Tag Archives: review

#burdachallenge2018: A quick review of Burdastyle 2/2018

The February edition of Burdastyle came out in Germany yesterday and while I know that some of you are still waiting for the January issue (or December – that’s really quite shocking!) I thought I’ll treat you to a few pictures of the February edition to help you decide whether it’s worth waiting for.

First the overview

And now worn (or disguised, as sometimes is the case in Burda) by models:

Technical drawings anyone?

Yep, I thought you might be interested in those:

To be honest, under normal circumstances I would not have bought the magazine on the first day, as there is nothing in it that really screams “MAKE ME RIGHT NOW” at me. I might still have dithered a little bit while it’s in the shops here and considered whether I should buy it. But given that it’s #burdachallenge2018 I kinda felt obligated to commit straight away.
And although 2/2018 doesn’t come close to 11/17 and 1/18, which in my opinion are both stellar editions where I haven’t even come close to sewing to the bottom of what I want to make, this February edition has some useful patterns in it. I’ll show you a few pictures of things I might well end up making.

Top 108 is really simple and I guess could easily be self drafted – but then you get the pattern here so you don’t have to. I’m pretty sure I’ll make this at least once and I probably have fabric for it already in the stash.

I also kinda like this tunic dress (the pattern also comes as a top). I have a lot of a denim style fabric  left which might make a good spring version of this dress.

This blouse gets some big heart eyes from me for the dramatic back. Unfortunately it’s a petite pattern – but the basic blouse is just like a hundred other yoked blouses that I already have in the stash (or in fact the dress from the picture before) so if I find the right fabric I might just steal the back drape pattern piece from this and combine it with another pattern. The drape is sewn to the back piece of the blouse in a snake-like line though, so I’m not sure whether that isn’t a problem waiting to happen.

Some cargo pants might come in useful towards the spring/early summer.

I’m in the market for a loose parka for a cream soft shell that is a lot lighter than I expected and won’t work for the jacket I originally intended it for. Of course, 3/4 sleeves on a parka are an abomination to me, as are the pockets sewn into the side seam as they are going to flap about like nobody’s business, but the jacket has good bare bones.

I have a strange (and possibly misguided?) liking for these trousers with  a wrap front. I have some navy wool suiting that’s been marinading in the stash for long enough now, so maybe I’ll try these out. Or shouldn’t I? Are these a stupid idea? Any thoughts?

I’m definitly not going to make this as my life and this dress are incompatible – but I think it’s amazing. If looking glamorous on a flower market in Amsterdam is your jam, this dress has the picture instructions, so you could do so in this dress.

This blouse on the other hand is really wearable, so I might well make this. I bet my stash would be able to provide some suitable fabric. Not sure about the flirty back tie, I might just leave that off.

The plus size section has this blush trench coat. You must know by now that I love blush AND I love trench coats, so I love this too. Personally, I wouldn’t make a trench coat without a collar, but if you fancy air to your neck you could do worse than choosing this coat.

By the way, have a look at the shirt dress 127 in the overview picture above. It seems nice, but there is some really quite bad pulling across the bust on the model, so maybe an FBA is in order even on a plus size? I have no experience with either plus sizes or FBAs but that seems strange to me – shouldn’t it fit as is on a pretty standard size figure such as the one of the model?

Now, I kinda like these trousers with the wrap to the front leg with dramatic topstitching. However, even on the model here there seems to be something strange going on in the crotch/tummy area, so this is the kind of pattern that I would wait to see made by other, more couragious sewists first before I would attempt it.

So what’s your impression? An issue worth buying? Or will you hold out for March and the inevitable wedding dresses?


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:


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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:


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:


and technical drawings:

img_6003 img_6004

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!

Burdastyle 4/2016: A Little Review

Just to recap: Burdastyle and I had not been seeing eye to eye for a while in 2014 and 15 and so I cancelled my subscription mid 2015 in what almost felt like a divorce. Then I went to buy every edition apart from one at the kiosk, so when the nice lady from Burdastyle called and offered an eight-month subscription for the price of 3 months, what could I do but agree.

Ever since Burda has been on probation I’ve felt a lot more positive about their offering and April is no exception. In fact, their feature on solid colours is a revelation for me: I would wear every single garment as is (although not all those colours might suit me), but I just love love love the styling.

IMG_2960This is my favourite outfit. It’s nothing special, but it’s an outfit I could jump into straight away and wear every day. The trousers could be my new uniform from spring and I’ve already traced the top (which is for drapey wovens, so I might get to use those silp remnants I’ve been stashing).

IMG_2961Then I’ve just fallen head over heals for this dress. I already bought a berry/purple viscose knit, which I’m hoping will be able to hold its shape with the help of a little structural underling in the bodice and underbust band.


I do realise that the dress might look a little maternity with those tummy pleats, but I suppose I’m coming to an age where the thought of “Can she still get pregnant?” might start to be flattering again, so I’m going with the flow. I have an event on 1st April where this dress might come in handy, so hoping that i get my sewing machine back in time this jumps right to the top of the queue.


I’m not sure what it is, but I love this too! It really is just a tunic lenghtened into a dress, and normally Burda do these in crazy patterns which I like, but never love. But in a solid I just think it’s really stylish.


Look, this really is all it is: If it goes well, this could be done in an evening!


It looks good in crazy print too and gives rise to all sorts of colour blocking ideas too. On the right there is “my” dress again.

Oh, and then jumpsuits!


This is for petite sizing, so I doubt I would be able to make this work for me, but isn’t this all kinds of wonderful? I do have fabric for a jumpsuit lurking around, so I’m collecting ideas!

So yes, I’m kinda surprised to learn that I love solids in loud colours! Recently I have bought a lot of prints thinking that they would endulge my love of colour in the best possible way, but maybe I’ve always been more of a solid kinda girl? Who knows…

But in case solids aren’t your jam, at least here’s a full view of all the patterns in April’s edition:


IMG_2967There is some lovely stuff in the plus size section, some really sweet and classic girl’s dresses and even men’s shorts. I guess my Burda subscription will continue for the time being!

A quick review of Burdastyle 4/2015

I have to admit that I have fallen slightly out of love with Burdastyle recently. I think the last issue that really had me excited was 3/2014 – the excitement was for the skinny jeans pattern that I made a few times now. But otherwise it kinda left me cold. I even considered cancelling my subscription, but then I did like a few things in the April edition which landed in my letterbox today, so I think I’m pacified again.

So there you have it, April 2015, according to Burdastyle. One pattern I’m going to make like right now, a couple that might jump my carefully organised queue and some to keep in mind – I think I can call myself a happy sewer.

Did you see anything you like? Enough to bring our the tracing paper?

Burda Vintage – Review

Look what’s happened! Burda have published a Burda Vintage edition, a magazine with 12 of their vintage 1950s patterns in an updated form.


Now, I don’t profess any kind of vintage sewing knowledge, never having sewn a vintage pattern, so I can make no comment as to how vintage those patterns really are or whether they use vintage techniques or such. To me it seems as if they have not only modernised the sizing, doing away with a requirement for either heavy dieting or corsetry, but also as if the instructions are like modern Burda instructions. In fact, the one I tried so far, the Coco dress, I found even more confusing than usual…

The magazine always has the vintage inspiration


Some sort of “This is how they wore it” blurb

IMG_0149And then the updated pattern with some (rather silly, imho) “This is how you style it” blurb


Look, put on some shoes an earrings and -bammm- you have styled your dress. And throw on some Aviator shades and you are really original, because nobody in the world of fashion has ever thought about this before…

Typically, you can’t see a thing in the fashion photograph as far as design lines go, but you have the trusted technical drawing:

IMG_0151For the first time (at least to my knowledge) Burda are calling their dresses names. I haven’t quite been able to decide whether this is rather fun or just pandering the the success of indie pattern designers. Anyway, names they have, may I introduce Coco to you.

IMG_0152Instructions are in word form, as always. One thing that annoys the hell out of me is that they left off the technical drawing from the instructions page, so whenever you want to check how something is meant to look, you need to go back to the fashion page. It’s a little thing, but it’s the little things that count, isn’t it?!
I started making the Coco for my daughter, but abandoned the project at the bodice stage. She feels it is too low-cut (the model picture looks more modest, but it comes out rather than the vintage inspiration) and the whole style looks a bit too old-fashioned for a 15-year old. Well, it IS a vintage pattern and I believe before something becomes vintage it is old-fashioned for a while. Just as well I used a black stretch satin and large seam allowances – I might be able to recycle it for myself one day.

IMG_0155Obviously, you need to do all the tracing, but because they only have 12 patterns on the usual size sheets the tracing really is a breeze.


IMG_0154These are all the garments in the issue. I’m unlikely to need any of the big gowns, but I really like this beach combo:

IMG_0156I could well see myself in this come next summer, though I would probably make it into a dress with under-shorts – I’ve never been able to mentally get over the toilet-situation in a one-piece-with-legs-garment…

Oh and then look at this:

IMG_0157IMG_0158Don’t you think this blazer is completely amazing? Again, I don’t quite envisage how this fits into my life, but who knows, maybe one day? A girl can but dream!

Has this issued appeared on the book shelves anywhere out of Germany? Have they translated it into other languages? I could imagine Burda doing really well out of this idea – after all there are more vintage decades to go!