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Burda magazine

I haven’t written about Burda Style magazine for a very long time. If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that I was very disappointed in the way the magazine developed and ended my subscription last year. I browse it in the shop every month and never bought an issue in the past 12 months, the patterns were either not attracting me, or variations of what I already have.

Last week I browsed the new September issue, expecting a lot of new fall/winter fashion and of course hoping to find some patterns to like. Not so, and I’m even more surprised to find a large collection of what they call “Country look”. They offer that as “trend” for 2011/2012 in a small catalogue of the new envelope patterns for the next season.

Who wants these patterns? Is there a market to do this kind of patterns so regularly? Just wondering, it must be so because otherwise they wouldn’t make these, but I so much would like a more current look from Burda and patterns I want to make immediately. It used to be like that very often. I am so hoping they will change something soon. I tried, but I can’t really see these pattern changed to something I would want to wear.

New envelope patterns.


The September issue, pictures from BurdaStyle website:

image image image image


  1. Well you know how I feel about this situation and your post just affirms those feelings.

  2. I don't want to embarrass anyone but there is a sizeable number of bloggers posting about the 'girdles' and 'halters' and 'corsets' that they make and wear (presumably not in public) and they seem to have some kind of interest in 'dressing up' and 'role play'. I guess these people seize such magazines when they appear and in sufficient numbers to make it viable for Burda to satisfy them occasionally......

  3. Who else but Burda could do Octoberfest so well? Those designs are so unwearable, and so romantic (read "unrealistic") that they are sure to appeal to someone just for the pure kitsch!

  4. Oh. Oh my. All I can assume is this is for the carnival / Octoberfest crowd. Also, people are making a lot of corsets lately. Maybe the Ren Faire folks? Either way, so totally not for me.

  5. Let's put it this way - Burda pattern magazine is really not what you'd call an 'international' magazine. It is not just the fact that every September, they have a whole display of 'tracht' (local/regional traditional dress/costumes). They also do a big issue in January where costumes for Fasching (which is like Mardi Gras but I think it lasts longer), which is only celebrated in Germany. Additionally, in early spring, they do an issue with very formal white children's clothing for First Communion (which, if these issues are any example) is a very big deal for Roman Catholics in Germany. All Burda does is to translate the pattern magazine copy into various foreign languages. They are not making any sort of change to the copy or what is being offered to appeal to anyone else or to appeal to the changing demographic face of Europe. I think if you understand that this is a German magazine designed to appeal to Germans and Austrians, then it all makes sense; but for the rest of us - it means that a good bit of what goes on in the magazine from time to time is utterly meaningless. For those of us in the US, it's too bad that some of the other European sewing magazines/with patterns are so difficult to find in the US because I think a lot of sewers would subscribe or buy them on a regular basis rather than get Burda.

  6. I think Toby Wollin was right. Burda does this for the German Market. I did see this outfit also sold in the wellknown envelopes.
    I can assure you that it 's not only Burda , but also Runschau that has this kind of offer of "Trachtenstil"

  7. Actually, if Burda does this for a German market, it's more like a post-war market, pickled for old Anna's sake, not something which is going on much right now. Other countries celebrate both carnaval in February and first communions. The US is probably no1 in froufrou weddings, something which commenters aren't complaining about, but which is only useful a few times in most customers' lives (even Zza zza and Liz).
    But hey, September is perfect for Bavarian kitsch, just in time for Halloween :-).

  8. Well... people are still wearing this style here in Baden-Wuerttenberg a little bit but more in Bayern (Bavaria). Every now and then I see someone in lederhosen. But I won't be buying this magazine! Americans who wear dirndls crack me up!

  9. I (re-)arrived late to the sewing world (early last year) , and I simply couldn't understand the big fuss everyone was making over the wonderful Burda patterns. I guess my timing was just wrong.

    That said, my all-time favorite t-shirt is the ubiquitous t-neck from the September 2010 issue. Which is the only issue I ever bought.

    I certainly won't be making any dirndls or lederhose ;D Thanks Sigrid, for saving me the time of even thumbing through this issue! :D

  10. Your post made me smile a lot - I think Burda may have some quite fixed ideas about who wears what where. Every now and then Burda magazine features a bunch of patterns that they call "English" or "British style" and it's always a lot of tweed country stuff as though all us Brits are living in castles in the country and riding horses everywhere! That's a laugh!

  11. Toby that really interesting and good information. My only disagreement is because for years and years the best dressed women I knew, were Americans living in Reno NV who subscribed to Burda. They created classy, expensive-looking and well fitted clothing with just a twist of current trending. I'm actually a new Burda subscriber with only 2 years of magazines. But I notice that I sew out of about 3 issues. I wonder if there wasn't some kind of ownership/editing change that has turned Burda from The Word in Sewing Fashion to largely, well, yuck?

    This is only my humble opinion, YMMV.

  12. Argh!

    As the child of a German father and a Swiss mother, I shudder with horror at the dirdls I was forced to wear as a child in California! Making an adult one would require serious counselling;-)

    I was thinking we'd get some pretty coats and jackets for September...hmmm.

    P.s. Your Sorbettos are great - make one with sleeves so I can live vicariously.

  13. To me...all gorgeous gorgeous eye candy, well worth the price of the magazine. Few advertisements, fashionable women rarely garish or over exposed. Living in Canada (with German grandparents) I would (and will) sew myself a lovely dirndl and sashay around my country town. It SURE beats the majority of fashion out there available to pre-teen, teens and young adult women now! LOL! If I ran a high school I would make dirndls and lederhose the school uniform!

    I don't subscribe to Burda, however, I just purchase the magazines that inspire me. This is why, perhaps, I have an easy time accepting their whims.

  14. Amen. I won't be buying this issue either.

  15. What's wrong with a bit of leidenhose between friends? OMG those designs are BAD!

  16. I was on holiday in Austria some years ago and there was alot of this style of clothes in the stores and on the streets.

  17. Yes, those are very German styles. Of course, Burda is a German magazine so it is not too surprising to see German styles. I'm much more cranky about the September issue of Australian Vogue. Fall fashions! Wool coats! Puh-leeeze. Spring is well advanced here in Australia and summer will be here very soon. If I wanted to see fall clothes I would have bought a northern hemisphere edition.

  18. Gehen wir zum Oktoberfest.

    (My German is rusty, hope that's correct.)


  19. The sad thing is that the Cutter and Tailor forum often posts old patterns from German companies like Rundschau and the fashions are very smart. You would need advanced tailoring skills to adapt and execute them, though.

    I know where to look for my Pauli Girl Halloween costume now.

    Wunderbar, wunderbar! ...

  20. Years ago, in Spain, the magazine publisher Burda had opened an own this country "tuned" models and patterns to the Spanish public, the publishing house closed in 2009 and since then bought the German publisher ... I mean ... this is not new ... Even the Spanish businessmen realized that the German models were not "popular" outside of Germany. No offense to anyone, but sometimes Burda is not aware of the international projection to the magazine.

  21. I have also been disappointed in Burda lately, and dropped my subscription of many years. The increased density of pattern sheets and lack of unique and desirable styles finally helped me decide it simply was not worth it. Instead I splurged massively on a Knipmode subscription - very costly to the US, but I find several good items in every issue.

  22. Sigrid, I'm with you, but was surprised when I previewed this Octoberfest series in my blog that a number of people said they knew people who had to sew up these costumes. I was astonished, as I live in Switzerland and yet to see anyone wear this kind of thing, apart from the aged local Poo-bahs who have to parade with the cows one day a year for Les Alpes, (the herders' descent to the lower pastures.) See the comments on my blog.

  23. I receive my September issue yesterday and I was surprised to learn that the farmer girl clothing layout was for the plus size section. Oh, dear, I work in a business casual environment, but even I can't go to work lookign like I work in a barn....

    Rose in SV

  24. I've already stated my objection to this issue. I've wondered who sews those Oktoberfest monstrosities too.How about those pockets on the green jacket. Who wants suitcases on their hips? I hadn't renewed my subscription and supposedly it expired in August, but I got the September issue anyway and there's maybe one item I want to sew, but not exactly the way it's designed.

  25. You know, I just bought this issue. Yes, the kitschy bavarian section is laughable. But there are a couple really kick-ass patterns in the 'normal' section. The blouse with the neck pleats that reminds me of an 80s Miyake, very stark and modern. The totally mod 60s coat with contrasting raglan sleeves. I'll be making up some of those..

  26. I do like the apple green jacket in the top row of the second set of photos. I think that is wearable. But I have to agree on the rest. Where I do like the look of corset style on clothing, I don't wear them.

  27. I've often wondered how those patterns are seen with non German eyes... though even in the biggest part of Germany "Dirndl" are quite exotic.

    But there is a large enough market for this. There are people who only go to Munich for the Oktoberfest and who will buy or sew several Dirndl so they will not be seen twice with the same dress.

    In southern Germany and in Austria Those styles are still popular. Silk ones for special occasions (even as wedding dresses) or cottons ones for every day wear. And all kinds of "modernized" versions from Dirndls made of silk sarees or the "pop" version by Lola Paltinger. (And I did have at least one Dirndl when I was still living in Bavaria because you are always correctly dressed with one, well made they flatter fuller figures and they are comfortable to wear. Since I am living in another part of Germany now I don't have any. Would look stupid here. Or like a costume.)

    Not to forget that there are choirs and music groups who use that style for their performance.

    In short: there is a market large enough to produce the patterns.

    (The dresses for the first communion on the other hand are probably as popular in Spain and Italy where that occasion is an even bigger deal than in roman catholic Germany. And they are probably also used to sew for flower girls for weddings.)

  28. I have continued my subscription to Burda. It is difficult to find single issues to buy here in the States, and I am like a little kid who is afraid to go to bed because she might miss something good. I just can't give up my subscription, just in case. Even in wretched months, there is at least one thing I would consider sewing, so I consider that worth the price. If I had access to more choices (Knip Mode!), maybe I wouldn't be so attached to Burda.

  29. I wrote about the same thing too. I am so disappointed by this issue. I've seen such designs on Burda before, maybe 5 years ago, but not on half the issue. Anyway, on that post of mine I got this comment "The Alpine-Style Models are important for German readers because the annual Oktoberfest will happen end of Septenber in Munich, and everybody will wear traditional "Dirndl-Dresses" and Lederhosen there!" from an anonymous reader, could it be someone from the Burda team? Haha
    I get why they did it, but still, it's a magazine that sells internationaly right?

  30. In defense of dindls, they can be styled to loosely represent any Northern European Folk costume wich traditionally is " correct" costume for almost any kind of festive or formal occation. ( sp?) And they *are* very flattering. The plussized dirndl corset and blouse patterns looks like they are absolutely beautifully drafted as well. I wouldn't discount them. The september issue also has a couple of intriguing dresses that I really like; a sheath with interesting neckline and a shirtdress with interesting shoulder pleats. So all in all not so bad methinks. I should think the sheath would be a bit up your alley, actually Sigrid?

  31. Hi Sigrid, I snapped this issue up after months of not buying, so I could have Oktoberfest clothes for my DD (19mos) and DS (3wks) when they grow older! I have to correct the commentors who said Carnivale is only celebrated in Germany: not so, I've been to the fêtes in the southern (Catholic) Netherlands and in Belgium. Vibeke, I agree with you, the sheath dress might be something that you (Sigrid) might like!

  32. I'm in the United States and I love the Oktoberfest issues with the traditional costumes. I am a dancer and have the opportunity to wear this type of clothing several times a week if I wish. (I do both international folk dancing and German/Bavarian/Austrian). I have sought out past issues of Burda specifically for these traditional costumes. I also purchase the envelope patterns of this thing. I was *delighted* to get the new lederhosen design last week for only $2.50 on sale. Of course it also helps that I'm an hourglass shape and the traditional costumes look good on me. So I guess you could say that there's a very, very small minority of non-German readers who love these patterns.



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