Tracing a Burdastyle pattern – and introducing Pepper.

I’m an avid fan of the Burda monthly mag. I think for the cover price and number of patterns in each edition, this magazine is a must in most sewistas’ pattern stash. Admittedly, on the odd occasion there is nothing worthy of note and more than once I have looked it over from cover to cover and been left a bit deflated. That said, I have gone back over the same magazine at a later date and lo and behold something I had overlooked suddenly inspires. Also, and this is more likely the case, another blogger’s make, often re interpreted, leaves me scrabbling for the referenced copy in an attempt to shamelessly imitate.

The biggest bugbear is of course the tracing of the pattern from the maddening pattern sheet!

Everybody has their own way of doing this, however I suspect the most common way is to trace the pattern through tracing paper.

I thought I would show you how I copy these patterns – in fact all my patterns.  I never cut from a pattern sheet, I like to keep the patterns whole – there is a particular kind of pleasure to be had from re folding the pattern back into the envelope – Yeah, I know, I don’t get out much!

I use a method which involves a pin tracing wheel through the pattern onto copy paper. This negates the need for tracing paper which one would have to peer through and given the number of pattern pieces in each sheet this can be problematic.

First up I cover my cutting table with a piece of towelling (this was leftover from a previous make) which gives a degree of thickness that allows for the spikes of the tracing wheel penetrate through, enough to leave their mark on the paper  but not the surface of the table

SONY DSCNext I cover with an old linen tablecloth. This does two things, it anchors the underlay and the texture of the linen gives a smooth surface to work on when using the tracing wheel.

The brown paper is laid over and weighted.


Pattern selected – in this case this an A- line casual skirt

SONY DSCNext up the tracing materials consist of the correctly selected pattern sheet, tracing wheel, pencil and for adding the seam allowance a seam gauge.

SONY DSCAs previously mentioned lay the pattern sheet over the copy paper and weigh down. I like to use a small puppy who goes by the name of Pepper!! Please let me introduce to you our new puppy girl, a little cocker spaniel who is just the cutest sweetest thing! We are totally smitten. She is 10 weeks old and is our second family dog. Our first lovely dog Barney died 3 years ago – he was a Beardie Collie, completely bonkers and the children’s best pal growing up. We have taken this time to come to terms with losing him and deciding on our next pet.


Locate the pattern pieces by circling and once traced with your tracing wheel mark off .



trace the pattern pieces, add the seam allowances use your French curve to neaten edges, the finished pieces prior to cutting out.

I tend to set aside a day for cutting out patterns, I almost never sew and cut out in the same day, I feel it’s a different mind-set and in actual fact I find tracing and cutting out fabric quite therapeutic.

Finished cut pieces ready for fabric cutting.


…..and my lovely assistant….


36 thoughts on “Tracing a Burdastyle pattern – and introducing Pepper.

  1. Great technique for tracing off Burda patterns. I feel the same way about Burda – some issues (just a few) I haven’t really found anything of interest, but then when i go back to them I see that there are some designs that intrigue me. I do like the A-line skirt you traced off:-). My biggest problem now is where do I store three years worth of Burda magazines . . . I just can’t get rid of the past issues.

    • Thanks, everybody has different ways of doing things but I quite enjoy this way – weird but true, whereas to trace and cutting out tissue paper patterns is a job I have never liked. I’ve a muslin of the skirt to do first as I suspect it will need tweaking. You’re going to have to archive those Burda’s – one day they will be vintage! kerching!!:)

  2. Love your little black Pepper! And thanks for this tip. I think I’ll forgo my pencil and tracing paper for your rather efficient method. Thanks for sharing!

    • I know I saw her photo and love at first sight!
      Do give it a go with the wheel, I do think it’s quicker and way more accurate ’cause you can actually see the lines this way.

  3. Oh my…she’s a cutie. Soooooo adorable!
    This is how I trace patterns too. It’s so much simpler than faffing with tracing paper. I’m lucky at the moment that I have a pinnable table…insulation board on top of MDF wrapping in calico. I’ll lose it when I move into the planned new sewing room next year, and will surely miss it.

  4. Thanks for that! I have picked the magazine up a couple of times seen the mass of coloured lines and put it back on the shelf! Perhaps I will persevere now! Gorgeous puppy! Soooooo cute! Do they do dog coats in Burda mag? Haha

    • Do give it a go, especially if you like more than one pattern – as it then pays for itself!
      She is a real wee sweetie.
      Now there’s a thing! I am assuming you mean coats for the dog and you’re not harbouring a notion of a coat Cruella de Ville style? – I’ve shielded her eyes as I wrote this!

    • Thank you, she’s already grown so much since we got her. Oh the little bird is really a door-stop – I picked it up as it was going cheep!….. cheep! (sorry:) ) I may take a look at how it was put together and post something on it because I use it for a number of things.

  5. I like this method, however, I am wondering if the original Burda pattern sheet is damaged by the tracing wheel.

    • Hey Ronniie, The original pattern sheet will have pinpricks after tracing, and where there are many tracings from the one pattern sheet I would just patch with masking tape those bits that become damaged. The masking tape will allow the tracing wheel to work without sticking. I have used this method many times and I have rarely needed to patch.

  6. I have yet to try a Burda Pattern. I keep seeing fun things i’d like to make, but haven’t taken the plunge yet. Maybe someday, until then, I’ll have to live vicariously through you! Thanks for the tips for tracing the patterns!

  7. Nice assistant! Is it a puppy? How are you going to get your skirt done with a new baby in the family?!

    I rarely buy the Burda mag but after seeing the dress you made in your last post, I did kind of wonder if I was missing a trick! I bought the March issue after reading a blogger’s review and very good value for money it was too.

    • Yeah 12 weeks old, still a baby. Def slowed up the sewing tho any excuse to stop and play with her! The Burda mag has a vintage feature every month which rarely disappoints, often worth the cover price alone.

  8. I am so glad that it isn’t just me that is amazed by some one else’s Burda creation and races for the magazine pile! I do tend to be a paper and pencil tracer but I will give your method a try.
    That puppy is just fabulous – I am working on the management for a new pet but he is very resistant at present. We are per free for the first time in over 30 years and he quite likes it. Me less so.

  9. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH thunk. Sorry, I passed out there for a moment from cute overload. Your new family member is a doll. Kitty and I are so happy for you! (Quite frankly, as you probably already know, we were so nervous that you did not already have a pet!! Lol).

  10. I have saved quite a few links to Burda patterns that I would love to try- But all those lines frighten me. Thanks for sharing your tips though- I am that much closer to giving them a shot! ~Laurie

  11. You got a new pattern weight! Kidding:) He’s extremely cute! I agree with you on the Burda magazine, some months are certainly better than others. And sometimes you find inspiration from other bloggers, that made something awesome that I wouldn’t have considered had I not seen their version. For tracing I use the see through tracing paper, since it’s cheap and readily available. But it tears easily. Your way makes the patterns way more durable.

  12. That’s an interesting way to trace off the patterns. I’ve never seen it done this way before. I will have to give it a go. I am assuming the puppy Pepper is a necessary tool, so if you would please mail her to…. =D She is so precious. I want another dog too, but so far it just hasn’t been the right fit/right moment. I look forward to seeing Pepper’s exploits. I will have to try this method for Burda as well. I agree that these magazines are a great value and because you trace off, if your size changes or the paper wears out from pattern loving you can still make up the patterns. That’s my favorite part!

I love reading your comments and will try to respond to each, thank you for dropping by

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