18 May 2008

Burda World of Fashion Organization

In my last post, I described how I have been inspired to actually sew from my BWOF magazines. I mean I have issues back to 2005 and at this point, I have made up maybe 4 patterns, so I figured it was time to start using these fabulous patterns.

So, I decided to first do a little organizing. Many seamstresses photocopy the "All Styles at a Glance" pages and place them in a 3-ring binder for easy perusal. I had been doing that, but I always found myself dragging out the actual magazine each time I was curious about suggested fabrics and fabric requirements. As well, as useful as the line drawings are, I find myself far more inspired by the actual model shots - showing the garment made up and on a real person.

So, decided to undertake an organizational odyssey (sometimes us obsessive compulsive folks have to make up our own brand of fun). I went through each issue that I own and put together pages (arranged by month and year) containing model shots, line drawings, fabric suggestions and yardage for any and all patterns that struck my fancy. Burda made this all the easier for me by putting archives of the last three years on line. I have included a screen shot of the February 2008 page. Although it was time-consuming, it was really easy to do in Word (any word processing program would also work) - just cut, paste and add text boxes.

Now I can flip through these pages to determine what will make it on to my sewing list. I already have a bunch of "must-sews" and I am in the process of matching fabrics to these future residents of my clothes closet.

There are a few things I noticed during this endeavour. Firstly, some months I am in love with almost everything in the issue and other months I am really quite apathetic about the majority of offerings. Does anyone else find this to be the case with them too?

Secondly, it is amazing how often Burda repeats certain style lines. They usually spruce things up by adding different details, but on the whole there is a lot of overlap. I guess this just goes to show that Carolyn is right - when you find something that works, why reinvent the wheel? Even Burda has a whole slew of TNT patterns that they periodically revisit.

ETA: Burda Archives 2004 - 2008 - thank you Sigrid!!

30 comments:

Adrienne said...

What a GREAT idea!!!!!!

Beatrice said...

I found your blog through the Timmel SWAP results page, and I really like what you are doing!

Wow, your Burda organization is really neat. I go to their website, too, and save the model pictures and technical drawings every month but I don't add all that info and I never thought of printing it, just keep it on the computer.

And yes, some Burda issues are full of good stuff, others are not.

Well, I will stop babbling now, just wanted to say I really enjoy your blog.

Beatrice in Germany

designdreamer said...

I received my first Burda issue this month, and was so excited to do so, but . . . . . I was a little disappointed in the offerings this month. I really, really loved many of the April patterns, and when I called to ask if they could start my subscription with it, of course it's sold-out.

Leslie said...

Hi Shannon. That's a great way to work with the magazine patterns. I've been doing something like this for all the patterns in my stash for the past few years. I use a database program so I can switch between "layouts." Each pattern has its own full page, but I also have a layout similar to yours. I include the yardage requirements so that I can print it out and take it with me to the fabric stores.

Summerset said...

Funny - I find that I'm more inspired by the line drawings. Plus, there is always some little detail on that back that you miss if you don't look at the line drawings front and back within the actual instructions. Sometimes that makes or breaks a garment for me.

I do have to agree with you regarding the content. Sometimes I love the whole issue and other times it's, "What were they thinking?". Overall, I still like BWOF very much, so what's an issue or two that I don't like but maybe one garment from?

Maggie said...

Shannon,
You really are a glutton for punishment! Just kidding. You are right about the repeats in BWOF. When you look at the line drawings, you see the similarities. I have a ton of them and will try to at least copy the page with all the styles for reference. (a summer project for teachers eh?) I know you loved the raglan sleeve tee from a couple of years ago. Might try that one soon. The pant patterns are usually different though. Anyway, I'll be waiting and watching all of your progress.
Marguerite

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Shannon - I developed the TNT theory for two reasons - one when I worked in the garment district, the patternmaker did not start from scratch each and every time a design was made...they would use an older sloper or pieces of another design to come up with a new garment...so I think some of that training sticks with me still.

The second is that for years I was lazy about fit. I like the fabric, sewing and design portion of sewing better so after I got a pattern to fit...I just kept reusing it!

If you really think about it, clothing comes in several basic shapes and what makes it different is the fabric and the details. Probably why I got this whole vintage thing going on now! :) 'Cause I love the details!

Nancy K said...

Yes, some issues there are nothing I want to wear and others I just love. I have been getting these for enough years that I really notice the same style lines. Sometimes the collar is a different size or there are some other minor style changes.
Your efforts are wonderful to see, but exhausting to contemplate doing!
I love BWOF for the fit, fashion, and because I have lots of pieces to put together if I want to. But, what really annoys me is that invariably there are pieces I want to make, and no those are not the pattern, but rtw.

Nancy W. said...

This looks wonderful, and like you, I find myself going back and pulling out the magazines to find model photos and fabric information. I have line drawings in a binder and often handwrite fabric info if I think I'm interested in it. Problem is, what I'm interested in now is usually not the same as what I will be interested in six months from now.

Sigrid said...

How organized! Wonderful idea to combine picture and line drawing like this.
One little tip: click on DE (for German) as language and you will go back to 2004 in the archives.

Vicki said...

What a great idea! But like Summmerset says, sometimes the interesting details are on the back. I suppose you could note that in your text box.

I noticed too the repeat patterns and like you some months don't interest me. I just wish I didn't have to trace and fit!

toy said...

this is so cool, what a great system

cidell said...

Oh. Nice. I wish I had the patience for this. Especially since I inherited two years worth with no editorial photos (just the pattern and line drawings).

Caity said...

I agree some months the Burda is just *meh*. Other months I want to make nearly everything!

I love your idea of actually having reference sheets to flick through. Not obsessive compulsive at all *wink*!

Elaray said...

Shannon! My long lost sister! I started a BWOF index about a year and a half ago. It's easier for me because I only use the plus size offerings. It took some time to get started, but now that I have a template and I do it every month it takes no longer than 15 minutes. Let's hear it for the obsessive-compulsives!!

jemima bean said...

Me, you & Elaray! I started mine last summer too. I haven't done the past several months, I gotta have something compulsive to play with on summer break, right?? :P (I'm out June 4...plus a few PD days after that. 6-7 weeks of freedom. Happy sigh.)

Dawn said...

This is PERFECT! I get my first subscription in June and I think I will start something like this from the get-go. Thanks for sharing how you organize. They have such good stuff but sometimes they have so much good stuff I get overwhelmed.

Mardel said...

That is nice. I do something very similar, but my binder is broken down by type of garment so there are probably more pages, and it is taking me a l.o.n.g time to do the ones that date before the online archive.

I sometimes think organizing is some kind of disease.

Katrin said...

What an amount of work, great. I have the issues by subscription starting from 2000 and if I am just thinking of making an archive....gasp...
I have the same opinion about Burda, although they repeat the same patterns quite often through the years with adding a little detail here and there...
I usually find something in any issue so I always resist from throwing them away...although my limited space would be happy if I do so.
Best regards,
Katrin

Debbie Cook said...

Great organization, but as OCD as I can be, I know I wouldn't take the time to make up those pages. I'd rather sew. LOL! I organize mine the lazy way ... I just pull the entire newsprint insert out and file that in page protectors in a big binder, with the At A Glance line drawings facing outward. (I file the pattern sheets in my pattern cabinet.)

I also want to see the back view and so I need the insert to see that. I don't usually need to see the photo, but now that much of the older issues are archived online, it's easy to pull up a photo (the enlarged version is best) and peek without having to flip through the actual magazines.

I agree some months seem bleh to me and others I love right away. But I also find that it changes over time. An issue I may not be thrilled with when it arrives in the mailbox becomes a new favorite 6 months later.

Zoe said...

I agree that there are a lot of repeats. My plan is to only take up a subcription every four or five years when the old magazines start to look dated. (My first one is due to run out in a couple of months.) It also gives me a chance to sew up all the stuff I'm dying to make without the pressure of more and more 'must haves' turning up. With the money I am saving on the subscription I can get a few vogue or vintage patterns to fill any gaps and spend the rest on great fabric.

Christina said...

Ooooh, I am so copying this. Great idea!

Audrey said...

I also enjoy looking through old issues. I have them back through the late 80's. I look at both the line drawings and pictures. I find that my reviews of old issues are usually motivated by a search for a certain style or silhouette. It is different every time. Back in the 2000, 2001 time frame, the same pattern would be featured two months in a row with only slight variations. Thanks for the link to the archives. I am working on a jacket from a 2005 issues and wondered how to get the line drawing to use on the review.

Cathe said...

That is a really great idea. Someday I will do that.... when I have time.

I am usually more inspired by the line drawings, but it's nice to see the photographs, too.

Thanks!

angie.a said...

You & Me both Shannon! I'm glad I"m not the only one less than enchanted with this season. I've been irritated since the 3rd episode. The first episode was amazing, the 2nd was really good too and since then it's gone downhill for me. Has Lee even really had any lines since the first episode?? I mean, he's basically a supporting character now instead of a lead.

I'm disappointed in the decision to remove him from the military too. Apollo is a pilot, period. I like him half clothed too, but there's something about that Viper ;)

lorrwill said...

How hearteningly encouraging/disturbing that I spent most of the past weekend cataloging most of my patterns. I got as far as a table with the name, number, thumbnail and catagory (accessory, dresses, skirts, etc.) Now I am going back to add the line art and yardages. Oh such OCD fun we have!

When Ladies Dressed said...

You're so organized. Perhaps when I move I'll get myself into gear!

Claire said...

Ok, that's way too organized for me. ;o) I have total admiration for anyone taking on these types of projects. I would love to take on a project such as this, but the upkeep would drive me mad. My unused (read all 5 or 6 years) are intact and residing in date order in cardboard magazine holders. That is the extent of my organization, and I'm pretty impressed with myself that I got this far. LOL!!!

I agree that sometimes I love everything in an issue and other times nothing floats my boat. I do have to look at the line drawings as I find the models and odd poses distracting.

Tany said...

I organize my wish list from BWOF on a very similar way!

And I agree with you conclusions. I find that they repeat the same stylelines a lot. But I like when they use the same base pattern with different fabrics and details all in the same magazine. It opens my mind to more and different possibilities. There are also issues that would make me sew almost every garment in them and others where I just can't find a single pattern that appeals to me

perlchyk said...

"Firstly, some months I am in love with almost everything in the issue and other months I am really quite apathetic about the majority of offerings. Does anyone else find this to be the case with them too?"

Absolutely. This year, I haven't been much inspired by any of them, and I think I'll go back and dig out some stuff I made last year and do new versions. That has the advantage of knowing what works.

I will photocopy the style pages. I can't believe I didn't think of that the 100th time I dug through all of them. Thanks for the post!