A quick review of Burdastyle 3/2017

My feeling is that Burdastyle has come in for a lot of criticism lately, and I have to say that I agree: there have been noticeably fewer patterns in each issue and a lot of repetition.  They seem to have a new design team and for my taste the quality has slipped a little since.

The March issue is a little better, in my opinion, so I thought I’ll share a few thoughts with you.
It’s the wedding dress edition with a few nice dresses:

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I like the look of that, however even on the model the straps don’t really lie flat, so I wonder whether that isn’t a problem waiting to happen.

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This is marketed as a “Duchess of Cambridge”-style dress. Well – not every lacy sleeve makes a Duchess of Cambridge dress, does it?!

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The “wedding guest” dress on the left made me wonder – I guess there must have been a simple A-line dress with wide sleeves in every one of the last five issues. Why another one? And a boring one at that?

The boho-wedding dress… Well, if you’re going in for a beach wedding it could come in useful.

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This made me laugh out loud! Wear this to a wedding?? A beach-coverup style mini dress? Really? I was under the impression that most 17 year olds don’t get married these days.

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This are the two things from the issue that I might just make: I really like the trousers. They are in the tall size and a real classic. I have fabric waiting, so these might be one of my next projects.
The cold-shoulder top is nice too, a bit more structured than most. I might make this once summer comes along, from some black cotton I still have in my stash from Ecuador.
There are instructions for the embroidery and although I personally hate embroidery I think it’s a brilliant idea to teach that skill for those who are ameanable.

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There is another reason that Burdastyle isn’t so attractive to me any more: they are reaching out more to the beginner, like in this very simple top. It’s great in principle for a newbie to get more detailed instructions, but I personally would like it if they branched out more into advanced techniques too, so that more experienced sewists get a chance to learn some new skills too.

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Nice, classes pieces for kids – I expect these patterns will be popular.

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That’s my favourite outfit in the whole magazine, in the plus section, so I won’t be able to use it because I’m too lazy to teach myself the skills to size this down. I like also that they have used a proper plus size model, so you really get to see what these patterns look like on a curvy figure.

img_6016That is great too – love it! This is easy enough to frankenpattern from other sources, so I might just make that. I love the combination of the two fabrics.

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So near and still so far! I think it’s brilliant they are doing info on pattern changes. This is for FBAs – but I just think the instructions are a bit too sparse, two pictures for each type of FBA. I would much prefer it if they had fewer methods, but more clearly explained.

And now for my pet peeve:

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A few months back they started baking recipes. Baking recipes!! Are these in the international edition as well? What place do these have in a sewing magazine? There is a rebellion against them on the Burda Facebook page every month, but Burda’s heart seems set on them.

Just a quick overview of all patterns:

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and technical drawings:

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Overall, I think it’s not a bad issue, but not stellar either. I cancelled my subscription in December, so this is my last issue of the subscription and I have to say that it has not changed my mind.

By the way: Please excuse the bad quality of the pictures. I do recognise the problem and I ordered a new camera. It’s still just a point-and-shoot, but a more high-end one than the point-and-shoot that I’ve been using so far. AND I have enrolled into Photography for Beginners course in order to learn at least the tiniest bit about photography AND I hope to find a corner in my sewing room as a “photo studio”, so maybe I’ll have a more regular supply of well-lit photos in future. One can just hope!

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13 thoughts on “A quick review of Burdastyle 3/2017

  1. Tia Dia February 8, 2017 at 8:12 pm Reply

    Thanks for the review, Chris. I discontinued my subscription to Burda last summer and although I’ve been watching the websites to see if I’m missing something, I haven’t seen one pattern that justified purchasing an entire issue. That said about Burda, I’m so not interested in any of the pattern companies offerings these days. I really miss the designers like Ralph Rucci or Oscar de la Renta or Valentino that Vogue used to offer. I haven’t purchased a pattern for months because everything just seems to be a variation on the same old thing over and over again. Maybe it’s just the fashion trends right now or maybe I’m getting old. 🙂

    • Chris February 8, 2017 at 9:21 pm Reply

      I’ve been wondering about that as well, but I would think it’s just that we are getting experienced! Sounds a lot better, don’t you think?

      • Tia Dia February 9, 2017 at 5:14 am

        Absolutely! And probably more accurate, if I do say so myself!!

  2. monkeyroom February 8, 2017 at 8:33 pm Reply

    This is the first Burda issue I won’t be buying. I stopped my subscription a few years ago and was buying the individual issues instead, but lately I’ve been unimpressed with the styles. Too many repeats and too many ruffles, off the shoulder, flouncy sleeves, and sack-like dresses for my taste. I have every Burda issue since 1999 — breaking the streak will be hard but I’m pretty sure I have enough patterns now to suit my sewing needs.

    • Paola February 9, 2017 at 12:05 am Reply

      I agree! I think Burda is in a competition with itself to figure our how many ways it can put a flounce on a sack!
      I cancelled my subscription years ago, and buy an issue only very occasionally. Still miss Burda in its heyday.
      I agree with you Chris about the need for someone somewhere to run features on more advanced sewing, for those of us who’ve been around a sewing machine for a while.

  3. Chris February 8, 2017 at 9:22 pm Reply

    Wow – 17 years worth of Burda! That’s truly impressive! I’m sure those back issues will serve you well with sewing inspirations for years to come.

  4. SewingElle February 8, 2017 at 9:55 pm Reply

    I don’t know what I’ll do if Burda continues to go down hill. I’m such a fan girl. At least there are no recipes in the English version.

  5. Marianne February 8, 2017 at 11:04 pm Reply

    Last year I bought a German Burda and later compared it to the same issue in the Dutch shops. The German edition had the exact same patterns but felt more luxurious and had 40 extra pages. Can’t be all recipes? But I agree, it’s going downhill and it’s certainly more aimed at beginners. I see more or less the same with Knipmode. Each spring they get new interns who think sewing is hard. Instead of telling them to read some good sewing books and teach them a lesson or two they let them send out surveys. Telling us that sewing is hard. Sigh.

  6. Anne W February 8, 2017 at 11:06 pm Reply

    I’ve been pretty unimpressed with the Burdas for this year so far, there haven’t been any recipes in my version, but there used to be! My old Burda magazines have recipes every month! I can’t say anything in this issue makes me desperate to buy it at the shops now either, but like Monkeyroom said, I have been buying since 1993 and it will be hard to go cold turkey on these.

  7. tialys February 9, 2017 at 10:15 am Reply

    My French friend occasionally buys the magazine and I did actually make a dress from one of the issues but tracing off those maze-like combined patterns make me go cross eyed so once was enough. The only patterns I like that you have shown are the first wedding dress and the trousers but the cake looks pretty for a young girl’s birthday party 😉

  8. catherinedaze February 18, 2017 at 2:06 pm Reply

    I wasn’t very keen on this issue either, but the last two were pretty good so I’m keeping my sub for now. And actually there are two decent trouser patterns in this one so I may use it one of these days. My most-used issues of Burda aren’t always the most exciting ones 🙂

    • Chris February 18, 2017 at 4:30 pm Reply

      That’s very true in fact! I’ve been going through my back catalogue of Burdas and have realised that my most widely worn makes are not the ones that I’m excited about when I first look through the magazine!

  9. Hila February 28, 2017 at 10:35 am Reply

    I bought a subscription this year and so far the January edition has been my favourite. I do see that some of the styles are quite repetitive like the A line dress and the cropped jacket. I also like the cold shoulder top and I hope to have time to make it.

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