Friday, August 19, 2016

Magazine overload

When I first traveled to Europe I scoured the news stands for pattern magazines. My husband was patient and accommodating when I'd pass one and say "just a sec, let me pop in here." Fortunately magazines don't cost a lot and don't take up too much room in a suitcase. I had a subscription to the English version of Burda through GLP News but that was not enough. I wanted Patrones, La Mia Boutique, Knipmode, Ottobre, etc., etc. The clothes in those magazines seemed more interesting and it was fun to see all the different languages and even more fun to find them during our travels. Truth be told, I mostly browsed the magazines like I would a fashion mag and sewed up a few things from a French issue called "Diana Couture."

When I first moved to Europe I still scoured the news stands for pattern magazines. With unreliable and slow mail service to my APO mailbox, I dropped my Burda subscription and started buying the German issues from the news stand. Although I could get a subscription in Germany, buying them gives me a "mission" every month to visit the news stand. Plus I get to discover - and buy - other sewing magazines I see on the shelves. At first I bought just about everything I found, but it turns out there are a lot of sewing magazines available in Germany, and now my shelves are stuffed. Although I have sewn a few more things from non-Burda magazines, I still have acquired far more than I would ever use. I have had to stop. Well...cut down at least.

I'm not kidding that there are a lot of sewing magazines. Actually there are a lot of magazines period in Germany - they really do like their magazines. Still, I was amazed at the number of sewing, knitting, crochet, patchwork, and other craft magazines that are available - they take up the two top rows of the shelf in the picture below. I've noted all the pattern magazines that have women's clothing (there are 10!) with yellow arrows. But that's not even all that are available in Germany (sometime La Mia Boutique in the international section for example), and I didn't point out the magazines exclusively for children's or baby clothes. By the way, this is a magazine rack in a department store, not a specialty news stand. I often buy Burda and a few others at the grocery store.

Lots of magazines!

Overflow of sewing pattern magazines!

The 10 magazines are:
  1. Burdastyle
  2. Budastyle Plus
  3. Burdastyle Easy
  4. Ottobre Design Woman
  5. Fashion Style (Knipmode translated into German)
  6. Meine Nähmode (Simplicity/New Look patterns reprinted and translated into German)
  7. Näh-Style (used to be Diana Moden)
  8. Nähtrends (Patrones translated into German)
  9. Lust auf Handarbeiten
  10. Sabrina Woman
As for the baby and children issues, I saw Burda Kids and Poppy and something with a name like "Nähen Baby", and they'll have the children's Ottobre issues when they're current. I also didn't point out the crafty-type sewing magazines for making decorative items or toys. The rest of the issues on that first shelf are mostly knitting magazines.

If you are interested in these magazines, you can find them here: The site is in English (or German) and it looks like they ship to the US too. I'm not affiliated with them and get nothing in return for sending your business to them.

I've cut my magazine buying down to Burdastyle, Fashion Style (Knipmode), Meine Nähmode and Ottobre Woman. The first two are monthly, there are about 6 Meine Nähmode issues per year and two Ottobre Woman issues - still a lot of magazine buying! The Burda Plus and Easy issues don't provide me anything more interesting than what I get in the regular Burdastyle. Patrones clothing looks to young for me, so I usually pass. I used to get Näh-Style and Sabrina Woman but their clothes are really basic and essentially repeat everything I already have from them. I have sewn a two things from Sabrina Woman, though. I've flipped through Lust auf Handarbeiten, which is a recent publication, and haven't seen anything to prompt me to buy it.

It goes without saying that all of these pattern magazines have a nightmarish mess of pattern lines to trace. Some are better than others. For as much as everyone complains about Burda, I think they're actually the best ones I have experience tracing. Knipmode and Sabrina are the worst. Knipmode because all sizes from 34 to 54 are printed for each style, and Sabrina because they only use black and red. Actually I think Knipmode only uses two colors also.

The instructions are another issue with pattern magazines. They tend to be short because there can be a lot of patterns packed into one magazine. Everyone gripes about short Burda instructions. Sabrina Woman and Näh-Style are also very brief, but the garments are simple. Ottobre have fewer patterns per issue so they devote more space to instructions. Meine Nähmode reprints the Simplicity and New Look instructions translated into German, along with the illustrations, which can be helpful but the illustrations are very small and sometimes Simplicity and New Look over-explain. I've spent lots of time stumped translating the German back to English only to find the instruction was something basic like "turn right side out." The best instructions I have found are in Knipmode. They print instructions with illustrations for basic things like sewing collars or pockets in the beginning of the instruction section and then refer you to read those sections if and when they come up. You do a bit of page flipping but overall I've found the instructions to be more thorough. But I've sewn a grand total of one Knipmode top and read through the instructions for the top I'm currently making, so what do I know?

Though I've "cut back" (32 magazines a year is a lot!), storage is a problem and it's only getting worse. I hesitate to throw away (recycle) any patterns because you never know when I might want to sew one of them, right? I've streamlined some of the issues by digitally photographing the model pictures in the glossy part and saving only the patterns and the instructions. I tried not buying Knipmode but they keep putting great stuff in their magazines and I can't resist. Digital pdf files are an option - all of Burda's patterns are available through online purchase, and some of Knipmode's as well, but I dislike printing and taping pieces of paper together even more than tracing. I made one pdf pattern and wasted a lot paper trying to get the printout correct.

So what to do? Stay away from news stands I guess! And sew more to justify buying them.

1 comment:

  1. Pattern magazines are relatively scarce here - although Burdastyle keeps me busy- so a stand like this is like being in a candy store. I go mad whenever I'm in Europe and don't care what language the magazine is in!