The April Burda preview has been posted on both the German and Russian sites for a while now, but I’ve been so busy dealing with all of the adjustments that needed to happen as life moves towards the new reality of having an entire household work from home that I haven’t had much time to get this post together. It’s funny that I thought cutting 2 hours of commute time out of my day would give me more hours to do things like sewing… Of course, once we settle into the “new normal” maybe I’ll be able to get some sort of a routine happening. Right now everything feels very reactive, and like it’s all a mad scramble to get things in place before the next issue pops up. Some of this (most of this?) probably stems from my job, but the feeling has sort of filtered into the other aspects of life now that the separation isn’t there as much. I’m sure it’s too early to tell what this means for the long term – this week has been weird and I feel like everyone in the US has been living on minute-to-minute news. I’m exhausted, and I haven’t even done anything! I’m sure that I’ll write more about this as we all progress through it, but, in the meantime, let’s distract ourselves with some new sewing patterns!

I can’t say I’m as in love with the April issue as I have been with March or February, but I can’t really tell if I’m just distracted or if the designs just aren’t as interesting. As always I’ll voice my opinions, but I’m very curious to hear what everyone else thinks down in the comments.

There aren’t many jackets in this issue as we head towards spring/summer sewing, but we do have a few interesting designs:

107 – Ok, this is a blazer I would have been obsessed with a few years ago (before doing the Sew Your Kibbe blog series). At this point I think it would be a bit stiff/formal for my daily life and my current job, but I’d consider it if I needed to create a more formal professional wardrobe. I love the placement of the 4 buttons – it’s an interesting nod to menswear while emphasizing the use is more for fashion and a bit less for function. The belt looks great on the garment photo – not sure how much I love it on the model. Overall I really like this jacket – it’s just not something I need to sew right now.

120 – Vintage Burda. The pleats on the back of the shoulders are an interesting design feature, but overall this isn’t a style I can see myself wearing. I’d be curious to see if anyone else sews it up, but it’s maybe not the most exciting vintage re-release Burda’s given us in recent memory.

In contrast to the lack of jackets, Burda has gone to town giving us new dresses:

101 – One of the spreads in this issue seems to have the theme “Movie Magic” wherein Burda tries to re-create simpler versions of some iconic movie dresses. This simple elastic waisted dress is clearly from one of Burda’s favorite films, Pretty Woman, as they’ve borrowed inspiration from the fashions in that film multiple times. (By which I mean I’ve got an issue from December 1997 where they copied the black cocktail dress in an incredibly elaborate recreation, and I know they’ve patterned for the red dress more recently. Someone on Burda’s design team clearly loved this film and has gone to great lengths to give us a way to live out the Julia Roberts shopping fantasy of our dreams. You know, minus the bitchy sales clerks.) Anyway, long tangents aside, this is a pretty basic dress. It looks like it would be pretty simple to sew, and it also looks like it would be quite comfortable to wear. It’s not a pattern I would go out and buy, but it does look like something I’d consider wearing, so I’m glad this pattern will join the stash.

102 – I probably should have grouped this dress with the ones from above because it has the same bodice, but there were already multiple versions of the first dress, so here we are. Anyway, I like the gathered sleeves on this dress – they could be a fun detail to add to a sweater or top too! The long skirt is pretty elegant looking on the model, though I’m not sure how that cropped length would fair on me. I like this dress, but I’m not sure I’d be wanting to add it to my long list of things I want to sew.

104 (top) & 103 (bottom) – Ok, so Burda lists these as separate patterns, but they have the same bodice, so I’m grouping them together. I actually really like both of these. Again, not anything mind blowing or earth shattering going on here, but I think both of these dresses are quite cute, and I like how easy it would be to get different skirt styles once you’ve worked out a bodice fit.

118 – This is so similar to the 101 dress above. I mean, ok, the skirt is a little less full, and the top has slightly wider “cut-on-ish” sleeves, but, really, they are pretty close. Personally I’m more partial to the other pattern because I like the wider skirt, but I can see how this version reads a bit more casual, which could be good. It’s fine, it’s just not exciting.

119 – This dress, however, is a bit more interesting. I mean, sure, Burda’s given us faux wrap dresses with interesting drapes in the past, but I still think this dress looks pretty interesting. It’s not overdone, but it still creates interesting lines with the pleats.

108 – One of the other features in this issue is a “mommy and me” shoot with matching adult and kids clothes. I’m not really a fan of this hugely baggy style of dress, though I can totally understand the comfort factor. Plus, you know, pockets. So there’s that.

I feel like the tops have the same extremes as the dresses – super fitted or super loose:

117 – I like this tank top with the twisted shoulder detail. It looks very comfortable, and I suspect it would be great as gym wear, or for outdoor activities in the summer (if we are going to be able to head outside by then…).

105 – This top is apparently not a vintage reprint, but it certainly looks like one! I like the super fitted shape and the drape around the neckline. I think it perhaps works a bit better in the print than in the white (that’s a bit see-through), but overall I think this top is really cute, especially if you like wearing a halter style.

109 – Tunic top with puffy sleeves and a belt. I think the model does a great job of showing off this top in a positive light… I’m not sure I’m as intrigued by the line drawing. This is one of those patterns that is ok, but maybe not for me.

113 – This top… is a bit nuts. I’m sorry, but the seam goes right over the bust in a way that’s just not the most flattering, and the angle that the sleeves are cut on just seems like it would be really awkward for arm mobility.

116 – This might be the best design coming out of the “Mommy and Me” feature. I really like the small cutout detail on the neckline, and the top just looks so loose and comfy. It’s sort of perfect for the WFH culture we have going on right now – it’s going to look super cute from the bust line up and be super comfortable from the waist down. This might have just jumped to the top of my to-sew list.



121 – The Russian site lists this as a “Trends” pattern, which might mean it’s a designer pattern? Hard to know until the magazine arrives, but I like it! The think the angled neckline is really interesting, and the gathering with the stripes is a very interesting detail. I’m a sucker for stripes to begin with, but this pattern is definitely on the radar.

The bottoms this month are maybe not that unique, but they are actually all pretty cute:

114 & 115 – I don’t think there is anything really unique about a gathered button front skirt at this point, but I do think this style has been quite popular amongst sewists lately, so I expect to see a few of these sewn up. The pockets are always appreciated, and I like the length variants.

106 – Love a good pencil skirt! I think the shaping detail is interesting, and I love the way these look on the models. I’m also a bit obsessed with that minty green color, not gonna lie.

112 & 111 – These culottes look similar to a style I’ve sewn in the past, but I actually really like them. I think the red shorts actually look pretty cute too! I haven’t sewn shorts except for the Sewing Bee a few years back, but I might actually consider wearing this style.

110 – I know I should be all “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” but, blergh. I can sort of understand this as a warm-weather onesie/PJ… thing? But really, just no. The pockets can’t save it. I’m trying to imagine it in a different fabric, belted, with heels, and I still just can’t. The best I can do is imagine a quarantine cosplay of Where the Wild Things Are going on.

I’m not sure how I feel about the Burda Plus section – it’s a bit of a mixed bag:

127 – I think if you like peplum jackets, this could be quite cute. It’s not my style, but it’s not a bad design. It’s just not for me.

123 & 122 – I actually really like these elongated cardigan/robe designs. I think the use of the border print in the longer pattern is fabulous, and if you look at how Burda matched diagonal stripes across the center front it really is a think of beauty. Even on the shorter version I really like the slightly ruffled sleeve hems, and I think the styling for both of these is spot on.

125 & 126 – I am much less enamored over this dress and tunic top. Maybe it is the fabric choice, but it is just so… mumsy. I do think there is potential here – I’m imagining this in a cool wax print fabric with a bright contrasted solid and it’s really not so bad. But these soft florals just aren’t doing it for me. I do like the deep-V neckline, and I think these look super comfortable, just not super stylish.

128 – I sort of really like the length of these flutter sleeves, and I like the neckline of this top. I’m not sure how much I enjoy the straightness of the cut through the rest of the bodice, but overall this top is cute if not overly interesting.

124 – I like that Burda is giving a similar skirt option in both the Plus and regular size ranges. I think the model looks all sorts of fabulous in this skirt paired with the white button down top, and this image more than anything else has convinced me I need both a white blouse like this but also that I need this skirt! Love it.

The kids section should all look quasi-familiar as it is part of the mommy and me feature we’ve already seen a lot of:

I think a lot of these styles really work a lot better for child proportions, though I have to say that the pink jumpsuit still isn’t doing it for me, like, at all.

And that’s it! With another month in the books it’s time to pick the Best of BS pattern for April 2020:

It goes to the “Trendy” striped top! While I think that there are many fine patterns in this issue, this top is really the most unique and interesting. I love how the draft is done to play with the wide striped fabric, though I expect this would also look great in a solid.

Finally, we must choose a BWTF for the month. Although it was a tight race to the bottom this month, in the end it must go to:

The pink jumpsuit of whateverness. I feel like this is the pattern I’d sew after going stir crazy in isolation and giving up hope of ever going outside and/or ever needing fit in normal pants again. Already I’ve gotten far too used to working in pajama bottoms (we are only doing business casual from the waist up now… thanks COVID19), but if I’m ever lounging about in this… it means I’ve truly given up.

And we are done! Interestingly, I feel like I’m seeing a lot of the trends from the recent McCall’s release mirrored here, just with far fewer ruffles. The silhouettes seem to be either very wide or extremely close fitting. After reading a recent article about what this disease will mean for the many working women around the world, the 50s style retro inspirations are maybe hitting a bit close to home, though I do have to admit I love that aesthetic (though I am also perhaps a bit past the point of wanting to wear such tight fitting clothing). In general there are a lot of things in this issue that I like, but maybe not anything really popping out that I absolutely love. I think I’ll appreciate having this issue in my collection at some point later (when I get around to sewing again), but for now I’m not overly enthused. It’s ok; it’s good even, but it’s maybe not the best thing ever. I’m curious to hear what you all think though. It my self-quarantined brain just too out of sorts to recognize the brilliance of this release? Or is it all just sort of meh? Feel free to discuss it all in the comments!

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