Burda has me breathing into a paper bag…..

So did I mention I subscribed to Burdastyle? I did the 3 month subscription in case I was was in over my head. Well, I totally love the patterns in this months issue- lots of tunics- you know tunics and I- are happy together!

So I have loved it, read thru it, put post-its on pictures I’m giddy about, ran into the sewers bordello and held the magazine up to different stash items- cuz you know, I like to get the fabrics opinion, just in case. Now this morning I took the big leap and removed the staples delicately and spread out the pattern pieces.

       OH HOLY MOSES ON BUTTERED TOAST?! Those pattern pieces laid out on top of each other with different colors for different pieces, different dashy lines for each size (mine is the little tiny cow hoof prints in a line I think)  and the multiple languages I think I may have had a little seizure while looking at it. I am so ready to tuck-tail and run back to the See and Sew area and never come out! Give me 2 pieces and an elastic waist! Right now I’m typing from my anxiety closet with a flashlight- I put the pattern magazine in the refrigerator I don’t think it can open from the inside- so I think I’m safe for now.

So the question is- did anyone else assume the 3-d glasses were missing from their first issue? Any tips on not going blind while trying to trace what looks like a crude map of Middle Earth onto tracing paper? On a high note- I did discover that if I stared at the paper and let my focus relax, I can see a schooner! And Dolphins! And a manatee!

Or should I just buy a lovely parrot since I now have 3 months worth of potential cage lining?

photo credits: google images, burdastyle

28 thoughts on “Burda has me breathing into a paper bag…..

  1. lazystitcher says:

    Yup they’re killer! Sometimes I find it easier to approach from the top – put a piece of cardboard on the table, then a large piece of tissue, then the burda pattern sheet, then use a tracing wheel to slowly go over the lines on the pattern sheet so it leaves a trail of marks on the tissue underneath. Good luck!


  2. I’ve just had a disaster with a Burda – it’s in the bin. Advice? Choose a garment you like then see if another pattern company has something similar. Or, go to the website and see if you can download the pattern instead. Then all you have to do is print out all the pages, match them up, sticky tape them together and then cut out the pieces. I need to lie down in a darkened room just thinking about it.


  3. lol… you are not alone! When you are first faced with one of those sheets it is a bit of a shocker! I think the above suggestions re tracing wheel or highlighter are useful but it is still nonetheless a pain in the backside. The only thing that keeps me going is the knowing that I could potentially get 4 or 5 patterns out of a magazine for about £1 each (on a good month) or I might use just a bodice or a sleeve off one garment to make a ‘Frankendress’. On the whole, once I’ve battled with said pieces, I have had good results with the patterns so I do think its worth the fight if you are up for it!


  4. mrsmole says:

    Sandra Betzina did a video on this a while back on her website. It still looks like way too much trouble if you have anything else going on in your life. Imagine a pattern with say 7 or 8 pieces or more? Back breaking work and then on to a muslin?


  5. Just take a deep breath and go for it. I’ve had excellent luck with Burda’s drafting fitting my not-so-svelte body, sometimes without any alterations. I think once you try it you’ll be really happy with the results. Although if you decide you don’t like the tracing, you could easily cancel your subscription and find them on their website, since there’s a lot of great patterns on there. And then I’d be tickled to take those magazines off your hands. 🙂


  6. Ha! This is hilarious. I’ve been wrangling with the Burda Style book and its patterns, and running into all kinds of troubles, there, as well…so maybe it’s a consistent Burda theme! I was just thinking this morning “for this trouble, I could have just bought any number of regular McCalls/Simplicity/Vogue/Butterick patterns!”

    Good luck!


  7. Using a highlighter or sharpy to trace your pieces first is the best so you can see them clearly. Honestly I’ve never had too much issue with it, that or I just don’t think about it much because I like the patterns that much. I don’t believe that other companies come up with as cool of designs and they really do fit great in all sizes!


  8. Don’t give up. I was raised on Burda and their drafting is superior, IMO. (Not that there are not occcasional duds but still not like the Big 4)

    In addition to the highlighting technique suggested above, I’d like to recommend Melissa @fehrtrade.com:


    Basically, she put the pattern sheet over her paper and uses the tracing wheel to transfer the outline of the pattern pieces onto the sheet. It’s like reverse tracing, in a sense. Good luck!


  9. I have yet to work from a magazine pattern but have downloaded several patterns. Your description of it being like a map of Middle Earth totally cracked me up 🙂 hehehehe good luck!!


  10. aliesje says:

    another vote for tracing it with a sharpie or a highlighter. I find that finding the grainlines can be the hardest.

    But it’s doable. And I prefer it immensely to the download-and-print option. That I h-a-t-e.

    For tracing, I got myself a foamcore board from the art shop and a pad of kraft paper. I lay the foamboard down and place the pattern on top of the kraft paper. I trace using a tracing wheel, but no carbon – the dots show up well on the kraft paper. It’s way easier – for me at least – than trying to trace by putting the paper on top.


  11. HA, I just had this exact experience last week! I folded it up and put it away for now, but I really, really want some of the patterns…I’ve traced before by using a tracing wheel on carpet over kraft paper, so I think I might go that route. But geez louise, those pattern sheets are scary — and my experiences with Burda’s fit haven’t been that great (they run large in the waist, IMHO). I don’t have a subscription, just this one magazine so I guess I’ll try it….


  12. OMG, I just had a scary thought. What if prttynpnk takes your suggestions to forge ahead…but forgets to add seam allowances?

    My palms are sweating-gotta go.


  13. I love the suggestions for foam board or cardboard and then tracing the pattern with a tracing wheel. I’ve been taping the pattern to a window with paper over it and then tracing by hand – it’s not pretty! Take it one step at a time and you’ll be fine.


  14. Man, I have been looking for the dolphin and hadn’t seen it yet. You mean there’s hope?

    My suggestion is to NOT have a couple of glasses of wine before you start tracing! You can see where that would go…. :o)


  15. Ha ha ! Very funny! I have to agree with you! I trace Burda with clear parer on top. To highlight lines first is a good idea. Another idea is to download patterns from Burda site. I like the idea of FehrTrade to trace them with a tracing wheel.
    I hate Burda magazine for combining those 4 sheets onto two. They wrote that it is for the sake of saving trees, which I don’t buy. Just write that you want to have more money by not spending on more paper!
    Anyway, they know about readers’ complaining about these sheets! At least from Russian Burda site, I know it for sure! I’m waiting for them to get these 4 sheets back!


  16. Just found your blog because you found mine. Two tips (meaning things that I only noticed recently after subscribing to Burda for over four years, but are probably obvious to everyone else). First, there are numbers on the two long edges of each sheet. These line up vertically with the same piece number on the pattern sheet. I don’t know how much time I lost trying to find little itty bitty pieces among all the big pieces on the sheet until I realised this. Second, all the pattern markings that you’ll need are also shown on the little drawings of the pattern pieces in the middle of the mag. Makes them a lot easier to find and mark on your tracing. Mmmmm – maybe it was just me who didn’t notice them earlier, or maybe I should do a quick post about them just in case I’m not the only non-observant person out there.


  17. These are some of the first patterns I ever used. Talk about setting yourself for failure! Or at least discouragement. They are so annoying, but I still use ’em. Less often, but still do. Once I tried to cheat re: adding seam allowances by just tracing a few sizes bigger. Don’t recommend.


  18. You can also go to http://www.burdastyle.com and they have the patterns individually that you have to print out and piece together. Of course, there is a price and if you already paid for the subscription (I didn’t know you could only do 3 months – sweet!), it might be frustrating…BUT that being said, it beats the frustration of all those lines on 2 sheets of paper – my tunic would probably end up looking like half shorts/half top!!!!! 🙂


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