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Sewing Vintage Burda--any tips?
kdbobo
kdbobo
Intermediate
New Jersey USA
Member since 7/28/10
Posts: 36
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Date: 12/28/13 2:30 PM

Hi y'all!

So--I was unable to resist purchasing a set of three Italian Burda Modens from 1965 on eBay. I have them now in my hot little hands and am thrilled with all the work-dress-possibilities--but a little bit daunted by the prospect of using these patterns. The magazines are full of surprises!

For one, it appears each dress's pattern usually only comes in one size; for another, the pattern sheet is even more dizzy-making than the modern ones; and for the final, I don't speak or read Italian or German--the cover and the instructions are in Italian, but the actual magazine is in German. (I figure between Google Translate and the languages I do read I could perhaps muddle through eventually--though I don't know how good Google Translate is with sewing-speak.)

Anyway, have any of you used vintage Burdas to sew? Any tips to offer? I need some encouragement beyond the adorableness of the dresses!

ckck
star
ckck
Beginner
Australia
Member since 11/28/06
Posts: 120
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Date: 12/29/13 6:02 AM

I have not sewn any vintage Burda patterns but I am currently sewing a 1940's Anne Adams pattern. I am finding that I generally having to do the same alterations that I do on modern patterns e.g. forward shoulder, FBA etc.

Another thing to consider when using older patterns is that the underwear gives the profile to the garment so you may find that switching between different types of bras (i.e. different shaped bra cups) fill out the garment differently.

Use your current sewing knowledge of how a garment is put together and that should get you going (unless the dress is terribly complicated). I am finding that the instructions in the 1940's pattern are lacking in the detail that they have in todays patterns e.g. the instructions just say to make a placket (not how to make a placket).

Make your muslin/s and make changes slowly. Today I was working on my muslin and made a major mistake as I was working on it when I was tired and therefore trying to rush to get it done. Slow and steady is the way to go with these old patterns. Don't make too many changes at once.

I say you should just trace your pattern and get started, good luck with it! :)

eta: check if the pattern already has seam allowances added or if you have to add the seam allowance yourself.
-- Edited on 12/29/13 6:04 AM --

------
Victoria, Australia

beauturbo
beauturbo
Advanced
California USA
Member since 5/2/09
Posts: 3743
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Date: 12/29/13 5:32 PM

Maybe also that underwear was a lot different back then, (or at least how it was so much more less bendable and more restrictive back then) and they might be shaped in such a way, they expected someone to be wearing a girdle to get more of a "fake waistline" carved in, and even more of a "high cone or bullet shaped bra" kind of ala "Modona like" for the bust line. So if not wanting or willing to wear more common 1960's under pinnings under some of it, then maybe the waistlines would need to be bigger in relationship to hips or even the bust darts placed lower.

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