Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Ending my obsession with Burda magazine

I've been getting Burda magazine for a long time, but I stopped subscribing to it after I moved to Germany because the magazines often arrived at my APO postal box late or damaged and one issue didn't show up at all. Instead I buy the individual issues from the news stand. Even though my German is still not very good, buying Burda in German has helped my skills, and I like getting the "real" Burda with its ads and additional articles and product reviews that are sometimes excluded from the translated editions. And the easy-pullout section with the instructions and patterns and mini-pics of the styles is a great storage-saver...if I ever get around to disposing of the magazine part.

But things change. Burda has changed over the years. I've changed. Sometimes it takes a while to recognize when you're doing something because it's routine and not because it's the best thing to do. Buying a magazine every month isn't a big thing when you can afford it, but one magazine quickly turns into 12, which turns into 200. I bought my first Burda in 1999 and was hooked. I had a subscription to it for the next 13 years and eagerly looked forward to it every month. And sometimes I made clothes from the patterns.

I've written about my Burda (and other European pattern magazine) stash on my blog more than a few times: 11/2015, 8/2016, 1/2014, 4/2008 were the notable ones. It's clear I'm obsessed with order, having spent a lot of time organizing my magazines and creating a database of the content using OneNote. I know I spend more time organizing them than I do sewing from them. And therein lies part of the problem.

Like the tenants before us who left us with a dirty apartment but a closet full of cleaning supplies, just because you buy something doesn't automatically mean you'll use it. And buying it doesn't magically make it happen! I have to trace the pattern, cut out the fabric and sew it together to create what I desire from the pages of the magazines and getting to step one is apparently as difficult as opening the top to the Mr. Clean was for the previous tenants.

The other issue is that what Burda is offering in their magazine no longer suits me or is very different than what I already have in my pattern stash. A sneak preview of the upcoming March issue on this Ukrainian is what's making me finally decide to break my 17 year streak. I don't wear off-the-shoulder or flouncy-sleeved things and the dresses, jackets and pants are repeats of many before them. There's a very low chance that I'll sew anything from this issue.

It appears I'm not alone in deciding that Burda no longer is THE sewing pattern magazine that I must get every month. Renee of Miss Celie's Pants has come to a similar conclusion after renewal of her subscription came up - and judging from the many comments on her blog, she's not in the minority. It seems that most sewers of Burda patterns would rather purchase individual PDF patterns from the Burdastyle website than pay for a yearly subscription for the magazine. And at $90/year vs. $6 per downloaded pattern, who can blame them?

I hope that the April edition of Burda is better. I can make room for it if it is, but if it isn't I will leave it on the news stand shelf. I need to make more room in my life for sewing, not collecting magazines.

6 comments:

  1. They just stopped publishing the plus size edition that I've always looked forward to, so I'm off the Burda track too.

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    1. They still publish the plus size in German but even though I would be a plus size in skirts and pants I've never bought one. I wish Burda would be truer to the plus size with their models. Ottobre and Knipmode are much more realistic with models by depicting larger and older women more often.

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  2. Like you I feel in love with Burda magazine a long time ago, 2002, subscribed for a few years some time later, then let it go. We have so many other pattern companies and Indies to choose from. Every now and then Burda comes out with a really good issue that excites me. Those are the ones I buy at the news stand.

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    1. It is true there are so many more patterns to choose from. Thank goodness too! When I learned to sew I only had McCalls, Simplicity, Butterick and Vogue and they weren't very fashion forward.

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  3. It is exactly the same for me as for Valerie :-) And as my space were I store my old magazines (I think I will never throw them away) is full now, there must be something really special in a magazine to buy it.

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    1. I don't know that I'll ever throw away my Burdas, but I did find the courage to dispose of some other pattern magazines I will never ever use.

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