A Year in Review: BurdaStyle Magazine 2014

I have to say, this has been quite an awesome year for BurdaStyle magazine.  We’ve had some truly outstanding issues, full of some fantastic patterns, designs, and styling.  I’ve been very excited about a lot of these designs (though this hasn’t translated to actual sewing, for several reasons that will likely be discussed in tomorrow’s post).  In case you’d like to review the issues in depth, here is a link to my posts from the year:


To recap, here were my picks for Best of BS 2014:

January – White Moto Jacket
February – Twist Top
March – Burda Plus Party Dress
April – Awesome Modern Blazer
May – Color Blocked Sheath Dress
June – Asymmetrical Draped Dress
July – Tie-Front Knit Dress
August – Gathered Knit Blouse
September – Color Blocked Zipper Jacket
October – Long Striped Coat
November – Red Gown
December – Embellished Knit Coat

And here were the nominees for BWTF 2014:

January – The Wookie Pelts Coat
February – The Potato Sack
March – Butt Bow Wedding Gown
April – Overwhelming White Shirt
May – Futuristic Football Uniform
June – Fugly Overalls
July – Ruffly Leopard Dress
August – Crazy Floral Collared Dress
September – Dull Grey Skirt
October – Striped Sack Dress
November – Poofy Red Jacket
December – Car Wash Knit Top

Best Patterns of 2014:

First, an Honorable Mention:

Love!  This!  Dress!

This design was from the Fall/Winter Burda Easy Magazine, so not part of the regular Burda subscription.  However, the lovely cut-out details and flattering design made a big splash with me and the rest of the internet.  Though my Best/Worst Awards are only chosen for designs from the regular issues, I thought it would be a shame not to mention this fantastic dress design in the year-end wrap-up.

Secondly, looking back I don’t know how I didn’t pick one of the dresses as Best of for the August issue!  The color blocked dress is clearly one of the most iconic from the entire year, and the high-low hem with the open back saw a lot of love on the blog-o-sphere.  The knit top… what was I thinking?  So, I’m going to retroactively fix this in the end of the year results.  So, without further ado, let’s get to the awards!

Second Runner Up:


Ok, so while this might not be my personal favorite design from my list of top picks, I feel as thought this design feels very 2014.  Like, when people look back at all of the crazy things that we are wearing that define this era, this jacket with the color blocking, floral patterns, and zipper trim will be quintessential 2014.

First Runner Up:


Ok, looking back, this dress should have been chosen as the best of the month.  Why it wasn’t… I really can’t say.  The color blocked design is another that feels very modern, but in a monochromatic color scheme the dress could be very elegant and timeless.  Definitely one of the most iconic Burda looks of the year.

Best of BS 2014:


In the magazine the color scheme of this coat makes it feel very subdued and understated, but the garment photo reveals all of the marvelous details.  The collar, the sleeves, the seaming on the back – this coat is truly a masterpiece.  Even without the extensive sequined embellishment, the style lines still make this coat one of the most impressive Burda drafts of the year.

Worst Patterns of 2014:

Second Runner Up:


Normally the ubiquitous Burda sack dress isn’t terrible enough to be worth commenting on, but this particular sack dress stands out – literally – in a not so good way.  While I appreciate the stripe matching on the sleeves (I mean, wow), this dress looks like it is eating the model in the magazine photo.  She basically looks like she is wearing a torn-up couch.  Not a good look.

First Runner Up:


This Burda Plus dress from the August issue is, in the words of many-a-Project-Runway-judge, a hot mess.  The floral fabric mixed with the high collar and white cuffs makes it feel dowdy, and the draped skirt piece makes it feel messy.  I can’t imagine it looking cool any time during the year, least of all during August, when the last days of summer (or start of spring!) is happening.

BWTF 2014:


If these overalls were that unflattering on the model, I can’t imagine them looking good on anyone else.  The sides are cut too low to have these serve as any sort of practical work in the garden type of trousers, and I can’t imagine these being made in any sort of fabric that would elevate them to being fashionable.  Pairing them with a sequin top didn’t help them, and I really don’t think anything else could either.

At the end of the year I also like to pick out the best and worst issues as a whole, just to keep things interesting.  I have to say, though, that this year every issue (or, well, almost every issue) had at least a few great patterns, so even my bottom picks are a couple notches up from many of the magazines in previous years.  Anyway, here’s my choices for the worst Burda issues of the year:

Worst Issues of 2014:

Second Runner Up:


Ok, so January actually wasn’t too bad of an issue.  We had that fantastic white biker jacket, a designer dress, interesting knit tops, and trousers with cool seaming.  Of course, we also got the mixed-fur crazy jacket and lots of carnival patterns.  There are some great pieces in this issue, but not quite as many useful patterns as are in the other magazines.  Normally I sort of let the carnival patterns slide, but this year the other issues are so strong that it was a deciding factor.  Not too bad overall, but I think you will get more bang for your buck with other issues from this past year.

First Runner Up:


The March issue sort of suffers from a case of the “blahs.”  There isn’t anything in this issue that is really terrible, but there isn’t anything really noteworthy either.  The wedding gowns are fairly forgettable, and the casual clothes are fine, but lack a lot of the interesting details we see on similar silhouettes later in the year.  A cool skinny jeans pattern, a few nice dresses for formal occasions, and a lovely Burda Plus section are redeeming features of this issue, but nothing that couldn’t be found elsewhere.  All in all this issue was fine, but not terribly exciting.

Worst Issue 2014:


This is the only issue from the year that I would call really bad.  This issue felt like a random hodge podge of left over designs, fabrics, and styling ideas.  Even within a section the designs didn’t really “go” together.  A few of the knit dresses were ok, but, really, not much of excitement in this issue at all.

And, finally – here are my nominees for the best issues of 2014!

Best Issues of 2014:

Honorable Mention:

Burda Easy Fall/Winter!

The Burda Easy magazines are usually full of repetitive designs, that typically aren’t as complex as what we find in the regular issues.  This year’s Fall/Winter edition, however, was full of some really lovely dresses, coats, and jackets.  I think I wanted to sew half of the magazine.  The great thing too is that, because all of the designs are based on similar pattern pieces, one or two fittings could help you create several distinct pieces for your wardrobe – very time efficient.  Not to mention the more detailed instructions are great as well.  This would be a worthy addition to anyone’s Burda collection.

Second Runner Up:


Normally I find April to be a sort of boring issue – caught in between spring and winter, no fun wedding dresses to look at, and generally kind of dull.  This year changed all of that.  From fitted blazers and fun maxi dresses to every day knit-wear, and a pretty great Plus section, this issue has a lot to offer.  I mean, it even made me appreciate a jumpsuit!  Definitely one of the great issues of the year.

First Runner Up:


May is typically the “pretty spring dress” issue, and this year was no different!  There were just so many pretty spring dresses.  Not to mention all the great knit tops, fabulous skirts, bomber jackets, and there were a few good Plus options in there as well.  There was also definitely a little bit of crazy, but at least it was interesting-weird-crazy and not totally-boring-snoozefest-crazy.  This issue felt like there could be something in here for everyone, mixing lots of different styles very successfully.  The fabrics, photos, and styling were all quite inspirational as well.  All in all a really great issue.

Best Issue 2014:


August has to be one of the best issues of the year.  It’s got a little bit of everything – dresses, skirts, tops, shorts, jackets, capes.  The Plus section had some nice trendy styles that had been featured in the regular sizes in previous months.  Two of the most popular Burda dresses (at least as far as I’ve seen on the blog-o-sphere) have come from this issue as well (the color blocked dress and the high-low open back dress).  It really is a fantastic issue with a lot of fabulous patterns.  Although it does have one really awful dress in the Plus section, the rest of the patterns are lovely, and I wish I’d had time to test a few of them out this year.

So, there you have it – my annual year-end Burda review!  What do you all think – did the right patterns win?  Or was that write-in for the August dress a total cheat?  What were the worst issues of the year?  Which was your favorite?  Let me know in the comments!

3 thoughts on “A Year in Review: BurdaStyle Magazine 2014

  1. Love this recap of the recaps post! Makes me want to go digging through all last years magazines again and see if what I ended up making correlates to this at all. (I do know I didn't make any of the BWTFs!).


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