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Thursday, 28 July 2016
TBT: My First Burda Magazine
Topic: Throwback Thurdays

For today's Throwback Thursday I am digging way, way back -to the very first Burda magazine I ever bought in 1995 and one for 1997 that I have used the most.

First, a bit of I Bet You Didn't Know This! background. In the 1980's and 1990's Burda published many magazines in addition to the World of Fashion/BurdaModen flagship publication.  Most were twice a year and included BurdaKids, Petite Fashion, BurdaPlus; same as we have to this day. There was also a series of "dressmaker specials" which were all about special garments such as bridal, evening, athletic, career sportswear, and more. In the specials were a few that were repeated every spring and fall. There were also two  very popular quarterly mgazines: Miss B and Burda International.

The Kids, plus and petite are still around today and haven't changed much. The dressmaker specials included "sewing made easy" with fewer patterns but more detailled instructions. I have one that included a patterrn for an oversized shirt that I made in denim and in plaid flannel -I still wear both. Some were for special unusual sizes such as "petite plus" and Tall. My very first Burda magazine was a Tall special. Also included was the magazine with thje very prosaic title of "Blouses Trousers Skirts." this was all every-day all purpose clothing that's often sold under the banner of "sportswear"

MissB was teen and early 20's fashions well suited to high school and college students. It had something different inside: while some patterns needed to be traced from a master sheet most were on tissue paper and called "snip and sew patterns" -very similar to the patterns you buy in envelopes at the fabric store. I do not have any Miss B's. They tended to sell out the day they arrived at the magazine shops. This was all fast fashion stuff, the garments were all easy to sew and easy to wear.   

On the other end of the spectrum was Burda International. This thick, glossy oversized magazine was a two in one: first was a slick and colorful  Vogue-type high fashion magazine of designer clothes, accessories, shoes and jet-set lifestyle articles. Inside the magazine was another magazine, a secret magazine.  BurdaInternational patterns.

This magazine made the hefty 20 plus price tag worth it. It had an assortment of fashion forward designer and masterpeice level patterns for the latest high fashion clothes. The things in here were years ahead of what was in stores. The patterns started at two and half dots level of difficulty and went up from there. There was always one five dot pattern. Lagerfeld had at least three or four patterns a year and many Paris designers had one or two patterns a year. It was rumored that Lagerfeld contributed almost half the designs found in Burda International -looking at the single copy I have it's very possible.  Every issue had at least threee big name designer patterns including one German designer and several from elsewhere.  All were quite complicated and -as I said -would be labelled as Masterpieces in today's burdastyle.

As mentioned previously my very first Burda was one of the specials: the Tall sizes spcail from 1995. Here's the cover:

The cover isn't really much to look at, but there are some cute and very basic things in it. A very versatile pair of pants that could be made with cuffs, without cuffs, as shorts, in both dressy and casual fabrics. There was a nice basic blouse and several super cute summer dressses. I'll post the one I liked the most:

I loved this wonderful flirty summer dress. It was the first thing I made from the magazine and made it from a light beige and blue floral print. I wore the ever lovin'crap out of it and it's still in my closet but too threadbare to wear. It is 20 years old, after all!

Of the rest of the special titles my other favorite was the "Blouses Trousers and Skirts." This was all sportswear that could be worn everyday for a vcariety of occasions, from going out to dinner to meet the teacher night to a regular weekday where nothing special was happening.


I have made more things from this magazine than any other.  One spread featured all my personal favorites. this is page one:


and here's page two:

There's also a V neck sleeveless blouse:

I made the wide legged pants in pant weight crinkled cotton in blue and pink. I made them in a dressier black with white pinstripe. I made them shorts length most recently in turquoise. I made the V neck blouse to go with the pink. Both have long since worn out. The little wrap tee is pinned onto some lightweight striped jersey right now! And the polo shirt... I don't wear polos anymore but when I did I made the one in the magazine. The masterpieces are these two:

I made the embroidered blouse from white cotton that had a duipioni texture. I wore the heck out of that one. The cutwork embroidery is all done by machine and full instructions were included. I made the blouse in the long sleeve version too, without the embroidery. The blouse on the right is the same as the cover blouse in a shorter length. I love the seam details, the yoke, the pockets, there are about 13 pattern pieces to cut out and sew together. The resulting blouse is quite special.

Speaking of pattern pieces, the pattern sheet was quite different. Now everything in is bright colors and each garment gets it's own color on the sheet. Back then everything was blue or red and some patterns listed pieces as "15-21 in blue on sheet A"  It was a lot more confusing and time consuming. I would outline on the sheet in a colored marker to make the blue lines I wanted stand out from the other blue lines. Here's a quick scan of a sheet: 


And everything is in German and nthing is in English. Each magazine had a page of German to English translations. 

Miss B, International and the dressmaker specials were all long gone by the end of 1998. Blouses Trousers Skirts stuck around until 2002 but by the end it contained pieces that were cut from the main magazine -it was like a reel of "deleted scenes". The Easy magazine has gone through several incarnations including the latest which has revived the snip and sew tissue paper pattern inserts.  The current Burda Easy is very much like the old MissB.  I wish they had an equivilent of Burda International again. I would love to wear something four or five years before everyone else even hears of a style! In one issue they declared high  waisted narrow tapered leg pants DEAD and all the patterns were  lower rise, wider legged with no pleats. I made a pair of wide legged unpleated lower waisted jeans which caused a bit of a sensation among the other moms at the school playground. A few years later everyone was wearing wider legged jeans and I looked like a fashion prophet! And who does't like being ahead of fashion? We need a Burda International type magazine again!

Posted by lincatz at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 28 July 2016 9:54 AM EDT
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Thursday, 31 March 2016
Burda World of Fashion April 2006
Topic: Throwback Thurdays

Today's throwback Thursday is Burda World Of Fashion from April 2006.  Notice the clean, bright uncluttered cover?  Quite a change from the confusing busy covers that they used for many years. What I really like about the blouse on this cover look is that somone found beads that matched the colors on the blouse and sewed them to the V neck to make it appear as if there were water drops on the V. Clever and eye catching.

What's really amazing to me is how un-dated these clothes look. Going through the pages I can see several things that I wouldn't mind making right now. There are many batiste, chiffon and voile blouses and an assortment of pretty spring dresses. Several blouses like the one above come with matching skirts so it can be worn like a dress or the parts separated and worn as separates! 

I love this lace-up front blouse.  When made up the neckline is nowhere near as plunging as this picture. I've made this several times over the years. It works best in lightweight fabrics.

This is the same pattern as the cover look but made with a plain fabric and with different neck embllishments. There are instructions for bead embroidery in the pattern instructions.

How about a new summer dress? Loose, cool and comfy. This raised wasit style is easy to make and easier to wear. I had to alter the pattern and make the bodice in muslin first beacuse it seemed to be made for a very flat chest. Once the bodice fit it was super easy to make the rest of the dress. Are you a plus size? Don't feel left out because there's this skirt:

And a matching blouse like this:

And a jacket and a pair of pants and none of them are muumuu shaped and all have darts, fitted saems, zippers and nary an elastic waist in any of them.

The one thing I liked the most were the spread pages like this:

And this:

 Which showed several pieces mixed and matched into many different outfits. The spreads also included detail shots of unique style details of several gamrents such as the curved back seam on the jacket. There were two like this: one bunch of navy blue elegant career wear and this sunny citrus bright collection. Needless to say there was also a large opening page picture with the top and skirt together as a dress.Speaking of citrus:


... we finish with this sunkist orange bright jersey dress with a bit of shiny chain at the drawstring waist. 

The whole magazine is happy colored. There are happy colored ittle girls dresses,  pre-school boys track style suits in blue and green, and men's wear in sand and khaki with bright print shirts. And to make it even better all the patterns are one, two and two an half dot levels of difficulty. Nothing is super hard and all let the fabrics and colors tell the fashion story.  And this is the first issue where there are more fashion crafts than home accessories. There's a simple leather bag, a simple leather belt and a simple cell phone case all made from white leather and coral accents. 


Ultimately I made a couple blouses-the one up there ↑ and a couple skirts from this issue, the blouses are above. I made them from matching fabric and wore them mostly as dresses or I wore the tops with jeans. The lace-up one is one of my go-to patterns when I have some pretty print in lightweight chiffon.  

Posted by lincatz at 10:46 AM EDT
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Thursday, 4 February 2016
Happy March, 1998!
Topic: Throwback Thurdays

I have some fabric. It's denim, and it's not quite a "what was I thinking?" fabric but it has been a "what in the name Levi Strauss do I do with it?" I need a new denim skirt because many of my old ones are pencil skirts and most are at least ten or more years old. They don't look quite right on my slightly lumpier menopausal body. So I went on a search through my pattern stash for a skirt pattern that would look good in a lighter denim. And I found a pattern I liked and I remembered  making and wearing the skirt for a very long time. I made it before we moved to this place. I found the original burda magazine and realized that I have quite a few things from this one -in fact I think I've made more clothes from this one than any other.

As you can see this magazine is in terrible condition -which is good! I taped a note on the cover so I could see at a glance what was in it -including a sewing with leather tutorial that took my leather work from meh to amazing. If the previous cover was busy this one is wackadoodle crazy. too many words, too many confusing pictures. Inside the styles are wonderful, not wackadoo at all.

Like this denim and leather trimmed skirt. The first time I made it I made it with a light colored sandy denim like the picture. I have no idea what happened to that one -it vanished when we moved. So I made it again, the second time in dark denim and black leather and it was one of my faves for a long time. Here's a picture:

Notice the top? Doies it look familiar? It should -that was made from the peasant blouse pattern in the previous TBT. The blouse is made of french cottn gauze that I tie dyed myself. I trimmed it with hand made tatted and crocheted lace -and of course I made that too! And see the leather belt with heart shaped conchas? Made it!  There was also a pair of jeans that I made: 

And loved and wore until they were worn out! I wore these to the creative festival in 2012, the one with my geode necklace in. I made them from a black demin shot with silver metallic threads and the side seam inserts are decorated with silver nailheads and studs. They are no longfer wearable but I still keep them in my jeans drawer in my room.

And here's a page with a few other things I have made. The blouse in the top corner has been made sleeved and sleeveless, from cottons and from more delicate fabrics.  I made the jacket and the leather top but not from leather. You can also see a close up of the side seam insert. In my jeans the nailheads follow the same design lines as the trapunto topstiching.

Thre's more -there's a "best basics" article featuring four pairs of pants that I made many times including one pair made recently. The fit of those older pants is much better than the newer designs. There's beach wear, there's summer dresses, there's business suits and more. One collection heralds the new color pallette that includes dark turquoise and chocolate brown -many years ahead of everyone else -and then features only one outfit in the color combination.  Here are the pictures:


 Not bad! After all these years these pants could still be worn today and no one would know the pattern is almost 20 years old.  

Oh yes, The denim that will become the skirt in the very first picture?  This right here: 

...only without the leather yokes. I'll add a bit more embroidery and embellishment to the yokes, but not leather. A leather yoke looks nice but makes a skirt heavy and not easy to move in.

Posted by lincatz at 10:10 AM EST
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Friday, 8 January 2016
Burda World Of Fashion January 2000
Topic: Throwback Thurdays

Eccept it's one day late. Apparently I can't tell the difference between the "save as draft" and the "publish this post" buttons. Oops.

Today's treat for the eyes is Burda World Of Fashion magazine from January, 2000. After we all recovered from our Y2K party hangovers and cleaned up all the sequins and glitter it was time for some new 21st century fashions. this issue had lots of oversized hip hop stuff, stuff made from plastic coated fabrics, and a tiny little collection of San Francisco Haigh Ashbury hippy inspired clothes. And which one accurately predicted the future of 21 century style? Anyone? Yes, it did get a rename in 2002 and by 2004 it was beginning to appear in high fashion shops. Yes, that's correct: Hippy became Boho and took over the fashion world. Burda was about five years ahead of mainstream fashion at this point in time. Whatever was in the pages of burda would filter down to the malls eventually. It was a fantastic way to be ahead of fashion and appear as if I had a magic fashion crystal ball. Let's begin:


The cover was quite different. I was fractured into a cluttered mess of small pictures and words that was more confusing than eye catching. On the otherhand you could see more styles at a glance.  As you can see by the scribbles on the cover this issue contains a pattern for a classic denim jacket and a hippy/peasant blouse that I have made many, many times.


Let's start with the best: the peasant blouse. It's now one of my all time favourite patterns And I have made it many times. It's also why I brought this magazine out, I want to make it again!  It works best in crinkled fabrics and the cut is loose and free-flowing. There's a drawstring neck, trumpet shaped raglan sleeves and it takes almost no time to sew up.


I love this top and maxi skirt. It's very stylish right now. Back when this collection was released there was a strong negative reaction to it on the net.  Too fashion forward, too avant garde and not realistic for everyday wearing. Now these clothes seem boring and almost mainstream and not high fashion in the least. Intersting side note: although not listed, there was a pattern for the little top on the pattern sheet. There were no instructions for it in the sewing supplement. There were a few patterns not in the magazine: this top, a  short skirt and a skirt /top outfit. All countries got the same pattern sheets but due to certain regulations some designer and special patterns were not licenced for North American use. They didn't bother to remove them from the pattern sheets, they merely ommited instructions.Now they don't appear on the pattern sheets either.

 This is what those"in the know" predicted would be around for a long, long time and these shapes and cuts were IT for the 21st century. Wrong. They wre already on their way out and today look horribly dated -like a very bad 1998 music video. The loose wide legged hip hop pants are now history and sleeveless funnelneck looks dated. And the reccomended fabric for both were coated with plastic: pants were coated twill and top was coated ribknit.

The Matrix was a huge movie and everyone wanted to dress like they were in The Matrix. All those zippers were from a time before metal detectors were everywhere. At the peak of the fad large metal zippers appeared on bras and panties as decorations. this coat is a cross between Futurism and Minimalism -at the time it was called Cyber-Chic.


The less said about this fad the better.  Those long straight skirts were freaking hideous! The zipper at the hem didn't make them any easier for walking. And although they are hard to see, there are about six gold metal zippered pockets on this skirt. And notice the large metal snaps on the pocket flaps? In about five years this would morph into cargo pants and shorts -a far better use of metal zippers and metal snaps.

And that's our look at January 2000, 15 years ago. Style and fashion was transitioning and really didn't have a clear idea of where it was going. Judy Jetson Futurism? Trinity and Neo Minimalism? Or a look back to a less complex time with all the bright colors and baubles and trinkets with revivalism? We know that minimalism and futurism lost to revivalism, but both were kind of fun while they lasted.

And last, here's the technical drawings for the peasant hppy blouse. I think I will make it again, and again, and again. Classics never go out of fashion -even if they were avant garde rather than classic when first released. 

Posted by lincatz at 11:08 AM EST
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Thursday, 17 September 2015
White Blouse: 2001
Topic: Throwback Thurdays

Yesterday I gave a preview of an old fave from 2001 that I was going to restyle and re-make because it the original was too tight, too short and not exactly modern looking. Lets take a close look at the original:

As you can see it's quite short, about two inches below the natural waistline. I did not add the front ruffle because I though it looked weird. I also omitted the sleeve ruffle because they would look like an after thought without the front ruffle.  It looks a little wide and short because it shrunk so badly in length. Before it was a couple inches below that waist -now it barely covers the waist.


Here's a close-up of the shoulder embroidery. The pintuckes were made with a pintuck foot, twin needle, fine cotton thread, and number five crochet cotton threaded behind the stitching to raise it up. There's fine feather stitching between the rows and each pintuck row terminates with an eyelet and a raised dot. These were worked in bright white six strand cotton floss. If you look at the button and buttonhole bands theyhave a line of entredeux between the mani body and the bands. It's a neat little fine seweing touch that gives a bit of visual punch to the blouse and is appropriate for the overall Swiss embroidered look of the blouse. 

This is the sleeve detail. A single pintuck is used so the sleeve isn't made smaller. There are the same dots, eyelet and feather stitching used to embellish the pintucks.

And here's a detail of the embroidery on the front. It is centered over the dart so the dart seam is hidden. There are cut work leaves and the top flower center has a small needle lace spiderweb in the center of the eyelet. You can see more of the entredeux band. This was worked in three strands of bright white embroidery floss. It took a while to do but was worth the effort.

I wore this blouse for a very long time and stopped after it got stained and the stain removal process shrunk the blouse. When I needed a whilte blouse for a spcail occasion I dug it out of the closet and was quite dissapointed when I remembered that it had shrunk so badly in length.

For the re-style I plan and making it several inches longer in length and a bit less close fitting. The model photo shows the blouse so tight that she has a bit of flesh fluff under the hem -it was designed to be very tight and very cropped. I'm keeping the entredeux at the buttonhole band and I migh add some insertion lace or insertion swiss embroidered eyelet between the pintucks. It would be pintucks, insertion, feather stitch, and insertion. OR Pintuck, feather sticth, insertion, feather stitch. It depends on the amount of insertion lace I have.  I'm still torn between using the fine batiste or the slightly less sheer light shirting. The entredeux band will be purchased -I have yet to make a band as precise as machine made bands. Nothing wrong with machine entredeux -it has been in use since the late 1800's.

The embroidery in front will be the same -but the center holes of the flowers will be abit larger and filled with needle lace spiderwebs. Instead of using plastic buttons I will use mother of pearl buttons. 

So I am hoiping to have a new favourit white blouse in a couple weeks. It's a very time consuming project with all the embroidery and precision sewing. The front band and attachment is surprisingly difficult.

Posted by lincatz at 10:51 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 16 September 2015
Throwback Thursday -an introduction on Wednesday
Topic: Throwback Thurdays
I first became aware of Burda magazines when I was quite young. Many sewing machine stores and fabric stores downtown carried the German language magazine and I thought that it was like a Simplicity or Butterick magazine: lots of pictures, pattern envelope pictures and a mail in coupon for a free pattern when you buy one. When I looked at the inside of one there were lots of fashion pictures of clothes, outlines of the style and best of all:The patterns and instructions for all the clothes were stapled into the centre of the magazine. Buy the magazine and get dozens of patterns for sewing. One magazine would equal an entire wardrobe!

Except it was in German only, the pattern was on one or two sizes only, all the outlines were either red or blue and difficult to find and trace off the sheet. The instructions assumed that you had been sewing since you were about seven or eight and didn't need much in the way of instructing. Since I was seven or eight -they looked interesting but way beyond my skill level so I left them on the shelves of the sewing stores.

...where they remained until the early 1990's. They re-vamped the entire magazine from cover to cover. The styles were new and very fashion forward. The pattern sheet had each style in at least five sizes and instructions for increasing or decreasing two sizes -giving a total size range of nine sizes. The outlines were in four colours with an easy to read number key to find the pieces for the selected project. The written instructions were changed so advanced beginners could handle them. And It was all translated into English.

In 1995 at the fall creative sewing show -as it was then called -German Canadian News had a large booth to promote the magazine. Not only was there burdaModen -now translated to Burda World of Fashion, there was also Miss B with tissue patterns to cut out and sew and picture instructions -the cover blared out "MissB -trendy fashion with instant Snip'n'Sew patterns" There was BurdaInternational -a high fashion Harper's or Vogue level fashion magazine with an insert in the back featuring high fashion designer name patterns. The styles were five years ahead of what was in stores.

There were also some special magazines: plus size, Children, Teens, Blouses, Trousers and Skirt (American style sportswear)  and "Dressmaker's Special" which was a magazine full of dresses only and each issue was devoted to one specialty size range: Petite, Petite plus, Plus,Extra Plus and Tall. The first magazine I got was in 1995 and it was a Dressmaker's special in Tall sizes. I made every dress in it. Seven dollars for twelve dress patterns. Did life get any better???
After that one I got a couple of the sportswear magazines and made several outfits from them.  I saved one from 1996 because it has one of my all time favourite summer pants patterns in it. I love the pattern so much I made them as shorts this summer.

In 1997 I steeled up my courage and got one of the monthly Burda WOF mags. From that single issue I made a winter coat,  a couple shirts, a pair of pants, one of my favourite skirts and the star of the issue: a replica of the knee length Little Black Dress from Breakfast at Tiffany's. The magazine was a whopping 130 pages back then and it was like a sewing magazine and a Good Housekeeping or Women's Day rolled into one. There were recipes, helpful hints for home and decorating and more. Gradually the non sewing stuff vanished from the English language mags.

I began to buy the English magazine on a regular basis and I still get it today.  I've made many things from the pages of burda and learned tons about sewing. When I need something for my wardrobe I often go back through my past issues and look for a suitable pattern. I also do this when I get a piece of fabric that I'm unsure of what to make with it. Now I'm just as likely to look a the picture and draw my own pattern for what I want to make or I alter the burda pattern to within and inch of its life  -but I still love my magazines for inspiration and every once in a while I see something that I must make.

I have many of the really old ones in storage -the ones from 1998 and earlier have little in them that works today -but there are several that I keep going back to time and time again. One from 1997 titled "Fashion Dreams" Another from 2001 filled with colorful spring and summer clothing. The original dressmaker's special that I got long ago. I love that they magazine clothes are two to five years ahead of store fashion -I recall the first time I wore non-tapered fit low waisted flare/boot cut denim jeans from a Burda International from 1995, someone said something catty about European designer jeans and I replied that I made them myself and that was the style everyone would be wearing in five years. And I was right.

Tomorrow on Thursday I will have something from 2001 that I made, loved, stained, bleached and shrunk back in the day that am remaking and restyling for today: an embroidered white cotton cropped blouse. Here's a tiny little preview from the original magazine.


...and as you can see I made it. And tomorrow you can see what I did back then and what I want to do today.


Posted by lincatz at 10:36 AM EDT
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