Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What I'm Reading: BurdaStyle magazine

Burdastyle. That mysterious European magazine with a related-but-not-exactly website, and containing infamously confusing patterns with numbers instead of names.

I signed up for Burdastyle emails a while back, and after seeing lots of patterns I liked on a consistent basis, I decided to pony up and subscribe to the magazine. Yes, it's expensive, but luckily you can order in small quantities. I paid $25 for 3 issues. It seemed reasonable, given that one magazine will run you that much on eBay, and that there are LOTS of patterns in each issue.

I'm going to cut to the chase: I adore this magazine. I was pleasantly surprised by how fashion-forward the patterns are. If you're tired of the offerings from the Big 4, and stressed over the prices of indie patterns (am I the only one who can't afford $20 for a skirt pattern?? now an awesome coat, THAT I can do...), then you want this magazine. And no, I don't work for them and I'm not an affiliate! 

Every issue lays out the designs like a fashion magazine. Beautiful people in beautiful surroundings look like they're trying to sell you beautiful clothing, but in reality, you can make what you see! The clothes are unique and surprising (sometimes in an oh-whoa-wtf kind of way haha). There are coats (oh the coats!) dresses, skirts, pants, and sometimes even accessories. There are extra features like what's hot on the runway and designer interviews.

Now for the down side. This is not Threads. It's not going to teach you to sew. The patterns are just as crazy as you've heard. The instructions are minimal. A confident sewer? Sure, you'll be okay. A beginner? No way. First of all, the patterns are printed on top of one another using different colored inks. There are twenty different languages all over them. There are no seam allowances. I traced off a very basic toddler leggings pattern (yes, there are kid's and men's patterns!) and it took me a long time to figure it out.

BUT! Just as my subscription ran out, they announced a US version of the magazine! It's on newsstands now, including my Jo-Ann's. I flipped through it and the fashions are just as cool, with patterns that seemed much easier to decipher. I really wanted to buy it, but it was $15. Yikes. Evidently they want you to subscribe, because it's $25 for 4 issues (go here for the info). Orrrrrrr...sneak over to Jo-Ann's and take one of those postcard thingies out of the premiere issue (pictured below). Then it's only $20 for 4! 

Have you tried Burdastyle? What did you think? I'm super bummed that my subscription is up, time to make strong hints to my husband for Christmas :)


  1. & wait till you check out La Mia Boutique (the italian version of BS)....your mind will be officially blown :-)
    i have a love/hate relationship with BS but over the years i have figured out which months will be worth buying & which wont (my personal preferences). ie. i know september & april/may are always winners for me, december not so much!
    PS. You not the only one that thinks these indie patterns are pricey! just saying :)

    1. Oooo I'll have to check that out! I definitely subscribed during the fall months on purpose. As much as I like flowing summer dresses, I don't NEED any more patterns for them!!

  2. I have been using Burda for 25 years, since I was a teen, and my first copy was in German. Patterns are not hard to figure out once you try a few, it is just different from what people are used to. If you subscribe for a few years, like I have been, you really won't need any other patterns - you will have a selection that with some small alterations will produce any design, any style. It is a treasure. It is $90 on amazon, which makes it $7.50 a copy and it is worth way more!

    1. I think you're right, the amount of patterns I've bought since subscribing has definitely gone down. I keep thinking "you don't need that one, there's surely something similar but cooler in BS!".


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