sewing in different languages

This is Alfred, my sewing assistant, and he’s here to tell you he is looking forward to sitting on all the fabric. Right now he seems to be content with hovering over the sewing magazines I brought home from my trip.

Burda, Polish edition: (a) 7/2016 and (b) 8/2016 — you can view and buy all the patterns here; (c) Naehtrends (sincere apologies for breaking up the umlaut but cut and paste refused to cooperate here) — a completely new-to-me German magazine

Over at SewrendipityAlex has written about differing sewing terminologies across languages. I can’t find the specific post right now but if you’re not following Sewrendipity yet I wholeheartedly recommend perusing it, and definitely not just for that one post.

Alex’s experience with learning to sew is very similar to mine: we both learned to sew with the help of sources in English and surrounded by sewists who primarily use English. Alex mentioned that the Romanian edition of Burda was for her an introduction to sewing in Romanian and that’s exactly what I’d say about the Polish Burda in my own case.

Well, first and foremost, I’ve been learning what’s what from Polish sewing bloggers. Which brings me to more blog recommendations. Two of my favorite Polish blogs are bilingual: Friendsheep and Punkty Odniesienia (Points of Reference); Marchewkowa isn’t bilingual but I think you might still enjoy the vintage inspiration.

I’m admitting this with slight embarrassment. The language teacher in me knows very well that language is just language, so it makes perfect sense that you would only know the terminology you’ve been exposed to, regardless of whether it’s in the first, second, or seventh language you’ve learned. The native speaker, though, is still feeling a bit embarrassed. But, hey, it’s all learnable, so on to the patterns.

Oh, Burda, you’re leaving me coveting those plus-size patterns. To those of you who don’t sew with Burda patterns and don’t know the magazine: unfortunately, it’s not like there is an overall generous size range. No, we’re talking about completely separate pattern collections for the size sets. So while there’s quite a few I like in my size range, the plus-size range is for the most part more interesting in these two issues. Here’s some evidence, from my favorite photoshoot/collection:

The images speak for themselves, don’t they? These are some gorgeous pieces. If these are in your size range or you’re very skilled at grading patterns, I’d say you can get yourself several must-sew items just from that one photoshoot… Bought separately, the patterns are $5.99 each on the US BurdaStyle site, so it’s still a bargain.

If I overcome my laziness and trace through the maze of lines, this is what I’d love to sew up:

That skirt… I hope that skirt helps me become a less lazy sewist…

On a side note, I love that the Polish edition of Burda includes a crossword puzzle and book reviews.. of novels! How can you not love a magazine that supports reading not within its specific subject area? Swoon.

On to Nähtrends, a German magazine with patterns based on current collections from popular clothing brands. For me, the major assets of this issue are the shirt patterns:

What stands between me and these is, again, all the tracing.

Interested in German sewing blogs? I follow the sewing and knitting adventures of Katharina over at Froebelina and I recently discovered the Schnittchen Patterns blog. I would be happy to get more recommendations.

I could go on and on about the sewing patterns, because there are so many more in three magazines. But there’s an art to reviewing these publications. I’d say Paunnet and Ooobop are probably the best sources for witty, detailed reviews with good photos.

Apart from the magazines I also picked up a few fabrics:

(1) a polyester crepe with an irresistible print, (2) rayon challis, (3) linen

There is one more, but it’s already a dress, and so — another blog post.

Happy sewing!


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I write about sewing, knitting, and may sometimes be tempted to talk about books.

4 thoughts on “sewing in different languages”

    1. Hello, Johanna. Thank you so much for the blog recommendation! I really enjoyed Selmin’s post on the occasion of her 4th “sewing birthday”and I’m looking forward to reading more. 🙂


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