Whoo-hoo!  The new issue of Burda Easy Fashion is coming out on March 24th and the preview is up! For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of making BEF’s acquaintance, it’s a real treat. Published only twice a year, BEF usually contains 6-8 patterns geared at a younger audience than the typical BurdaMag.  The patterns themselves are called “Fertigschnitte,”  (translation: “ready patterns” or “finished patterns”) meaning that the pieces are printed on tissue and don’t overlap, so all you have to do is cut them out, just like a regular envelope pattern.  No tracing off of pattern sheets. (It should be noted that Burda Easy Fashion, unlike Burda envelope patterns and North American envelope patterns, don’t come with seam allowances.) At about 5 Euros per issue, this makes BEF quite the bargain.

I’ve never seen BEF for sale in bookstores and newsstands outside of Europe, but Americans can subscribe to it at GLPNews.com. At only 2 issues per year, it’s not a huge investment.

The patterns themselves are, as I mentioned, rather youthful and the issues can be hit or miss.  Some issues have cute jackets and skirts and coats, others are wacky fake fur vests and hippie dresses. They often have the same aesthetic as the “trendier” offerings from BurdaMag, which can be good or bad. But with only about seven patterns per magazine, even if there’s only one garment I’m interested in, it feels like a pretty good hit rate. For the forthcoming Spring/Summer 2010 issue, I’m liking this one, maybe in midnight blue with a pair of silver high heeled strappy sandals:

I should also mention that I haven’t noticed that the patterns themselves are necessarily any easier than BurdaMag patterns, despite the title.  The very complicated four dot BurdaMag patterns for coats with tons of details aren’t there, but in general, the average difficulty of the BEF patterns is about on par with what you’d find in BurdaMag. I think the “easy” part is the fact that you can just cut and go. And joy of joys, all the BEF patterns start in size 34, which means an easy grade down to 32 for me.

Here’s a couple more. Probably not anything high on my list, but maybe there’s something in here for you:

Oh, and one more thing.  Unlike BurdaMag, BEF has illustrated step-by-step instructions, much like an envelope pattern, so while the patterns themselves are not necessarily for beginners, the instructions assume a lot less sewing knowledge and experience than those in BurdaMag. Of course, they’re still in German, which could be a bit of a hurdle for some!