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The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook Kindle Edition with Audio/Video

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Kindle Edition with Audio/Video, December 7, 2011

Length: 208 pages Optimized for larger screens
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Editorial Reviews


"The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook...sits at the other end of the sewing spectrum, providing inspiration for clothing designers and experienced sewers. BurdaStyle is a website for the fashion-oriented." --Associated Press

"A great new resource that is absolutely overflowing with information and inspiration."

About the Author

Nora Abousteit is the cofounder of BurdaStyle. Previously she worked on the staff of Hurbert Burda and was part of the production team for the DLD conferences, as well as for several World Economic Forum events. She earned her first money by sewing as a teenager.
Alison Kelly is a fashion and jewelry designer for her label, Dahl. Alison was a contestant on the television series Project Runway (Season 3). As BurdaStyle’s creative director, she continues to fulfill her undying passion for sewing and DIY. is an all-encompassing resource for the global fashion and sewing community. Launched in 2007, the website offers copyright-free downloadable sewing patterns, step-by-step sewing tutorials, interaction with other people passionate about sewing, and much more. For more information visit

Product Details

  • File Size: 186043 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Craft; 1 Spi edition (December 7, 2011)
  • Publication Date: December 7, 2011
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006GHX9FE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #828,950 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

118 of 120 people found the following review helpful By T. Sedai on November 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
For the beginning sewer, I would rate this book 5/5, but for more advanced sewers I would probably rate it 4/5.

I think this book is clearly laid out - the book starts by discussing important tools, how to read and trace patterns, grainlines and fabric, and basic sewing techniques. It then goes on to give very detailed instructions for a skirt, a blouse, a dress, a coat, and a bag. It includes three variations with instructions for each pattern, as well as photographs of lots of creative ideas for each of the five designs. The pattern pieces are included with the book, which is great. I really love the blouse, and I like elements of the coat, so I may make use of these patterns in the future.

My overall impression is that this is the perfect book for someone who is interested in learning to sew clothes but doesn't have a lot of experience. The book outlines the essentials of sewing without getting too bogged down in the details. It emphasizes creativity while still highlighting the importance of technique (pressing seams, etc.). Most of the other "learn to sew" type books tend to give "patterns" for aprons or toys or crafty items, which never held much interest for me, and I am sure aren't of much interest for others who want to learn to sew garments. This, of course, is not an issue with BurdaStyle, which emphasizes the different garment patterns they have included. The instructions seem to be quite detailed, so they could be great for newer sewers. Also, these patterns do not have seam allowances (like the BurdaStyle magazine patterns), and it gives some good advice about how to add seam allowances and why it is better to make pattern alterations without them.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Sofie on November 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover-spiral
Finally! Sewing is no longer a thing of the past! I am new to sewing and saw this book online and ordered it right away because it stood out as being one of the only books with a refreshingly fashion-forward and modern take on sewing. Being a sewing novice myself, I was wary about learning to sew from a book-- but this one is special because it guides you all the way from setting up a sewing area, to threading a sewing machine, to sewing your first seam. The photos are awesome, the mood boards are beautiful and the illustrations are clean and sophisticated-- and Project Runway alum Alison Kelly designed the patterns!

PLUSES: Clear and concise instructions, beautiful photography, packed with tips + tutorials, and the 5 paper patterns (included in the back of the book) are actually really cute!

MINUSES: You have to trace the paper patterns onto new paper so you can add seam allowance and preserve the original pattern to use in later variations. This is time consuming but it makes sense-- you can reuse and trace the original patterns over and over again, apparently creating countless variations.

Overall score: A+
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on December 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover-spiral
Patterns for blouse, skirt, dress, lined coat, bag. Shorten coat for a jacket. Sized up to 41 inch bust, 43-1/2 inch hip.

Described as aimed at beginners, and I think that's misleading so I give a low rating. I wouldn't recommend this to a beginner, even the most adventurous. Silk charmeuse and lace for a first ever project - what a recipe for misery and disaster. When you look closely, actually only 3 of the 15 projects have the lowest skill level. And all those require pattern alterations and are not easy easy. Many construction steps with no illustrations. I'm disappointed in this as a book for beginners - I was expecting something more like an updated version of old Burda beginners books (not in English) which are realistic about what a beginner can do, and have many illustrations of technique.

On-line videos for some techniques. Traceable patterns overlapped like the patterns in Burda magazine (no seam allowances). Tell you how to make a muslin, but only a couple of sentences on adjusting it to fit.

The biggest emphasis is on making your own versions. Three projects for each pattern. Even more possibilities if you swap tops and bottoms around those waist seams. As a source of inspiration for variations the book is good. My guess is the book was only tested on an `inner circle' of Burda Style site users, who are already happy pattern alterers and devise-your-own-method sewers. "Yes" for do-it-yourselfers who know what they're doing. Definitely "no" for beginners. Lovers of the US Burda Style website are very enthusiastic !
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on August 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
As a BurdaStyle fan, I was very excited to receive this book. But to be honest, now that I've reviewed it, I don't think this book or the patterns are very inspiring. The best variations on each project are not the ones discussed in detail in the book. They're the ones on the photo page at the end of each project that show you different project variations created by 12 or so BurdaStyle members. You don't get instructions on pattern alterations, etc., for those versions. Plus, the instructions for each project aren't always very clear. I'm not sure how much I'll actually use this book.

Also, this book is not for beginners. Only one of the projects included is at the novice level, which doesn't seem like a good way to build confidence. I understand that increasing skill levels are the whole point, but making one easy bag that isn't really that easy isn't going to prepare you to make a dress. Anyone who wants to begin sewing should just look for tutorials on the internet. Find out how to make your own skirts just by taking your measurements. Look at a YouTube video about installing an invisible zipper. Seriously, if I were a total beginner and someone gave me the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook as a guide, I would run away crying.

If anyone wants recommendations for a good beginner's sewing handbook, I would recommend Colette. I purchased that book and have already had tons of fun with it. The photos and instructions are clear, and for the first time ever I'm working with patterns and I don't feel afraid. It doesn't offer pattern variations, but after making a few projects I see my own variations that I'd like to try. I don't need someone to point them out to me! It's a much more clear and creative handbook than this one.
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