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Ah, to live a Burda life.  Recently I’ve been amusing myself by thinking how funny it would be to live one’s life according to BurdaMag.  You’d go on safari sometime around March with all of your khaki dresses (the new Sarfari Look!),  put on your dirndl and head over to Tirol in September (Folklore!). Sometime soon after the holidays you’d go on some sort of sailing vacation with your navy, white, and red wardrobe (the trendy Marine Style!), in October you’d rediscover your inner hippie and break out all the paisley chiffon, corduroy pants, and faux suede vests (Boho Luxe!), sometime during the summer you’d go on a kick of wearing nothing but black with white (a Classic Combination newly interpreted!), and of course you’d get married every April.

Burda’s 2.2010 full preview is available online as of yesterday, and this month Burda ladies will be going sailing (surprise, surprise), going country Western, rediscovering the rockin’ 50s, and, um, going to work wearing yellow. Those of you who have been following along know that I’ve been taking a hiatus from new issues since my subscription ran out in October, waiting for something I really want to make before I renew.  I’m waffling on this issue and considering resubscribing. The lovely low-backed sheath dress in the photo above (you know it’s 1950s style because the model is interacting with a jukebox.  Which appears to be in a Macy’s. What?) is the only thing that I’m actually excited about. 

That being said, the issue is chock full of basics that look well cut and, while perhaps not tremendously new or innovative, would be good for making wardrobe staples or for using as blocks.

A sleek pant with a slight boot cut and smooth waistband and flat front- a nice relief for people like me who don’t look good in the pleated, tapered pants or super skinny pants that Burda has been featuring heavily in recent months:

A not so basic raglan with the deep, wide V-neck that I love to wear:

A simple skirt that begs to be done up in brown cotton stretch sateen with a fun contrast topstitching (spring green?  turquoise? yellow?):

A classic jean jacket:

A raglan T that I might not sew as is (then again, I own two rather expensive Sisley tops in ribbed rayon-cotton blend with this exact cut that I wear a whole lot so maybe!), but would be a a good block to have in one’s arsenal alongside the traditional sloper bodice:

Also, I like the shaping of this jacket with the dart and princess seam combo. The lapels might need to be toned down some:

Anyway, I don’t love the clothes in the issue, but the technical drawings are making me think that this issue wouldn’t be a bad investment.  Time to resubscribe maybe?

I’ve now skipped out on three consecutive issues of Burda, and am really hoping that they put out a pattern soon that I just can’t wait to have. The February sneak peek went up on their website today, and once again, there aren’t any I-must-have-it garments, but some are not bad. First up, a Chanel style jacket:

I often think about making such a jacket, especially after seeing some of the beautiful ones that others have sewn, but I’m not sure how it would look on me or if I’d feel comfortable wearing it.  Somehow I get the feeling I’d look like a little kid wearing grown-up clothes, rather than a lady in her proper habiliments. I guess you need the right attitude to pull it off.  Next up, a very washed out photo:

I’m not sure if this is for the jacket or the dress (skirt?) but both look pretty cute. As almost always, the most classy and wearable clothes in the issue are the plus sizes:

Given that there are a lot fewer plus patterns than Misses’ patterns in Burda, I can understand why they save their risk-taking for the Misses’ patterns and stick to classy and pretty for the plus patterns. But I’d really love if Burda would take this tack with a few more of the Misses’ patterns too! And since I mentioned it, here are your Misses’ size garments in various flavors of crazy:

I have to give Burda props for going all out with the accessorizing on this one. Not just an oversized fringed vest, but an oversized fringed vest with a piece of rope for a scarf, and some strappy leather armwarmers (oh gosh, yet another set of words ending in “armwarmers” that I never thought I’d string together!)

Actually I’m not sure if this is crazy or if it just reminds me of Rei Kawakubo’s groundbreaking Comme des Garçons shirtdress from 1992, which *is* kind of crazy, albeit ingenious. In truth, Burda’s version is a pretty innocuous nightshirt, which might even be a perfectly fine dress if belted. Also, I think the plaid might be throwing me off. I don’t know.  It’s not crazy.  But she looks like she’s dressed a little frumpy for holding hands with her boyfriend Mr. Chiselyjaw McHotterson-hyphen-Helllllloooo. Go put on your nice Chanel-style jacket, sweetie.

And finally…… crafts!

Hmmmm.  This is actually kind of disappointing… is it just me or are these crafts somehow less mockworthy than those of previous issues? Don’t get me wrong. I don’t particularly like these projects. I would not make either of these things or want them in my house (especially stick with featherballs leaning against couch.) But it seems like Burda is getting closer to the mark in that these are actually bona fide craft projects- not my taste, but still somehow more legitimate than weirdo stick bundles and frankenpurse. Like you might actually learn some techniques that come in handy from making featherballs or newspaper roll mirrors that you could apply towards something really cool. 

I need to think about this for a while. My world is feeling a little upside down now. If I can’t entertain you by mocking Burda crafts, then what do I have left to bring to the table?? Anyway, fingers crossed for the full February preview which should be online soon- I miss my Burda!

My Burda Modemagazin subscription (I still can’t quite bring myself to call it Burda Style- too confusing) has run out. This wasn’t a breakup, like the one I recently had from Patrones (and am starting to regret after seeing some recent photos.)  The October Burda issue was the last one I received. I was going to renew, and then I looked at the stuff in the November issue, and decided there wasn’t anything in it that I wanted so sew, so I figured best to put it off another month.  Now the December preview is out (on the German website at least) and I have to say…. hrrm.

There are 13 photos in all, of which one is kids’ clothing, two are plus sizes, one is men’s clothing, and two are, errr… let’s just call it holiday craft. So really only 7 items in the preview that could possibly apply to me, the only person who matters in my sewing world.  So, let’s have a look.

Let’s see.  We’ve got this, which I assume is about the dress, which I can’t parse from this photo:


The caption says “Christmas is standing right in front of the door.  December Preview.”

Then there’s a skirt which looks to be a basic cut done in a spectacular fabric.  Not bad, but not the sort of pattern I’d get excited to sew:


A collection of stuff made out of fleece that you can probably get for cheaper at Old Navy (there’s nothing wrong with these garments, but just not stuff I want to make during the few precious hours I find for sewing):


More super skinny pants for runway models with runway model legs:


And then some utter craziness:


Lastly a dress that I believe would be termed a “scroll-down fug” by the ladies at Go Fug Yourself.  The drapey top is not bad (though I am getting tired of the one-shoulder thing), but didn’t we see the last of that janky Forever 21 style diagonal hem back in 1999?  


So, in short, going by this preview, I guess I might be waiting another month to renew my subscription.  I’ll decide for sure when the full preview comes out in a couple of weeks.

And oh yeah, by the way, does anyone else think that Burda World of Style Moden needs to pull out of the crafting arena?  Honestly, what would Martha say if she saw these??


What are these?  Holiday tags for your family’s brown bag lunches?  Ritualistic stick and candle arrangements for your very own Homestyle Amateur Wiccan Christmas? One gets the feeling that these ideas came to fruition about 15 minutes before the scheduled photo shoot and the intern had forgotten to re-stock the craft supply closet :)


Ahhh, Patrones.  I remember the first time I saw you.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  There you were, just hanging out against the wall at the magazine shop in the train station like it was no big deal.  I picked you up.  I looked you over.  I may have wiped a tiny dribble of drool of my chin.  I took you home with me that night. I had to have you all to myself.

It was lust at first sight.  More than a hundred designer patterns inside for a mere 9 euros, begging to be traced and stitched. You dazzled me with names like Lagerfeld, Gucci, Prada, Calvin Klein.  I was overwhelmed, swept off of my feet. I trolled every bookstore in town to find you, couldn’t wait until the next month in hopes of finding you tucked in the foreign language corner, new, and shiny and full of potential wardrobe candy.  I stalked you on ebay and German online sewing stores. Finally, I took the plunge, I made the commitment, I simply subscribed.

We had that fantastic six-month honeymoon period.  And then something happened.  Subtle at first, but a woman notices.  She feels the change coming even when she can’t put her finger on what it is. Little by little.  First a hundred patterns, then 60, then 35.  First Miu Miu, then Benetton, then H&M, then C&A, and eventually the labels stopped coming altogether, and it was merely “blue blouse” and “short jacket.” It was as though you no longer wanted to impress me.  And then I noticed others sneaking into our relationship… the kids’ patterns, the maternity clothes… suddenly they weren’t special issues anymore, but with us all the time, leaving so few pages, so few patterns just for the two of us.  And we eroded. I realized we’d been together for a year, and I hadn’t sewn a single pattern of yours. Neither of us had anything left for each other. And when I thought about it, I noticed what I should have noticed long ago– your patterns never really fit me all that well.  It’s funny the things we ignore when we are blinded by adoration.

One day you showed up in my mailbox, and I realized … I just didn’t care anymore. I felt nothing. You were just another expensive magazine from Spain.

And so, I guess this is it.  The end of the subscription, and I’m not going to fight it.  Maybe we’ll meet again in another train station in another part of the world.  Maybe we’ll have the occasional fling.  But I know now that we won’t be spending the rest of our lives together.  I’m sorry, but I think it’s for the best. We’ll always have our precious memories and back issues. I wish you well, Patrones. Goodbye.

– The Selfish Seamstress

About this blog

The Selfish Seamstress loves to design and sew garments, but only if she gets to keep them. I'm Elaine, known in the online sewing world as elainemay, and welcome to my selfish sewing blog.

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