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:
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!