If your moving in the same social media circles that I am you will have seen that Hila of saturdaynightstitch as started a Burda Challenge for 2018. Its purpose is to give you an incentive to make more use of your Burda patterns or, if you are a novice, get used to Burdastyle magazine.
Using Burda isn’t really a challenge for me: As you may know, Burda is a German magazine and it is what we Germans used to learn sewing with before the internet, and in its wake all the independent pattern companies, arrived.
Personally, I’m not a big user of indie patterns – I don’t much like PDF assembly and many indie patterns aren’t quite my taste – and of course they are expensive in comparison to magazine patterns. But also, I have so many Burda patterns that it’s a rare occurence that I need to buy a pattern from any other company.
In addition we German sewists hardly ever use big 4 patterns, I guess because they are quite expensive and often hard to come by, but probably also because we are simply used to Burda. Imagine, when I made my first big 4 pattern (my wedding dress no less – I was living in England at the time, so I didn’t have access to Burda) I didn’t realise that one did not need to add seam allowances to the pattern. I didn’t even realise that such a thing as seam allowances that are included in the pattern even existed. Needless to say, the bodice of my wedding dress came out huuuge (it had princess seams, so an extra 1/2 inch seam allowance times 8 across the bodice added up) – and I banished the mere thought of big 4 pattern from my life for about 15 years!
But back to Burda: What can my challenge be, given that I don’t find using Burda a challenge? Well, I thought I could try and help those of you who are new to Burda (or other pattern magazines) tackle the issues you might be finding difficult.
The first issue might be tracing the pattern pieces. I have a guide on how to do this published a few years ago, so if you’d like to have a look, please do:
I will also write a little more detail on
- how to tackle the thorny issued of seam allowances
as soon as I get around to doing so.
What I’m not going to write about is
- how to make sense of Burda instructions
because honestly, I think they are a bit of a rite of passage and you’ll work out most things with a little common sense and patience. Much of the recipe for success with Burda comes down to chosing the right pattern for your skill level. Start with simple patterns and if your chosen pattern has any difficult techniques (like welt pockets or collar stands) there is plenty of help around the web.
So: If you have any particular issue with Burda patterns that you’d like help with, let me know in the comments and I’ll try and see if I can provide any useful input.
Here’s to a great new year of using Burdas!