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The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook Hardcover-spiral – November 1, 2011

56 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook + BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern: Mastering Iconic Looks from the 1920s to 1980s + The Colette Sewing Handbook: Inspired Styles and Classic Techniques for the New Seamstress
Price for all three: $49.01

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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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover-spiral: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Craft; 1 Spi edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030758674X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307586742
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 115 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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66 of 66 people found the following review helpful By bibliophile on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
Fantastic value...5 Burda patterns are included, for that reason alone purchase this gem.
The patterns are for a blouse, skirt, dress, coat and handbag. With different fabric choices you could conceivably create a beautiful and versatile modest-sized wardrobe from these patterns alone. The clothing shapes chosen are ingeniously universally flattering. The coat is fabulous and 'Audrey Hepburn' inspired. The skirt is A-line and can be easily modified to suit your height and preference of length. The blouse is pretty and feminine.
The pattern variations offered are creative and inspiring. The lie flat binder design should be de rigueur for all craft books.
With all the sewing basics and instructions included, this would make an excellent gift for a beginner seamstress as well.
NOTE: The patterns are Euro sizes 32-46, which are US sizes 0-14.
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43 of 45 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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65 of 72 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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