A Year of Sewing Burda

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Even to those abroad who don’t celebrate… it really is a lovely holiday. No pressure. Just sitting around eating and drinking with friends and family. I normally go mad cooking and baking but this year I’m only on pumpkin pie duty. I get to sloth around in PJs until late afternoon, so spent some of my free time organizing patterns.

Our lovely postman brought me the new Burda yesterday. A good mail day! It’s the only magazine to which I subscribe–the rest of the mailbox is just junk (well, bills). The last few issues have really caught my eye; I’ve been inspired by the way they’ve been on top of all the urban leather and faux fur trends lately.

My fave has to be this persian lamb cocoon-like coat.

(My late grandmother had a groovy couch upholstered in this stuff so I’m partial to it.)

A great leather top à la Isabel Marant:

Leather shorts and chiffon blouse, yum:

I still love Burda mostly for its design point of view–or just that it risks having one from time to time. The great thing about sewing, of course, is the ability and freedom to shift a pattern’s style to your own, regardless of a pattern company’s aesthetic or demographic. But I still like to be inspired by design rather than having to re-imagine it.

Still, getting a new Burda gave me some pause. The magazine alone adds exponentially to my pattern list! And I’m probably at the point, as I’m sure many sewers get to, where I feel a bit overwhelmed by the project wish list (and my pattern collection). So I decided to weed stuff out this week. It might be Ebay time.

So I went through a year’s worth of Burdas and made a big Evernote catalogue of all the patterns I liked. I weeded out those that felt like repeats, and some of the statement pieces. I always get drawn to the crazy cover styles, but I think I need fewer fantasy garments on my sewing list. I kept all the ones I’ve already traced. That still left about 15!

I’ve only been sewing from these magazines for just a little over a year. Looking back, there was the Number Six Dress:

Which, by the way, gets the most search referrals to the site. No, not sewing. Battlestar. (Hello, Cylons!)

The silk shorts (sadly I traced and made the wrong size! but they were beautiful to look at!):

The drapey white shirt:

My silk tank was a recent Burda make, and I’ve nearly finished two other garments (just waiting for my serger to come back from repairs!).

Two years ago I’d never even heard of Burda. All I had known back in my first sewing life were the mainstream pattern companies. Since then I’ve been a rabid collector of patterns far and wide. Over the past year I dove into Marfy, Colette, Sewaholic, Hotpatterns, and several other little off-the-beaten-path pattern makers. I mean, I have Sewing Pattern ADD.

Every pattern company fits so differently, and I’d really love to focus on understanding fit more in the next season of my sewing, rather than acquire new patterns. I’d like to keep sewing from Burda especially, mostly for their designs, but need to work out their sleeve shaping and bust fit. The Burda sleeve caps and armscyes are quite high and narrow compared to other patterns, which sometimes looks odd on more casual shirts.

Truth be told, I love the idea of having on hand my own blocks (tnts, what have you) to work out my own designs, and have already worked from a Burda t-shirt to design several top styles. Maybe that will be what the next season of sewing is all about for me!

And before I leave this post, I’ll add that I’m very very thankful for the amazing and colorful man next to me. I’m glad we found each other. He’s almost as much of a fashion nut than I am. He’s a theatrical character and makes everything brighter around him. (He screeches Bob Dylan and Broadway tunes at the top of his lungs every morning to wake up.) Someday I’ll introduce him, but in the spirit of Tasia’s recent post, I am thankful that he supports my crazy sewing habits.


  1. molly says:

    I use Evernote too to catalog all of my patterns, but I also use it as a visual project queue keeping track of patterns I want to use sooner than later and patterns I already have fabric for.

    • Amy says:

      No, that is one I haven’t tried yet. Although I know everyone loves their jeans, and I can’t imagine trying jeans without starting there! 😉

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