Burda magazine September 2016

It's September and that can mean only one thing - Oktoberfest and an issue crammed full of ugly dirndls, yay. Luckily for us, the rest of the patterns in this issue are continuing on Burda's 2016-long winning streak so let's take a look inside...

It’s September and that can mean only one thing – Oktoberfest and an issue crammed full of ugly dirndls, yay. Luckily for us, the rest of the patterns in this issue are continuing on Burda’s 2016-long winning streak so let’s take a look inside…

I know Colette’s free Sorbetto top pattern has been out for a few years already, so it’s probably inevitable that a similar pattern should crop up eventually, but it’s almost impossible to see this without comparing the two! I really like the faux-wrap mini skirt it’s paired with here. It’s got the right mix of sporty styling and nice, wintery fabrics, and that it’s sized for Tall is probably a bonus here as it should elongate the hem a bit for the rest of us.

I’m not so keen on the fabric Burda used here as it’s making my eyes water a bit to look at it (imagine how the poor fabric cutter felt though!?), but I like the tech drawing with its contrast yokes and asymmetric tucks. The instructions revealed a bit of odd construction in it though, since the contrast yokes front and back extend down way past the joining seam, which is then just topstitched closed. I can only imagine this was because that geometric fabric was sheer or something, but it seems odd to assume everyone’s fabric choice would require two layers for modesty.

Wait – Burda are showing advertisements now?? I mean, I’ve seen enough foreign language versions over the years to know that they’ve had them for years, but this is the first I can recall the English language edition ever containing ads. But onto the dress – its empire seaming certainly makes it look maternity friendly and it’s nice to have some long-sleeved dress options.

The less said about the tragically ugly velvet blouse, the better – let’s just move on to the trousers it’s overshadowing! If you’re new to fitting trousers, ones with princess seams (front and back) are fairly difficult to find, but make fitting so much easier. Burda had a pair in Plus sizes last month, and now we get one in regular sizes, too (with or without ankle zips and welt pockets).

Urgh, I hate the colour choices in this sweatshirt, but I love the colourblocking opportunities in those seams. In the dress-length version the stripes continue over onto the sleeves, too! It’s nicely paired here with another version of the Tall faux-wrap miniskirt, too, this time with contrast banding around the hems and pocket.

Here we’ve got a boxy teeshirt (ho-hum) with a twist (ooh!) – an interesting diagonal gather/tie/channel detail which pulls some of that ease in and creates some visual interest, too.

A designer dirndl pattern. Sigh. I’ve skipped over the pages upon pages of (IMHO) really freaking ugly dirndl costume dresses and children’s leiderhosen patterns because, frankly, I complain about Dirndlpalooza every single year and even I am sick of hearing me go on about it.

So I did something different this year and actually asked an Alpiner her opinion on them. My coach, Barbara, grew up in Alpine Italy to a German family, and her first language is German, and she goes back often to visit family and run and cycle in the mountains. I figured she was as good as placed as any to ask about dirndls, and she said that a) she’s never worn one in her entire life (though she did wear leiderhosen when she was four) and that b) nobody in the cities ever wears them. She said that in the villages, you can sometimes see people wearing them on Sundays or to weddings, but even then it’s not a common garment, and it’s certainly not worn by everyone. So I take this to mean that even if you live in a specific set of villages in a specific country, the most you’ll ever wear a dirndl is one day in seven. I actually found this quite surprising, as the argument for printing an explosion of dirndls every year is that it’s a cultural thing and pretty much everybody in Germany wears them during Oktoberfest. Which certainly doesn’t sound like it’s the case based on what Barbara is saying. So please Burda, please stop taking up space for other patterns that have global appeal with these folkloric car crashes every September. You have all the old ones online now – there’s no shortage of them available for people who actually want to sew them. So maybe just put one in the September issues and point to the online shop, or hell, just reprint an entire special edition of just dirndl patterns for people to buy separately. Just please don’t take up precious pattern space every year with dirndls. Again. I mean, I personally can’t stand the hippie-style features they seem to print once every six months, but at least those patterns have potential to be wearable by changing fabrics or removing fringe. Dirndls have zero potential (what’s that about polishing a turd??).

I was largely uninspired by the Plus patterns this month, with the exception of this long coat, which is to die for! So elegant, so beautiful, and so well proportioned.


Add Yours
  1. 1

    It seems like people who are planning to make a dirndl would love to have special edition with several patterns all together. At the same time I find it doubtful that many readers, browsing through a Burdastyle magazine, would suddenly decide to make a dirndl based upon the feature. A few maybe, but not a lot. I suppose it is a tradition for the Burda people, and they probably see it as part of the Burda identity, irrespective of its use or not to most readers.

  2. 2

    Let’s all ask one person we know about something and see if we get a fair representation of an entire population. 😉
    It’s a German publication. They publish patterns for traditional garments. Time to get over it.

    • 3

      ha! fair enough about the one person (though I’ve doubled it from just me!), though I was asking about the prevalence of wearing of them in the Alps, not her opinion, since that tends to be the argument everyone states for the printing of the same damn pattern over and over every year. I’ll get over it when I’m given the choice to opt out of the dirndl issue in my subscription (or any of the bonus issue or download options I mentioned in the post)!

  3. 4

    When my issue arrived, I grabbed it and took it with me to dinner with my daughter. We sat in the restaurant looking at it together and made fun of that hideous velvet top. And, if I remember correctly, on the facing page there was another equally as hideous garment. My comment was that that huge flower wasn’t even part of the top. They CHOSE to accessorize it that way! Gross!

    I also loved that coat, although personally, I’m not loving it in that houndstooth. But I’m all in for doing it in a solid or tonal floral or something.

    I disagree with you on the pleated skirt. Maybe it’s just not my style but I HATED every version of it (I think there were at least 2.)

    I’ve been a subscriber to this magazine for less than a year, although I’ve been getting the plus magazine for a while. So this was the first issue that I got of dirndls. I’m weirdly attracted to them and want one, even though I really have no where I’d wear it to. I might end up making one someday, mostly for the exercise of doing it, but not until I have finished making many more practical items for my wardrobe. 🙂

    • 5

      Maybe next time instead of saying “we made fun of that and that…”, “this is gross” etc, think that someday someone will say that you are gross too.
      Wish people would be more gentle with their opinions.

      • 6

        Agree it would be more pleasant if people are a bit more diplomatic with their opinions. But blunt opinions are valued by some as “honesty” or entertainment. I just learn to ignore undiplomatic opinions like i’very learnt to ignore ads.

  4. 7

    I visited Munchen last year in June and I saw quite a lot of ladies wearing dirndls. They also sold them in the department store, I guess it’s not something that one would wear on a daily basis but there definitely seems to be a market for them.

      • 9

        Love the rancorous dirndls discussion that breaks out across blogs each year. I’ve decided after decades of Burda subscription to try and see if I can actually notice design differences, as a game to play. I’ve noticed what could be dirndle tops on many newly arriving female uni students, including the cropped variety (no bodice/waistcoat).

        I live in Edinburgh, and in fact one does see kilts all the time. Men will don them for sporting events local football, practically mandatory during rugby, easy option for Saturday night out, yes most weekends you’ll see various young and old in casual kilts (i.e. t-shirt, walking boots and kilt) vs the formal attire of jacket, shirt, socks and dress shoes. It may be growing as Scotland continues to row a very different course than England (rUK) these days.
        PS thanks so much for posting inspirations and mods to you patterns on regular basis. Good nudge to get them out and experiment a bit.

  5. 10

    I showed the colourblocked sweater to my colleagues (male and female) at work and they recalled the track suits we used in the 80’s for gym class at school :s

  6. 11
    Beth (SunnyGal Studio)

    going backwards – yes that coat is gorgeous. Burda does coats for all sizes so well. I like that wrap mini skirt although it slightly reminds me of my junior high cheerleading outfit 🙂

  7. 13
    Anne Frances

    Would you say an American company ought never to publish a pattern for a cowboy shirt, even if most of us wouldn’t walk around any city with fringes around the yoke of our garment? I wouldn’t look for dirndls in the Swiss or Italian Alps. I think it’s a Bavarian and perhaps Austrian Tyrolean thing- I have certainly seen dirndls worn as an everyday dress in Munich – and not only at Oktoberfest time. Burdastyle is a Bavarian publication – |I don’t think a once a year acknowledgement of their roots is over the top.
    I agree with the rest of your comments, and I do like that coat – though I think one would have to be quite careful not to let it swamp one. The model has very high heels!.

    • 14

      American companies (and others) are perfectly fine to publish national costume patterns occasionally. 5 patterns per year, every single year, when there is very little variation between any of the patterns besides hem length, is excessive, IMHO.

  8. 15
    Hélène Martin

    Haha, I loved Gertie’s recent deep dive into dirndls and that warmed me up to them in general but I still got a good laugh out of your mini-rant. Hey, at least there are a lot of very wearable patterns to make even with the dirndls out of play.

  9. 16

    Yeah… agreeing with commenters above. I’m Canadian but live in Munich and I often see people wearing dirndl (also lederhosen), not quite for every day wear but to go out in the evenings. It’s no different to a party dress I guess. I think the publishers for Burda are based in Munich? So it is definitely local to them.

  10. 17

    Vienna is the same as Munich- you see them fairly frequently, especially during ball season. As far as traditional attire goes, it’s one of the ones I’ve seen most often. I even follow a German blogger who made one last year.

    Your yearly rant is predictably cute, but in my experience your friend is just wrong.

  11. 18

    I hate to tell you all this, but I just noticed that October is a dirndl issue too. One issue – okay, I get it, but two makes me wonder a little about the editorial decisions. People should feel free to make/wear dirndls of course, but if Threads did two fake fur coat issues in a row, I’d wonder about that too. For the record, I’m a German heritage American that grew up in the west, and I don’t wear cowboy shirts – those are for rodeos and Hollywood movies only IMO : )

  12. 21

    I have to agree with a lot of the other commenters here about the dirndls. They are certainly not normal wear all over Germany but you will see them regularly in the Alpine regions of Germany, Austria and northern Italy. Yes, they are sometimes worn just for the sake of tourists but also, like kilts in Scotland, for weddings and folklore related festivals (I’ve seen lots of people in Austria wear them at village harvest festivals, for example). This summer, I even saw some spectators and a few volunteers from the DAV (the German Alpine Club) wear dirndls at the Bouldering World Cup in München. And the presenters wore lederhosen (there is no “i” in lederhosen by the way. The word literally means “leather trousers”) for the final.
    So, they are definitely a “thing” in their home region of Tirol.
    However, I agree with you about Burda going overboard with it. Especially because Burda isn’t from Bavaria at all. The magazine started, and still has its headquarters, in Schwarzwald (the Black Forest), far north and west from any place where dirndls are a folkwear tradition. I can only assume that they somehow got stuck in a 50 to 100 year-old trend for Oktoberfest and for wearing things like this on trips to the mountains.

  13. 22

    you are seriously so fantastic. I’m in love with this dirndl rant! YES. and just today in my IG feed….Burda with an Oktoberfest dirndl post! Stop the insanity! Traveling all over the country sides of Austria and Germany, I never saw a dirndl in the wild. Just because it’s German, doesn’t make the cultural appropriation any less embarrassing. I always say on St. Patty’s alcoholiday here in America, “no amount of booze or green is going to make you Irish” See also: Oktoberfest dirndl, ale, and sausage.

  14. 23

    PS – RE the US cowboy shirts, those ARE worn regularly. Go anywhere in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and even here, I grew up in Boring, Oregon, with the FFA (future farmers of America) and 4-H, and ropers, Wranglers, and a strong shirt are realities of every day. Tractor deaths actually occur, I’ve seen horse bites, and animal husbandry is taught in high school.

  15. 24

    I love that plus sized coat! I also like the simple Blazer in the petite sizes. There would a lot of grading to do for me so I wouldn’t make that one but definitely something similar.

    I think everything I have to say about Dirndls has been said: Yes, there are people wearing them on other occasions that Oktoberfest but even for me as a German they are more a tourist attraction than anything else. I’m from the region of Germany where Burda is from and while there are no Bavarian style dirndls to be found, the traditional dresses can look a bit similar. Having said that I have never seen anyone wear them apart waitresses or people involved in tourist attractions.
    Tbh I don’t think the dirndl patterns are the ones that will be sewn the most but if they feel they have to include some every year – their magazine, their decision.

  16. 25

    I lived in South-West Germany for some time and people actually wear dirndles over there on many occasions: wine fair, beer fair, and not only in villages but also in big cities like Stuttgart. It is a tradition for Burda: costumes for carnaval in January (and not for Halloween!), bride dresses in February and dirndles in September. Just do not buy the issue if you do not like them..

  17. 26

    I’ve accepted both Burda’s annual dirndl issues & Melissa’s rant about them as traditions! LOL.

    Personally I don’t mind them as they don’t take over the entire issues & they’re less ugly than some of the annual costume patterns. In fact, in a world that seem increasingly same-y through globalisation I wish more traditional costumes are preserved through such annual remembrance. I love the variety from saree to kimonos to dirndl & many others that I haven’t discovered yet.

    As long as people have a choice & the designs are not hazardous practically speaking I see no harm. Hegemony is boring as well as tyrannical whether it’s burka or the bikini.

  18. 27

    Don’t mean to burst any bubbles here – but I live in Austria on the border of Germany and Switzerland – and Dirndls and Oktoberfest-themed are big business here.

    I see dirndls and lederhosen being sold in Aldi (Hofer in Austria), TK Maxx, NewYorker and many of the other main stream shops. Even high end sport shops like Sportalm have an offer of traditional clothing. Over the last few years it has become a big trend and quite chic. This is not including many of Musikvereins (musik clubs) that play traditional music and they will invest in a uniform which is usually traditional dress – you guessed it- Dirndls! Even a plain dirndl with a good fit can run several hundred euros so making one is a good option that a lot of people take.

    Lately trachten parties happen all year round now and many times you can see weddings and pölterabends (hen nights for the English) where the girls wear Dirndls. Even the MacDonald’s here has special Oktoberfest burgers in September and October.

    I have also noticed that in my home state of Wisconsin there are Oktoberfests popping up all over – especially in combination with the craft beer movement. So my friends who have bought dirndls here have gotten a lot of use out of their garments.

    I personally do not care for the dirndl pictured above, but I totally understand why Burda includes them in their magazine – it is most likely their highest selling issues domestically. Not to mention that is something that for a large part of their readership is on trend enough that major retailers and fast food chains are taking notice.

  19. 28

    Late to this party but I have family in the Eastern Alps (Kärnten) and dirndls are a very big deal over there. People might not wear them every day but they still wear them a lot and take great pride in them. It’s not unheard of spending in excess of EUR 300 for one, with some going for EUR 500.

    I don’t live over there and dirndls are definitely not to my taste, so much so that I dismissed that September issue when I saw it. However I recently spent time with relatives and there was talk of recreating one of the family dirndls, which dates back to the 1920s and has seen better days.
    Even though these don’t look like much like the dirndls in the family pics I saw, I might have to go and buy this magazine after all as I’d love to be involved in this process, and I was happy to find this review of it.

    I guess it’s different when there’s a personal connection.

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