Letting Go: Burdastyle Magazine

I received postcard notification a few weeks ago that my Burdastyle subscription was up for renewal. And, I shrugged. Like, straight raised my shoulders up to my ears and shrugged.  Which told me it was time to let my Burdastyle subscription lapse. Grab a small cuppa and I’ll tell you why.

When I first started buying  BWOF (as I still like to refer to it)  ten years ago I was drawn in by the plethora and diversity of patterns delivered every month to my door.  I had a ready archive any time I wanted to sew. The patterns fit my then C cup well (ok, I was probably bigger than a C cup but the rest of me was skinny and I could cram myself into a 38 with no problem). They were easy to modify if need be and not that hard to trace. The patterns were unique and interesting and looks I did not see reflected in the pattern cabinets at my local Joanns.

Back then, you got 30 patterns in the ‘straight’ sizes alone in addition to kids and plus. Now, you get maybe 15 patterns in straight sizes with the addition of plus and kids. There were multiple items in each issue I wanted to sew IMMEDIATELY. Now, I see one or two things that I think I’ll get to at some point.

I once loved nothing more than coming home to a new BWOF, pouring a glass of wine and thumbing through the latest issue. But, I don’t do that anymore. BWOF disappoints me more often than not. I DESPISE the condensed pattern pages but understand why they needed to do so. I understand simplifying the patterns because people want quicker and easier. But, I don’t like that one pattern is repeated two or three times. I don’t like the shapeless look that is better suited for straighter figures or smaller busts which look terrible on me, Captain of Team Busty Hourglass.

The truth is, I also don’t sew as much I used to. And, not because I knit more now. But, because I sewed waaay more when I was single. I also spent two years working in a very casual work environment where jeans and tees were the norm. Now in the last six months I don’t go into an office every day (more like two to three times a week) so I just don’t need as many clothes as I used to.

Finally, I *have * that archive of patterns. I have ten years of BWOF,  25 years of Big Four and a few years of some indie designers I haven’t even gotten to yet. So, the last thing I need are more patterns that don’t make me happy  when there are ten year old items I still think about sewing.

I’d be happy to give BWOF my $90 each year to support the industry. But, I barely look through it anymore and it feels wasteful at this point.  And, if I ever really want to sew something they have, I can download it from Burdastyle or beg someone to borrow a copy.

I’ll still buy their vintage editions because they are the bomb diggity.


So, I’m letting go and trying a trial separation. Have any of you decided to break up with Burdastyle?



  1. I stopped my subscription about six years ago when I realized I wasn’t using them any more. I recently pitched many years worth of Burda magazines and patterns as I knew I would never go back to them. It felt very freeing to let them go.
    Since we’re now retired, I no longer need a big wardrobe nor much diversity in same. My sense of fashion now is more along the lines of whatever doesn’t itch! LLBean suits me well and I’m back to making mostly quilts, both bed and art. I make a top now and then but just for fun. I’m also a very busty hourglass and sometimes the challenge is just not worth the hassle.

    In my 70 years I’ve learned that life is a series of stages and once you’ve learned and done all that interests you in one stage, it’s best to move on to the next one!

    Happy 2017! May you find balance and joy in whatever stage you find yourself next.

    • I would run into a burning building for my BWOF archive. But, when I think back over the last two years there are only a couple patterns that really stand out for me. I’ve definitely lost the thrill of sewing a NEW THING every other week. I want things that work and I can whip out easily.

      On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 1:40 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  2. I, too, let go of my Burda subscription about a year ago. The magazine gets more and more dumbed down with every new edition But I think of all my back issues as a treasure trove and find things to sew there often. From purusing their website, I have the impression that Burda doesn’t care much about the magazine either. It’s more into hyping downloaded patterns.

    • Oh, I should have added that I despise the website. I miss the old archives and the way projects were showcased. Now it’s a slog for me when I go there.

      On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 2:00 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  3. I let go of my subscription years ago and haven’t missed it at all. I have downloaded a few patterns from their website and I usually stick to their paper patterns because I truly dislike their tracing sheets. Plus there are so many indie patterns to choose from that I decided I didn’t need to tie myself down to one subscription.

  4. I mostly broke up with BWOF (I still call it that, too) at least 5 years ago. I actually only had a subscription from……..2005-2010 or 11; 2005-2008 are still my favourite years and I’ve kept more of those than any others. My acquisition of them 1999 (when I was first introduced to BWOF and which issue I think I will keep forever for emotional reasons and because I still like a bunch of stuff in there!) to 2005 was spotty since I didn’t have/couldn’t afford a subscription and they were hard to come by in stores. Apart from my first issue I’ve parted with most of those I had – they sell like hotcakes online! I purged some from even from my favourite years and have been very spotty about buying new issues. I will purchase the occasional one that has more than one or two pieces I really like the look of. But most of the styles since about 2010 and on have not appealed to me. Either they’re the shapeless sacks you mention or the styles feel just way too young for me now.

    And it’s not that I’ve been sewing less during these years, I’ve actually been sewing more! Throughout my nearly 10 years of grad school sewing was essential to maintaining my sanity, lol! I also made the lifestyle switch to a nearly self-made wardrobe and I have no intention of going back anytime soon (I’m hoping, actually, that I’ll never want to….we’ll see what effect age has on that desire/resolve down the road). However, my style has gotten increasingly vintage-influenced so I’ve gravitated more to vintage patterns – usually the real thing rather than reprints – or vintage-inspired Big 4 and Indies. I haven’t properly worked in an office in 10+ years but I wear almost nothing but dresses, just out of personal preference. It’s not that I *need* clothes for anything in particular, I just LOVE making pretty clothes and wearing them……..and I have a frighteningly-sized fabric stash to keep trying to work through. BWOF patterns of recent years would most often NOT be pretty on me, lol!

    I applaud you for sticking with BWOF as long as you did, I was a more fickle lover!

    • I can never fully stop sewing. I have more fabric than clothes! But, yes. The mid 2000s were the golden years. There are so many good things from 06 – 08 that I want to make again or make for the first time. And, I agree. My style has changed a bit from Burda and they have things that just don’t fit my life like they used to. I will also add that I am way way more into vintage than I used to be and gravitate to those patterns now too. Also, I am seriously going to run out of pattern magazine storage!

      On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 2:10 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  5. I can totally relate – I loved getting bwof and waiting until I had a cup of tea and chocolate in hand before reading the magazine! Like the above commenter, I think 2005-2008 were great years, but I couldn’t afford the subscription after that.
    I did end up buying it fairly regularly off the shelf, but have often been disappointed. So tired of shapeless sacks – even though I’m pretty straight and small busted!
    I bought the 70’s vintage issue and am glad I did, but I really can’t see myself buying it much anymore. The 100 or so issues I own should take a while to sew through!

    • Yes, when you have a ten+ year archive, you just realize you have plenty to work from. I do get excited about their coats still. But, I have (seriously) ten planned coats from Burda and don’t need to add more to the list! Last week I made a skirt from BWOF that is from 2007. It’s phenomenal and feels contemporary. Those really were the golden years.

      On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 3:20 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  6. I had a subscription to the regular BWOF for a couple of years. Then I subscribed to the Plus size edition, but it became repetitive and not very exciting. Everything was a big bag and not stylish at all. So I dropped that too. Now I have subscribed to Ottobre Woman for a couple of years. They aren’t that exciting, but everything comes in all sizes and they are very wearable.

    • I’m at the point too where I feel like things are really getting repeated. And, I know enough now to tweak an existing pattern if I choose. Maybe I need to check out Ottobre! I’ve always kind of ignored it.

      On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 3:40 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  7. I am a severe rectangle and they’re either not flattering on me either, or they’re some common shape I have in an old Big 4 that I probably paid no more than 25 cents for. I agree that nearly all of your $90 will be happier elsewhere.

    • I forgot to add, I enjoy your blog & the cute things you make. And a few very good pieces that would upgrade the easy wardrobe include a few from Burda.

  8. I subscribed for a couple of years and then it lapsed as I forgot to renew… and while I loved getting it, I rarely sew anything from it.
    I buy a copy when I’m traveling and find one for sale. It’s impossible to buy where I live so I just enjoy it when I stumble across it these days.

    • It is kind of fun to find them when I’m traveling! I wish it was like Europe where they are at all the newsstands and I could thumb through and make a decision. I don’t think I’ve sewn a single thing from a current Burda the last two or three years.

      On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 4:18 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  9. I have a strong emotional relationship with BWOF because, well, I learned how to sew with their patterns, long before I could spend money buying the magazines. IMO, their glory days have passed indeed, but I still buy every issue as soon as it hits the newsstands. The problem is not them, it’s the general sewing community they sell to; like you said, most people, especially the new generation of hobbyist sewists, are driven towards easier shapeless garments, quantity over quality, etc. They sell a lot in Europe (Germany, France, Russia) and are responding to the demand of their customers. Frankly, what’s happening makes me wish to learn pattern drafting more and more.

    • It’s an emotional relationship for me too! I really came into my own with sewing through BWOF. I learned so much from them because I had to rely on outside sources for the best techniques. I bonded with ‘international’ bloggers like you because we were sewing the same patterns! I’m not mad at BWOF at all. They are responding to the market. They still have the most diving outerwear.

      On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 4:31 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  10. I am in the same boat as many of these ladies. I gave up my subscription because I have too many patterns I want to make without having to trace, and the styles often didn’t suit my shape or style. I have downloaded a few, but have found I can spend that money on indie patterns, big 4, or fabric instead.

    • I got used to tracing. Then, they doubled the number of patterns on a page and my eye sight turned 40. I hate taping PDFs. But, it’s still better for me than dealing with their inserts.

      On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 4:33 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  11. I actually considered starting a Burda subscription this year but the pattern tracing sheets are impossible for me. and like you said, if I want a pattern then I buy that specific PDF from their website. That said I have turned into a serious Burda fan, they do coats and jackets really well and come out with a lot of great dress patterns. So I actually buy more Burda now than I ever did but with their website (which updates often) no need for the print issue.

    • I ADORE Burda coats and jackets. I have a list of literally ten that I still want to make and have fabric picked out for. I also am a huge fan of their skirt patterns. I think they manage to make them interesting.

      On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 4:52 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  12. I stopped my subscription a few years ago as Burda magazine is available now in multiple shops in the UK, including the supermarket Tesco. I do buy it every month and have traced trousers and the whale stuffed animal very recently. I only parted with duplicate back issues I got from a destashing friend. It does mean I have a whole bookcase full now sorted into magazine boxes by year….

    • You know, I thought it might be the beginning of the end because they had a craft project last year that I actually thought was really cute. It’s the VW Van sewing machine cover. I think it’s ADORABLE. Which may mean I’ve aged out of their clothes and into the crafts, LOL.

      On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 5:23 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  13. I hadn’t heard of Burda WOF until I stumbled across your blog. You had made a dress with a wide neck and a skirt with a twist at the waist, I think it was from Feb 2009 or so. I was obsessed with getting that pattern! I found the magazine on EBay and loved all the different patterns. I made the dress; first sewing I had done in years, and I seriously considered a subscription. I did subscribe to the Plus editions but the patterns were so frumpy and shapeless that I decided it wasn’t worth the cost. Just last week I considered getting the magazine again but reading other blogs decided the patterns no longer are designed for a 50+ woman who seldom wears dresses anymore.

    • Oh! The vaguely Jackie O style dress. I LOVE THAT PATTERN. Beautiful sleeves. Flattering skirt. It’s so lovely. I made it twice and with God as my witness I will make it again! They also used to do an entire issue of just dresses. But, all kinds of different and fun styles. I don’t know that they do those dedicated issues anymore. And, the mens wear is pointless IMHO. There is a cute lingerie set in the plus issue from January. I think I’m going to make the tap pants and sleep like it’s the mid 80s.

      On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 5:46 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  14. Hi! Too true – I still have issues from both 1988 and 2013 and basically I have the staple patterns that need adjusting or tweeks to meet any current trend. Burda just seem to regurgitate patterns.

  15. I have subscribed for 2.5 years and have managed to amass some back issues from other sewers.

    I love Burda. The drafting and fit are for the most part, superb.

    The “style” right now is somewhat oversized and with Big4 and Indies catering to OMG! Easy! Fast! Perfect for Beginners!! everything is pretty boring IMO. Even the Vogue releases have been a yawn. I find myself interested in 2007-2011 Burda issues right now and even found something from 2001 I would like to sew. For me that’s the value in keeping my subscription. I know that almost anything I may want to sew is in a Burda eventually. I know it’ll fit. I know it’ll go together well. Lastly, I don’t sew for my daughter often but hope that I’ll get to make her some grown-up work clothes as she finishes college and enters the work force in the next few years. And I love that in Burda I have both of our size ranges covered vs envelope patterns.

    • My only concern is I’ll see something years from now that I want to sew and not have it. Even now I’m working on a top that is five years old! I can’t tell you how sweet the thought of you sewing your daughter’s work wardrobe is. I went shopping for a suit yesterday and left SO irritated. I can for sure make it better myself. I also always thought it would be so fun to sew my own maternity clothes (should I have needed them).

      On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 5:59 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • It’s amazing how Burda works that way! LOL! I am currently working on a jacket from 2007 and it’s perfect. But I only have 3 full years of issues. I could totally see taking a break if I had a decade’s worth. There are a few more from 07 and 11 that I need!! 🙂

        You can for sure make it better. Time intensive? Sure. But not nearly as frustrating as trying to buy off the rack.

  16. I gave them up about six months ago. I was, like you, disappointed with them and had been for a while. I haven’t really regretted it like I thought I would. I figured as soon as I let them go, I would see 15 patterns in the magazine I NEEDED, but that hasn’t really been the case. I have picked up Ottobre magazine though. I seem to sew more for my skinny, long kids (they WILL NOT go to school with safety pins in their jeans’ waists like I did). And maybe I’m older now, but the Ottobre magazine styles really suit my lifestyle more than Burda. I think I always knew that but maybe I yearned for the movie star life that Burda projects. Jalie though, I’ll never quit them . . .

    • Jalie Jeans till the day I die! The last Burda I have from January has a sportswear section. But, I can wear like 1 out of five items. They had some cute boxy sweatshirts. But, I’d look like a boob tent. It may be today’s current style but it’s just not working for me. Maybe I need to check out Ottobre for a bit.

      On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 6:26 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  17. I feel weirdly defensive about Burda!! If you’d written this a year ago I would have agreed entirely, but for me 2016 has been a great year. That said, for sure you probably already have every pattern you will ever need and if you are able to just pick up the odd issue quite easily or even a download of the odd pattern then it makes sense to have a break from your subscription for a while. I still use my old Burda magazines regularly and I have to say I love it when I find I’ve chosen a pattern on the old sheets, tracing is so easy!

    • When I have a pattern from the old sheets it feels like Christmas. I’m still considering buying a lighted drafting pad to make tracing easier. But, that would be admitting my eyes have gotten older too….

      On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 7:44 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


    • I laughed at Allison saying she was defensive! LOL!!!
      So this jacket I’m sewing from ’07? Holy cow. It was so easy. So simple to see the lines!!! So when a few people complained that the two 2017 issues out so far seem a little light I was all THANK GOODNESS. Give me good stuff. Even if it’s a little less of it. At $7.50/issue it’s still worth it most of the time.

  18. I officially give you permission to buy a lighted pad because you want to and you are a pro, and *not* because of anything about your eyes!!

  19. I’m glad you did this post. I was the one who commented on instagram that I had made a dress from 10/94 for New Year’s. I have BWOF back to 1992 and gave up my subscription a year ago too. As others have said, everything was just too shapeless. The older issues when Mrs Burda was alive were the best–she used to do a commentary every month and they had a feature every year about Burda contests in Europe, also great recipes. My acupuncturist, who is from Germany, said that the magazine used to be much more family-friendly. My all time favorite issue is 2/09. I like every single garment in that issue.

    Anyway, with the issues I have, there are thousands of patterns to choose from. I guess that’s enough to keep me busy for now:).

  20. Well, I gave up my subscription in 2013 and still bought the occasional magazine here and there from GLP international. Today, though, was the first time I traced anything from one of them in YEARS, so it’s funny that you blogged about this. I’m kind of worried I’ll forget the procedures lol. But yes, shapeless sacks for years from them. My oldest magazine is from 2008 and I’m jealous you have the ones from 2005. Wish I did.

    • I made something from a six year old issue recently and it took me so long to get going on it because I forgot all kinds of things and had trouble understanding the instructions. That’s one good thing about BWOF. It made me a much stronger sewer.

      On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 10:12 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  21. I subscribed for 5 years, 2008 through 2012, but got rather disenchanted towards the end. That encompassed the transition from BWOF to BurdaStyle, and it seemed to lose something. I noticed the repeated patterns, not just within one magazine but from more than one. I could see including basics in every issue…I mean, even when you buy coordinate patterns from the big 4, one or two of the pieces will have some unique style to them and the rest (pants, skirts, shell tops) just are the same basics that are in the other envelopes….but to just put a slightly different sleeve or skirt length on a pattern that was 2 issues back was not inspiring me. But I have all of those magazines yet, carefully bagged, with copies of the line drawings in a notebook that I periodically peruse when looking for a particular style. I’m glad I’ve got them, but I don’t need more.

    • I stopped archiving my line drawings a few years ago when there was another site that posted them in a searchable format. I’m going to have to do some serious scanning to get caught up!

      On Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 12:03 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  22. You lasted a lot longer than me with the subscription. I gave up my subscription about a year after BWOF became burdastyle, for all the reasons you gave. Now I only buy an issue if there is a particular pattern I have to have, and that happens probably about once or twice a year. Like you, receiving a new issue was a bit of highlight. I miss old BWOF so much. Sigh.
    I used to enjoy the BWOF podcasts you did with Trena too – they were a hoot!

    • Ooof! I just realized that was the entire basis of our old podcasts! I wonder if our drop in podcasting coincided with our drop in BWOF interest? She’s still subscribing though so she will be my pattern lifeline.

      On Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 12:50 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • Your mutual enthusiasm for BWOF was the basis for podcasting, I guess. When the enthusiasm wanes…what’s the point?

  23. Keeping mine for now. I haven’t made anything in ages, but its mostly due to my own time issues. Still, can’t say I have been thrilled with Burda editing for the last few years. Nor do I like the makeup, craft, etc. pages. I do like the archive effect though (I’ve only subscribed since about 2010) and price-wise, its still a deal if I eventually use 1 pattern from each issue. There is some January issue that I’ve used so many times its probably cost something like 25 cents per pattern at this point. It took me a few years, but I finally got a good method for tracing that I really don’t mind. I understand the feeling of letting go at some point, and I think about it whenever there’s a issue that is really disappointing. (Also on team busty, here). Looks like the next issue will be disappointing, but then again, last one with plus lingerie and athletic pieces was pretty good IMO. That’s how it seems too go.

    • I thought the plus lingerie was good in this one (I will take a stab at the tap pants) and the athletic gear was 50-50 for me but definitely 100 for someone else. Maybe this January issue is my going out on a high note?

      On Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 1:06 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • That’s about my take too. I’m not sure I’ll ever make the athletic stuff, but I was glad to see it. Maybe in the future, but for now I’ll be sticking with my Jalie Cora leggings. The tap pants are fun – 80s pjs – yes!

  24. Oh wow, big call – I have loved all your BwoF makes (I still prefer BWoF too) but I can understand why. You have so many back issues you could probably make a lifetime wardrobe from them. I’m not there yet, but I do feel the excitement waning….

    • I still read and look forward to your monthly Burda projects! I think when a craft project a few months ago was the most interesting thing in the magazine to me, I knew it might be time to let it go.

      On Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 1:13 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  25. One year I got just 9 issues of my annual subscription. I called the first time and the person I spoke to was so suspicious (& Icey) that I let the next two go. But I also let my subscription lapse. So annoying. But I do love my ottobres!!!!!!!!

    • I’d be with you! I once got one that was so mangled in the mail I couldn’t use it. When I called to get a replacement they were all sold out. They did add an extra to my subscription though to make up for it.

      On Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 1:46 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  26. I subscribed from 2008 to 2012 and then cancelled as I wasn’t using them as much as I thought I should. I did buy the odd PDF over the next 2 years but (unexpectedly) really missed receiving the magazine in the mail every month. I re-subscribed in 2015 and although I don’t make something from every magazine I still look forward to viewing it every month – it’s the only ‘fashion’ magazine I buy now. By the way, did you know the editor in chief Dagmar Bily (who took over BWOF around 2008) left in July 2016. From what I can gather via Google translate she may have been asked to leave, apparently there readership has dropped significantly. There are 2 existing employees now sharing her position. Maybe the ‘glory days’ will return.

    • SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!! Really?? I hadn’t noticed her column missing. Wow. That’s huge. I’d love to know more about the readership drop and if they can figure out why. You raise a really good point though. This is the only fashion magazine / catalog I currently get. I mean, I do read some style blogs. But, it’s the only thing that came in my home. Can you keep me posted if the magazine seems to change a bit?

      On Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 4:28 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  27. I unsubscribed many years ago. I still love their old patterns and really should get to making some of them up. I have actually unsubscribed from all magazines and never buy any (home, garden, sewing etc) now. We have so much now on the internet the mags don’t have the same charm.

    • Yep, same here. I don’t get any other catalogs or magazines to the house. I do read stuff on line. But, it’s more general trend looks rather than ‘what should I be wearing now?’

      On Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 5:26 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  28. It’s a long time now since I cancelled my subscription. Like you I found the crazy pattern sheets beyond frustrating, and the designs didn’t really match my style often enough to be worth it. I agree that it would have been nice to see some more challenging garments but most seemed to be for beginners. I still have my back issues but haven’t used them for so long I’m questioning if I even want them now.

    • I recently gave away a lot of my Patrones and the Knip Modes I knew I wasn’t going to sew from. It was really freeing. It allowed me to just focus on my Burdas and not get as overwhelmed when I wanted to find something. That said, my pattern cabinet has also just gotten out of control…

      On Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 5:35 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  29. I feel the same way and with guilt, I let my subscription lapse a few years ago. I’ve got way too much, although my BWOF archive of about a dozen years from 2000-2013 is a treasure. However, I still love the special editions and find myself buying the Burda Plus twice a year — for me it is not a waste of money and the patterns are distinctive and very nicely styled. Also, I continue to buy regular Burda patterns. On occasion, there is a Burda Style pattern that never migrates to the regular pattern drawer, setting me on a search-and-buying frenzy, most recently just last year, when I found the magazine for sale by Ann Steeves of Gorgeous Fabrics. In general, Burda’s block works for my short, apple shape far better than just about any other pattern.

    • Yes, the block is phenomenal for me. It’s more of the styles they select lately that won’t work on me. I remember being filled with absolute and total rage when a colleague threw away several of the Burdas I left on his desk when I stopped to help him with a project. I was replacing them the moment I realized. Luckily, some blog readers also came through. My friend Trena still subscribes so hopefully if there’s something I really need, I can trace it from hers. Can you imagine living in Europe where the magazines are at the local library??

      On Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 5:59 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • For awhile my library carried some Burda issues. But bad, bad patrons…someone returned the mag sans pattern sheets. :angry face:

  30. I can’t deal with the condensed pattern sheets, either. I occasionally buy a copy if I see it at a newsstand. I enjoy leafing through and will sometimes fiddle with patterns that I already have (and fit me) to get a particular look I like in the book. It is way easier to go to their website, buy the pattern and just print it out. But I’m with you, forget trying to trace a pattern out. You will give yourself one big headache! Happy sewing!

  31. I’ve been avoiding making a decision mostly because my parents gave me the subscription as a gift and then renewed it. Thanks, mom and dad! Not sure what I’ll do when it expires yet….

  32. I considered dropping my subscription a couple of months ago, but just couldn’t quite make that decision. I re-upped for 6 months to see how much I love the patterns or I will drop my subscription. I like so many of you recently retired, so my need for work clothes is gone and I live a casual lifestyle.

    I sew mainly for myself and occasionally for my daughter, son and husband; and now I get to add in my grandson

  33. I feel you. I go through this same struggle deciding whether to renew this time every year when I get the post card. Over the summer I was ready to be done with them, but I want to make several thing from the January issue so now I’m leaning towards renew. Also… I think I just like the anticipation of getting something in the mail every month. Stupid, perhaps.

    I am getting really sick of the duplicate patterns, and the stupid useless patterns that are a small change on another pattern. Like in this last issue, I really like the athletic top with the zipper. But then they make a “bustier” by chopping it off at the waist. It doesn’t look like it even has decent elastic to hold it in place, and it’s definitely not supportive. So what is it? A fashion sports bra you wear over your actual sports bra?

    I don’t get the Ottobre love, sorry… I tried subscribing for a couple years, but once I had one issue I felt like I had them all. Same for MyImage. The patterns are so basic that they just get repetitive. Even if that’s all you wear, it’s just not exciting to get a new t-shirt pattern in the mail every issue. I’ve been considering subscribing to KnipMode. I passed them over for not liking their style many years ago, but the CSC review made me take a second look and their patterns look modern and interesting. Like the Burda I miss.

    • I’m so glad you pointed out that cut off sports top. It was a serious side eye / eye roll from me. I do love getting something in the mail every month too. Especially when we get nothing good in the mail anymore.

      On Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 3:09 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  34. I have a one year subscription that I will not be renewing this year when it runs out. I only find 1 or 2 patterns that appeal to me per issue and that makes it poor value for the money spent.

    There are two major camps that sew, the 35 and under (i.e. Colette fans) and the 55 plus retirees (i.e. Silhouette Designs) and Burda magazine is going out of their way not to fulfill either camp’s needs.

    As a baby boomer (Burda size 42), I do not relate well to a magazine which seems to have a special fondness for shapeless, very easy garments shown on skinny B cup models in fantasy shoots.

    I would love to see a cruise wear collection for 55+ women, but I do not think today’s Burda magazine editors will make it happen. That’s fine by me, and I look forward to the end of my subscription this year. As the saying goes – nothing to see here.

    I will turn my attention to asking Vogue to bring back – Today’s Woman patterns for us older sewers.

  35. I have never subscribed to BWOF, but discovered them in my library in 2004. I’ve bought single issues from 2005 to present day; their Fall magazines and the dress issues were the best, especially 2008-2012. Their styles have become part of my personal style. Last few years I’ve traced a couple from the library but I’m much less excited about the styles, going through the motions really. I still have about 150 patterns that I’ve already traced from the past 12 years; if I never buy another one, I’ve still heaps of patterns I love that I haven’t made yet. Most of my favourite me-makes are still BWOF. The Sherlock Holmes dress is a TNT and I’ve just changed up the bodice. For me their fit was spot on (38/40), especially for pants!
    I remember those amazing outwear pieces e.g. The blue cape that you sewed ?for a bike ride with Trena. Loved your podcasts too!
    May our pattern stash live on….
    yummymummy38, also Sew Stylish (Pinterest)

    • I used to LOVE the dress issues. Burda also fulfilled all my cape needs. I have that teal cape on semi-permanent loan to my friend Liz. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever made. And, add that Sherlock Holmes dress to the list of things I need to make again to fit me today.

      On Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 11:14 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • After reading your blogpost, I checked Fehrtrade’s reviews of BurdaStyle mags and bought the October issue (we are 3 months behind in Oz. I’ll buy the Nov and Jan 2017 ones too. So not a bad year for BS since the switch, but its heyday is over. It’s all about the indie patterns. Can’t work up the enthusiasm to work out how they fit me. Or the printing and jigsaw puzzle, paper wastage etc. Makes tracing look easy! I keep going back to my pattern stash cos they fit and I still like the (old) styles.
        Continue to enjoy your makes, that cape is a beauty.
        Life changes and when and what we sew changes. We all see bloggers that either change jobs (diary of a sewing fanatic) and their wardrobe transforms or get married like yourself or have a baby and there’s less time for sewing.
        No matter how much or how little we actually sew, once you’ve been bitten by the sewing bug, you’ll always be a sewist for life.

  36. Hei! I am your long time reader from Scandinavia. I like your posts! This discussion about Burda is something I just have to comment. I can´t understand why so many sewists dislike Burda (at least in the blogosphere). It´s cheap, very European and fashion forward. Tracing the patterns can´t be that difficult. I would rather like to ask why so many people are so enthusiastic about independent pattern companies? Simple t-shirts, raglan shirts and overall clumsy designs one after another. Paying over 10 dollars for a t-shirt pattern is crazy IMHO. I will never stop subscribing Burda!

    • You’re right in that its insane to pay what people do for indie tee shirts. Now, I did do it form Cashmerette because I’ve never had a dateless tee shirt that fit. But, other than that, I’m happy to slap a dart in it for it. I love your Burda enthusiasm! They are still the first place I turn when I need something to sew. Also, I’ve always wanted to go to Scandanavia 😀 Someday!

      On Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 5:11 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  37. My January issue arrived (finally) on the 11th, and yesterday I saw your post. This issue has so few patterns, compared to January 2016. There are 3 dresses (6 last year), 2 jackets (3, and a coat), 1 pant, which is a pyjama (3), 1 skirt (3), 4 tops, including the pyjama jacket (6), and a similar-sized plus section, and the carnival costumes. I suppose the sportswear pieces are meant to make up for it, but they fail, imo. I have subscribed since 1998, and recently recycled all the pre-2007 issues, because I would rather sew more current styles. As a retired person, I don’t need office wear, or outfits for clubbing. My form of exercise is walking, and the extreme sports looks are unnecessary, and rather silly-looking for that. The subscription expires with March or April, so I’ll be deciding after the next issue or two whether to renew.

    • Thanks for that breakdown! I always have a sense there’s less… But, wasn’t positive. Now, the real question is about those pajamas. Are they really truly meant to be day wear? Or, are they just pajamas. I honestly think they are pajamas. But, my friend Trena swears Burda is saying they are truly daywear.

      On Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 9:32 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • I was planning to make them as PJs, I’d be laughed off the street if I wore them out. (But in my home town, everyone wears gym gear as clothes so what’s the difference?!

  38. I have been subscribing since the mid 80’s. Yes, I am old. I still have a subscription and was going to let it lapse for many of the same reasons as you, but I really liked several items in the Jan issue. When it finally arrived. I buy the vintage issues too, but the last one targeting the 70’s made me feel my age. I had sewn and worn several of the featured styles. My mother made me a purple velour jacket like the “Sissy” jacket and a mini skirt to wear to a piano recital. Loved that outfit. I also sewed and wore a dress with cutouts at the side as well as a maxi vest. Oh so old.

    • There were two things I thought were missing from the 70s issue (spoken as someone who has no actual recollection). I was surprised they didn’t have a bell bottoms jeans pattern. I would also have loved to see a woman’s turban and I can’t recall, but I think I thought they should have had a wrap coat. I do love the bomber jacket. I wouldn’t have associated it with the 70s. But, once I saw it I realized that was the origin. My oldest Burdas are some from the late 90s that I still love. Little skirt suits that were perfect for my first office jobs.

      On Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 4:49 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  39. I would definitely agree that the older magazines are much better. I still want to make all the things from them. But I still find joy in the current issues. It is the one piece of mail I look forward to. I agree there aren’t as many patterns in the current issues, but even though I usually only have 1-2 patterns that I love, I actually find myself pulling from recent years when I am inspired to do an unplanned make. And my archive was a godsend when I decided to do the Pattern Review Sewing Bee last year. So I’m not done with them yet. I could see maybe in the next few years, but not yet.

    • You make a really good point. If there’s something I get a whim to make, I’m way more likely to go after a more current magazine. I’ve also noticed this last year I’ve been remaking clothes that I don’t have or fit into anymore. So, that’s taken up a bit of my time. Oh, and I also bulk sew more. I.e. three pairs of workout leggings or four tee shirts at once.

      On Sun, Jan 15, 2017 at 5:22 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  40. I’ve only been subscribing since Feb 2015, so I don’t have an archive just yet and may well change my mind by 2020, but I LOVE Burda Magazine! It’s been a revelation to me. I actually am sewing more, trying out designs I would never have purchased as an envelope pattern, and their fit is fantastic for me. There are definitely issues I’m not thrilled with, like the first half of 2015 and this most recent January issue, but so far it’s well worth it.

    • I think BWOF did that for me too! I sewed more because I always had a pattern that I wanted to sew RIGHT THERE. And, they fit so well and were really different than what I would see in other places. I thought the January 2017 had some good ideas. But, like I wasn’t going to wear the sports tops or the cropped jacket. I might make up those sporty leggings though! I hope you get as much pleasure long term (and longer) than I did with them.

      On Sun, Jan 15, 2017 at 2:33 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  41. I subscribed for a full year (a few years ago) but never made a single thing! I also felt like I could see repeats (even in a single year). So I kept the issues but didn’t resubscribe. Maybe I should try and make something from them this year!!! Interested to hear if you go back…

  42. I feel you. I let my Threads subscription go last year and haven’t missed it at all. I’m on the fence about Burda. I only started a sub last year and renewed for this year; I’ll see how it goes. I have a shitton of older magazines and agree they are the best.

  43. I’m catching up with your blog, reading posts from the last 2 months or so. I apologize in advance for stacking up my comments. 1. Well, of course it’s time to let Burda go. Not only has Burda changed (I’ll never forget the first time I saw one back in 1989 – it blew my MIND! I could not believe we didn’t have anything at all great like that in the US.), but your sewing has changed because your life has changed, and your skills have as well. I know times are tough in publishing, but I think Burda has gone the wrong way completely in trying to stay afloat; DON’T dumb things down to try to broaden the appeal – appreciate the customers you have and understand it is a relationship IMNSHO….. 2. So glad to hear about Trina – I’ve been missing her and you win the SUPER DUPER Above and Beyond BEST FRIEND Award for blogging (given by me 🙂 ) b/cause really it’s such a lovely thing to do. Thank you. 3. I so appreciate how you have not only made friends thru sewing and now knitting, but that you acknowledge friendship on your blog in ways that speaks to the best in all of us (and really good pictures too!). Nowadays, as so many things in the world seem set on tearing us all apart in every way imaginable, I love your blog and I’m definitely a fan of yours. 4. You’re into HAMILTON?!? OK now you’re officially my superhero.

  44. I had the US edition and have been toying around with the idea of getting an international subscription now. I love Burda patterns. But I also hate the pattern inserts. They’re a nightmare to work with. I’ll go to their website and download a pattern now and again. But what seriously pisses me off is that that the Burda pattern book in the stores (Joann’s) totally suck. Why the hell don’t they put their cool patterns in the print version at the stores?!! If they did that they’d be flying off the shelves. The Burda pattern books at the stores are so outdated and not cool.

    • I’d also like to know why they don’t compile some of the older patterns and sell a book! Once upon a time in the early 2000s there were plenty of patterns from the magazine that made the pattern catalog. I haven’t seen that in a while. You may like the international edition a bit better. There are so many good older patterns though they could release in the catalog or put on the site. Instead, we’re trolling eBay looking for old magazines.

      On Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 7:41 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  45. Completely agree: the golden years for BWOF were from 2005-2009ish. I let my subscription lapse around 2012 for all the reasons you stated above, plus my then storage limitations. Summer 2015, however, I was on vacation in Montenegro and I came across newsstands that just kept all old issues on the stands until they sold so I have a few random ones from 2013, 14, and 15 in a variety of languages – those are fun to peruse because they are so different from the Burda version available in the US.

    I haven’t been sewing much because of kids, family, and general lack of time that leads to less creative head space. I love your blog still, sewing sister! I think we got into it around the same time – your continued craftiness inspires me to rediscover my own. That blue hot patterns Beyoncé dress! It was all that!!!! I still have that pattern and expect my daughters will love it too some day.

    • Ohmigoodness! How are you Rosanne?!?! I was actually wondering about you recently. DAUGHTERS? Congratulations. And, yes. We both really got into Burda and sewing right at the same time. It’s great to hear from you!

      On Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 11:38 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


Comments are closed.