January Giveaway: The Burdastyle Sewing Handbook

The burdastyle handbookIt’s my birthday this month so I thought I’d do something a little different:I bought this book for myself for my last birthday. It’s been a year and I haven’t made anything from its so I reckon it should go to someone who will make things out of it. I thought it’d had been around long enough for there to be enough reviews that I wouldn’t have to write one, but I couldn’t find any detailed ones (read, ones with clear images of the patterns/ styles included and with an actual critique of the book itself). So here goes.

This is a fairly cool book but since the whole point of my giveaways is to pass something that I haven’t used on to someone that will make good use of it-let me summarise the reasons for why I haven’t used it (because the usual I have more patterns than time doesn’t apply here).

The burdastyle hand book: skirts

The book revolves around the one pattern endless variations manifesto, however, patterns and directions are only included for one style with directions on altering the pattern to make two variations for each item. I initially found this profoundly disturbing and actually had to put the book far out of sight for the first three months of owning it as none of the styles provided moved me to sew and the cover image treacherously deceived me (well, it has a sh*tload of garments on it and I optimistically assumed patterns would be included for at least one of the variations I’d liked. I was wrong).

The burdastyle handbook-blouses

The first 67 pages are instructions and explanations (limited browse-through here). But not awesome ones. I.e. The section on zippers  has one illustration and two points of explanation:

The burdastyle handbook-instructions

and heaps insult upon injury with the pithy epithet below ( which I’m not even going to go into for all the reasons.):

The burdastyle handbook

Successfully pissing of beginners and regular sewists alike (by including too much and not enough of the ‘basics’ at the same time).

The burdastyle handbook: dresses

There is also some semi-cryptic banality of this sort:

The burdastyle handbook: seam allowances

The patterns, like those from the burda mags, need to be traced-I recommend getting an adjustable double tracing wheel and carbon paper.

 The burdastyle handbook: coat

Having said that, it has 4 patterns for the garments pictured (in sizes 32-44 or 0-14) and a one for a bag (which I couldn’t get to scan properly due to scanner non-co-operation)

Conclusion: This is not a bad book-it’s just not the right book for me. I like burda’s slopers, their fit and wearing ease is consistent and once you know what alterations you need to make for height (or lack thereof) and figure deviations (from the average) you’ll be set for life because everything fits, straight out of the box. So for beginners with access to books containing detailed sewing instructions (and/or the internet) or intermediate (and higher) level sewists that do not require instructions I’d say go for it, but only if you like the patterns included. Or you can enter this giveaway and get it for free.

Giveaway ends January 31st, rules for entry here. Do you modify paper patterns to create ‘variations’? Or do you modify them to the point where variation-land has been ditched in favour of this-is-a-new-garment-world? Do link your project posts in the comments so I can have a look see.

Disclaimer: All images remain copyright of their original owners and are used here for purposes of illustration and review.

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