Review · Sewing

BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern: A Review

My love for all that BurdaStyle does for sewing just keeps growing every day. Most days my reasons revolve around their support of the online sewing community (free pattern Fridays in October, comment-to-win every week day in November!), but today’s reason is actually a tangible one: their newest book. The good people at BurdaStyle sent me an advanced copy of Sewing Vintage Modern, and I’m incredibly pleased with it.


The book is organized into decades from the 1920s to the 1980s and features patterns for iconic garments from each.


Each chapter begins with sketches of garments and accessories from the decade of focus, plus brief descriptions of “signature silhouettes”, “designers you should know”, and “Style icons”.


The book includes detailed sewing instructions for five master patterns: the Louisa drop-waist dress from the 1920s, the Frank button-down shirt from the 1940s (below), the Elizabeth gathered-waist dress from the 1950s, the Jamie shift dress from the 1960s, and the Jean stirrup pants also from the 1960s.


So, that’s three different dresses and a pair of pants for women and a button-down shirt for men. But, there’s even more as the book also describes how to modify these five base patterns into fifteen other garments, including the Lillian blouse (a portion of the Lillian blouse instructions are below; the blouse itself is shown above in the table of contents image)…


…and the Veronica geometric top.

spread_07_small_hor spread_08_small_hor

See how much detail is included?! This book makes you feel like the possibilities for a single pattern are endless.

I’ve already started working on the Louisa drop-waist dress. I’m using a gorgeous silk charmeuse in an abstract watercolor print from Mood. I’ve never worked with silk charmeuse before, but so far so good. As for my actual experience with the book, the pattern instructions so far have been spot on. I’ve only stitched together a portion of the top of the dress, but the lining has all been sewn in by machine thanks to their clever instructions!


If you’re intrigued with what you’ve seen so far and are interested in pre-ordering this book, you can find it here for $19 currently – nearly 40% off. Even better, you won’t have too long to wait since it’s due to be released next week!

20 thoughts on “BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern: A Review

    1. I hope so! I just have to watch those darts. They always end up so pointy! I definitely need some lessons, though these are better than some of my previous woven tops.

  1. i can’t decide if i feel the love for this book or not. i like the idea but i generally don’t feel the love for burda magazine patterns and the burdastyle handbook is great until you try and make one of the variations and have to keep flipping around the book (also the numbered steps aren’t always right – so it tells you to follow steps 1-5 of the main pattern but it doesn’t make sense!). i might wait until i see the items popping up on blogs and decide! look forward to seeing how yours turns out!

    1. I don’t have the previous book, so I’m not sure how this one compares. It does come with the crazy pattern sheets that require you to follow lines and trace. My reading through the modifications suggested you had to do a lot of measuring and drafting, but the instructions seemed thorough. Perhaps I missed places that required you to flip around the book. There are lots if good patterns already out there, so you shouldn’t spend money if you don’t feel the love.

  2. I’ve ordered it but I really hesitated doing so. I hate the jumbled layout of burda patterns. That’s why I have let my magazine subscription go. The printable patterns from the website are much easier.

    1. They offer the patterns as downloads, but I don’t know if you can only get them if you get the ebook. I didn’t see any codes on my copy of the book that would allow me download patterns from the website. It can’t hurt to ask! Otherwise, hopefully you’ll like the book even with its crazy pattern sheets.

    1. I can’t wait to see what you make! With your love of vintage, I think you’ll rock many if the patterns in this book. Some of the blouse variations are pretty amazing.

  3. Ooh, I’m so interested in this book! I’m not sure if I should buy it or not since I have yet to make anything from the original BurdaStyle book, the Colette book, OR Gertie’s book! Such an underachiever…

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