December 2018 BurdaStyle Magazine

It’s been a long year, but somehow we’ve made – it is time to look at the December BurdaStyle Magazine!  Burda’s had quite a run this year; there have been quite a few issues that have really blown my socks off this year.  While I don’t think December is quite as good as many of the issues we’ve had in years past, I do think there is plenty to see.  I’ve got thoughts about the direction of Burda in general, but I will save those for the closing comments.  In the meantime, there is plenty to see, so let’s take a look:


There are a few decent jacket options in this issue, especially if you want to use elaborate fabrics:

I need a sequin blazer!  Need!  I’ve made so many of them for other people over the years, I feel like it’s finally my turn!  I really love the relaxed lines on this jacket and the soft collar and lapel shape.  This pattern is high on my priority list.

This coat is pretty simple and unconstructed, but I do like how Burda showcased it in both a fancy fabric for a holiday event and a softer fabric for a street style look.  It doesn’t really add anything new to Burda’s pattern catalog (they really like this silhouette), but I do think it is a lovely pattern to showcase a stand-out fabric.

This jacket looks very similar to the teal blazer we got last month.  I still really like it (I’m a sucker for nice tailoring details and a rich bouclé fabric), but, again, nothing terribly new here.  I do wish the model photo sold it a bit more; it feels rather unremarkable.

Another unconstructed, easy style shown two ways.  It’s funny because from the line drawings and garment photos I’m not that excited, but I love the way this looks on the models, especially the longer version.

We also get a few decent party dress options this month:

This cross-over design has been pretty prominent from Burda this year.  Game of Thrones trickle down effect?  I do love the way it creates shoulder emphasis without being too stiff or formal.

This is a really simple dress, but also allows for use of exquisite fabrics.  There seem to be a lot more of these embroidered chiffons on the market lately; this is a great way to utilize them for a holiday look.

I don’t think we can ever go wrong with a nice knit wrap style dress.  Partial wraps are even more practical because you don’t have to worry about the wind blowing your skirt open in winter.

We get a vintage pattern this month!  You gotta love a vintage style dress with sleeve gussets!

I’m never going to be excited by these slim, unfitted dresses, but I can understand the appeal for something that is quick to sew and not too fitted for a holiday dinner.

I’m actually pretty excited for some of the tops this month:

I’m always going to love a top with a softly draped cowl neck.  It’s easy, but not too casual.

Burda has tried this sort of style in the past, but I think it is much more successful here because the fabric choice is much softer.  I actually really like the way this is styled on the models, even though the top itself is quite simple.

Another simple blouse style that looks really classy and is a great way to showcase a bold print.  Love the cuff details.

I’m sort of shocked, but I’m a bit obsessed with this top.  It’s the perfect thing for hiding a food baby after a holiday meal, and it could be great for a bit of scrap busting.  I also really love the mix of textures and fabrics on the sample.  Do I need a few of these?  I might need a few of these.

If you want a bit more detail in your look, this blouse has some interesting shoulder detail and a cute collar.  It’s definitely the most interesting as far as drafted details go in this release!

We don’t get a lot of bottoms in this issue, but what we do get is pretty decent:

It is just a basic circle skirt, but I love seeing it in this gorgeous fabric!  More of a visual inspiration than a pattern I feel the need to make up right away, but I like it.

I LOVE this skirt!  Love it!  The model photos do not do justice to the gorgeousness of the red skirt.  I really appreciate how the plaids line ups, but still go off at an angle – such a nice detail.

Burda’s really been into cropped length trousers lately, so it would have been nice to see something slightly different this month, but I do think the waist band detail is pretty cute here.

We get a vintage pattern and a designer pattern for December!  I have to say I really like this design. It’s not a typical holiday party look, but I like it.  Personally I’d lengthen the hem length a bit, but I think the drape of the top and the waistband are super elegant details.

The Burda Plus section is a bit of a mixed bag this month:

I do like this jacket.  The collar detail is quite sleek, and the overall look is very streamlined.

Rather basic trousers.  Not exactly exciting, but not terribly boring either.

What?  I don’t see how this could possibly be comfortable to move in, as much as Burda would have me believe it is relaxed chic in the photo on the left.

Simple top.  I think the interesting fabric choice is doing a lot to sell me on this look.

I’m far less excited by this in the dress version.

I do love this poncho though!  The jeweled collar is a pretty fun detail, and it makes it classy enough to wear to a more formal event.  I may need one of these…

We even get a men’s pattern this month!

It’s a pretty simple man’s raglan sweatshirt, but what guy doesn’t like a simple raglan hoodie?  I feel like this is quite a practical pattern, especially for the winter months.

The kids section is a bit more flash than substance this month:

None of these styles are particularly interesting, but they do all look great in the fabulous fabrics Burda has chosen.  It could be good if you want to whip up some quick holiday party looks that won’t require too much detailing.

And that’s it!  I feel like there is a lot this month that I personally like, though I don’t know that there are a ton of patterns that feels particularly new or innovative.  Many of the styles feel very close to other looks we’ve gotten this year.  In the end I don’t think there was much competition; the Best of BS for December 2018 goes to:


The sequin jacket!  I feel that the lapel shape is really interesting, and it’s nice to get a pattern that will work for sequin fabrics that isn’t completely shapeless.  The fact that I’m also drawn to anything shiny isn’t hurting the case here either.  What can I say?  I’m a magpie.

Just as I thought the Best of BS was pretty straightforward, I also thought there was a pretty clear candidate for the BWTF Award this month as well:

original (30)

I mean, how does she even move her arms in that, really?  Doing my Kibbe series has really made me much more open minded towards different style lines, but I can’t imagine this massively oversized and awkwardly shaped top would work well for anyone.

And there we have it!  Another year of Burda in the books!  I have to say that I’m a bit disappointed in the lack of detail this month; usually Burda’s holiday features have some truly outstanding dress designs.  This year everything felt really flat and basic.  On the one hand, basic can be great – simplicity works well for a lot of people, and it also lets you make the fabric be the star, which is why I think so many of these designs ultimately end up feeling quite successful.  However, it can also be a bit boring when everything is so simplified.  I feel like I turn to Burda for yummy details and unique styles, and I don’t really feel like we got that this month.  I also feel like the photography is a bit sub-par in this issue.  Perhaps I’ll feel different when I have the actual magazine in my hands, but I just wasn’t impressed with the model photos.  I don’t often criticize the photography unless it really hides the garment, but I feel like so many of these photos seem awkward, stiff, or oddly overexposed.  The cheesy holiday decoration shoot I expect from the Big 4; I’ve come to hope for something a bit more from Burda.  Typically I’m either won over by the line drawing (because the design is good) or the model photo (because Burda styles it in a way that makes me “get it”) but this time I’m really just swooning over the garment photos, and mostly, I suspect, because of very strategic fabric choice.  I think many of us could agree that we turn to Burda for inspiration as much as actual pattern designs, and I really don’t feel like I’ve been getting that from Burda lately.  The start of the year was so fantastic, but I feel like the second half really hasn’t kept up the momentum (those October coat designs not withstanding).  An individual issue of boring designs isn’t a total cause of concern from Burda (we’ve seen it before), but I feel they are heading towards something of a slump, and the photography and missing fabric cutting layouts from November aren’t inspiring much confidence in me either.  What do you all think?  Am I too paranoid about the state of Burda?  Is this part of a normal fashion cycle?  Or does it seem like there are lots of little cutbacks that are cheapening the image of the brand a bit?  What do you all think about the designs in this issue – perfect for sewing quick holiday look?  Or is this issue the epitome of boring?  Who else is excited that we get a vintage reprint, designer look, and men’s pattern all in the same issue?  Feel free to discuss any or all of these things in the comments!

36 thoughts on “December 2018 BurdaStyle Magazine

  1. I absolutely agree that the second half of this year’s Burda’s leave something to be desired. But there was just so much goodness in the first half, it’ll take me months (probably way more) to actually sew the ones I really want. But I’m ok with that.

    LOVE the sequin jacket as well! It is perfect. Are sequins hard to sew with? Our Fabricville had some sequin fabric on sale, the sequins are plastic so I wonder if the needles get damaged…? I’ve never ever sewn with sequins.

    Also agree with the tops, they are really nice and there are several I’d love to sew. Your Kibbe lists have given me ideas about choosing patterns that might both look good on me and be the kind of thing I’d actually wear everyday. My goal: a wardrobe full of me made clothes (and some purchased pieces) that I love to wear and are durable. I’ve tossed BAGS of stuff I don’t wear! Lots of room for new things over time.

    The worst of the month pick… believe it or not, that is something that if I saw in a store, I’d try it on. (super embarrassed emoji here…lol…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s fair. I’d try it on too (and then take it off… I have a think about properly fitted armsyces).

      I don’t think sequins are hard, but you may want several needle options and a full pack as backups. They also make a LOT of mess that will never, ever go away. Ever. 😶

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like some of these, but I have to say it’s a long time since I yearned for any of the plus offerings. I wish Burda would do as Ottobre and Knipmode and offer most styles up to a 52. Plus designs seem to be often oddly shapeless (and not always in the current sculptural way). I do like the fabrics, the skirt and the tops in regular sizing in this issue. I’ll probably buy it when it reaches here (in about March). I love your reviews by the way. Thanks so much for doing them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really like the looks of the flare-sleeved coat in both lengths, but not practical for me. I am fascinated with the top from two fabrics. That bottom length with the flare – I really want to see how this looks on a regular body. Is it really flattering on most bodies?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Soooo, I saw a discussion somewhere about the removal of the cutting layouts and a confirmation from Burda that they’ve decided to drop them and add 2 “sewing instruction” patterns. IDK what one has to do with the other.

    After quite awhile, I’ve gotten my sub on a Jan-Dec schedule. No remembering when to renew! Yay! I just went to renew and GLP only offers 3 or 6 months. They aren’t offering me a 12 month renewal. Which makes me wonder too 😦 Before reading this I had a brief moment of panic of “OMG WILL BURDA GO AWAY?!” Then “OMG Will it just be the international editions?!” Then, well, at least I have 5+ years of them…


    As for December, I plan on making the top with the sleeve pintucking as I had major plans for an ivory top with silk ribbon neck tie and this sold me!

    I like the vintage pattern but know I likely won’t make it, but it’s pretty!! And I LOVE the cape-like jacket (shorter version). The jacket in the plus section is beautiful.

    Otherwise it felt like the past couple months to me…it’s okaaaayyyyy but not exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That top would look fantastic on you! I’m so excited to see it!

      I’m curious too, because I just did a 12 month renewal two months ago, but then they sent me 2 of the November issue? It’s all a bit confusing. I suppose we shall see what we shall see, and my backlog is quite large, but I would really miss my monthly Burda if they make a major change or stop the magazine.


    2. I wonder if the shorter subscription period has to do with postage costs? Maybe they’ve lost money when USPS raised the rates too much over a year. That’s my theory because I REFUSE to entertain the idea that I might not be able to get a Burda subscription!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Possibly has to do with all the tariff nonsense the US is doing right now… Prices might be going up after the half-way point this year? Especially if (as a previous comment on one of my reviews mentioned) production is moving to China? That’s hopefully a more realistic thought than that Burda is going to cease magazine production.


      2. A USPS worker also told me they might be raising the forever stamp rate from 50c to 55c in the new year which is a huge increase compared to the normal 1-2c jumps they’ve done before.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I tend to go all swoony at the holiday issues because of the beautiful fabric and ignore the style lines, so thank you for this breakdown. I’m now seeing the patterns with my Kibbe eye, and where before I would have wanted the food baby sweater, I now really want the jacket with the pleated collar/lapel. OK, I still love that sweater too! 😂

    Burda’s appeal has always been cyclical for me, and I stop my subscription when I get bored or the designs get weird, then restart it when things are looking better. I do love the fit and I can wear both the regular and plus patterns (plus the talls!) so I get more options. I’ll keep it for at least another year as it’s still my best source for inspiration and lots of wearable patterns at a low price.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I started getting the odd Burda in 2015. In the middle of 2016 I started getting them every month. If I go back to my first 2015 issue…….it’s just better. Nicer pieces, less “editorial” ie advertising of creams, accessories etc. I’m sticking with it because of draftsmanship and reliability but am beginning to wonder if it’s worth it for what is ALWAYS going to be the hardest patterns to start because of tracing and seam allowances. I have 3yr old twins and I am time poor so I am hoping that Burda settle into this new groove and that as time goes by, I won’t be so put off by tracing because I’ll have more time. But I do LOVE Burda and I’ll give them another few months before I make a decision on whether to keep getting them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny because I’ve got a couple older issues (pre-2010) in Russian and German, all of which have the editorial sections advertising odd beauty products and accessories. Although it’s a new addition to the English language version, it’s actually not that new for Burda. In general I agree though – when I had to evacuate my house last year I grabbed the 2005-2009 Burdas because the older ones are just the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am loving the vintage and designer patterns they really have something to add – wish they would be more size inclusive though, I’m right on the border between their styles so will have to grade up. I don’t generally mind the separate ranges and I’ve sewn some beauties from BS Plus but if there are special patterns I feel kind of left out when I cant make them.

    Annoyed about only 1 men’s pattern, seriously I sew for hubby and would far prefer an edition with a few in or none at all, I’ll never keep track of one pattern on its lonesome.

    And Burda – still no boys stuff. I have two little guys and would love something different for them, I’ve made the same shirt pattern with my own draft changes 15 times now…. seriously. While I love it I would also love to do something a little different, boys love cool stuff too, including regular clothes not just bat hoodie dressups.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Maybe I’m just enjoying simpler patterns these days, but I have been really impressed with Burda this year and I know they are issues I will dig into often. I do agree though that there are fewer wow pieces compared to a few years ago (well 10 years ago now I think about it – yikes!). From this issue I really want to make the knit dress and I think I’ll start there. I also love the faux wrap skirt, quite a few tops and surprisingly to me, I adore the jumpsuit!

    Thank you for a year of brilliant reviews, let’s see what 2019 brings!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love your Burda reviews and the thoughtful comments. Like others, your Kibbe series has had me thinking about the patterns in a different way, which I love.

    I rely on Burda for a good mix of classic and interesting design details, but there are often periods in which I find the patterns to be oversimplified or just a little bit strange. Sometimes I’ll buy the magazine and discover that I like a pattern in it many months later! I wish that Burda were offering more classic full-length pants patterns – older issues are better for that – but I suppose one can’t have everything (and even I can lengthen a pant ;)). Since I am not able to buy the magazine locally right now and I go to Italy often (or my Italian partner comes here), I suppose the side benefit is that I’m learning dressmaking jargon in Italian! (The other plus is that the magazine is much cheaper in Europe than it was on my newsstand here.) I would rather they raise their prices than cut any corners.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Well I must say, I have been a little disappointed lately with the content of the Burda Style magazine.

    I would like to see the beauty, creative and trend sections removed and more patterns returned to the magazine. Trend and creative ideas could be incorporated into the sewing lesson section or one 2 page only surprise section like the designer pattern section..

    I have just bought the Burda style September 2018 issue in Australia and there is 4 pages of content to make a donut pencil case and 2 pages on beauty “Cranberry” which seem to just be advertising. That is six pages of padding.

    Lets face facts – this is a stylish sew your own amazing clothes magazine.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I live in the US, and I am now an intermediate level sewer. I really liked this December issue and would love to buy some of the patterns shown in it. I am just this year becoming aquainted with Burda magazine thru the vlog Saturday Night Stitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I thought you may like to see the response from Burda Style magazine from my above comments. It doesn’t show here but the different paragraphs had different sized text as though they were cut and pasted from other emails –

    Dear Margaret,

    thank you for your email and your commitment and fidelity that it demonstrates!

    We are always pleased to have constructive feedback allowing us to evaluate our content that our editorial staff takes regularly into account. That’s why we take, of course, note of your suggestions of improvement.
    Nevertheless, it is difficult, if not impossible, to adapt our content to everybody’s needs or preferences : Some like the trend pages, other don’t. Some appreciate when these pages loosen up the content, other would like to focus more on technics.

    Consequently, we try to find a balance between entrainment, DIY and sewing sections. These ones are naturally and will always be the heart of our magazine. Thus, we pay particularly attention to the fact to offer a big diversity of looks and levels representing the main part of Burda Style.

    In this respect, we hope that you won’t be disappointed with the future issues.
    Don’t hesitate to let us know about.

    Thanks for your loyalty

    Best regards

    Julia Zorn

    Who is going to make that donut pencil case anyway???????????????????


      1. i’ve been reading these reviews since i discovered Burda over a year ago. Thank you, they are invaluable as here in South Africa Burda is the most economical way of getting patterns. We dont have the JA sales like in the US, so Burda it is.. But i digress… Anyway, i actually made three of those pencil cases for my kids and as teacher appreciation gfts, so Burda’s feedback that you can’t please everyne, is absolutely correct.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s awesome! I think it’s great people find value from all parts of the magazine. And if we didn’t have JA sales I’d buy far fewer of the Big 4 and stick to Burda too.


  13. I actually like the crossover dress. It reminds me of a portrait collar which I’m a sucker for.and it’s modest! the jumpsuit would be perfect fr my dance daughter. she would love it! The top with the single pleat front would be great under cardigans. I have a shelf full of cardigans.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Heya – thank you for this nice display of what is to come in the December 2018 issue of Burda.
    I agree, it is a wee bit underwelming, but that is just how it is, sometimes.

    I live in Europe and have been buying Burda on and off for more 20 years and have learned the hard way that a subscription does not work for me. Instead I only buy the issues that contains one or more patterns I really want. I curated my collection a few years ago (as I had been in a subscription for a while), and now I have a collection of Burda magazines with 2-5 issues per year – and the December month is rarely in there. Interestingly enough I seem to love issues around February, July and September 🙂

    But I do miss the Specials that Burda did a good long while ago (I think they only did those a few years?) – a magazine released twice a year that had all brand new outfits just for the specials (winter/summer). I still hold on to those two issues I managed to snatch back in my teens – they have pretty outfits and are still inspirational to look in.

    With that said, 2018 has been a pretty good Burda ride – I have been tempted enough to get several magazines this year, and may now even pick up the December one 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The sequin blazer is so good! I want it!!! The plus sizes just totally fall apart. Yikes. That stupid sleeve to the hip shirt deserved to be the worst BWTF of the year, lol. What is that nonsense?!?!!?

    Liked by 1 person

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