Burda magazine December 2017

Has it seriously been another full year from Burda already? I swear it only feels like yesterday that I was completing my “Burda challenge” to make one pattern from each issue, but that was five years ago!! Looking at my schedule for next year, I doubt I’ll be able to do that again soon, but I really would like to start making more from my magazine archive. I’ve decided to do a roundup post of my favourite Burda magazine patterns of 2017, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, let’s take a peek inside the last issue of the year…

Burda traditionally have patterns for the whole family in their December issue, the thinking being presumably that you can make some for gifts as well as for yourself. I’m just happy they’ve included another men’s jacket pattern! This one uses some lovely Harris tweed (the real stuff!), with a shearling collar and chest pockets that sit in the seamline. I’ve used a Burda pattern as the base of jackets and coats for James over the years, and I can definitely recommend them!

In this family feature, we’ve also got a mohair pullover for ladies, which is unique in it being drafted for nonstretch fabrics, though I’m sure you could make this up in a hefty sweatshirting or French terry without any problems as it’s quite oversized. There’s also a coat for children, which looks to be very warm indeed lined with shearling and double breasted to keep out any drafts.

Does anyone else remember that Portlandia “Put a Bird on It” sketch? Burda are in danger of becoming star of their very own “Put a Ruffle On It” comedy! Cropped jeans with a ruffle at the hem? No No No No No. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

More children’s patterns, including this very wearable pullover sweatshirt that could easily work for girls or boys depending on fabric choice. There are some great quilted sweatshirting options out there this year that would make for some very stylish versions!

And not to be left out in Burda’s family Christmas – the dog! Here’s a coat for a very stylish pooch, including a collar (does that mean if the dog is already wearing a collar, you get a double collar effect??). I’m a bit confused by the back loop, however, especially as the dog in the photos isn’t doing anything with it. Surely if you loop the tail through it you’d just make a mess when they do their business? Maybe someone can explain what the back loop’s purpose is?

I don’t tend to wear blouses, but I really like the pleated detail on the standing collar of this one. I find gathered sleeve heads to be quite infantilising, so I’d personally remove them, but I like the angled yoke and cuffed sleeves (though I feel they missed a trick by not adding the pleating on the sleeve cuffs, too).

As I was flipping through the pattern instructions I caught myself saying aloud “Now that is one fucking cool collar construction!” And it really is – the folded over collars are integrated to the upper fronts of the jacket to get that seamless fold, resulting in some very odd-looking pattern pieces. Burda call the black trim “piping” but to me it looks more like wide binding, or perhaps braid, so I’m not sure if it’s a translation error, but the effect is undeniably striking!

Refer back to my “Put a Ruffle On It” comments above, but I can’t see this otherwise basic raglan sweater and not see her emerging from a murky lake, trying desperately to shake off the seaweed that’s clinging onto her!! (Ok, maybe I have an overactive imagination!)

I really want to like the trousers, but the proportions seem a bit off to me. The waistband seems far too wide and they look far too baggy in the midsection on both of the models. Maybe there’s just a fine line between baggy and casual, or that I’ll come back to this pattern in a few years and be totally into this style (as has happened in the past)?

Right now I’m feeling for the seamstress who made this dress, having taken meticulously measurements of the model, altered and sized the pattern appropriately, only too look at the finished photos in horror with all their drag lines and strain on the fabric when the shoot stylist insisted on layering a bulky turtleneck underneath it. Seamstress, I hear your cries. (The dress itself looks rather nice, mind, just not my style.)

Those sleeves! Now that’s how you do a military jacket without looking like you’ve raided a fancy dress box! Double princess seams mean it’s got a feminine silhouette but it’s those wide sleeves, framed with a tulip-like cuff that really make it stand out.

Oh this velvet dress is just gorgeous! It’s a simple shape but that asymmetric cowl with shoulder buttons really lets the fabric shine here. This would make for a wonderful holiday party dress…

This jacquard top features on the cover as well as in the coloured, illustrated instructions, but I’m a bit disappointed that it’s only made up in one fabric in this issue. It’s hard to tell if those flaps would look incredible, arty, and different, or just kinda get in the way. It’s great that they included illustrations for this though, because I’m not sure that I’d want to tackle this construction with Burda’s usual terse instructions (and I hardly read any instructions these days!).

WOWZA!! This evening gown is a showstopper – and you can tell, because she’s stopped playing her tuba which would literally stop the party (or is it just the parties I go to?). Honestly though, this could’ve been a designer dress, looking at the number of pieces and attention to detail in all those radiating pleats and fan layers. There’s also a separate front lining piece, which is useful if you want to check the fit before committing to tracing a thousand pattern pieces first. Bravo, Burda, this dress is a gem!

I’m not sure whose big idea it was to make up all of the Plus-sized patterns in black this month, but they should have their scissors taken away from them. Case in point – I really like the tech drawing of this dress with its asymmetric pleats and tucks, but I cannot see a freaking thing on the model, just a black blob where the dress should be. What’s the point of showing photos at all if you can’t see any details?

And with that, we bring our year of Burda magazines to a close. Thank you to all of you who’ve taken the time to tell me how much you enjoy these roundups, and if you’ve got any nominations for what would go into your own Best Burda of 2017, do share them below (as my memory is fickle and I may have overlooked them the first time around!)

11 Comments

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  1. 1
    Beth (SunnyGal Studio)

    maybe due to your Burda roundups (which I so appreciate) I finally broke down and got a 3 month subscription to test the waters. And I am hooked. After all I have been buying at least 1 Burda pdf download per month. Although last night I started tracing and whew! it is a puzzle for my eyeballs but hopefully I will get used to it. As for this issue I thought it was quite good, that velvet dress with the asymmetrical cowl would also look good without the sleeves for a spring version. And the plus dress you pointed out is SO pretty and yes why black so we can’t see the details. I also love that military jacket with the interesting sleeves. Might have to try that one.

  2. 2
    ANGELA

    LOL, when I saw the picture of the cropped pants with a ruffle at the hem – my heart stopped – PLEASE don’t tell me you like that! I was quite relieved to continue reading and find that we are in complete agreement. Ruffles on the hem of cropped pants? Horrors. Any how, I love reading your opinions about Burda’s patterns, and generally agree with them. And seriously – sometimes I wonder if the people who choose the fabric for the patterns actually remember that the point is to take photos for the rest of us to see. That all black dress? Who could tell what it really looks like as far as seaming/design.

  3. 3
    Sue

    Thanks so much for these, the front covers are not always that inspiring and here in East Anglia only a few shops stock the magazine(1 in our town and 1 in Newmarket) so need to be quick off the mark to get before they sell out.
    My only issue with Burda magazine is recognising the fabrics they use and working out what UK alternative I can readily get; dont mind the tracing bit after the first couple I seem to have got the hang of them and like that the sizing is consistent.

  4. 7
    Anita Steiner

    Ruth seems to have a good idea for the loop, mine was for the tail to go through, but as you pointed out, it would only get dirty. I love the assymetric dress, the party dress and shirt 112. I’m with you on the ruffles although I might wear them on a dressy shirt. All in all I felt 2017 is/was quite a good year for Burda.
    Anita from Basel

  5. 9
    Linda (ACraftyScrivener)

    Disappointed you didn’t comment on the feather duster in that photo of the jaquard top . Love your commentary!

  6. 11
    AllisonC

    I love this issue, I’ve loved this whole year actually even though it is not reflected in my pitiful Burda output for 2017. Must do better next year – there are so many patterns I still want to try!

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