The classic style of each period becomes apparent and I began to feel as if I had morphed back in time through the space time continuum. Key trends and features are visible and I took note of the adapting hem lines, changing silhouettes and structured tailoring.
The essence of each era is also conveyed through the stylised pattern front cover. For example, quirky illustrations with photography gradually being introduced decades later. I know a lot of designers look to the past for inspiration which is then re-interpreted with a modern twist. This resource hub of thousands of out of print patterns represents each era telling a story of beautiful style and imagery through each decade.
I often browse through style.com for inspiration and to keep myself updated with contemporary fashion trends. I have been coveting this Luella coat (image above) from the 2009 spring collection for a few days. Browsing the wiki archives I came across a vintage pattern (image above) with some resemblance. I began to copy key items to my desktop from the vintage archives and within minutes I has put together my own “little dream list” collection.  I’m not saying the trends are replicated in their entirety but some elements cross over – illustrating that style transitions and is constantly moving forward and evolving.
It also conveys how involved people were in the construction of their clothing, as ready to wear clothing was in limited supply or cost a lot of money the only alternative was to make your own. I think we can take note and use this example when updating our wardrobes for the new season. Things can be updated and adapted through a tweak of a hemline or by altering a neckline.
I am definitely going to try to re-create some of the beautiful patterns at some point or use them as a reference when seeking out new clothing. I only wish my grandmother had achieved her clothing as nothing conveys the era better than an original.vogueluella

Burda Style

Designed for people who sew with style, Burda style allows users to access the knowledge and expertise to create their own clothing at the click on a button. This digital community allows users to upload detailed photographs of their creations accompanied by a pattern. The user then has the option to openly share or profit from the pattern downloads.

All patterns are accompanied by a difficulty rating making it easy to identify which matches your skills and know how. There is also a high number of reviews from other users which identifies any flaw in the pattern or suggestions for alterations, fabric changes etc… A sewpedia directory provides an A-Z of all dressmaking techniques, tools, fabrics and design terms.
I think this is a fab way to bring people together to collaborate and share fashion interests. Some of the photographs of the creations are beautifully edited and suggests that there is potential to create something stylish and unique.
You can also see from the background in the pictures that people are producing these creations from home and then uploading them via their computers while others are styles and photographed by professionals. It is apparent that all users are investing time in their creations and you can see a sense of pride and purpose by the way they are presented in the photographs.
When searching under different clothing categories I was amazed to see the quantity of creations. I have been questioning peoples relationships with clothing and how much we as a society participate in the life cycle of clothing. I was chatting about this to a relation recently as she told stories about her childhood when her clothing was always homemade and fitted perfectly. She went onto say how it saddened her that her clothing was no longer made with love and that she worries that the next generation has begun to lose these skills…
On finding this open source platform I think its true to say that these skills are not lost, only hidden away. I don’t think our generation had become deskilled we are just applying and expressing them in a different way. It is clear through this website that the creations are made with lots of care and consideration and the community environment allows users to support each other. burda