An apology to Burda

Burda 110 5/2008 line art,

I’m making the dress above, which is an old Burda magazine pattern from back when it was called Burda World of Fashion. The pattern number is 110 5/2008. It has such a huge amount of detail. This is something where I think the majority of sewing patterns don’t match ready to wear designs – they don’t have a lot of non-functional detailing.

A couple of weeks ago I was complaining about the instructions for this pattern, which make modern Burda ones look verbose. I was also pretty sure they contained a mistake. Well I was wrong: I started sewing it up and it all made sense once I had the actual pattern pieces in my hands. For posterity here are some in progress photos of the centre front zip fastener, which was the bit that confused me. It has an exposed half zip with an appliquéd band.

You sew up the centre front seam to just above the end of the zip slot and then there’s some difficult to describe trimming and snipping to do which ends up looking like this. This is the bit that confused me! But I think the picture below is correct. The seam allowances have been trimmed off along the length of the slot, the remaining seam allowance trimmed diagonally, and a small cut made into what will be the bottom corner of the zip slot. I should have interfaced that area.

Then you press the whole thing flat and sew the zip on like a regular exposed zip but from the wrong side, so the inside of the dress is very cleanly finished. Or would be if I’d interfaced the bottom of the slot…it frayed a bit in one corner.

And finally you appliqué the band over the top on the right side.

Eventually there will be some rivets applied too.

So that’s the front zip in. There are two more exposed zips with bands for the side pockets and then a bunch of other fiddly little bits to sew. Summer will be over by the time I’ve finished this one!

23 thoughts on “An apology to Burda

  1. I looked at the project notes for the three dresses on the Russian site, and it seems you’re not alone! One of the women says she got so confused, she took the project and the magazine to a professional tailor shop for help. They couldn’t understood anything and wouldn’t undertake the project for her, so she went home and finished it as best she could, poor thing. I have done a comparison of the English instructions vs. the Russian ones, and the latter are usually better (at least they use sewing terms properly)… So it must be a pretty tricky thing to sew indeed.

    1. I’m so envious of you being able to read Russian as the Russian Burda site is clearly chock full of useful project information. I liked all three of the finished ones pictured on there so that bodes well, although I won’t be wearing mine without leggings under – they all look very short indeed.

      1. Yeah, they have some good native pattern companies (Grasser, VikiSews) but Burda dominates the market so there is a good user base. I think Burda make more of an effort when they translate their patterns into Russian, because they make so much money there, even with the magazines and digital patterns a lot cheaper than in Western Europe and the English-speaking world. The pattern looks cool–I wish it were available in digital format. The way Burda has been going lately, they might just reissue it and pretend it’s a new one 🙂

      2. Hey Cantankera, posting this here in the hope you’ll see it – I’ve been really enjoying your posts and tried to comment on your blog but the comments never seem to appear. Might be me – I don’t have a Google account.

  2. What you have done makes perfect sense. Too bad the area wasn’t interfaced/ stay stitched.
    I’m working on a spur of the moment what-should-be-simple Burdas top. I had to read through two times to understand that the facings are understitched – why can’t they just say understitch. The helpful hints section at the back of the pattern instructions used the term understitch.

    1. Oh, good thing I thought to check this! I just tested it and changed a bunch of settings in an attempt to fix it, which seems to have helped. I have no idea how many comments went into the void, I never saw any notifications. Blogger is a nightmare, and I see that this particular issue is not new (reports as far back as 2018).

  3. I find this a lot with Burda patterns. I am confused reading ahead of time but then it makes sense when I get to that step in the process. And the non-functional bits are REALLY nice on the garment, but sometimes require powering through! 🙂

    That fabric looks really nice, can’t wait to see it finished.

  4. I think this is going to look so cool when you are done! I am really missing a lot of the details that the older Burda World of Fashion magazines had in the designs in the more recent styles. I was looking at the designs coming out in the upcoming September issue and I’m pretty sure that all or nearly all of them are reprints. I think some of the designs might go back to as early as 2004 or 2005 (so they may be “new” to a lot of current subscribers), and I know a lot of the designs are from around 2012-ish, but I’m pretty sure that one way or another I have most of them already in my collection, and the few new designs they have had lately seem to be really simple. I’ve been pulling out a lot of patterns lately to work on (I haven’t had time to blog them yet, but I have sewn a lot of Burda designs recently), and nearly everything I’m gravitating towards was published between 2004-2016. I’m really excited to see how your project turns out – good luck with the rest of it!

    1. Oh I’m looking forward to seeing what you have sewn! Disappointing about the pattern repeats. I hope this doesn’t mean they’re in financial trouble.

  5. It is a very unconventional method. In my 43 years of sewing, including being a professional patternmaker, I’ve never done anything like it….however! I have to admit it looks a really nice feature when completed.

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