Monday, July 1, 2013

Burda Style Magazine, July 2013...

I have a complicated relationship with Burda Style Magazine. I first discovered it at the newsstand of the Border's Bookstore I worked at, consequently, within days of getting my first sewing machine. I was enamoured! In my honeymoon phase I purchased some expensive silk habotai and a length of rich wool (how this fit into my saving money by sewing plan, I'll never be able to explain.) and set out to make my first dress.

I chose a dress from the December, 2008 issue, the much-blogged about Schumacher Cocktail Dress- which turned out to be quite possibly the most flattering thing I have ever sewn for myself.

Pardon my photo quality, I had a horrible camera back then :)
And then I was hooked, just like that. Even though the patterns have gotten increasingly blasé (and dare I say, uglier?) as the years go by, there is always just one good pattern and I can't stop myself from buying with each new issue.

Naturally, I was excited about the hints I was hearing of a lingerie feature in the new July 2013 issue and I ran right out from my hotel to pick it up (yup living in a hotel until the 12th, what fun!).
I skipped right past the slightly tacky beach cover-ups (though in the right fabrics, I think they could be fun) and turned directly to the "Delicate Liaison" feature.
It starts with a bra and knickers (#114) that is really more of a sleep set.

The bra is wonderful! I'm sure that the bias cut contrast bands will be a nightmare to sew, but I also think it will be worth my time. The 'knickers' however, are another story. With a thick elastic casing at the top, these are more sleep shorts than actual underwear because they will be far too bulky to wear under anything other than a loose skirt. And, I hate to say it, but if you picture the nickers in brown, it suddenly looks a bit like something a roman centurion might wear... or, God forbid... maybe even Xena.

But maybe that's just me...?
Moving on, we have a nice, basic half slip that makes no waves.

And then a rather lovely camisole. Once again it's very basic, but cut in such a way that the under bust cup gathers make one's girls look so very nice.

The camisole can also be made with a lace overlay as in #115A.

Or cut longer as a slip like the "Mini Petticoat" #116.

And suddenly, the love affair has fizzled. There just isn't any more romance. These patterns are ok and might make decent basic patterns that could be embellished but we all know that Burda could do better, be less generic, and pay a bit more attention to what the lingerie industry is doing, and what the rest of us are buying.

Sadly, what could have been a lovely issue just turned out to be a boring 1990's Victoria's Secret catalog.

How about you? Do you buy Burda Style? Are you often disappointed or have you moved on completely to another sewing magazine? Have any good recommendations for my next love affair?

~P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway from Bruno and Betty, it ends tomorrow!~


  1. I agree.. the thing about the cut of the camisole is I can't imagine it working for anyone over a B cup, which is fine, but I don't even know I would alter the pattern to make it fit a larger bustline (like mine) because the "cups" are seem so wide set... maybe they could be slightly overlapped...

  2. I agree and I was disappointed. I am a little obsessed with sewing lingerie right now so was hoping for more.

  3. i actually liked the bra/knickers.....but the rest looked pretty generic to me....looking forward to you being back in action as i am sure you are! living in a hotel = not fun :(

  4. You look adorable in that dress. Sewing lingerie? I'm so impressed with that too!

  5. I've never really been that enamoured with Burda. I bought one print out pattern online and the skirt remains as one of my few UFO's. Maybe one day I'll finish it.
    IMHO there are a lot prettier vintage and indie patterns going around (and I rarely venture into Indie either) that I don't need to bother with Burda.

    If I wanted clothes just like everybody elses, I'd buy them.

    What's the point of sewing for yourself if you're indistinguishable from everyone else who shops at chainstores?

  6. I used to buy the magazine too till I realised that I was only buying it for One pattern and its like $15 in Australia. Now I just buy the one pattern I want on the website. Its still expensive considering I have to print it myself...
    I liked the slip pattern in this collection and thats kinda it... A bit of a bummer really!

  7. This issue hasn't arrived in my mailbox yet, so I'm a little bummed to hear that it's so ordinary. Plus I've been making myself sew a least one pattern from every issue for the last year and a half - looks like it will be a tough choice in July!

  8. Pretty boring patterns. Burda doesn't seem to read sewing blogger reviews because everyone unilaterally hates what they've been up to and there has been no change. They have such an amazing opportunity to be fashion forward and do interesting stuff and waste it. Sigh.

  9. I've not actually seen a Burda sewing magazine . . . but then, I've bought my fabric at Fabricland and JoAnne's for too many years. I did pick up a few Anna-Burda craft magazines about 25 years ago, which I still have, for the embroidery and crochet-lace patterns.
    That camisole is only going to be useful for a small-breasted woman. The knickers, tho . . . hate to say it, but I kind of admire Xena.

  10. I found one or two stores that sell Burda Magazines and I was kinda excited but all the reviews have kind of put me off me. Also its $13 here and I'm that cheap (joys of being a student) that if I don't like any patterns then it will me a major waste to me! Apparently there is a US version of Burda being launched in October this year, perhaps that will be better!

  11. I used to buy Burda Style (back when it was Burda Mode) and stopped about 4-5 years ago.
    The old ones were full of interesting shirts, pants, suits and dresses - I agree, its so 'blah' now.

    The used to have a webpage that listed all the issues, and the patterns inside (and previews of the next issue) and took it down when they relaunched BurdaStyle. So sad.

  12. I have just rekindled my interest in home dressmaking, and my first thought was to come on line and see what Burda were doing now. Having read all your comments, I don't think I'll bother. Thank you for making me make up my mind. I think I will stick to the usual British designers.

  13. Patterns are just that patterns and are created as a basis to go beyond what the pattern gives. You can certainly add things to the patterns to make them more than basic. Different fabrics, cut on the bias, lace and trims. I never use a pattern as it comes out of an envelop I let it led for inspiration to create a better garment.

  14. I haven't bought a Burda magazine since 2004 when all the shops around here ceased stocking it. Pity, I loved them to bits when I could get them. Reading your review of the latest issue, I will put my plans to subscribe on hold. Thanks for the heads up