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Updated: June 9, 2011
Dear BurdaStylers,

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful, intelligent responses. BurdaStyle is home to not only the most talented sewers in the world, but also some of the brightest, most articulate community members on the world wide web. Our team has heard your input, and sincerely appreciate them. This has been a very meaningful learning experience for us.

The patterns featured were created out of a specific cultural focus, tailored to the audience of their designers. Nonetheless, we are a worldwide community, and absolutely understand that what was showcased may not suit all of the diverse styles found within our community.

We strive to promote a healthy perspective on fashion and image, one that celebrates the myriad expressions of beauty we see everyday. It was never our intention to offend anyone. The expression of who you are is what makes BurdaStyle such an inspiring platform.

In the future, we will work hard to showcase patterns that represent a wide range of tastes, and a pattern collection that flatters a spectrum of body types. We will also make diligent efforts to communicate any significant revisions we make to our editorial content.

The conversations that occur on BurdaStyle cover a range of subjects, and we can always count on our community to express themselves in a thoughtful way. These situations (as uncomfortable as they can be) are incredible resources for us to learn more about our community. The BurdaStyle team may be small, but we each give 110% when it comes to making BurdaStyle a better place.


These new patterns may just make up some of your favorite new wardrobe staples— and they are available in sizes 44-52! Read on and get the downloads and styling tips…

A-line Dress with Puff Sleeves: This sweet dress is stylish and chic, and it translates just as beautifully in a solid as it does in prints— go bold and loose in a silk print, or try a leopard print in cotton, or follow Chloe’s lead in black and white florals! (…above)

Kaftan with Skirt: A kaftan isn’t necessarily just meant for lounging around the pool but you can cut it from chiffon to wear over your swimsuit; or for more coverage, make it in an opaque print and you’ve got a summery dress; or try this pattern in a bright red that pops for a cocktail look!

Bubble Dress: Bubble can spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e for anyone of not done right— but there are some very classy ways to make this look work. Try a bright, solid color like orange to reveal the style lines of the pattern; or use jersey for a draped and fluid look; or make a cocktail dress with metallic or sequined fabric.

Shift Dress: A simple shift can be made a thousand ways. Try adding a waist to this pattern with a belt or by altering the pattern and cut it from a nice print; a bright red shift makes a great day-to-night look; adding sleeves can cover up the upper arms while creating an interesting effect.

Shirt Dress: Don’t be alarmed by the technical drawing, this pattern has 2 sleeve options. A simple navy linen has a nice drape and structured feel; a sheer, bold print makes this a great layering piece; and by using a striped fabric you have a more Mod look while lending the rectangular shape of the pattern more dimension.

Long Sleeved Dress: This long sleeved dress with pockets looks like a cocktail dress if cut in slinky black fabric; and makes for a fun day dress in a plaid; in a khaki silk, this dress has a safari feel.


  • 2248651388_b7dff371cd_large

    Jun 7, 2011, 06.13 PMby victors

    Its also quite ridiculous to pay twice for a sleeve variation, whats that all about?

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    Jun 7, 2011, 04.53 PMby prettysweet

    I hate these. I usually always hate the magazine’s plus size offerings, which is why I stopped buying the magazine. I’m either offered sacks or things that are tight in weird places. (Occasionally, there is something good, I won’t lie. But they are few and far between.) I got tired of looking at all the pictures of great clothes and wishing they were in my size. And I do know how to grade them up.

    I get that plus sized bodies are sized differently, but like any sewist, we are responsible for fitting the pattern to our bodies. Patterns are a template, not a “guaranteed to fit everybody who uses them” kind of deal. Even smaller folks have to adjust their patterns to fit. I think we can too.

    And if the big 4 can size their patterns to a US 20, I think you guys can too.

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Jun 7, 2011, 06.45 PMby denise2003

      I agree! I’m a size 18 since menopause. I’m well within normal range for my age. When I was a size 12 I was also well within normal range for my age. Real people need clothes, too.

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    Jun 7, 2011, 04.47 PMby wzrdreams

    I have to agree with the other posters. I’m a 44 and I know for a fact that sack shapes do NOT flatter my body. I am an hourglass, not an apple. I need waist definition and curve enhancing silhouettes. I need to show that I do infact have a waist. If I let dresses hang off my DDs I will look and feel about 20lbs heavier than I actually am. There is a disconnect between the design conscept and the patterns offered. Many of the garment examples given have waist definition, but the patterns do not.

  • Missing

    Jun 7, 2011, 04.38 PMby pollyjane

    Not too impressed. I prefer some of your other stuff, darlings!

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    Jun 7, 2011, 03.53 PMby sade-

    I forgot to add that I’m sure some of BurdaStyle’s members with bigger sizes would be happy to sew and model samples should the pattern (and perhaps fabric?) be provided by Burda, or at least offer some help or discount for pattern-sampling-members.

    We all want to see the patterns on people we see more often walking the street (I’m not going to say “normal people” because there is no such thing as normal people).

    2 Replies
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      Jun 7, 2011, 04.48 PMby wzrdreams

      I would totally volunteer for this!

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      Jun 7, 2011, 09.18 PMby paranoire

      Totally volunteering.

      I don’t want to see the BurdaStyle team bashed each and every time they present plus size patterns — there has to be a way to make this work for all of us.

      And also, I wouldn’t be so into sponsored fabric for various reasons (could be just me…) but we COULD have a little contest or sew-along of some kind for people beyond dress size 44. Show that we can look awesome in great fitting clothes and in return maybe get a blog feature wth the results of our efforts. Wouldn’t that be somewhat more productive than just complaining?

      Maybe we could also have a weekly curvy figure project featured in the front page projects. Three featured project slots should allow for this, no?

      We should do this! :D

      PS: I mailed BurdaStyle with some of my ideas, hope they get back to me :) All the complaining fucks up my… zen… stuff.

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    Jun 7, 2011, 03.33 PMby orchardcity

    “Bubble can spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e for certain silhouettes” “adding sleeves can cover up the upper arms” “Don’t be alarmed by the technical drawing”

    Wow, it’s not even 9 am, and I already feel like I’ve gotten a whole day’s worth of disrespect thanks to this article.

    No matter my silhouette, or the size I wear, I’m not interested in reading judgements of what “trouble” I may get into with my chosen clothing. I’m also tired of reminders to cover my upper arms. That aside, technical drawings are unlikely to “alarm” me: If they did, I doubt I’d be reading a pattern website at all.

    Please give your readers more credit than this, Burda Style.

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    Jun 7, 2011, 03.15 PMby sewno

    All those dresses look like sacks with a belt or bit of elastic cinching in the waist. so depressing

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    Jun 7, 2011, 02.16 PMby bhghatesyou

    this is yet another reason i am unable to make clothing using patterns. i am a “plus size” woman. but first i am a woman. i do not want to wear sacks or bubble dresses?!? it is would seem that you have no women of a larger size working for you because hopefully they would have told you how bad these patterns were. i dont understand why the patterns you make can not be made for EVERY size. if you think they will look off or not translate let the consumer make that determination. at least have information about resizing your patterns so we can have a go. plus size women are people too and by having seperate patterns and special features on dressing plus size women we will always been seen as different. i am not different i am a human woman and i can wear anything i like. i guess i will have to stick with making my own patterns for myself and be happy that i am able to sew and have nice things.

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    Jun 7, 2011, 02.02 PMby mojo elgin

    Ditto to everything said here. If anyone larger than a size 10 is plus sized, I’ve been plus sized all my adult life. I have always struggled to find clothing and patterns that “look my age” and fit well without being sack-like. We big girls like to look pretty and stylish, too! I love some of the Burda patterns I’ve seen here, but I have no idea how to size them up to a US20. So I dream…

    2 Replies
    • Missing

      Jun 7, 2011, 06.41 PMby denise2003

      Yes— at my skinniest (I’m talking very skinny here) I was a size 12. The funny thing is that sizes 10, 12, and 14 are the ones that most adult women wear, and it has always been that way. The phrase “plus sized” doesn’t mean anything but “not painfully skinny.” Also, we are not all overweight and we are all different.

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      Jun 7, 2011, 06.45 PMby rhianna78

      By those size definitions I’ve been a “plus” size since I was about 12. That’s when I hit 6’ tall & had to have size 10/12 pants for the length of the inseam & to fit my butt. That’s rather telling that “plus” for some of us is puberty & 20lbs underweight.

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    Jun 7, 2011, 11.53 AMby sade-

    There don’t look appealing to me at all. I had the magazine in my hands and looked at the “plus size” patterns to see if it was worth buying. I put it back in the shelf, because this is nothing that I would wear. I don’t find them flattering on the models, and I don’t find them flattering on bigger women.

    I know drafting patterns for “plus sized” women is hard. The curves are different, the shoulder-bust-waist-hip ratio is different. Some will need an under-structure like Coreyart says, but some will not. There is a difference between a normal height waist skirt and a high waisted skirt. And the high waisted one will always (not only for “plus” sizes) benefit from under-structure / boning. A shirt doesn’t need an under-structure, it needs to be drafted carefully: shoulders are often not much broader for “big” sizes than for “standard”, while “plus” will need to be adapted for a more generous bust (C-D-E-F or bigger cup, versus the normally used B cup). Some “plus” sized women will have the narrowest part of their torso quite close to their underbust, while others will nip closer to navel height. Some will have a big difference between waist and hips, some won’t. Hip height differs. Sleeve and trouser leg widths and lengths are also different. I could go on and on.

    I know it is impossible for Burda (or any other company, for what it matters) to draft patterns that suit each of us. And I am not asking for that. But a few well drafted patterns that take more of the issues stated above into consideration, and that make us look like women wearing clothes and not women wearing a sheet would be appreciated by every body.

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    Jun 7, 2011, 11.41 AMby rhianna78

    Why is it that plus sized patterns & clothes look like circus tents? Not only have you chosen bad patterns for “plus sized” (as though there’s a “minus size”), you’ve gone to the point of being insulting in the descriptions. Big, Fat, Plus sized, I don’t care what you call me but I assure you I will NOT be going out in public in mumus because Burda says that’s the best they can do.

    I wear jeans. I wear dress shirts. I wear knits. There is no excuse for a professional pattern company (who does fantastic patterns btw) to be putting this out. If this is the best you can do for women who have butts, thighs, stomachs or boobs, don’t do it at all. This is purely half-ass & as a home sewer who makes many of my own patterns, I expect more of a professional company!

    WHY are your “plus sized” clothes modeled on women that are – at best, a size 3/4 US)? Is that what Burda is now saying is PLUS sized? Or are those of us that are taller, wider, etc than the ‘norm’ supposed to want to look like these women? With these hideous, & I MEAN hideous, outfits I don’t want to buy anything from your company. Considering I’ve bought Burda patterns & they go together fabulously this is not a good look for your company, nor would it be a good look on me.

    I happen to like the kaftan, but as a SHIRT, not a long shirt with shorts/skirt. It gives you flow with the summer coming up but with a fitted under (if sewn properly).

    This is unacceptable Burda Style. This is neither style, nor the Burda quality I’ve come to expect. I am VERY disappointed.

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    Jun 7, 2011, 11.03 AMby janul

    I agree that these are not very flattering… but often I really like the plus – size patterns in the magazine and find them prettier than the “normal” ones. It´s not the case with these 6, but quite often the normal patterns (i.e. for jackets, coats) are pretty boxy in the magazine, while the plus – sized have some nice lines…

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    Jun 7, 2011, 09.26 AMby paranoire

    is it just me, or are all of these rather square-ish?

    Sometimes I feel with the Burdastyle people because they always get their fair share of bashing when they try to introduce “plus” patterns. It’s great that they do it at all, and we should acknowledge that. I also see that making samples and shooting all of them is labor- and cost intensive, so I don’t get worked up about the pictures of standard models they use to illustrate their patterns. it would be nice, if we could at least get more curvy Burdastyle-Team interpretations of the dresses later on.

    But while we’re into summer and therefore loose, flowy garments might be appropriate and hip, at least one cute, fitted dress would’ve been nice :) We’re not hanging out at the park or beach 24/7.

    Appreciate the effort, but you can do better, Burda!

  • Missing

    Jun 7, 2011, 08.02 AMby varenoea

    Burda, if you want to know how to sell summer dresses to plus-sized girls, look at H&M’s strategy. Plus-sized models wearing dresses that bring out the curves instead of hiding them. Here, that’s how you do it:


    I’m not even near overweight, and I almost bit into my desk reading that article.

  • Missing

    Jun 7, 2011, 07.56 AMby varenoea

    The phrase “Illusion of a waistline” is bad enough, but how are they going to create the illusion of slim-ness with these stripes??

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    Jun 7, 2011, 07.52 AMby ruthw

    I am not plus size, but reading the responses to this post, I am confused. People are saying, “these styles won’t work on plus-size gals,” and also, “why don’t you give us the same styles as the standard sizes?” Which do you want?

    2 Replies
    • Missing

      Jun 7, 2011, 06.34 PMby denise2003

      What we want is to wear something flattering. We want the same clothes you wear. How can you be confused? Shapeless bags only look good on skinny women, and sometimes not even them. We deserve much better.

    • Clayje_large

      Jun 8, 2011, 05.49 AMby Jane Smith

      Gee, ruthw, that was a little catty. I am plus sized, although at 50 I sometimes walk into a clothing store and ask for the fat lady clothes. Fitting larger women, especially short ones, is a whole nother ballgame. Because the fashion design industry is focused on walking clotheshangers, patternmakers seem to have no idea how to handle the fuller angles and curves of real women. Palmer and Pletsch have done a fantastic job of teaching women to fit themselves no matter what size they are. To answer your question “Which do you want?”
      we want exactly what you do: garments that fit well and flatter.

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    Jun 7, 2011, 06.28 AMby amandala

    why not just add “plus sized” sizes to the patterns you upload from now on instead of having them made for “average” women only. this is an insult and i find it insulting that burda had to make a special post to have plus sized patterns.

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    Jun 7, 2011, 03.06 AMby lila-1

    Aside from the fact that you have modeled the ‘plus size’ designs on skinny girls (wth??), the majority of these patterns are bordering on muumuus… hmm – sexy. Why dont you just make all the patterns you normally release in small – plus sizes and give plus sized women the choice in whether or not they think the design will suit them.

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    Jun 7, 2011, 03.05 AMby wildflower31

    these paterns are horrible, burda you are missing out, women with curves are fashionistas as well. I really like many of your patterns and have been trying to learn pattern grading so i can make them to fit my curvacious frame. When I saw this post I was excited, I thought it was about time there were plus size patterns avaliable, now i am just offended by what you have offered me as your consumer. I have a waist, but I also have hips and ample bottom. FIT ME DON"T COVER ME! © maybelline

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    Jun 7, 2011, 02.35 AMby saturnrox6

    These models barely have curves, your saying that these are clothes for big girls but couldn’t take the next step, and make a divination from the norm and throw some plus sized models in there. I wish you guys would of gone all the way with this, the clothes look nice on the models but i agree with most of the the people that posted that these clothes on someone that’s not a bean pole would be unflattering. A good opportunity to have a positive page, and a nice set of patterns for plus sized girls has been missed this time but it would be nice to see a redo with the pics or something.

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    Jun 7, 2011, 02.07 AMby Julianne Siadek

    I can’t really weigh in (ha!) on if these are good styles for plus-sized gals cause I don’t see any examples :P

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    Jun 7, 2011, 02.01 AMby Crystal Henson

    As a plus size gal myself, I would NEVER wear anything in the top 4 photos. I’ve made myself better fitting clothes than that and in WAY better fabrics. (The top one looks like a couple of mumus. Sorry, but I don’t wear mumus.)

    The blue dress is okay. I could rock that.

    Maybe you guys should do a little market research before coming out with these bags and calling them “super chic”. :P (Still love ya, Burda!)

    1 Reply
    • Dodo_large

      Jun 7, 2011, 03.00 AMby lila-1

      Agreed. These are bags. Plus sized does not mean Bag Lady

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    Jun 7, 2011, 12.48 AMby queenieslearnin2sew

    As a plus size gal myself I totally agree with everything that everyone else has said. Ill fitting clothes is one of the reasons I decided to teach myself to sew. These styles are awful. You have so many cute patterns that I would love to try but being a newby I’m not sure how to size them up to fit me. Why not make some of your more popular patterns in a plus size. That being said these “new” patterns only go to a size 20 US. You should make them available up to a 24 at least.

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    Jun 6, 2011, 11.56 PMby Blimunda

    I must agree with everyone: as a plus size I DO NOT WANT TO WEAR A BAG WITH HUGLY STRIPES OR EVEN HUGLIER PRINTS. And bubble?? Are you mocking the curvy women? Why not ANY of the simple coffee dresses or skirts? Why the specially designed way too short and way too loose and way to flashy cloths? For that I would juts go to any store for bigger sizes and would not bother to make it myself.

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    Jun 6, 2011, 11.44 PMby Jane3866

    I agree with both the above. Who are you trying to kid. Why not put the “plus size” dresses on plus size models? I’ll tell you why….it would be a joke. How many plus size women want puff sleeves? Bubble dress??? Who wants to feel like a bigger bubble? Maybe you should stick with what you do best patterns for the small to average person.

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Jun 7, 2011, 10.14 PMby denise2003

      Average sized women are considered “plus size.”

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    Jun 6, 2011, 11.41 PMby Coreyart

    Honestly, making clothes for plus-sized figures can sometimes require careful fitting, and understructure, which is probably more than a home sewer can handle. Sewing for larger figures isn’t always as simple as it seems, so the default offering by most pattern companies is usually loose-fitting garments that they feel most home sewers can tackle on their own. A too-complicated pattern requiring advanced construction techniques means fewer and fewer people will buy it because the required skill levels are just too high.

    That being said, if you’re going to market to the plus-size crowd, show some sensitivity and common sense—at least get appropriate models that demonstrate you know what you’re talking about!! Garments don’t work the same way on size 8’s the way they do on size 44’s. That’s just obvious. Burda, you’ve sorta insulted the very demographic you’re trying to woo into purchasing your garments…

    Beyond that, who is making the decisions for pattern selection for your company? These choices are not your strongest. The whole thing comes off as a bit sloppy business-wise…

    3 Replies
    • Missing

      Jun 7, 2011, 07.54 AMby varenoea

      Most of these girls are never a size 8. Size 4, more likely…

    • Missing

      Jun 7, 2011, 07.42 PMby denise2003

      Actually, plus sized women are just normal women. We do not require any more understructure or fitting than other women do. It is the models who are abnormal. What we do need are proper bras, since we actually have something to put in them, but that is another issue entirely.

    • Clayje_large

      Jun 8, 2011, 05.55 AMby Jane Smith

      Thank you, sir, for your comments. The first three dresses posted were shockingly bad. I’m almost tearful that Burda would even consider those. Honestly, a bubble dress on an apple shape would make me suicidal enough to pull the ice cream out of the freezer. And the fabrics! Aaaaack!

  • Missing

    Jun 6, 2011, 11.35 PMby denise2003

    As much as I hate to admit it, the other posters are right. For everyone’s information, most “plus sized” women don’t need the “illusion” of a waist. It is the skinny model-types who need that! Believe me, I have an obvious waist, whether I am small or large, and I am “plus sized” even when I’m painfully skinny. These patterns do not interest me at all. Shed the propaganda and open your eyes to reality! Those of us with actual curves where they should be are always called “plus sized.” We don’t have anything to hide.

    • This is a question
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