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How BurdaStyle started: From 1898 Germany to today’s global empire.

Ever wonder what Burda is and how is all got started? In my first Burda blog post, I promised to give you a bit of a history lesson and some insight into where Burda began and how we all got here, on BurdaStyle.com.

Hubert Burda Media (founded by Hubert Burda’s grandfather, Franz Burda I) is a German magazine publishing company that started back in 1898. Hubert Burda Media currently publishes 229 different magazines internationally. Wow!

In 1949, Aenne Burda, Hubert Burda’s mother and Franz Burda II’s wife, decided to introduce a fashion magazine focused on sewing in order to make high fashion more accessible for every woman, particularly those who couldn’t afford to shop designer and those who didn’t have access to fashion because of where they lived. Thus began BurdaStyle magazine (initially called Burda Moden) in 1950, which was followed by a line of Burda sewing patterns that were included in the magazine a short two years later.

Fast forward to today, and BurdaStyle magazine — often referred to the world’s bestselling fashion magazine — is published in more than 99 countries, primarily in central and eastern Europe as well as Asia. (Did you know BurdaStyle magazine was the very first outside women’s glossy magazine to be sold in the former Soviet Union back in 1987? Now that’s impressive!)

That brings us here, BurdaStyle.com. BurdaStyle.com launched in 2007 as an online community for sewers. A place to share, learn, and grow — both technically and creatively. BurdaStyle.com is the largest sewing community online with over 850,000 members and over 7 million page views each month, and growing.

What’s your history with Burda? Are you a magazine subscriber and a committed Burda pattern sewer? Maybe this is your first foray into the Burda brand. I’d love to hear about YOUR connection with Burda.

19 Comments

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    Jun 27, 2013, 11.28 PMby keron

    Got to know about burdastyle online 2012 when I was looking for a way to improve myself in sewing. Trust me, since then, I can’t do without checking all the time for patterns and designs. I also modify those patterns to make new dresses for myself which other sees outside and copy. Am so happy I joined.

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    Jun 27, 2013, 11.28 PMby keron

    Got to know about burdastyle online 2012 when I was looking for a way to improve myself in sewing. Trust me, since then, I can’t do without checking all the time for patterns and designs. I also modify those patterns to make new dresses for myself which other sees outside and copy. Am so happy I joined.

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    Jun 27, 2013, 01.00 PMby Nkem Onyemachi

    Growing up in the 90’s my mum used to subscribe to Burda. She learnt with Burda Magazine. I don’t subscribe since there is an online version. Burda community really inspired me. I am not a regular sewist but its good to have a community that can bring out that fire in u again.

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    Jun 27, 2013, 09.58 AMby loulourosa

    My mum allways had burda, from the late 1960’s. She didn’t buy them but got them from a friend, who didn’t sew. So I grew up with Burda moden. For my clothes mum bought Burda for children. Later as a teenager I started sewing myself and I bought Carina burda (later Miss B) as these patterns where younger. In the 1980’s we also bought Burda International, these where more luxurious patterns, closer to high fashion. I still have all my mums Burda magazines and I love to browse them everytime I want to make something new. My husband had to build a bookrack to store them,…

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    Jun 24, 2013, 06.36 AMby olac

    I am a 3rd (or 4th?) generation sewer. Having grown up behind the iron curtain in the 80’s, we had the same issues as women in the 50’s in post-was Germany – no access to fashion, high or any other! Burda Moden was smuggled into Poland back then! My mother used the patterns so I grew up with them. They still offer the best fit if you ask me!

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    Jun 23, 2013, 12.47 PMby marmota-b

    P.S. I grew up looking through my mother’s several issues of various old-ish Burdas, and one of my favourite pastimes as a child was looking at the glamorous photographs and imagining stories for those people, and why they were wearing the clothes they were wearing… I think this pastime must have definitely influenced my interest in making my own clothes from early on!

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    Jun 23, 2013, 12.43 PMby marmota-b

    And Russian Burda then went back to Czechoslovakia; we have a few. Burda is still the most widespread sewing magazine in the Czech Republic, up to the point of practically having a monopole on the sewing consciousness. It’s not that surprising, with Germany being the neighbouring country we are an easy market!

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    Jun 22, 2013, 08.03 PMby marloncosta

    I am a member since 2008. My father was a tailor when young and he always made clothes for my brother and I. I went on to get a degree in fashion and today I work as a designer for a company in the US. I have developed a passion for kidswear and my main client now a days in my daughter. Check her blog www.kidsoutfitters.blogspot.com. I love burda because it is a place where I find other sewing crazies like me.

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    Jun 22, 2013, 04.19 PMby sewzgud

    I have bought Burda patterns at local fabric shops in the past.

    I discovered the Burdastyle.com website in early 2008. It was different from any other sewing/pattern website I had seen. The ability to download patterns was a novel, convenient and great idea!

    I love the patterns’ fresh and very current ideas. The details and interesting silhouettes make garments special. Now that you’ve added Webinars to the site, I’m more excited than ever. I attended the “Selling on Etsy” webinar. Even though I’ve had several small businesses, I found good - and NEW - information in the Webinar that was geared specifically to my current needs.

    I haven’t purchased the Burda magazine, but would like to, especially with all the positive comments about it in this blog.

    My mother taught me to use her sewing machine when I was 4. I later achieved a B.S. degree in Apparel, Textiles, and Design, with an emphasis (almost double major) in journalism. I wanted to be a fashion designer, moved to NYC, and became an editor of a trade publication in the home sewing and art needlework industries. But I still wanted to design clothing.

    I later moved back to the Midwest (Minneapolis, MN) and, at one point, I designed and created figure skating competition costumes, with clients throughout the U.S. and Canada. I designed for some high profile skaters in national competitions. I did this for 4 years. Then 9/11 happened and the world changed…

    I’ve worked in other fields - technical editing, commercial printing sales, etc. - but my love remains with fabrics (colors, textures, etc.)

    I am 61 now, and no longer dream of having my own fashion line of clothing. I do custom design, sewing, and finishing in my current small business. Also, I love to sew for my son’s “better half”, a lovely young woman who can wear styles that I no longer can.

    I love the Burdastyle site and spend time on it several times a week. Thanks so much making it available and for continuing to add wonderful, new designs and events!

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    Jun 22, 2013, 03.56 PMby Byanka Ayala

    I became interested in sewing after watching Project Runway and wanted to learn more. My cousin introduced me to BurdaStyle.com where I get a lot of inspiration and ideas for my projects (now a member since 2010). I tought my self to sew with the help of my mother. She tought me the basics of using a sewing machine and handed me down her 20 year old sewing machine. l don’t own a BurdaStyle Magazine but would love to some day.

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    Jun 22, 2013, 02.22 PMby A. Nguyen

    I’ve been a member of burdastyle.com since July 26, 2008. Strangely enough, I don’t have a single issue of Burda magazine! All the Burda patterns I have are from burdastyle.com

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    Jun 22, 2013, 10.43 AMby acornmanor

    I win you all! I used to “sew" dresses to my dolls when I was only two years old, in the atelier of my grandmother. Actually, I just punctured the cloths on the dolls with pins… I saw my first Burda when I was ten years old, when my mother bought them every month, just Burda, and nothing else, in German, Braves! And I bought them afterwards every month up to some years ago, when I discovered Burdastyle.com. However, I’ve decided that it’s not the same, and I will start to buy the magazine again. Just two last comments, I am 56 years old, and since 1996 I cannot even grasp nor the needle nor the scissors because of osteoarthritis deformans. That’s life! But I enjoy collecting patterns and magazines. Don’t worry, I can make crochet :)

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    Jun 22, 2013, 07.41 AMby camis

    I remember growing up with Burda Moden and Neckermann Catalogue as the only fashion inspiration available. They were brought in from Germany by the lucky enough to be allowed to leave the country. People had them on coffee tables, looking so used from being old and borrowed by everybody in the neighborhood. You needed a dress for a special occasion, you just took a Burda or a Neckermann to the seamstress and showed her the picture (by then, the pattern sheets in Burda where long gone). I rediscovered Burda in 2011 when I moved to Spain and at long last I bought my first sewing machine. I love to get the newest magazine and plan on which patterns I’ll make first. In the last two years I made so many dresses that soon there’ll be so place in the wardrobe for them.

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    Jun 21, 2013, 08.48 PMby schnui

    I bought my first Burda in 1973 and I took it to school where my home economics teacher happily showed me how to trace off the patterns. And I have never looked back and subscribed ever since. I am happiest when the postman delivers my Burda each month!!!!

    1 Reply
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      Jun 22, 2013, 01.16 AMby lottacurls

      Me, too! It’s my very favorite thing to receive in the mail =D

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    Jun 21, 2013, 07.01 PMby pattytidwell

    I found Burda patterns in a sewing shop in Massachusetts about 1984. The shop owner said people loved them for their fit and style. She was right! I loved the absence of seam allowances and sewed many a little corduroy jumper for my daughters from the pattern I bought that day. In researching the brand I came across the Burda Moden magazine and could not believe for approximately $5 I could get 100 patterns, or something like that. When the magazine came in the mail, I nearly abandoned it from fright over the pattern pages that looked like an engineering masterpiece! And it was! Luckily, I had a friend from Holland and she had sewn with them many years. She showed me how easy it was to copy what you wanted and I was off! Have introduced many a seamstress to Burda over the years. Love them! And I used to love the editorials by Anne Burda – all the different topics. Would be fun to reprint some of those.

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    Jun 21, 2013, 05.17 PMby Monica Vidal

    I´m from Brazil, and I grew up in the 70´s looking through Burda magazines while my mom sew clothes and toys for me and my brother. I used to make some dresses for my dolls too. I´m 44 now, and she just gave me a sewing machine, along with many Burda issues, and I learning how to make my own clothes. She always says if I follow the magazine instructions nothing can go wrong !

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    Jun 21, 2013, 04.01 PMby julietta

    I grew up with Burda Moden because my mom has been sewing with their patterns. After I started sewing myself, I bought the magazine every once in a while. In 2001 I finally became a subscriber and have been ever since. I also bought old issues from the 60s and 70s of the magazine on flea markets and love looking through them. Many garments in my closet are created with Burda patterns and I love that I can sew a straight 36 and it will fit like a glove almost always.

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    Jun 21, 2013, 03.41 PMby nouvellegamine

    I discovered Burda in 2007 at a local bookstore. I soon moved on to getting a subscription. Usually I subscribe for 6 months and start with the August issue each year, because the summer patterns are never very interesting to me. My wedding dress was from a Burda pattern and everyone loved it, including myself :)

    My favorite patterns are the vintage and vintage inspired patterns. Anything from the 20s to the late 70s.

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