Yet another Burda shirt, and RIP Burdastyle dot com

Note: I’m still catching up on my creations from 2019 – so bear with me, I think this is the last one!

Siobhan, a young white woman with short brown hair and tortoiseshell glasses, stands in an abundant garden arch. She wears a crisp button up shirt in a cream cotton with blue geometric patterning, slim black pants and leopard print loafers. She is smiling, and accompanied by a fluffy black and white cat.

What’s there to say about a pattern you’ve made over and over again? Well, about 1000 words, judging by this blog post! I’ve been sewing less lately, but in a more focused manner – creating those garments I’ll get a lot of wear out of, instead of one off fantasy items (Regency Gown and bonnet excluded!). This means button up shirts!

Burda and Grainline Archer form the backbone of my shirt pattern library, and this particular pattern is Burda long sleeved blouse 04/2010 #114.* I’ve made it a few times before, and a few times more in garments that, for one reason or another, didn’t make it to the finished item stage. It’s a classic button-up shirt, with yoke, sleeves that pleat into cuffs, curved hem and front chest pocket.

A technical drawing of a classic button up shirt.

I performed my usual adjustments, as you can see at the end of this post, with an additional (and crucial) adjustment to the sleeve cuffs. In my previous shirts, they were just a smidge too tall, so I couldn’t roll my shirt sleeves up properly without folding the cuffs themselves.

Siobhan, a young white woman with short brown hair, tortoiseshell glasses and a hot pink cane, stands in an abundant garden arch. She wears a crisp button up shirt in a cream cotton with blue geometric patterning, slim black pants and leopard print loafers. She is smiling and facing sideways to show the fit and hem curve of the shirt.
I wore out quickly from all the standing up so recruited my trusty cane. If you people to compliment you on your mobility aid and not cast aspersions as to your disability, use a hot pink cane. It’s very diverting!

This time, I took 1cm height from the cuffs and added it to the sleeve hem, so the length of the sleeve stayed the same but the cuff was more proportional. I love Burda but they’re always adding weird design details to their shirts like this – oversized cuffs, collars, you name it. It’s fun, I guess (?) but not very practical.

A sleeve pattern with an extra 1cm roughly drawn digitally on to the hem with a red line.
Seriously, this was all I did. Just added 1cm to the hem of the sleeve when cutting out and removed the same from the cuffs, which don’t even have a pattern because they’re just rectangles. I shortened the placket slit by 1cm at top to ensure the placket piece would fit.

The fabric was a generous gift from my friend Lauren on Instagram, who sourced it from a fabric-only op shop (my dream destination!). It’s a Cotton & Steel cotton (!), very soft but substantial with a lovely drape. Thank you, Lauren!


Siobhan, a young white woman with short brown hair, tortoiseshell glasses and a hot pink cane, stands in an abundant garden arch. She wears a crisp button up shirt in a cream cotton with blue geometric patterning, slim black pants and leopard print loafers. She is facing away from the camera to show the fit and hem curve of the shirt.

I did a quick series on Instagram on tips for sewing plackets and buttonholes: you can check out the post here or I’ve reproduced it below. I always like talking about the technical aspects of sewing! (Skip the next few paragraphs if you don’t. If you do, there’s more about how I make shirts in this blog post.)

My tips for a perfect placket: follow the tutorial on Off the Cuff blog.

A shirt sleeve with tower placket and two buttonhole cuff.
Sleeve placket and cuff, pre-buttons.


My tips for a perfect buttonhole:
1. Do a sample buttonhole on scrap fabric first.
2. Using those measurements mark your own buttonhole placement carefully (I use a Frixion pen)…I prefer 3.5cm down from collar and 8-10cm up from hem then spaced evenly but if you have a large bust you may prefer to work from your bust point.

Two buttonholes in a shirt buttonband, they have been marked in hot pink pen before sewing.
See the markings? It’s like colouring in the lines, too easy.

3. Use water soluble stabiliser underneath to prevent tunnelling.

The underside of the buttonholes revealing the water soluble stabiliser they have been sewn with.
I much prefer this interfacing-like stabiliser to the plastic style stuff. It’s like sewing with paper.

4. Don’t be afraid to unpick and redo if need be (see below, my machine chucks it in halfway through a buttonhole sometimes!) Just don’t tear a hole in your fabric like I did! (Luckily the new buttonhole covered it.)

A cuff with two buttonholes, one has been sewn half finished with the middle sewn through horizontally.

Finally: I’ve only ever had success with machines with automatic buttonhole functions. If yours is manual, you’re on your own! (Cheating, I know.)

Siobhan, a young white woman with short brown hair, tortoiseshell glasses and a hot pink cane, stands in an abundant garden arch. She wears a crisp button up shirt in a cream cotton with blue geometric patterning, slim black pants and leopard print loafers. She is smiling.

Hm, what else. I used a faux separate buttonband on the right, fold under on the left. My tower placket is self drafted. The sleeve cap has had significant ease removed (how-to here). I’ve sewn this pattern (& other altered shirt patterns) so many times before these alterations seem usual to me, but reading Dressmaking Debacles write about her fit/design issues reminded me that this is not how this pattern is drafted!


And finally, a note on Burda patterns. The Burdastyle website, from which I sourced pretty much all of my downloadable Burda patterns, is no more. It has been replaced with a new website (still, with the same address but a fraction of the pattern library. Of course, now all of my links to Burda patterns are broken, and the search function to find them again doesn’t even work. *deep sigh*.

For unknown reasons, when Burdastyle decided to revamp their website, they removed alllll of their user’s downloadable patterns from their library and their pattern reviews, without ANY NOTICE. I only read about it on a forum, but as a user of the website for many years I received no notification that my extensive pattern library and catalogue of reviews would be deleted. WTF, Burda.


Siobhan, a young white woman with short brown hair, tortoiseshell glasses and a hot pink cane, stands in an abundant garden arch. She wears a crisp button up shirt in a cream cotton with blue geometric patterning, slim black pants and leopard print loafers. She is smiling joyfully at the camera.
Look how happy I am! I love this shirt!

So, anyway. Good pattern, bad website redesign. I’d sew it again, and probably will, now the fit is perfected. That’s why I like seeing repeat patterns reviewed – you find out just how successful a pattern is in real life, after the initial blog post; you see which patterns work their way into an everyday wardrobe and which don’t, and you can read about the ongoing fitting tweaks necessary to make the pattern just right.

What’s your favourite repeat pattern? And were you caught out by the great Burdastyle website debacle? Mine are probably this Burda shirt, Grainline Archer, Style Arc Elle Pant and Grainline Hemlock tee.


A button up shirt hanging up. It is in cream cotton with small blue geometric patterning.

A close up of a button up shirt collar, in cream cotton with blue geometric patterning.

A close up of a shirt chest pocket, in a cream cotton with blue geometric patterning.
The reason the pocket looks wonky (besides my shoddy ironing) is because it’s placed over the bust dart. To correctly place the pocket, I pin it over a tailor’s ham so it moulds to the curved shape created by the dart.

The hem and part of the button band of a button up shirt, in cream cotton with blue geometric patterning. The hem is narrow and curved.

The details:
Pattern: Burda Long Sleeved Blouse 04/2010 #114
Pattern details: “This classic long-sleeve button-up blouse features a single breast pocket and darts for a flattering and feminine fit. Make it in a bold kelly green or orange and pair with white trousers for a clean summer outfit.” Available from Burdastyle magazine, April 2010, or as an A4 PDF download. Sizes 38-46. No seam allowances added. PDF comes with 2 shirt and 1 dress variations (#114-116).
Fabric: 2.6m Cotton & Steel soft ivory printed cotton, gift from Lauren on Instagram
Other materials: Sheerweft interfacing from Spotlight. 10mm shell/mother of pearl (?) buttons, from Aliexpress.
Mods: Size 42 bust to size 44 hips.
– 1/2″ forward head adjustment, same to sleeve cap; lowered front neck 6mm to smooth out curve created by this adjustment
– Approx. 8mm height removed from sleeve cap and some width to reduce ease to approx. 6mm either side of shoulder notch
– Added 1.5cm length to hem (+1.5cm hem allowance)
– Changed right shirt buttonband to 3cm faux separate buttonband, left to 3cm fold under
– Added 11mm to CB collar/stand on fold (2.2cm total) to true and match wider 3cm buttonband
– Added self-drafted tower placket to sleeve with cuff to match width
– Lengthened sleeve by 1cm and shortened cuff by same amount for more proportional cuff height


Related posts:


*Burda pattern names are always so wordy, but there is certain logic to them. 04/2010 means it was in the April 2010 edition of their magazine, and #114 is the pattern number. I don’t buy the magazines, as I prefer to purchase individual patterns as PDF downloads.

Author: Siobhan S

30 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic disability advocate.

17 thoughts on “Yet another Burda shirt, and RIP Burdastyle dot com”

  1. Burda has been the bulk of my sewing for years, just started to branch out 18 months ago when I discovered sewing blogs and Indie designers. The website changeover has been really badly handled. However, in response to request for help, some search function is gradually being restored, and patterns are still being added. If you go into patterns (&/or into specific garment type), go to +filters and scroll down and you can select year &/ or month as filter. Unlike order by date function, this seems to be actually working. Still waiting for them to add 12/2019 patterns.
    Searching for help with finding specific patterns, you now enter design #/mm/you as one no, eg ###mmyy into search field

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Delicious! And so professional looking! I love sewing shirts, so satisfying.
    That’s so annoying re Burda – and would also explain why I couldn’t find that pattern I was looking for on the new site. Thankfully a german IG friend sent me a link to the german site so I could have a look at people’s makes.
    My repeat patterns are some Burda cigarette pants, the Basic Instinct Tshirt, Named Paola Turtleneck, and this vintage simplicity raglan sleeve top/dress I’ve made about 5 times. Nothing like a good tnt pattern!
    Also, *fabric only op-shop* please pass the smelling salts…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sewing shirts is incredibly satisfying. All that detail! It’s almost meditative sewing.
      The German website seems like the way to go. I’ve also had good luck with the Russian website, there are a lot of user reviews for each pattern and it seems better organised than the English (US?) website ever was.
      I love your wardrobe repeat pics! And yeh, I couldn’t believe a fabric only op shop even existed. All we have here is old curtains and some awful, 80s style stretchy polyester on occasion….ick.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your shirt and thank you for the illustration about reducing sleeve cap! I did this essentially, but on the fly after the sleeve was sewn (cuff attached, etc) which is a tiny bit tougher 🙂 (and OMG that beautiful tie-front blouse you made this summer! SWOON!!!!)

    The great thing about TNT basics aside from knowing they’ll fit is they become such a great canvas for great fabrics and interesting tweaks.

    The US Burda site was never particularly good IMO but it is spectacularly worse now. I don’t even try. I hate that the Russian site is so ad-heavy now that I can’t effectively browse on my phone but it is so useful and boy do those Russian ladies sew up new patterns fast! Is it the .de site that has the images of the pattern pieces? That is so helpful when I’m on the go and wondering about some construction bit or potential fabric usage.

    I think I’m in the position to rethink some of my TNTs. Hopefully I get that bodice sloper done earlier in the year vs. later and can develop some new TNT tops and dresses!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve definitely done this alteration on the fly! Sometimes I pin the sleeve in and just pull it further and further in until enough ease is reduced, and trim off the excess.

      Oh yeh, the Burda site was always pretty bad. There was so much spam in the projects, it was unreal. I didn’t realise that about the Russian site – I use an adblocker on my computer and haven’t tried to access it with my phone, largely cos I don’t have translate on it! Didn’t know that about the .de site & pattern pieces, that would be so darn handy! Sometimes you just need to visualise the pattern layout before purchasing.

      You’d have a bit of work ahead of you in terms of rejigging your TNTs! Bust fit affects everything really.


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