Thursday, July 29, 2010

BurdaStyle Book: Me Too!

Hey, are you sick of sewing bloggers going on about their projects for the BurdaStyle Book that they can talk about (vaguely), but they can't share with you? Because I'm about to join them! (Sorry 'bout that.) I, too, am contributing a design variation to the book. Is it a dress? A coat? No, friends. It is . . . a BAG.

This is possibly as surprising to you as it is to me. You see, I never make bags. I also care not a fig about them, usually opting for an old canvas tote as my daily bag (blogged a bit here). But that's okay! I've been asked to contribute a bag, and contribute it I shall!

The project started like this: the Burda folks sent me line drawings for two designs: a dress and a bag. They asked me to come up with two design variations for each, and (gulp) sketch them. Upon viewing the sketches, they would decide which of my variations would be included in the book. I, of course, spent all my time thinking about dress designs - 50s and early 60s-inspired, of course. I couldn't imagine they would really have me do a bag! (Oh, the hubris.) My bag designs were a bit of an afterthought, I confess. I eagerly waited to hear which of my two dresses they would have me make. (Hubris. Gets you every time.)

Well, to make a long story short . . . they choose a bag. Hey, that's cool! It's been an interesting journey nonetheless. My outer fabric and the thread were sent to me by sponsoring companies, and the rest of the notions have been left up to me. So I'll confess that I've spent weeks staring confusedly at purse handles of all things. There are so many different types! I've been to Pacific Trim on at least five different occasions to look at the handles, but left empty-handed each time. But with my deadline looming next Tuesday, I am forced to make a decision. Tomorrow I will march back into Pacific Trim, and I won't leave until I have some handles, dammit! (A note on the deadline: I'm lucky that my office is a block and a half from the BurdaStyle office, so no mailing in the project for me! I plan to sashay in at the last minute and bestow my bag upon them. Okay, not really. I expect to beat the deadline by a whole day!)

The nice thing about bags is that they don't take too long to make and there's no fitting required. I did, however, make a muslin just to get the lay of the land, so to speak. So I feel confident about finishing up the bag this weekend, as long as I get a handle on the handle situation (heh).

I can't tell you much about the design and all that (blah, blah, I know) but I can tell you that it has a vintage flair and that it was inspired by the book A Guide to Elegance. It's not a dress, but I hope you will like it just the same.

Wish me luck!


  1. Hmmm... a bag?! I'm surprised that of all people you got stuck with that! Still--I'm eager to see your final design in the book; I think it'll trump all the other bags for "appealing to Casey"! lol. I'm also super excited that you're part of the project too!!! Too neat! :D

    Good luck beating the deadline; at least you're close enough to drop it off! I mailed mine last week and boy, was I glad to have the dress on it's merry way! lol.

    ♥ Casey
    blog |

  2. congratulations on getting published (in print!)

  3. Wow, Gertie. That's so cool. Congratulations! I'm a big fan of Burda. Can't wait to see the finished project. ~Sewjourner

  4. Ah, you're going to hit me now because not only am I doing a dress variation for the book, but mine's finished and FedExed over already! *duck*

  5. I made a coat variation and FedExed it last week. 3 to 5 business days worth of shipment, and I didn't want to run the risk of being too late. I got an email from the folks at Burdastyle that had received it last week. Yeah!

  6. Hilarious! Thank you for this anecdote.

    A longtime Burda pattern user, I've given up on BurdaStyle and now use to get all their downloadable patterns, since they have all the magazine and the formerly paper ones online now. has downloadable English instructions for the main patterns, otherwise I read the French or Swedish instructions. Crazy, no? I wonder why they have stopped supporting their proper patterns in English. I find it baffling. The new German website is awesome.

  7. EJVC - I just bought one of the brand new downloadable "envelope" patterns (no. 7418) off and it came with English instructions. In fact, it came with the instructions in about 20 different languages. So just because the site's in German doesn't mean the patterns are! :D

    (their pattern downloads don't have seam allowances, but I muchly prefer mine that way!!)

  8. Having made bags before and listened to the resulting complaints, my advice is to get yourself some heavy-duty interfacing to stiffen it.

  9. Do you think maybe that you over analysed your designs for the dresses becuase they were what you were most keen on and then when you 'tossed out' the bag designs they came over more naturally? I'm assuming Burda are looking for a great design on that one piece rather than at what the designer is traditionally known for (that wasn't meant to imply that any of your designs were sub-par; gosh this is a delecate subject!)

    Just a thought.

    But congratualations anyway. I'm really excited about this book and seeing all my favourite bloggers represented.


  10. That's awesome! Congratulations!

  11. Oh so exciting! I'm very curious about this bag. Many of the blogs I read are taking part in this burdastyle book. Looking forward to actually getting my hands on a copy!


  12. That's really neat. Congrats.


  13. So very cool - congrats! I would have totally imagined you making a dress, or perhaps a coat after all your tailoring experience? I am so curious to see what you created!

  14. Congrats Gertie!!!! You deserve the honor of designing/sewing a bag. Can't wait to see it!


  15. Cool!
    I'm sure that your bag design will be exceptional, just like everything else you make. It will be neat to see you make something a little different...I can't wait to get the book!

  16. That's so cool ~ I don't usually like bag patterns, but if this is vintage inspired I might actually want to sew it!

    b. of Depict This!

  17. Ahh! Good luck! I really can't wait to see what you do! :D

    Go forth and conquer!

  18. That's terrific! I'm sure your bag will be as chic as can be. It is pretty funny that you thought only about the dress. Of course, you can make the beautiful dress to go with the bag, if not for the book, then for the blog.


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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