The full preview of the new issue of Burda (formerly Burda Moden or Burda World of Fashion, now “burda style” all lowercase) is now online.  Or at least, I think it’s the full preview– it’s got more images than the sneak peek that went online last week, but some of the stuff that was in the sneak peek, such as the puffy ski jacket feature, don’t seem to be available for preview. In any case, there isn’t much in this issue that I’m excited about.  My favorite item is this (faux?) shearling coat, and it’s probably not something I’d wear. Come to think of it, I think it’s just the technical drawing that I like.

So, I’m guessing that it’ll be at least another month before I renew my subscription (wow, this is now 3 months I’ve gone without renewing!)  A lot of people have been grumbling about the seeming decline of BurdaMag (I’m going to call it that because it’s too confusing now with all the names).  But I’m not sure if it’s really gotten any worse, or if I just don’t happen to like anything that’s in them right now.  It’s certainly been the case in the past that a string of issues has gone by with little in them to tempt me. And the issues at the very end and very beginning of the year often don’t do much for me because I’m not so keen on making formal wear or cuddly lounge-y stuff. My preference tends to be for the sharper transitional garments in the September and October issues, and sometimes the spring dresses in the May issue. I thought the August 2009 issue, the first issue after some of the big changes, was pretty great too. So, in short, I’m not sure if my lack of interest in the recent issues is because of me or because of BurdaMag. I have faith that my beloved Burda will soon put out an issue with something I’m dying to make.

What *is* kind of disappointing to me is the new BurdaMag website.  To the best of my understanding, the magazine and the German website for the magazine are now called “burda style” – two words, all lowercase.  Whereas the New York-based online sewing community that puts out weekly patterns for (usually paid) download is called BurdaStyle – one word with camel hump capitalization. Ugh, confusing.  But also, all those pop-up ads that both sites have had for months sort of implied that the two websites were going to merge, and now it seems they haven’t.  Also confusing??

When I started exploring the new BurdaMag website, I found that some of my favorite features were hard to find.  Upon further probing, I found that they were missing entirely.  Most notably, the extensive collection of free patterns for download.  The German site always had more free patterns available than the English language site.  And Easy Fashion magazine has for the past couple of years featured patterns that were only available through the free download on the Burda website, and not included as paper patterns in the magazine. Now the formerly free patterns are available only as paid downloads, in a surprising and unexpected move reminiscent of when BurdaStyle (NY-based online sewing community) overnight started charging for patterns that had previously been free downloads. (Wow, does anyone remember the huge uproar over that??  I kept myself faaaaar away from that flame war.) Don’t get me wrong– everyone’s got to eat, times are tough, and a company certainly has the right to charge for the content it owns and distributes. But still, it’s hard not to be disappointed. The English language site (and, as I understand it, the French and Russian sites) are still in the old format, but it doesn’t look like they’re being updated- they don’t have any mention of the January issue yet, so I’m guessing they’re transitioning. They still have their free pattern downloads available, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they will disappear soon with an overhaul, so if you want it for free, probably best to grab it while it’s there!

The other thing that is missing is the archives of Burda WoF/Moden issues.  Well, the archives are still there technically, but you can’t flip through them- you can only see the titles of the features and the cover image.  This is rough because I rely on those quite a bit. I often purchase back issues of Burda when I need a pattern and I dig through those archives a lot when I’m searching for something. They’re still there on the English site, but they don’t go back as far as they did on the German one.

I checked out a thread on my favorite German online sewing forum, hobbyschneiderin.net, and the word on the street is that the archives will be coming back in full force as the website ramps up, but the days of free downloadable patterns are over at BurdaMag.  Well, it was fun while it lasted.  I guess I’ll have to put up more of my own  for download to take up some of the slack ;)

In happy news, after a bit of a mix-up, my Hamilton Beach Smart Lift iron arrived- the Pattern Review prize for my little black dress.  Whoo-hoo! Thanks, PR, and Hamilton Beach!

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