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

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Great American Dress Project

"The Great American Dress Project" might be a little hyperbolic.  A more accurate statement might be, "I've got three dresses in my queue."  While putting away summer clothes, I realized I just didn't like most of the dresses in my closet.  Some went into the trash and some will be donated.  I went into SWAP Mode and sat down with my Burda index and Vogue Fabric Store swatch catalogs. I selected four dresses I liked and found suitable fabric (I hope) for three of them.

After lengthy cogitation (I love that word!),  I concluded the problem with the discarded dresses was the poor fabric choices I'd made.   Choosing the best fabric for a project continues to be a problem for me.  The few dresses from my closet that I didn't throw out were made from solid or nearly solid fabrics.  So, with that in mind, I made the following choices:

BSM 08-13-138

BSM 01-13-133B 

BSM 06-13-143

Another dress in my queue is my Mother of the Bride Dress.  After an initial misstep in fabric selection, I have made the following assignment:

BSM 09-09-138

I hope I've made better fabric choices with these dresses.  I don't want to throw these dresses away next year when I do my closet change-over.