Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My Burda magazines

I was introduced to Burda magazine around 1999. I don't remember how or by whom but it was probably through the online sewing community. I bought one magazine and was hooked, and I've subscribed or purchased it non-stop ever since. While I've sewn many things from the magazine, there have been months...and years...where I haven't sewn a thing. Even if I don't sew a lot from it, I still love the magazine and continue to get it. Plus, the pattern drafting really suits me - must be my German heritage. Right now since I'm living in Germany I buy single issues from the news stand. I could get a subscription, but I like my monthly trip downtown to go buy it and honestly the subscription wouldn't save me much (and here in Germany subscriptions automatically renew and you have to give notice in advance to cancel them).

16 years of magazines add up and I don't have infinite space for them. Lack of space is the reason I didn't bring all the magazines with me when we moved to Germany. I brought only a few back issues but I couldn't help but think about the treasures I was missing in the issues I left behind. I'm back at our house for a few weeks and wanted to find some way to ship my Burdas to Germany. But again, there's the storage issue...not to mention the cost of postage and a limit on my checked baggage weight! So I decided to bring the last few years but only the patterns and the instructions - I managed to shoehorn 4+ year's worth into a large size flat-rate USPS box. The box weighs 16 1/2 pounds - wow! I took pictures of the "at a glance" pages where they show the garments on a "ghost dress form", but now I've gone back and decided to photograph almost every page of the magazine. Hooray for the cell phone camera and automatic upload to my OneDrive. Although it's taking longer than I thought and wanted to spend on this, I know that when I'm deciding to use a pattern, I really like to see it on a person so I think it's worth it. The line drawings show me detail I might miss, the dress form pictures provide a good view of the garment, but the model pictures show how it is worn.

I don't know yet what I'll do with year's 1999-2007, but judging from what I'm seeing as I photograph the looks from 2008-2012, I already have plenty of patterns to play with and I'm excited to get back to my sewing room. When I get time, I'll put the photographs into my OneNote pattern library so I can browse and search the issues (text in pictures added to OneNote can be made searchable - bonus!). And the other side effect of this little endeavor is that seeing the wide range of patterns in Burda, I really don't need all the envelope patterns I have bought in the past. That's another problem - I left most of my patterns behind and brought only a handful. I collected a bunch more to take back but there's that space issue. I can't bring all of them. I need to leave room in my baggage for fabric and yarn. :-)


  1. Hi I love my Burda collection too. I have collected them for a long time and have a number of vintage ones too. A great resource is You download a zip file which is a catalogue of all issues from early to mid 2000 to the current issue. Updates can be downloaded monthly. I find this is the best way to review the patterns in the magazines. Use google translate to help since the site is in Russian.

  2. I'll have to look into that Russian site - thanks!