Burda magazine March 2014

There wasn’t much to get excited about in this issue, in my opinion. March is always the issue with the bridal gowns, but even those left me cold for the most part – overly fussy with too many extra frills, bows, and (in non-bridal sections), migraine-inducing ugly prints.

I’ve pulled a few nuggets from the pile though…

This dress was the only design from the first feature that I even glanced twice at – I really like all the pleating, but that surplice opening looks like a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen, and the model’s pose doesn’t help. It looks like she’s stiffly holding herself to avoid anything creasing or opening up!

Burda’s take on “grunge” was almost as laughable as their taken on “punk” earlier this year, but I did spot this very on-trend bomber jacket, which looks rather nice.

This is one of the ugliest outfits I have ever seen in Burda. Ever. Hideous tartan chiffon (why??!) paired with itself, plus the laziest drafting I’ve seen in a long time – those bell sleeves look like what a My First Pattern Drafting student might do if it were 1993. Ugly ugly ugly. UGH.

Burda print classic jeans patterns so infrequently that you’d think they’d be shouting about these from the front cover – “Sew your own jeans! Easy, step by step illustrated instructions!” Do they not want to sell issues or something? Why else would they disguise these in an ugly floral and call them “Five pocket Trousers”? It makes no sense! (If you missed the take-home message here – this issue is worth buying for these jeans alone.)

Burda magazine October 2013

Burda’s had a bit of an ugly and disappointing streak for the past few issues, but this one is a definite improvement, with only a few Total Uglies, and quite a few Ooh That’s Nices!

I love the wide neckline on this top – I think it’s a really flattering shape, and it’s a bonus that it’s designed for knits. The pleated waistline gives nice shaping at the waist, too, without being overly peplum-y.

Usually when a pattern is shown in two different styles, it’s easy for me to choose one of them over the other to scan and highlight, but with this dress I love the pastel version and the military version equally! This dress is totally on my To Sew list for Fall & Winter – I love wearing long sleeved knit dresses, and the neckline, raglan shoulders, and waist pleats are just fantastic!

This duffle coat really reminds me of the turquoise one I made a few years ago and literally wore to death! It’s such a wonderful casual style, and the contrast panels really offer a good opportunity for playing with texture or colour, too.

Burda magazine August 2013

I’m not going to lie to you – there’s a whole lot of ugly again in this issue! After last month’s disappointing collection, I was very hopeful that the first of the Fall fashions would herald a return to some great Burda patterns, but alas!

I’ve tried to shield your poor eyes from the worst abuses and find some nuggets in the poo, but I just couldn’t help it. Happily, though, if you’re Plus-sized, you get the best patterns of the whole issue!

The entire Downton Abbey-inspired feature was just fugly so I’m going to pretend that just doesn’t exist. Moving swiftly on…

When the photos for this issue were first previewed, I would’ve never guessed that the tech drawing would look like this! This seems like it could either be a fantastic take on a basic long sleeved tee, or a really annoying noose that gets in your way and drags in your tea…

What an awful 1980s double sweatshirt abomination, paired with an even uglier leather skirt just to make the sweatshirt look not quite so bad in juxtaposition. Even the model looks sad that she was forced to wear this.

The 1970s Marianne Faithfull feature wasn’t much better (because there’s nothing I hate more than hippie style, or the 1970s!), but it did contain these slim leather trousers. I’m not as keen on the long-line blazer, which, for Tall women, is just going to further elongate them, right?

This red suit is absolutely the best of the regular-sized patterns in this issue! I’m not even usually a fan of blazers but the cut is really great here – classic yet interesting, and it comes paired with a really well-proportioned pair of trousers, too. Even better that for some reason Burda chose to have the coloured illustrated instructions for the blazer, even though they’re usually reserved for the most remedial patterns in the issue (you can see Burda forgot to remove “Easy Sewing” from the top there, which clashes with “Advanced” and “Masterpiece” just beneath it!)

Burda magazine June 2013

I’m a tad late with my review of the latest Burda magazine (or as it’s known these days “Burda Style” – but that just makes it too confusing with the other zillion things they do with the same name), but a) it arrived in the midst of my World tour, b) it’s competing with both the April and May Manequim magazines, and c) well, I have made something from it already so I think I’ve earned a pass!

In any case, this is a surprisingly good issue, despite being a summer one!

First up is this sheath dress with angled side panels and hand-stitched details. On first glance it appears quite vintage-inspired, but the sharp seaming in the line drawing actually shows it’s a pretty modern draft!

I chose this next image not really for the batiste skater skirt (which isn’t really my style), but because OMG is this the first black model Burda have ever used?? And I realise this is the “street style” section so she’s not really a model per say, but seriously, I cannot believe how white Burda’s models are, even when they’re showcasing African or Moroccan or Asian inspired patterns they still use white models!*

A bit of an aside, but as I was travelling the other week I saw a massive advert for the German Wings budget airline with three cabin crew ladies: a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead. To which I chuckled to myself “oh, it’s German diversity!”

Next up is a nice figure-hugging knit dress with a cowl neck and gathered side seams. It’s also available as a top, which I think would be an excellent summer basic, or even for layering under jackets.

A Year of Burda Magazine Patterns – Challenge Completed!

I (silently) set myself the challenge to sew one garment from each issue of Burda magazine (aka BurdaStyle) in 2012, and I’m proud to say I completed it! I’m not the sort of person to make New Year’s resolutions, or proclaim lofty goals to everyone who’ll listen – I’m more the sort to quietly commit myself to something, and see if anyone notices what I’m up to before the completion… I do know that Kristy has also been keeping up with the Burda challenge this year, and it’s been fun to see which patterns she’s chosen from the same issues (and on occasion we selected the same pattern!).

There were some roaring successes, a few fails (both my fault and not), and some that I changed my mind on only after months of wear. So I thought it was worthwhile to have a look through all the projects from this year, and my thoughts on each looking back from now…


Rating: 9/10
Link to original post: Great Basic – Grey Flannel Trousers

At the time I said: There’s nothing particularly earth-shattering about this design, but I just thought it looked nicely versatile, and something I could wear to business meetings as well as just team with a teeshirt if I fancied it.

My thoughts now: I don’t think these look as nice in the photoshoot as they do in real life. I genuinely love and adore these, and have worn them pretty much nonstop, at least once a week to work, since I made them a year ago. I wouldn’t change a single thing about this pattern, and the silk pocket linings fill me with glee everything I slip my hands inside. I really do need to make some more of these!

Burda magazine November 2012

I don’t think this is the best issue of Burda we’ve seen in a while (remember how amazing August and September were??), but there are still a few patterns worth mentioning, and even a few worth buying!

I really like these slim trousers omg but they look identical to the ones in the January 2012 issue that I made! Seriously, I inspected the tech drawing and pieces and it really does look like this is an exact reprint from January! To be honest, I like my grey trousers so much I was thinking about making them again, but now I might make this pair instead purely so I can compare the two.

Here are those slim trousers again plus a top with a boxpleated peplum. I really like this peplum top, but I think the one I made two months ago is probably enough for me for a while!

This long trenchcoat is rather nice, though it has an asymmetric back vent flap that just looks wrong (but is easy enough to change).

The Peplum Top

It should come as no surprise that I’ve been sewing this peplum top – after all, I shared my instructions on how to line this top already! But for those of you who are short in the memory department, this is #113 from the August 2012 Burda magazine, which is also available to purchase as a pdf download here (and you can look at the full instructions and layout diagrams on that site for free). There’s also versions with long sleeves or with a much longer peplum, extended into a dress, so there’s quite a lot of versatility here.

A lot of peplum dresses just feature a ring of excess fabric around the hips, but here, the curved waist seam plus the sloped hemline and bias-cut peplum on this particular pattern really sets it above the rest. I also like that it’s separates, so I can pair my top with a skirt, slim trousers, or leggings and get much more wear from it than just a single dress.

This is how I wore it to Karen’s V&A Ballgowns meetup, worn with my denim-look leggings I made a few months ago. I know peplums are really trendy right now, but I really like how retro 1950s this outfit looks even when made with completely modern patterns and fabrics!

Coming up… peplums, sweat & booze, disco and smoking!

Lots of things going on at FehrTrade Towers, so it’s time for an update roundup!

Peplum top

After my last post outlining the lining instructions, there will be no points for guessing that this is coming along shortly! I’ve just got to handstitch the hem and the bottom of the lining and it’s finished, hurrah. Perhaps if I’m speedy I can wear it to the V&A Ballgowns exhibit meetup Karen is planning?

Bacchus half marathon costume

As part of my preparation/reward for my marathon training, I signed up to run the Bacchus half marathon this weekend. Not many people are familiar with this race, but it’s been rated exceptionally highly on Runner’s World, and the clue might lie somewhere in the description: a half-trail, half-road, fancy dress (costumed) race through a vineyard in Surrey with wine tasting every 2 miles, plus a free glass of wine and hog roast at the end. See why I signed up??

I’m regularly running much further than half marathon distance in my training runs, so even though this is only my second half marathon, I’m not that concerned about the distance, so instead I concentrated on the costume, making sure it’s entirely wicking and running-friendly!

I’m sure it will surprise none of you that I’ve also made another Jalie running skirt. Or, err, to be precise, two more, since I made another black one in parallel with my Bacchus one and forgot to photograph it! And a top based on my knit sloper (which I’m still tweaking after running in my sequin top for a few months now).

Burda magazine September 2012

Thank you so much for all your compliments on my Fuchsia party dress (and marathon legs, ha)! Apologies if any of you had trouble with the link – I’d originally categorised it wrong and had to correct it, which changed the URL.

Also, big thanks to everyone who entered my competition for the MyImage magazine – I was blown away by the number and wonderful variety of pattern request ideas in your comments! Now, if I ever had a chunk of time spare to draft them all, I’d be a rich woman… Anyway, the random number generator drew 32, which means Silvia is the lucky recipient!

The calendar might still say August for another day, but at least in London, there’s a definite crispness in the air that signals the return of Fall, and Burda’s already got this covered with another fantastic issue!

We had a similar (but A-line) dress in the May issue, but I actually prefer the lines on this petite dress instead, and that it can be worn with a bolero to give it sleeves is just a bonus!

Both garment here are really simple, but as you can see from the photos that you can really create a lot of interest just with fabrics. The top is really just a long sleeved teeshirt with inserted seams at the shoulders (like my Knipmode rose and lace teeshirt!) and the skirt is just a basic pencil skirt, but together, they really work, and are within reach of most beginner sewists.

Burda magazine August 2012

I’ve been buying Burda magazine (formerly “Burda World Of Fashion”, now “Burda Style”) since 2005, and I’ve seen its greatness come and go (and then come back again) in waves. It’s been getting steadily better over the course of 2012, but this August issue is the best one in a LONG time! Definitely the best this year (along with May 2012), but possibly it ranks up there with September 2010 and August 2006 even in my own personal Burda Issue Hall Of Fame!

I pretty much love everything in this feature with the white background, but let’s take these one step at a time.

First up is this blue tuxedo with slim trousers and a great jacket with interesting, non-standard lapels. How could I not love this, when I’ve already made a blue tuxedo with slim trousers and a jacket with interesting lapels back in 2008 (and also from Burda patterns)??! LOVE.

I really love the shape of this dirndl-inspired dress, with its cap sleeves and interesting bodice seams, but part of me is also concerned by the sharp seaming – they look awfully similar to the seams on a Burda slip pattern I tried that really didn’t work for me (ahem, pointy boobs) so I’d want to definitely muslin this bodice before going further.