Friday, October 25, 2013

Burda v. Burda

Since I'm such a big fan of BurdaStyle magazine patterns,  I was intrigued when I heard a US version of BurdaStyle magazine would be published.  I bought a copy so I could do a comparison.

I only use the Plus sizes, so my comparison is limited. The plus collection in the US version was the collection from the March 2013 European/English issue.  I didn't check to see where the other patterns came from.  I was a little disappointed that the patterns were from seven months ago.  Maybe future issues will be more current.  Since magazines are put together so far in advance, that probably won't happen.

When I was a BurdaStyle neophyte, my biggest complaint about the European/English edition of BurdaStyle was the vague and awkwardly translated sewing instructions.  The US version promised clearer instructions.  I compared the instructions for jacket 138.

BSM 03-2013-138
European: Pin facings right sides together with jacket.  Pin lapel fold lines together.
US:  Right sides together, pin facings to jacket, with lapel fold lines together.

European:  Stitch lining to inside facing edge, right sides together.  Lay lining inside jacket with wrong sides facing, pulling linings into sleeves
US:  With right sides together, stitch lining to inside facing edge.  With wrong sides together, lay lining inside jacket pulling linings into sleeves.

Now that I've had a chance to compare the two instructions, they don't seem to be all that different.  I don't know what I was complaining about all those years.

The US version has more editorial content, much like the original German version.*  Both versions include information on how to use BurdaStyle patterns.  This is featured more prominently as editorial content in the US version.  Both versions have illustrated step by step instructions for one garment.

Some, but not all of the patterns are included in the US version.  Some have to be downloaded from and … *gasp* … taped together!  I don't mind tracing, but taping and tracing might be too much for me.

This new US version is perfect for sewers who are curious about European pattern magazines.  I imagine a sewer buying a few issues of the US version, falling in love with the patterns and fit, and then switching to the unadulterated European/English version.  However, a sewer could get the BurdaStyle experience by sticking with the US version.

*See Monkeyroom's video comparison:  Click Here


  1. Glad you did the comparisons. I am disappointed to learn that the one pattern you noted above had been in an earlier version of the European version.. I have found that going to BS USA site and clicking on new releases. If I like what I see I have purchased if not free the PDF version. That price beats some of the PDF prices for other independent patterns. With JoAnn selling Burda patterns I have been able to pick up a few that way as well. Happy Sewing!

  2. I have never bought the Burda sewing magazine, and only recently bought my first Burda pattern. I just wanted to say Hi, after noting you are in PA. So am I - in Montgomery County. Is there a way to follow your blog via email subscription?