May 20, 2012

Burda magazine from the past

By chance I stumbled across an old Burda magazine in an online store, which wasn't too expensive, so that I didn't think twice and bought it.

It does not have a date (I looked several times for it but no, there isn't), but looking at the pictures I would say it dates from the late sixties or early seventies. And it seems to be a special issue and not a regular one, and it's titled something like "new fashion for leisurewear and in the style of traditional costumes".

It's funny to see how the magazine has changed over the years - or not. I think the title still looks quite similar!

There is  a lot of nice vintage patterns in the magazine:


dresses for gardening,

outfits for the "young and dynamic people",

tennis garments,

a dress with an interesting use of plaids,

and a fancy outfit with a patent rain coat and a nice mod dress!

Some of the patterns remind me of what my grandmother has in her closet...

...but there is also the nicest dirndl (traditional german dress) I ever saw in a Burda magazine (or on their websites)! Isn't the one in the middle just darling?

The pattern sheet also looks different than what Burda provides us in their magazines today. Every pattern comes only in one size!

The instruction booklet contains drawings of the garments, but they are much less detailed than the technical drawings we have today. Apart from that, it looks pretty similar.

What is also interesting is the size measurement table. Here are both, the one from the old Burda first and then the one of the newest Burdastyle magazine. Look at the three first rows, there are the measurements for Oberweite (bust), Taille (waist), Hüfte (hip).

Size measurement table from the old Burda magazine
Size measurement table from Burdastyle magazine 6/2012

Look at size 36: the measurements for bust and hips are the same, but  the waist circumference is now bigger than it was back then (I'm still wondering how anyone can have such a small waist, though).
Also, they had an additional size 38/40, which seems to be our size 38 from today.
What I am wondering about is that, although there is a size 36 in the table, the smallest patterns which are in the magazine come in size 38/40, there is not a single pattern in size 36. Have the women been bigger sized back then? On the other hand, they must have been smaller/shorter than the average woman today, as the measurements for back length (Rückenlänge), front bodice length (vord. Taillenlänge) and even sleeve length (Ärmellänge) are bigger in the today's measurement table. Big mystery (at least for me).
As I usually use size 36 in Burda patterns, I'll have to downgrade the patterns of this old magazine if I want to sew them up. I am awfully tempted to make that dirndl, though!


  1. You have found a real treasure with the vintage Burda magazine. I am sure you are right about the 1960's date. I started collecting Burda in 1974 after my sewing teacher at school showed me how to trace the patterns and I only recently gave 28 years of issues away. Wish I hadn't now as the fashions seem to be doing a complete turn around to those times. I think the sizes were smaller back then too. Have fun sewing from your vintage Burda.

    1. Thank you! Yes, there is a really nice and fun retro trend at the moment! I also ordered some Burda magazines from the fifties over ebay, but still waiting for them to arrive!

    2. Marie I am desperately looking for a Burda Moden of February 1988 any body out there that can help My email


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