A Year in Review: BurdaStyle Magazine 2015

Looking back, I have to say that, on the whole, this felt like a rather lackluster year for Burda.  Every issue had at least one pattern I really liked, but, honestly, there were very few issue where I wanted to make many of the garments, and most of the things I did want to sew were going to be complex tailoring projects that I just didn’t have time to undertake.  I was think back to patterns I was excited about, but then I realized most of those were issues from last year.  Ooops.  Luckily, that trend has been turning around in recent months (I was so excited I actually traced some patterns you guys), so here’s hoping that the positive vibe proceeds into the new year.  I always like to do a Burda wrap up at the end of the year – it is fun to look back at all of the trends and wacky designs they throw at us.  For those of you who need a refresher, here are all of the Burda reviews I’ve written this year:

Here were my picks for the Best of BS Patterns for 2015:

And the nominees for the 2015 BWTF Award:


Here are my picks for the Best Burda Patterns of 2015: 

Second Runner Up:

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December!  I love this dress.  It is beautiful.  And the few versions I’ve already seen popping up are stunning.  Truly, this is a great design that will look elegant, sophisticated, and modern for years to come.

First Runner Up:

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October!  Another great dress – the seaming details and color blocking are interesting, but the simple silhouette of the dress makes it sleek and very wearable.  I love the versatility of this pattern – fabrics and styling could give it a cool street vibe or a more elegant evening feel.

Best of BS 2015:

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August!  I know, I know, it is just a sheath dress.  And yet, when I look at all the designs together this is the one that draws my eye.  The seaming details are subtle, but effective.  And the basic shape makes this a dress that could be a major wardrobe workhorse for years.  It is an absolute classic, and my pick for the best pattern of the year.

And here are the craziest patterns Burda had to offer:

Second Runner Up:

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July.  This jumpsuit looks like a repurposed bed sheet.  The relaxed fit just looks awkward and oversized.  You can argue that summer clothes should be easy and comfortable, but surely easy, comfortable clothes can look better than this.

First Runner Up:

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January.  In Project Runway it is never good when the designers decide to use trash bags, because their results end up looking like trash bags (one pair of amazing “leather” leggings excluded).  Here, Burda was given fabric, and they made it look like a trash bag.  The Project Runway judges would have a field day.  The jacket is sad, droopy, and ill-fitting.  Burda had many amazing Plus sized patterns this year, but this was not one of them.

BWTF 2015

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February.  In an issue that brought us baboon pants, another pattern actually surpassed them on the ugly scale.  How could it not be the absolute worst pattern of the year?

At the end of the year I also like to highlight what I consider to be the strongest and weakest issues as a whole. [more stuff]

Worst Issues of 2015:

Second Runner Up: January

January certainly had a few highlights, but also a lot of disappointing designs.  There were some especially awesome coats and jackets, but, there wasn’t much else of note.  Most of the other garments ranged from boring to dowdy, and with a sizable chunk of the magazine being reserved for carnival costumes, there isn’t a whole lot to be excited about in this issue.

First Runner Up: May

May is typically known as “the dress issue” and is usually one of the top issues of the year.  This year it was still heavily filled with dresses, but, not many of them inspired one to pull out the tracing paper.  The styles all felt very young, slightly costume-y, or just plain fussy.  Everything had ruffles.  Now, there isn’t anything wrong with ruffles, but they don’t need to be on everything.  Normally May is one of the issues I most look forward to, which made this year’s issue especially disappointing.

Worst Issue of 2015: February

Ah, February.  Again, typically I consider February to be one of the stonger issues, but, aside from a few classic coats, it was a dud this year.  From ugly floral sacks to baboon pants, this issue felt  incredibly lackluster and very repetitive in terms of silhouettes.  As with all the issues this year, there are a few gems hidden among the offerings, but, on the whole, this is certainly the least exciting issue of 2015.

Best Issues of 2015:

Second Runner Up: November

November was a great issue.  It didn’t have any knock-out patterns, but it did have a lot of great wardrobe pieces.  Simple silhouettes, classic shapes, and neutral fabrics make this an issue that might not excite immediate sewing, but I predict Burda fans will return to these patterns for years to come.

First Runner Up: December

The December issue was the biggest “wow” of the year.  Every pattern felt perfect for the season, and the styling and photography were bang on.  I ripped out the pattern sheets and started tracing right away.  The Burda Plus patterns were good (but not great) in this issue, but we did get some fantastic patterns for men and children.  This is another issue that I predict will be sewn from for quite some time.

Best Issue of 2015: October

Although I think December had more patterns that were my style, October pushed the boundaries in terms of fashion.  These patterns feel “of the moment” and very modern, while throwing in some vintage flare.  Also, the Burda Plus section is absolutely AMAZING.  Seriously.  This issue may not have the longevity of November and December, but to me it feels like the best representation of 2015.

And that’s it!  What are your favorite issues and patterns from the year?  What was on the bottom for you?  How does 2015 stack up on the whole?  Which trends do you hope continue into the new year, and what styles need to fade out?  Feel free to discuss the year of Burda (and sewing patterns in general) in the comments!

8 thoughts on “A Year in Review: BurdaStyle Magazine 2015

  1. October was pretty rockstarish. And agreed that December is pretty awesome. I also loved August and the dresses in June! Eek! 🙂

    March and April were complete and utter busts for me.


  2. I enjoyed Burda much more this year than last. I even made something from it in the same month the mag came out which is unheard of! Agree with you about October and December: two great issues.


  3. Nice roundup-very thorough. I only bought 2 issues this year the dirndl one and the one with the giant coat(August and sept/October). Definitely into envelope patterns from Burda though as I just don’t seem to have time for tracing these days ☹
    Speaking of which-did you put up a link to the bursa style online catalogue for envelope patters? I feel like you did but cannot find it for bookmarks or google. Please link it if you still remember what it is-there’s a once a year sale on at my big box local so I’m looking to make a list 👏🏼. Thanks in advance and if you have no idea what this is ignore it 😄


  4. I always love reading your Burda reviews, they must take a while to do so thank you! I also find I generally agree with you about the styles. This year for me was a disaster until the August issue and it really affected my sewing mojo. Of course now I have patterns backed up as the last few months were great, let’s hope it continues into 2016.


    1. Agreed! Though I’m not too impressed with what I’ve seen from February so far, but I also think they also look like styles that need to be seen on a model. Hopefully when the full preview is up I’ll change my mind.


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