Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Burda February 2014 – My picks

One of the main feedbacks from your comments was that you would like more plus size related topics. I thought that commenting on the latest Burda issue would be a good way to ease into the subject. I will talk about the Plus size segment of this issue in general, I will show you my 3 favourites and I will talk about patterns from the non plus features, explaining how I would tweak and upgrade them (the lazy way).

Now, you all know that Burda has good and bad months. To me, this issue is a good one. There are really cool things both in the Plus section and in the other articles. The theme for the Plus section is « Just Charming ». They use easy patterns with refined details. They have chosen nice Crepe, Linnen etc. Fabrics in neutral colors. I think that the patterns here apply mostly to work situations. Here is my top 3! You can find the technical drawings here.

The dress herself is quite basic, it's the color blocking that makes it interesting. I would love to try it with light fabrics for the summer : one neutral tone and one color with more punch such as tangerine-ish.
This is a + pattern so I would not have to upgrade, I would cut the 50 from the shoulders to the waist and switch to a 52 down. What would be tricky ?
  • the sleeves : I have larger biceps. I usually avoid long sleeves. In this case, I would maybe make a biceps adjustment, depending on how the muslin falls.
  • The back darts : I would have to make them deeper to mark the waist a little bit more. I found that a defined waist/hips at the back does wonders for a rounder silouhette

This double breasted coat is really cool and classy. This year, I already got started on another pattern (Cooper from Colette). If I had gone for this one, I would have picked a light pink canvas and home made matching buttons.
I would also draw a 50/52 version. I would only worry about the fit of the sleeves on this one.

My dear plussy friends, I don't know about you, but I can NEVER find the perfect trousers patterns. I only purchase RTW ones but I have been dying to try jeans and I could not find a good AND affordable version. This one looks great. Well, it is obviously cut too big for the model.
I would try this one with a slightly stretchy denim fabric, cut a 50 all the way so it's nice and snug. I have no idea what would be tricky with this. I think that it would gape a little at the back and I have no clue how it would be around the crotch area. But it would be a great adventure trying!

The magic of sewing is that you are not limited to « plus size » patterns. They are sure more straight forward to trace and they are good at camouflaging if that's what you are after. I chose to no be limited by that. If you just put a little bit of energy in upgrading as you go, it's really easy. Sometimes, too much upgrading damages the proportions or the design. Then it's up to you to make it work !

There are a few designs I would probably try on myself. I usually chose patterns that have a shape that would work well on me (no reactangles or boxy things etc.). I also choose something I LIKE !

I am sure this would look great! V neck, larger at the hips, flat front, cute detail at the back.
Make it work : upgrading to the equivalent of 50/52, check how the sleeves fit, maybe shorten them.

I love to dress up but I also like my comfort. This dress looks so interesting with 2 tones, one in stretch, one in woven.
Make it work : upgrading to 50/52. The sleeves would be fine as they are stretchy. I would have to wear a belt to define the waist.

Doesn't it look cool ! I would wear this with jeans or colorful pants.
Make it work : upgrading to 50 (maybe 48), no problem with the stretchy sleeves. This construction is not a basic one, I wonder what upgrading would do to it. I would also have to see if it does not become too long or short.

This would make a lovely summer top to wear with a skirt. Dressy in a plain fabric or playful with a cute print. The open shoulders would fit me well and the cinched in waist would be great combined with skirts
Make it work : upgrade to a 50/52. Explore the results around the shoulders. Will there be some gaping or not... Do not wear with trousers or jeans (at least for me)

This is basically what I think about when I open a new Burda, when Vogue releases new patterns etc. When you look at patterns, do you only look if they look interesting or not ? Do you immediately see what would have to be tweaked ? What do you usually change ?

Let me know if you like this kind of post, I can do that with the patterns of the big 5 or with Colette etc. Are there some details that you would like me to pick up ?


  1. Trousers... I KNOW... I can never find one that fits both my upper legs AND butt... I bought the february BurdaStyle, I loved the issues plus size patterns! I liked the second skirt (on the page next to the pants) and I also loved the dress!!! I'm picturing the skirt in a linnen fabric with a pattern of blue flowers. With a blue fabric underneath... Anyway: great post, love to read your thoughts! And if there are a few spellingmistakes, sorry, translating from Dutch into English is quite a challenge sometimes...

    1. Hi Natalie, Thanks for your comment!
      I am so sorry for the spelling! It is even worse in my case, my native language is French, I live in the Netherlands and speak Dutch with family, AND English at work! You combine that with the fact that I have a Mac without the office suite. That means that what I pre-type is not spell-checked.
      The worst thing is that I have when people make typos etc :S

  2. Those pants are the reason i bought this Burda! I love trousers with slightly flared legs, but can't always find them in the store. In this pattern, i would change the waistband, it's fine in the back, but too low in the front. That's why it has a curved waistband. If i change the front, i can use a steaight waistband.
    Slightly stretchy fabric would be perfect for this pattern.

  3. I love your selections! That dress would be so pretty in so many different combinations. I wish I could get Bruda here in my little Canadian town.
    You are so brave with your pattern grading up. I have never gotten brave enough to do that.

  4. I liked the plus size patterns at first this month and then stared at them awhile longer and talked myself out of most of them. The color blocked dress I decided I didn't quite like the little wobble on the top edge of the swoop - I'm afraid it would make my chest look lopsided. And then the next color blocked shirt, I didn't like how the seam line is straight across the middle of the bust. I think it has to be above or below or it cuts you in half at a bad place. Gosh, I am being critical! The coat is nice - I like how it doesn't overlap as much as some double breasted coats.


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