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Burda magazine patterns

designingal | Posted in Feedback on Threads on


I like to sew Burda’s patterns out of their magazine, and I was wondering if there are others out there doing the same.  I was wondering if anyone has any tips to share on tracing and cutting out the patterns because that seems to be the most time consuming part of making them. I trace mine onto freezer paper and that works well except when it’s too large a piece. I like how they teach a technique in every issue and was wondering if they put together a “best of Burda” technique book at any time.


  1. JeanEsther | | #1

    I like the magazine, too, but you're right about tracing taking time. I buy rolls of wide tracing paper. I trace the pattern onto the paper, then lay the paper on the wrong side of the fabric and use a double tracing wheel to mark seams and cutting lines at the same time. If I don't want to mark the fabric, I run one wheel over the traced seam lines on the paper and the other outside the seam lines so that it pricks holes where the cutting lines will be.

  2. liselaure | | #2


    There is a Burda sewing book. In French, it's name is "La couture pratique" (Practical Sewing). It's also available in German ("Nahen leicht gemacht"). I don't know if it has been translated in English. You can see a picture of the German cover on http://www.burdamode.com/.


    1. designingal | | #3

      Thanks for the reply.  When I followed your link to Burdamode.com it took me to the German side, but I didn't see the same pictures ( one was of the book) on the English side, so most likely the English market isn't large enough for them to go to the trouble of translating the book, or perhaps it's still in the works.  Either way I will just continue to use the magazines to sharpen my skills.  It seems that more  European women have the abilities to sew for themselves and do so more than American women.  Our smaller speciality fabric shops have a difficult time competing with the larger chain stores, and it is the customer who loses out because the chain stores don't carry much that is worth my time for sewing up.  I have been seeing nice fabrics on-line and have been happy with shopping that way, but somtimes you just want to go and browse and feel before you decide!  Do you know of any German fabric shops that sell on line?  I noticed that some countries can buy fabric through Burda to make the design up exactly as shown in the magazine.  That's very cool and I wish the USA was on that list.  I also subscribed to Anna, the knitting magazine, and am waiting for yarn to come so I can start my first project from that.

      1. liselaure | | #4


        Thanks for your reply. No, I don't know any German fabric store that sells online. Actually I am in Switzerland and when I don't find what I am looking for here my first thoughts are for the States, where I have lived, or for Canada, where my mother lives, rather than for Germany. In addition, my German is not anymore what it used to be.

        I don't know whether more European women can and do sew than American ones, but I am sure that:

        - there are fewer fabric stores now than when I started to sew about twenty years ago, and it is thus likely there are fewer sewers too;

        - it's hard to find specialties in the remaining stores (for examples, I couldn't find boucle in a warm blue last fall and I recently had to call all the fabric stores I know to locate sew-in hair canvas);

        - shipping is very expensive here compared to the States.

        So I was better to sew in the States than here. Probably in Paris I would be even better.


      2. Brine | | #14

        I did get a copy of Naehen Leicht Gemacht (I had my son pick it up for me in Germany). My translation skills are not great, but with a bit of knowledge of the language and the drawings I have found it useful.

  3. Elaray | | #5

    I've subscribed to Burda magazine for almost two years. About one year ago, I decided to go "All Burda - All the time." I relaxed that rule and use other patterns, but most of what I make is Burda.

    I get 36" rolls of tracing paper from an art supply store and trace the patterns on that. Yes, it is time consuming, but I usually don't mind it. It keeps me engaged with every step of the sewing process. I used to add the seam allowances when I cut out the patteren - using a rotaty cutter with an adjustable arm. But recently I learned a tip about using a compass to add the seam allowance. Open the compass to the desired width, slide the point along the sewing line and the pencil makes the cutting line!

    [I like how they teach a technique in every issue and was wondering if they put together a "best of Burda" technique book at any time.]
    The only book I'm aware of is in German. But I recently bought "The Complete Book of Sewing" by Chris Jeffreys specifically as a supplement to augment Burda's inadequate sewing directions.


    I sew, therefore I am

    Edited 5/20/2006 10:15 pm ET by Elaray

    1. designingal | | #6

      That's a great idea to use a compass, I just use my clear plastic dressmakers ruler and mark the S.A. every 4-5" and then use that as my cutting line, but I'm going to try the compass around curves, it probably is more accurate.  I also will ask at the art supply store for wider paper.  I used to get marker paper from a small women's clothing mfg in my town, but they don't use it anymore.  What system do you use to store the patterns and access them easily for borrowing for other projects? I just put all the pieces in a zip-lock with a scrap of the fabric I used to remind me of what it is(hopefully I wrote the pattern # on all pieces) and then try to keep it with the correct magazine.  I need to come up with a better system, especially for the ones I want to make changes in the fit for next time.  I suppose a notebook would do the job but unfortunately I  am too impatient for that, I'm just on to the next project! 






      1. Elaray | | #7

        Here's how I organize and store my Burda patterns. I go to Burda's website and copy the photographs and technical drawings of the pieces I plan to make. Then I paste them into a word processing document. I include the issue from which the pattern came, the pattern number and any other pertinent information. These pages go into a 3-ring binder and become a "personal pattern catalog". I also print out a second copy of the picture to put into the zip lock pattern saver bag that holds the traced off pattern peices. On this page, I include all the information that would be on a pattern envelope. I store the magazines in a 13 pocket file envelope from the office supply store. I separate the pattern sheets from the magazine and store the magazine in one pocket and the pattern sheet in the pocket behind it. A file envelope will hold 6 issues without being too bulky.I realize everyone won't have the patience to go this whole process. What can I say --I'm a little obsessive about my sewing. (Just ask my family!) I don't usually do a lot of borrowing peices to use on other projects, so I can't offer any more suggestions to organize that process.--------------------------------------------------------I sew, therefore I am

        Edited 5/21/2006 12:12 pm ET by Elaray

        1. FitnessNut | | #8

          I wouldn't say "obsessive"....how about "organized"? ;-)

        2. User avater
          Whachumean | | #9

          I love the idea of making a personal pattern catalog.  I only have a few patterns, but I can see how my collection will expand quickly since purchasing patterns is only a click away.   It hasn't taken me long to realize that if I want to sew, being organized is a must!

        3. fatari | | #13

          You have stolen my heart, such commitment. If there was any other way of organizing patterns, I'm sure you would have found it!

          I am trained as a patternmaker from FIT, but stopped making patterns so long ago that, now that my 19 year old daughter wants to sew, we have to make up the pattern each time we get an idea. Slopers are what would normally be used, but we never get to 'that place'. Wouldn't I love to browse through your stock pile of patterns.

          I live in a foreign country where paper patterns are non-existent. the tailor shops specialize in one type of garment or another and they just cut the fabric as they go. No pattern, just cut according to the age old style lines. We hunt around the web for inspiration and for new sewing techniques, sometimes I need to 'rethink' how to sew something and without pattern instructions I am sometimes reinventing the wheel.

          Well, off the subject just a bit, but maybe now I have the place to go to in order to get some much needed sewing updates and pattern making and assembly tips. If you have a chance, please keep in touch or pass this letter on to someone who can relate to my story. By the way, I've been sewing for close to 50 years, yeah!!

          1. Ellene | | #30

            There is also a very friendly and helpful Burda English Yahoo group where Burda patterns and Burda Magazine patterns are discussed.


        4. JanF | | #31

          Gosh - how do you find the time to be so organised? i'm new to this chat facility - and was browsing and read your letter - I started thinking how does she do it?

          However your parting "resond'etre" said it all for me

          cos im the same

          just not so organised!


    2. customsewer | | #10

      I also LOVE the Burda pattern magazine -- I've now got about 12 years worth of issues. The value is terrific -- Many patterns each month for the price of a single US major-company pattern.

      One of the educational things about the magazine is realizing that for a given size (I use parts of size 44 - 48) there are only a few dozen variations. For example, a blazer pattern with a shallow princess line going into the armhole plus one more vertical front dart will turn up in 2 or 3 issues per year -- the different looks come from fabric, edge finish & accessorizing. Thus, when you've got a tested & reliable version of their major silhouette in the kind of garment you make the most, your heavy duty pattern prep work is completed. I only buy about half of the issues now, but I always preview the next month's issue. It's available online on about the 21st of the month. Here's the link to June 2006:


      I bought a roll of butcher paper at Costco for the medium for tracing. It's about 18" wide x about 5 miles long -- one roll will probably last me for years.

      Carol in Denver


      1. fizzle7033 | | #11

        Speaking of tracing the patterns, I buy the $1 a yard cheap fabric at Walmart.  There are always lots of white or nearly white pastels.  Then I can trace the pattern and have a muslin base in one step.  :)

        1. customsewer | | #12

          Wow, why didn't I think of that! Clever idea!!

        2. mem | | #39

          I use the cheap non woven interfacing Its easy to trace through and you can pin fit it and its very durable .

  4. WandaJ | | #15

    Is there an English version of the magazine overview on-line?  And, where does one find Burda Patterns on-line to view like the American Big 4 catalogues?

    1. designingal | | #16

      They have a great web-site, burdamode.com.  You can  also buy their patterns individually at many fabric stores,  but those are not the same designs that come in the magazine.  Although I think they overlap just a little.  I even noticed that some countries can download a few printable patterns from the web site. I would be interested in hearing how that works out.  I just made another dress from the May issue and it turned out great.  For me, the fit is almost always right on.

      1. WandaJ | | #17

        I just visited the website. I wish the information was in English!  I clicked on the current magazine link.  Are the pictures displayed for the patterns in the current edition?  I really like the fabric in the following pictures (I'm trying a cut n paste from the magazine; I hope it works), I wonder what it is?

        View Image131 B Jacke134 B Rock

        View ImageView ImageStill I ask: Is there no site where Burda Patterns can be viewed in English?

        1. WandaJ | | #18

          OK, I'm back and I really want to know more about the Burda Pattern Magazine. Just take a look at the picture below and for those of you who love to make granddaughters' dresses you will know why!

          View Image138 Spaghettiträger- Kleid

          I think this is just about one of the most adorable summer dresses for lil' girlz I've seen in a long while. And, guess what? My oldest granddaughter will have a July Birthday.

          So, I really need to know if this pattern comes in the magazine, where in the states (OH) can it be purchased?  Does JoAnn Fabrics or the booksellers like Barnes & Noble sell this magazine?

          Anxiously awaiting a response.  And, thanks to all who do respond.

          1. LindaG | | #20

            I found issues for purchase at my local (big city) Borders. Also, you could try contacting the American distributor at this website http://www.glpnews.com/EN/Crafts/Burda1.html for subscription information.

          2. customsewer | | #24

            Hello -

            I've never seen the Burda pattern magazine at a mass marketing book/magazine chain. It isn't even carried at most fabric stores -- even back a few years ago when we had high-end fabric stores.

            I live in Denver CO and get my copies from the Tattered Cover Book store, who is happy to do single-issue mail order. 1-800-833-9327  They stock both the English and German language versions of each month's magazine. Also sometimes the Russian language version.

            According to the April 2006 issue, the USA distributing agency is:

            GLP International, 1-800-457-4443. Website= http://www.glpnews.com or subscribe via email at [email protected]

            In Canada, it's the German Canadian News Company Ltd. 1-888-391-4198 or http://www.gcnews.ca    or    [email protected]

            The most interesting patterns never make it out of the magazine into the regular pattern line -- I suppose because of different production time frames. For $8 per issue, there are about 40 sewing patterns in each magazine, in a mix of sizes -- regular, womens (which never look dowdy!), some petites, always children, twice per year men's patterns. Beyond that, each issue also has some "creative" craft/home dec stuff. The children's & creative is why I find it worthwhile to hold on to a 12-year collection!

            Carol in Denver


          3. WandaJ | | #27

            Dear Carol, Your tributes to Burda Magazine made me smile. You are great for taking the time to pass on to me and other forum members extensive information about how to access the Burda Magazine. Thanks. WandaJ

          4. sue56 | | #25

            Hi WandaJ,

            The tiered sundress (138) pattern is in the June 2006 issue of burda World of Fashion magazine.   I have found the magazine in some of the Borders bookstores in my area (Northeast OH).  I have never seen it in JoAnn or Barnes and Noble before. Hope this helps.

          5. WandaJ | | #29

            I live near the Miami Valley-SE Ohio and on today I called the local Barnes & Noble to no avail. They seemed not to have heard of it!  I will use the contact information that was posted just a while ago, and call the store in CO to have it shipped so I can make it time for my London Ari's BD next month.

          6. WandaJ | | #32

            Guess what? This is the news I just received from the GP?? address for the Burda Magazine:

            "burda Easy Fashion (published twice a year) is available by subscription only. The Spring/Summer 2006 issue is no longer available"


            This is the issue that has the beautiful lil girls summer BD Party Dress!  Anyone else have any suggestions as to where I can get this pattern?


            Also, I was told that there is no dealer in my zip code area that sells this magazine!!


          7. mjorymer | | #36

            I would be happy to trace the pattern off for you and photocopy the instructions.  Let me know if you would like me to do this.



          8. WandaJ | | #38

            Yes, Yes, Yes. You are so kind to make such an offer of time and effort.  You must feel how much I love my lil' granddaughter and my desire to make her a special dress for her 5th BD.  Please let me know how you want to transmit the pattern and the instructions.  She will need the size 6x.

            Thank you ever so much Wanda J 

          9. WandaJ | | #42

            Hi, Did you receive my private e-mail to you with information about how to send the pattern?  If you are like me and do not recognize an e-mail address from an unknown sender I just delete it!  Let me know.  WandaJ

          10. mjorymer | | #44


            I accidentally erased your info.  Please re-send the issue info and your address to

            [email protected].


            I am so sorry!


          11. WandaJ | | #45

            That's OK. I just resent the mailing information via your e-mail address from the post.  Thanks again. WandaJ

          12. JeanEsther | | #37

            I ordered my subscription from http://www.Amazon.com.

        2. busybee | | #19

          Hallo Wanda,

          Burda Patterns can be viewd on http://www.sewingpatterns.com,  and every other pattern co. conceivable ~  All the best  Winifred UK

        3. FitnessNut | | #21

          Ummmm.....Wanda, you may want to have a look at the Burda website a little more carefully. In the upper right hand corner, just about the search function, you will see in gray type "deutsch | englisch". If you click on "englisch" you will access the English version of the site.

          1. WandaJ | | #22

            Duhhhhh :-} Thanks.

          2. FitnessNut | | #23

            You're welcome ;-)

          3. Elaray | | #34

            Wow! I never noticed that little "English" link!!! Thank you so much, FitnessNut!!!

        4. sue56 | | #26

          The fabric in both the pictures is "hoop-striped crinkle crepe" as described in the magazine.

          1. WandaJ | | #28

            Thanks Sue. WandaJ

        5. Elaray | | #33

          On the left side of the screen, click "modeschnitte". This will allow you to access the catalogs. "Hauptkollecktion" is the general catalog. Edited to add: You can access the catalog from the "English" web page by clicking "shop".
          --------------------------------------------------------I sew, therefore I am

          Edited 6/6/2006 7:46 am ET by Elaray

          1. WandaJ | | #35

            Thanks for the tip. I did follow a previous tip and was able to access the site in English. WandaJ

    2. rrp | | #40

      When viewing a page in a language other than English, there is a way to get a rough translation ( and I mean rough -- it is NOT a great translation, but gives you some idea of what it is about).  Right click on your mouse, and in the window that opens up there is an option " translate this page". Click on it.

      1. WandaJ | | #41

        This is a very interesting and informative tip. I will try it. Thanks.

  5. rekha | | #43

    I use a double tracing wheel on the pattern over the paper which  is going to save as your paper pattern. This way you don't have to draw the seam lines separately.

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