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