It's bookweek - Burda Moden flashback

It's bookweek in Australia. Sadly, I can't show you photos of the costumes I made my children, because I didn't have my new camera then. I have a new camera now, so I can show you a few pictures from my bargain finds at the bookfair. I only ducked into the bookfair because it was near my house. I'm not usually one for op-shopping. I think I have mentioned before that everything in Townsville goes mouldy in the end, so op-shop treasures are rare...which is why I felt like I struck gold on Saturday. I picked up 5 Burda moden magazines from the seventies for 10c a piece. (I also picked up a pile of Burda modens from 1981, but the 80's were no kinder to Burda than anyone else.)

I think I really need a trouser-and-tunic suit in matching fabric. There is a big selection to choose from. Perhaps not this safari-style.

Maybe more like this summer version, which was made up in a grass green and a sky blue.

This coat pattern is one that I would make today, if I lived in a cooler climate.

And I like this tunic-length vest.

There is an issue from 1975 with patterns just for jersey (from what I can guess, it is a long time since I studied German). Some of these reminded me of the styles being made by Johanna over at The Last Stitch.

I have a Kelly-green knit that I have been meaning to make up into a skirt suit with a white trim, a la Samantha from Bewitched. This pattern might be just about right.

So how does the magazine compare to today? Well, the format is remarkably similar. It still has a number of fashion patterns, made up in different fabrics. There are a lot less sizes, with most styles only given in one or two sizes. There is a plus section and sometimes a teen section and often a knitting/crochet pattern. There is an English supplement, with instructions for making up the patterns and one pattern has an illustrated sewing course. I like the names of the patterns...flattering dress, pretty dress, blousette and pants, smart designs, summer dress, young-style suit, attractive dress, charming dress, practical outfit and so on. I haven't read through the instructions to see how they compare to today's instructions. The main differences that I can see are that advertising content is included and there is a recipe collection in each issue. The editorial by Aenne Burda is quite philisophical....in one issue she makes clear on her opinion about people who give pets as presents without thinking of the consequences! And if you find tracing patterns confusing now, check out the pattern sheets then...

I also picked up 2 Japanese So-En sewing magazines from 1973; 2 Dressingmaking International magazines from the same year, published in Spanish; and The Co-ordinates Collection published in Great Britain, also from 1973. I might do a post on these another day.


  1. I'm just finishing a dress from a 1973 Burda. The sizing then was a ittle different, so check that before you make something in the size you would use now.

    I also had to add a lot of width to the upper sleeve - I think women in 1973 must have had stick arms!

  2. Those pantsuits take me back. I recall one of my teachers being sacked for wearing a trouser suit like this to school. It was considered immodest! She was probably the best teacher I ever had. Book week also takes we back...I made Dorothy, Alice, Pippi Longstocking and numerous witch costumes.

  3. Thanks for the memories. Oh how I remember those pattern sheets. Vireya is right too about the sizing/drafting. It's changed a few times along the way. Not so much the m'ments but the drafting side (the formulas).

  4. what a score. I am totally jealous. Can't wait to see what treasures you make from that lot!

    I first started buying Burda in the early 90's - they didn't survive my moving about sadly. Still, from time to time people do a clean out such as you found, so it's never to late to get them back...

  5. What a score!
    Man...tracing off those sheets would make my eyes fall out.
    Looking forward to seeing what you make.

  6. Great find! I loved the 'pants suit' my Mum made me when I was a kid in the seventies. I thought I was the ant's pants in that outfit!

  7. What a pretty housedress:-).. and a great scoop, I've bought a few of those Burda's myself a "few" years back, enjoy them!!!

  8. wow, what an awesome find? I haven't yet gotten into the Burda magazines, and I'm a little scared to.

    So many things to make!

  9. Hey, I wonder if these are the my mother's Burdas that dad chucked out in an unaccustomed fit of cleaning. I don't know how the marriage has survived!
    This post brings back memories. My mother was a Burda devotee back in the 70s and 80s (also Neue Mode which seems to have disappeared). As a girl, I loved picking out the patterns I liked, that Mum would duly make up. Now I'm making Burdas up myself - and yes, today's pattern sheets are a doddle compared to what they used to be.