A Year in Review: BurdaStyle Magazine 2017

Another year done, which means we have another set of BurdaStyle Magazine issues in the stash!  This year I feel like everyone has been pretty positive towards the looks we’ve been getting from Burda, but often hindsight and distance puts things in perspective, especially after the newness wow factor wears off a bit.  In case you want a quick refresher, here are the links to all of my Burda Reviews for this year:

As a recap, here were my top picks for patterns from the year:

And these were my bottom picks from 2017:

I figured we should get the less awesome stuff out of the way first, so here are my picks for the 2017 BWTF Awards:

Second Runner Up: May


While the concept for this shirt is definitely something I would usually appreciate, the execution here is such a mess that I would be afraid to waste fabric on this pattern.  I think there have been a lot of other styles with this sort of built in belt tie that have been a lot more successful.

First Runner Up: December


The comments for this issue were pretty unanimous that these cropped mom jeans with a hem ruffle just weren’t cutting it.  We’ve all given enough though to this crazy design, so let’s just move on…

BWTF 2017: September


Ok, so there have been a lot of great Burda Plus designs this year, but this just really wasn’t one of them.  The low sleeve openings on this top really make it feel shapeless and sack like, plus it gives the arms a weirdly restricted shape and proportion.  Not a flattering look for anyone, even a super cute Burda model.

With those out of the way, here are my choices for the top Burda patterns of 2017:

Honorable Mention: February


I love this coat, and while I don’t think it necessarily deserves to be considered as one of the top 3 patterns for the year, I really love the lines and details, so I thought I’d give it a special shout out.

Second Runner Up: September


I feel like Burda produced a lot of wonderful sheath dress patterns this year, but I think this one will be particularly memorable.  The criss-cross detail and pockets are lovely features, and it’s nice to see Burda including more embellishment examples on their garments.

First Runner Up: December


This jacket has so many great details!  While the ruffled sleeves are very 2017, I think they are a nice counterbalance to the military features here.  I love the juxtaposition, and I think this again will be one of those iconic patterns from this year that people will remember as giving the issue a wow factor.

Best of BS 2017: November


Burda Plus designs have been hitting it out of the park this year, but I especially love this classic coat from the November issue.  Everything about this, from the in-seam pockets to the piping detail to the shape of the collar is perfection.  It is utterly classic, and would be well worth the time investment it would take to create this sort of garment.  Plus, this is the sort of pattern one would keep coming back to for years to come, making this the top pattern for the year.

With the individual pattern awards underway, let’s look at the magazine issues as a whole.  Which ones will you want to have down the road?  Which ones were missed opportunities?  It’s been a pretty good year for Burda, so the competition is pretty stiff.

Let’s start with the less successful issues of the year.

Second Runner Up: January


As this has been a pretty good year for Burda, being part of the bottom three doesn’t really mean that this was a bad issue, but just that it wasn’t as good as the other issues this year.  There is a lot of exercise wear in this issue, some of it with rather dubious looking fit on the models.  Similarly, the entire Plus section is pajamas.  Which, in terms of long-term stashing, could be a great thing, but doesn’t make for the most exciting issue.  The pj-as-office-wear doesn’t do much to elevate this issue either.  There are some nice jackets and a few tops of note, but, on the whole, this isn’t the most inspiring issue for the year.

First Runner Up: July


Although we get a rash guard and a few nice dresses, the majority of this issue is boxy knit dresses and beachwear.  The thing that prevents it from being completely on the bottom is the Burda Plus section, which has a few gorgeous party dresses, plus quite a few other items that dance along the line of being both practical and trendy.  Certainly not the worst issue we’ve had from Burda, but lacking in the variety of patterns that makes some Burda issues really great.

The Worst of Burda 2017: June


Going back to that lack of variety problem, this issue was mostly tops and dresses, with very few jackets, trousers, skirts, or other patterns.  Although it’s warm in summer, I would like a few options for things to wear with the tops in this issue.  Compounded to that is that fact that this was perhaps the most “trendy” issue of the year, with many of the patterns featuring blocky silhouettes and ruffles.  Aside from a few button down blouses (which are quite ubiquitous throughout Burda’s offerings), there isn’t much in this issue that won’t look dated fairly quickly.

And, finally on to the Best Burda Magazines of 2017:

Honorable Mention: May


Ok, so on the whole the patterns in this issue are decent in terms of design style and variety, but this issue gets a special nod in particular because the Burda Plus section is phenomenal!  If you fall in the Plus ranges, this is definitely a great issue to have in the pattern stash, even if you skip out on most BurdaStyle Magazines.  From a classic trench to versatile dresses, rompers, and tops, this issue certainly made me jealous of the options that only came in the Burda Plus size range.

Second Runner Up: December


Ruffled mom jeans aside, there is a lot of great stuff in this issue for the whole family.  From fancy party dresses to practical winter gear, this feels like an issue that everyone will find something to sew from.  The looks have a nice balance between classic and trendy, and I predict that many of these styles will be great to sew for holiday parties for many years to come.

First Runner Up: March


A bit of a shock, as March always has more than its fair share of party dresses and wedding gowns, but I think this issue struck a nice balance between practical pieces and party frocks.  Another issue that gave a great balance of trendy ruffled looks and timeless classic pieces.  Plus, these wedding dresses are probably some of the best we’ve seen from Burda, so props for that.

Best of BurdaStyle Magazine 2017: September


The September issue is often near the top of my list, what with all the yummy fall fashions, and this year is no exception.  Although the Burda Plus section was a bit of a disappointment in this month, the regular sizes are all knock-out hits, with several chic sheath dresses, practical skirts and trousers, and a lovely moto style jacket.  This is definitely one of those issues which you will want to keep around and keep going back to, as the styles are rather classic and promise to be fashionable for years to come.

And that’s is!  Another year of Burda in the books, another year to look forward to.  On the whole, this was a fantastic year for Burda, and it looks like the momentum will be carrying forward into the next year as well.  What do you all think?  What were your top and bottom issues for the year?  Best and worst pattern picks?  Feel free to discuss it all in the comments!

12 thoughts on “A Year in Review: BurdaStyle Magazine 2017

  1. That May Burda top is really nice! There are quite a few reviews on PR and I could totally see making it again! Burda used too stiff of a fabric on this version but it is very, very cute!!

    I feel like it was an awesome year. I sewed from 10 of 12 issues and sewed twice from March and October. I feel like the plus patterns were generally pretty good this year too. January and February have me excited for 2018!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s funny how tastes vary. For me personally I haven’t felt like its been a particularly good year from Burda. I’ve only bought a few issues this year usually for the vintage looking blouse patterns. Some of the better coat and dress patterns which also feature collar and sleeve variations thereby giving you lots more options (which in my opinion is what Burda used to do so well in the standard sizes too) have all been in the plus section.


  3. There were sooo many nice patterns this year! Your choice of worst pattern is really right on, every time I look through that issue it’s like… who came up with that idea? Nobody would wear that sack top.

    There were lots of really nice coats and jackets this year though, and the current 01/2018 issue is no different. So hard to pick one!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Do you know if the US and UK versions of the Burda magazine are the same? Use the same seam allowances, have the same patterns and size options etc? Thanks.


    1. The short answer is yes.

      The long answer is a little more complicated. There are a few things to dissect here, but I’ll try to be concise.

      At present, the US and UK versions are both identical as simply the “English” version. However, for about a year (starting in Winter 2014) there existed a special quarterly “BurdaStyle US” edition. This magazine was “geared towards” a US audience. It contained old patterns from many previous years of BurdaStyle compiled into a “new” issue. The tracing sheets were less congested, and the instructions were supposed to be more detailed. However, as someone who had been a faithful subscriber to the monthly English version, I really had little interest in this “special” publication. It only lasted about a year. I can’t imagine sales were that great; when your audience was already buying the traditional monthly magazine there really wouldn’t have been much to tempt them to the special edition except novelty.

      At present, all Burda’s have the same size options and patterns, regardless of language edition, so you should be able to use any of them to trace off the size and pattern you want.

      As to the seam allowances, it’s generally known but I thought I’d repeat it here: Burda Magazine does not include seam allowances on the patterns that you trace from the pattern sheets. Instead, they include recommended allowances that you should add, and in the English version these are both in Imperial and Metric measurements. Typically they suggest 5/8″ seams and anywhere from 3/4″ – 1.5″ hems. I have seen variations to this, however, depending on pattern, so reading the instructions is key. This is also great if you like to use narrower or wider seam allowances (I’ve been watching a lot of Craftsy classes, and it is really interesting to see how the different teachers do things, and why. I’m really appreciating the ability to choose your own seam allowances because of all the new techniques I’m picking up in the classes.)

      Anyway, hope this was helpful. In general you should be fine, but always read the instruction sheet for your pattern. There are lots of important things there, like allowance recommendations, and sizes to draft little rectangular pieces you might need, and what you’ll want to interface.


      1. Thanks for the quick reply. I wanted to be sure before I bought a back issue. I like quite a few items in the December 2017 issue.

        Liked by 1 person

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