Thursday, April 10, 2014

BurdaStyle Plus highlights from recent issues

Two recent posts from Cashmerette and Diary of a Sewing Fanatic about indie pattern sizing have gotten me thinking about the lack of plus sized sewing bloggers and general lack of plus size pattern options. Part of the reason why I (re)started this blog is to encourage other curvy and plus sized women in their sewing adventures. Based on other posts and general chatter that I've seen around the sewing blogosphere, I want to start an occasional series of posts related to sewing when you wear a larger size and/or have a bust size greater than 40" (the cut-off for many non-plus patterns). We do have options; we just don't have as many options as our slimmer counterparts, and sometimes we have to hunt a lot harder for our options.

To kick off the series, I want to highlight some of my favorite Burda Plus patterns from recent issues of BurdaStyle magazine. I haven't subscribed to the paper version of the magazine in several years, but I do follow new releases on the BurdaStyle web site and usually "favorite" a couple of plus sized patterns in each month's issue. Every pattern in this post is available as a $5.99 PDF download (without seam allowances) from BurdaStyle.

I promise, none of my choices will be frumpy or sacks with belts tied around the waist.

Let's start with the January 2014 issue and work our way to the most recent April issue...

Zippered Jacket 01-2014 #132

I have what might seem as a weird love of casual jackets--probably because I'm always cold and often dress in layers.  However, since I work in software, a blazer is too formal of a jacket style for my office environment, so my office topper is usually a cardigan or a casual jacket. To that end, I really like the paneling details and seaming on 01/2014 #132:

BurdaStyle 01-2014 #132
I think it would be fun to play with different textures and maybe some faux leather trim on this jacket.

Paneled skinny pant 01-2014 #134

I love that Burda released a skinny pant pattern for the non-skinny. You could use the side panel in a darker color to add some shadow-style color-blocking and elongate your bottom half, if that's a concern. The only thing that I don't care for about these is the lack of pockets. I need pockets in my pants, but if I was motivated, I could always draft/add them--maybe even inseam in that panel. The pants are #134 from the 01-2014 issue.

BurdaStyle 01-2014 #134

Ruffle Blouse 02-2014 #142

I know that I've pointed out 02-2014 #142 before, and StyleArc has an even more exact match to this now in the Nancy blouse, but if you didn't want to spring for the StyleArc, this blouse is pretty and feminine with a ruffle front that isn't overly bulky or obnoxious:

BurdaStyle 02-2014 #142

Diagonal Panel Dress 02-2014 #141

Also from the February issue is this knockout Diagonal Panel Dress (02-2014 #141):

BurdaStyle 02-2014 #141

Satin Belted Dress 03-2014 #130

I have no idea where I would wear this, but dress 03-2014 #130 would enable you to rock your inner Joan Holloway, bombshell-style. I think that the seaming and neckline on this one are pretty fabulous and should look great on a curvy figure:

BurdaStyle 03-2014 #130

Two Toned 1940s Dress 03-2014 #133

BurdaStyle seemed to be on a vintage style kick for March. This similarly retro, 2-in-1 dress (it's a dress, but it looks like separates!) would also be flattering on a lot of curvy figures, I'd think:

BurdaStyle 03-2014 #133

Knotted Top 04-2014 #136

April had some generally "meh" plus sized patterns of shapelessness and high necklines, but this issue did have two simple knit tops that I really liked. I'm of the opinion that you can never have too many knit tops. My first pick is 04-2014 #136, a cross between a surplice top and those twist tops that were so popular a few years ago. With creative draping still very in-style, this top still feels pretty current to me:

BurdaStyle 04-2014 #136

Square Neck Top 04-2014 #135

Finally, this knit square neck top has French darts for bust shaping, an interesting neckline, and a two options for length--one longer and with ruching, and one t-shirt length. The line drawing for the ruched one looks a little maternity-esque, I think, but I made a HotPatterns top with similar ruching a few years back (pre-baby), and I didn't think it looked maternity at all on me.

BurdaStyle 04-2014 #135
Of course, I don't think I've seen a single one of these patterns made up on PatternReview or in blogland, so who knows how they translate to "real life", but it's nice to see that there have been some interesting possibilities in recent months.


  1. Now I have to pick up a couple of patterns that I hadn't thought about. Thanks,

  2. I want both of those April patterns. I like the March "dress," but isn't it almost identical to the HP Sarine dress? Am I imagining that?

    1. I hadn't thought of that before, but I can see the similarities, in that there's a surplice bodice, "belt" and separate skirt. To me, the big definitive detail on the Sarine is the wrap detail over the belt. Neckline is a bit different on the Burda, too. But good call on that. I like my Sarine.

  3. Love the square-neck top and the "Joan Holloway" dress. Both have interesting seaming that gives the impression of a strapless top/dress but actually have nice coverage. Very classy picks!