Plaid Flared Skirt: Burda 9/2014 #104

My first Burda magazine pattern! Ever since I started blogging, I wondered where to find these elusive Burda magazines with dozens of patterns that other bloggers talked about.

burda magazine 9 2014 plaid skirt #104 6

It’s true what they say about Burda magazine patterns. The pattern sheet is a roadmap of overlapping lines. The instructions are text-only with no diagrams, and quite brief. (Except for one ‘featured pattern’ that includes detailed diagrams and extra tips.)

burda tracing sheet

The pluses outweigh those minuses for me. The designs are cool. And I sort of like the challenge of deciphering the directions. I don’t mind tracing, and I like the price. For only $10 you get 16 patterns. The patterns seem well-designed, and I like that they’re modern and fashion-forward and not too cutesy.

Back to the skirt! This is the flared skirt from the September 2014 issue of Burda Style Magazine. Here’s the original image.

burda magazine 9 2014 plaid skirt #104 original

I used red plaid from Caroline’s shop, Blackbird Fabrics. (Originally I was helping her test the checkout system, but also wanted to buy this fabric! So it’s a win-win.) It’s a 78% Polyester / 19% Rayon / 3% Spandex blend, and I lined it with black bemberg rayon lining.

It’s 19″ long so it’s not quite a mini-skirt. The plaid is well-matched, I took my time!

burda magazine 9 2014 plaid skirt #104 matching plaids

It was a good choice for plaids because there are only a few pattern pieces, and plaid-matching lines are marked on the pieces so they line up across the seams.

burda magazine 9 2014 plaid skirt #104 7

The original design has a raw edge at the hemline, which I hate, so I added hem allowance and sewed a narrow hem.

I added a label, and lined the yoke with bemberg rayon lining. To finish the yoke seam, I bound the edge with bias tape.

burda magazine 9 2014 plaid skirt #104 in progress

Close-up of the binding:

burda magazine 9 2014 plaid skirt #104 in progress 2

It is less poofy than I thought it would be. It’s probably because the model is moving, because the skirt hangs down straighter when you hold still and doesn’t have quite the same full shape. I actually prefer this look as it feels more sophisticated, less like a teenage girl’s skirt.

burda magazine 9 2014 plaid skirt #104 2

(This was a very quick photo shoot, as it was minus seven outside!)

burda magazine 9 2014 plaid skirt #104

It fits nicely over the back.

burda magazine 9 2014 plaid skirt #104 3

It’s kind of widening though. The flat part over the hips really does add width, I think. And it sits low on the waist, about where my left hand is in the photo below.

burda magazine 9 2014 plaid skirt #104 5

Love List:

  • The flare! It looks flattering from the side view, where it hugs the body.
  • The fabric. It’s just the right type of red plaid, not too Christmas-y, not too private-school uniform. It feels a lot like wool even though it’s synthetic and it hangs nicely on the bias.
  • The plaid matching. I’m pretty pleased with how well it worked out.

Change List:

  • If I were to make it again, I think I’d make it sit at the natural waist next time. It’s so comfortable this way but I’m used to having the option of tucking my tops in. It feels like it’s falling down rather than being intentionally low. (It sits about 2″ below my natural waistline.) And if I wear it with tights, it feels funny to have tights worn all the way up to the natural waist with a skirt hanging lower than that.
  • Perhaps a skirt that flares from the waistline would be more flattering overall. (Like the Hollyburn Skirt.) Especially in plaid fabric. The flared part has movement and the plaid lines peek through the folds, but on the flat yoke part, it’s like a grid of lines drawn across the hips.

burda magazine 9 2014 plaid skirt #104 4

I like it, and think it’ll be cute worn in a casual way, with a thick grey cabled sweater perhaps. Because of the low rise, it has to be worn with something over the waistline that hits at the high-hip or mid-hip.

My lesson of the day: if your preference is to have skirts hit at the waistline, then a lower-rise skirt could be out of place in your wardrobe if the rest of your clothing is meant to wear with skirts with higher waistlines!

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63 Responses to Plaid Flared Skirt: Burda 9/2014 #104

  1. Miriana December 8, 2014 at 6:25 am #

    If Burda sorted out their instructions, they could take over the world. In fact, I think they’re pretty big in lots of Europe.

    • Tasia December 8, 2014 at 10:13 am #

      I think so too, they’re not as big here, except in the online sewing world.

  2. Nicole December 8, 2014 at 6:25 am #

    Love the plaid. You know it might look really cool as Gabriola? Hmm that might be an idea- I’ve been eying a purple plaid at the local fabric store.

    • Tasia December 8, 2014 at 10:12 am #

      It would look very cool in the Gabriola! Look at the striped version, then imagine all those stripe lines as plaids instead.

      • Susan December 9, 2014 at 9:52 am #

        I just starting my first Gabriola skirt right now and I’m doing it in blue and green plaid!

  3. Betty Jordan Wester December 8, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    Your skirt looks great. I think it’s very flattering & like the way the plaid sits. I’d raise the waistline too though bc I like higher waisted clothing :)

    I love Burda magazines. The US website is a hot mess, but the German & Russian sites are on top of their game. I’ve been buying the magazine for years & even when there’s only one thing I’d ever make, it’s still a steal.

    • Tasia December 8, 2014 at 10:14 am #

      Thank you! Yes, I think I’ll extend it higher next time.
      I agree, even if there’s only one thing I actually sew, for $10 that’s not a bad deal. And I like seeing all the designs even if I wouldn’t personally wear them all.

      • Tasia December 8, 2014 at 10:15 am #

        And also, that the UK/German version is better than the US one, if only because all of the patterns are included! The US magazine only includes half the patterns and the others are paid downloads.

      • Annette December 9, 2014 at 8:48 am #

        I agree! I subscribe, and rarely make a thing, but it is still worth it! And Tasia I love your plaid skirt. Fabulous job you did with it and looks great on you!

        • Tasia December 9, 2014 at 9:19 am #

          I subscribed too. :) I figured it was worthwhile to have constant inspiration arriving at my door monthly! And thank you, I enjoyed making this skirt!

  4. Noelle December 8, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    I’ve been thinking of making a similar style skirt. Yours turned out great and is definitely adding to my inspiration. Especially like how the plaid emphasizes the flare!

    • Tasia December 8, 2014 at 10:15 am #

      Me too! That’s the best part, and this fabric hangs really nicely. Not too stiff, not too wimpy.

  5. Jill December 8, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    I love this skirt and the plaid is nice. I too like clothes that sit at my natural waist so I would also raise the waistline. A lot more comfortable especially in a skirt. I had one with a lower waist and every time I sat down the skirt would move up, drove me crazy!

    • Tasia December 8, 2014 at 10:11 am #

      Yes! Especially when your waist is sucked in by tights. :) It’s comfy if I wore it without tights, and a long sweater, but it might look overly slouchy like that.

  6. Holly December 8, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    Did you actually find the magazine here in vancouver somewhere? (Fingers crossed) I’ve had a subscription for the last two years but it just expired and If I could buy it locally I’d be a happy girl.

    • Tasia December 8, 2014 at 10:11 am #

      I did! I found it at a kiosk in Lonsdale Quay. It’s across from the flower shop, near the back entrance (not the water side.)

  7. Alexis December 8, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    I love the plaid! And the skirt is too cute!

  8. Catherine December 8, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    You can buy the Burda magazine at the Chapters at the corner of Broadway and Granville (and probably their other stores, but that’s the one closest to me.)

  9. Christina December 8, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    At first blush, I thought the Burda pattern was an actual road map. I have a couple of Burda magazines that I purchased years ago, but I’m way too intimidated to open them. One day!!! I like your skirt and how you’ve styled it. Plus kudos to the plaid matching on the side seams.

    • Tasia December 8, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      It’s crazy eh? At least, one pattern is all the same colour. So you can train your eye to find all the green lines, and ignore all the other colours. But there are multiple patterns with green lines on the same sheet too! I sort of enjoy it, as weird as that is. It’s like a puzzle before the puzzle. :)

  10. dawn December 8, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    Oh my gosh, cute! I’ve been eyeing this skirt for a while. This might make me look at it a bit closer. I’m loving it in your plaid!

  11. Kat @ House of Lane December 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    I love this! The perfect winter skirt. The shape is very flattering. I hate making bursa patterns. I’m not a fan of tracing on a normal day and all those lines makes it so difficult.

  12. Linda December 8, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    I really never had any patterns NOT from a magazine, since about a year ago, when I discovered sewing on the internet.
    Here in Holland we have Knip mode and Burda. I love the Burda. For instructions I used to have this sewing handbook. Worked fine. Now I use sewalongs (hooray) and Youtube.

  13. Heather December 8, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    Super cute! I love the way you matched the plaid so perfectly. I have yet to tackle one of those pattern,s simply because I really dislike tracing! Seeing your skirt made me want to try one. Thanks for sharing!

    • Tasia December 8, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

      I don’t mind the tracing, but it does cut into sewing time!

  14. Elizabeth Dube December 8, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    The one thing that nobody has emphasized is the Burda fit. I lways have good luck with fitting Burda patterns and I love my Burda magazines and have them going back to the 1990’s.

    • Tasia December 8, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

      I agree, I haven’t made a ton of patterns yet but I do like the fit. (I’ve used many Burda envelope patterns with success so I imagine the magazine fit to be the same.)

  15. Eliza-sew-little December 8, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    I’ve also made this skirt and had the same issue with massive waist and because of the way it was constructed, it was hard to alter. I ended up added some elastic inside the waistband at each side so it feels like it fits without falling down.

    • Tasia December 8, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

      Yes, it’s not easy to alter, plus then it would end up short! I like the fit around the hips, so next time (if there is one) I’ll extend the waist upwards. Elastic is a good idea for a quick fix!

  16. Andrea December 8, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    Just a thought – if the flat part of the skirt where cut on the bias, perhaps that would be more slimming? I think it’s adorable and that it looks just fabulous as is – for the record.

  17. Fran December 8, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

    LOVE Burda magazine patterns. Used to sew from them for my kids back in the 80’s and when there was time, for myself. They always fit together well and were something a little different to the run of the mill patterns. Where did you find the magazine? I am in Vancouver……

    • Tasia December 8, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

      I found it at a little shop in Lonsdale Quay, in the market. I was super excited to see them! There was a comment above that mentioned the Chapters at Broadway and Granville too.

      • Amanda December 10, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

        AHA! I commented below asking this very question but I see you’ve already solved the mystery! ^__^ Weird, I’ve checked at least half a dozen Chapters so it must be just this one location – I will have to make a trip to Lonsdale sometime in the near future! :D

        • Tasia December 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

          And while you’re there, you can enjoy a nice lunch at the market while you flip through your new Burda mag! :)

  18. Suzie December 9, 2014 at 2:27 am #

    I think this skirt looks really great Tasia! It’s great to see the skirt actually made up, rather than just in the magazine because as you say, it hangs quite differently and like you, I prefer the ‘real’ look than the image you see in the magazine. I often find that about the Burda magazines, as much as I do love them, some of their styling and photography leaves you scratching your head and you need to look at the line diagrams to have any idea as to what the garment will actually look like!

    • Tasia December 9, 2014 at 8:30 am #

      I always prefer line drawings for seeing the ‘bones’ of the style! And back views. And where the closure is. :)

  19. Cindy December 9, 2014 at 3:53 am #

    I love your skirt! It is just too cute! And that plaid matching is absolutely perfect! One thought on the yoke. I’m wondering if you shortened the yoke then it wouldn’t hit you on the hip where you don’t like it. I’m sewing a very easy Mcalls (7022) right now and this has given me the idea to Frankenpattern 7022 yoke (which I’ve got fitting well) with the bottom of this Burda. Thanks for pointing out this pattern. And, btw, I’ve always thought of Burda mag patterns as a puzzle too! I love me a good mystery!!

  20. Elena Knits December 9, 2014 at 4:07 am #

    I bought some plaid fabric and I eyed that same skirt some days ago but decided to go for a 1/2 circle skirt instead. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  21. Anna December 9, 2014 at 4:28 am #

    It’s really funny to read how you all get so excited about Burda. Because here in Germany it’s all about Burda, every supermarket sells it. The Magazine was first published in the 1950s and so even our grandmothers learned sewing with Burda. Of course we also hate their instructions. But it’s getting easier…
    When you and Caroline came up with your first Burda Pieces I thought they had knocked on your door to promote the Burda magazine in Canada and US – but obviously you really like it. Cool! :)

    • Tasia December 9, 2014 at 8:30 am #

      How cool to have sewing magazines in the supermarket! Though some of ours do have quilting and sewing magazines. I’m excited about the magazine because it’s a novelty and it’s new! We’ve had Burda envelope patterns in most of our fabric stores, but not the magazine itself. And we’ve always had access to the Burdastyle website with its downloadable patterns too. There are three possible ways to get the Burda patterns for us!
      It’s a coincidence that Caroline and I both mentioned Burda patterns. (I think hers is a downloadable pattern from the Burdastyle site, but I’m not certain.) If someone had asked us to specifically promote their products, I’d be sure to disclose that. (And I really don’t like doing anything sponsored or promotional, so that would be very rare. You won’t see a lot of that here, besides me talking about my own patterns!)

      • Anna December 9, 2014 at 8:40 am #

        Sorry Tasia, i didn’t want to offend you. It’s just that I wondered why suddenly you are mentioning Burda (when it’s nothing special at all to me). I didn’t know they are a novelty in Canada, because I know the magazine is translated into many languages and available in many countries). I surely didn’t want to accuse you of promoting their magazine or patterns. I apologize if it soundet like it.
        I think your skirt is cute and looks great!

        • Tasia December 9, 2014 at 9:17 am #

          Oh no worries! I’m trying to fit in more personal sewing projects, and I’ve always liked the Burda envelope patterns, so I was excited to try out the magazine patterns. They aren’t common here, or else I’ve been under a rock and everyone’s been using them for ages. :)
          I’m not offended, just wanted to be clear I wasn’t writing a commercial here! I’ve shown a few sewing friends the Burda magazines and they hadn’t seen them either, especially not the roadmap of pattern pieces to trace. So I thought they might be a novelty to others too. Just not in Europe!

  22. Francesca December 9, 2014 at 5:05 am #

    Adorable! Great pattern matching, too – not that I expect anything less from you, you are such a perfectionist.
    Personally I hate low rise skirts, they more around and are a pain in the – hips?:)…..
    One thing you have to watch with Burda patterns is they tend to be bigger on the shoulders. I know what I’m talking about – I grew up with them and learnt to sew from them (yes, believe it or not!) as in Malta it was either that or the Neue Mode – basically the same thing. I had an aunt who was a brilliant sewist and picked up some stuff from her, but she hated being watched! So I really did learn from Burda. I had a pile of the mags put together for their specific tutorials and used them whenever I had a question. I’m talking 35 years ago… no internet, no tutes, no indie patterns. I had no idea that their instructions were not clear. It was a total baptism of fire – like learning to drive in Naples or Egypt…. When I got back into sewing after a long hiatus I was overjoyed by patterns with included seam allowances – detailed and clear instructions – illustrated steps! I thought, wow, the Brits and north americans are really lucky and really spoilt! Now, I’m spoilt, and a Burda pattern has to really grab me for me to bother adding seam allowances :).

    • Tasia December 9, 2014 at 8:24 am #

      Thanks for the tips on Burda shoulders. That’s my thoughts on the Burda envelope patterns as well. (We’ve always had the envelope patterns available here, but not the magazine. Or not in the stores I visit anyways.)
      Someone commented in another post where we mentioned Burda and their seam allowances, that it was a more accurate way because you’d trace the actual shape of the pattern piece onto your fabric, then also trace seam allowances, so you have the seamlines marked as well. Makes sense! But I am also used to being spoiled with detailed diagram instructions, as that’s how I learned to sew.

  23. anne December 9, 2014 at 5:25 am #

    Lovely skirt! And great blog!
    It’s so interresting the whole discusion on patterns and instructions. As a European (Danish) I was baffled by the “I hate tracing patterns”/”the patterns sheets are so confusing”/”limited instructions” comments I saw when I first started reading overseas blog – because how could it be otherwise!?! :) I grew up with burda patterns and the like and couldn’t possible imagine it otherwise :) I definetly see the benefits of other ways of doing it, but honestly cant help thinking it’s slighty waste of pattern sheet not just printing them all on one, and also get impatient with very long instructions :)

    • Tasia December 9, 2014 at 8:21 am #

      It’s so interesting to hear from people who learned to sew this way! I can imagine if this is the way you started, the other way might seem a little overly detailed, with too much hand-holding. It makes sense for the magazine format. I’d rather pay less and get all the patterns crammed together, than pay more for the luxury of more space.

  24. Michelle December 9, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    What a great skirt! You did a fantastic job on it, especially matching the plaid. I know what you mean about a skirt hitting 2″ below the natural waist. I made one like that a couple of years ago and never wore it. I just wasn’t comfortable in it. And yours doesn’t make you look wider at all. It looks great!

    • Tasia December 9, 2014 at 8:19 am #

      Thank you! It’s weird to wear with tights, since the tights go all the way up to the waist. Yet it’s wintery, so I can’t imagine wearing it with bare legs. I think it needs the perfect sweater, a relaxed-fit cabled cream one, or a longer, fitted long sleeve top. I used to love low-waisted skirts, but times have changed I suppose! :)

  25. Michelle December 9, 2014 at 7:33 am #

    I just took a quick look to see where one could buy Burda magazine, and found this:

    The magazine is half price with a subscription.

    • Tasia December 9, 2014 at 8:18 am #

      Thanks Michelle!

  26. Sarah December 9, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    This skirt is wonderful, it looks great on you!
    I love Burda magazines, they introduced me to the world of sewing about 4 years ago. I live in Europe so I´ve been collecting them for years now and was even featured in one of them for a dress I did. Here they are cheaper too at just 4.50 Euros plus they put out special editions for beginner, plus-size and teens. I´m so glad they finally made it to the States.

    • Tasia December 9, 2014 at 8:33 am #

      I’m in Canada, not the US! I wonder if they are easier to find in the US than Canada, or about the same. There is a US Edition of the magazine which has completely different styles, and not all patterns are included.
      They’re about $10 CDN which is about 7 euros. Makes sense since they’re imported! And still a good price for what you get.

  27. KerryQ December 9, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    such a cute skirt. I think the width issue might be more about the plaid. If the top part was on the bias, or a more slimming plaid, I don’t think it would add width. As it is, it is very cute, and very merry.

  28. Josephine December 9, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    I live in Holland and grew up sewing Burda patterns. I go to the shop every month to see the magazine and see if I think it’s worth buying, and it is even if there is only one pattern in there you like. But sometimes I find the pictures of the garments a little deceiving, and if the model is sitting down in a coat and the coat is also worn open, then there is no telling by the picture what the fit of the coat is, so pay extra attention to the technical drawings and even then it sometimes comes out different. I also feel that there is always a period between the two seasons (winter/summer) when they have a few issues (usually with a gypsey or folk themes) with less quality patterns. And now that I have been using them for over 15 years, I see a lot of repeat patterns. I’m not hating on Burda, do not get me wrong. I still rely on them for all my patterns and they have a good fit and great styles!

  29. Lindsay December 9, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

    Love this on you!!

  30. Jo December 9, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

    It’s a really cute style. I wanted to make it when I saw it too! I think your observations are very good; Hollyburn seems a lot more flattering, but this is such a cute and interesting style, how could you not try it? :)

  31. federica December 10, 2014 at 12:15 am #

    nice skirt! I made the same skirt in a red plaid wool fabric my MIL gave me… cost of the skirt = 0. Lining and zipper were remnants from other projects. I like Burda Magazine …. actually in Italy is almost the only Sewing magazine we have! My public library keeps a collection of burda from 2007 on! I’m lucky!

  32. Amanda December 10, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    so ummm…. are you saying you actually FOUND a BurdaStyle mag in the lower mainland? Because I’ve been looking forever!!!!! If you did, please let me know where! ^___^

    • Tasia December 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

      At a little magazine shop in Lonsdale Quay! I know, I haven’t found them anywhere else. Definitely not in the closer Chapters locations, only the big one on the corner of Granville and Broadway.

  33. Katherine December 11, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    I love how you matched the plaids! And of course, as always, your fabric is just beautiful.
    I made a similar McCalls skirt, and I find it adds width in the front, plus is sits quite a bit lower than my natural waist line. I like your version! I will have to look for that magazine shop ! I would love to get my hands on that magazine.

  34. Crystal H. December 14, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

    Have you ever tried a pattern from Ottobre? They are also a pattern magazine. They mostly concentrate on fabulous children’s clothing, but they also publish two magazines a year of ladies wear. Fashionable, classic clothing, and very accessible. It’s a small company in Finland and they will happily answer emails and even consider pattern requests and yes they speak English. I have a subscription but have heard a few shops might carry issues locally.

    • Tasia December 15, 2014 at 8:57 am #

      I have not, but I’ve heard of them! That’s pretty awesome that you can send in your pattern requests. I’ll have to look for it!

  35. Cynthia December 15, 2014 at 6:27 am #

    Great job ! This fabric and colors looks very good on you. That’s a cool skirt to wear during Winter !

    It’s funny because I bought my first Burda magazine two weeks ago. It’s a special edition with only Vintage patterns from the 50’s and a flashback into french history. I was stunned when I stumbled upon those 12 patterns, they look amazing (you can check them out here in the gallery :;jsessionid=A62B5DB0B17F30B55932388FE0156AE9)!
    I didn’t know that Burda was different in North America than here in Europe. I think they worth the same price (10$ vs 6,90€). I’m just starting to using their patterns, i found out that they are not really adapted to my morphology (I always have to adjust here and there), but it’s a good start. As you are a pattern designer, i’m sure you’ll find a lot of inspiration while reading this magazine ;)