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BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern: Mastering Iconic Looks from the 1920s to 1980s Hardcover – Dec 11 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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  • BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern: Mastering Iconic Looks from the 1920s to 1980s
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  • Gertie Sews Vintage Casual: A Modern Guide to Sportswear Styles of the 1940s and 1950s
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Craft; Spi edition (Dec 11 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307586758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307586759
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 3.1 x 24.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #221,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"A growing number of nostalgic hobbyists lately seek to revive the magic and glamour of other eras, stitching together their frocks to create looks not found on the rack. Guiding this trend are Nora Abousteit, a founder of, and Jamie Lau…Following their lead, anyone with a Singer and nimble fingers can whip up a homage to Garbo, like a delicate 1930s-style day dress." —The New York Times

"As I flipped through the pages, I found item after item just begging to be added to my wardrobe…this book is definitely going to keep me sewing—and stylish—for a long time to come!" —Haley Pierson-Cox, Craftzine

"This book makes you feel like the possibilities for a single pattern are endless." —Sew Well

About the Author

Nora Abousteit is the cofounder of, the world’s largest online community of sewing enthusiasts, and the founder of, a new fashion-forward crafting community where you can find projects and buy supplies.

Jamie Lau
is BurdaStyle’s editorial and e-commerce manager. A self-taught seamstress, she now designs for her eponymous fashion label and teaches sewing courses in New York City, where she resides.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like this book...easy to follow instructions.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa6988d68) out of 5 stars 33 reviews
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5f697c8) out of 5 stars Not the best, but not bad Dec 14 2012
By Elle - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are several classic pieces that never change: button down and tuxedo shirts. Not surprisingly, two of the best patterns are men's.

Many of the looks are instantly recognizable as being from the era, specifically the 60s and 70s. Some of these era's looks are hard to modernize, although they do try. It is a matter of something belonging to an age, and being so from that time that anything that borrows from it can't really be all that updated.

The 30s don't look much like the 30s, and really there's not a lot of difference from those, the 50s and the 80s dresses. Not that they are bad, but it is not the iconic look you think of and nothing screams New Look. The most disappointing is that the 40s look was for men, one of the hardest eras to find women's patterns is also missing from here. Some of the looks were hard to place as why they were iconic, like the pajamas. I had to wind up asking my mother why this was included (Doris Day, for the record, lol.)

Surprisingly, one of the best (and most modern looks) in the whole book was the 20s dress. Dropped waist, yes, but that can be easily modified to fit at the waist for a really flattering looks.

Over all, I'm not sorry I got this book, and if you like vintage inspired that barely nod to the looks (in many cases) or are a 60s and 70s nut, then this is a great book. I tend to like pieces that borrow heavily from vintage looks with modern twists, and this does not deliver all that well.

There are good looks and it is a good collection, but it may not be the best for true vintage lovers.
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5f69df8) out of 5 stars Great new sewing book that puts a modern twist on vintage style Dec 13 2012
By Heather Lou - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Like the first BurdaStyle book, Sewing Vintage Modern includes information on the basic equipment needed to produce the included projects, along with a primer on making pattern modifications. However, it does not include lengthy chapters on sewing basics, which I think was wise. That information can get repetitive for anyone who is not an absolute beginner. Instead the focus is on summarizing vintage periods by decade and creating iconic garments from each period in a modern way. For this reason I consider this new book a companion to the original BurdaStyle book rather than another primer on how to learn to sew.

The book includes 5 base patterns that can be modified to create 19 different projects. There are excellent instructions on how to adapt the basic slopers into different garments and I think is a really great introduction on how to modify patterns, which can be intimidating if you haven't done it before. I made the Louis Dropped Waist dress and absolutely love it!

For vintage aficionados, the basic introduction to the styles of each decade (notable designers, key accessories etc.) may not be fresh news, but it is a good summary of how fashion has evolved since the 20's. Each decade is represented by one or more iconic looks.

Overall, I was really happy with this book. I liked the fresh, modern take on sewing vintage garments and think the styling is lovely, approachable and not too "period". It's vintage style for today. The instructions are incredibly clear and well written and the projects provide a great entry into the world of pattern modification.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By Jade - Published on
Format: Hardcover
So let me just start out by saying that this book is wonderful. I've actually sewn one of the projects in this book and it turned out so well! The book offers clear and concise directions accompanied by images. Sewing can be difficult when you are trying to read directions, but the images clear up and confusion you might have. I love that it teaches you how to make the variations using the set of patterns provided by the book. I've always wanted to know how to alter patterns and now I have a better understanding of how altering patterns works. Overall, this book is a wonderful addition to my sewing collection and I think you will love it too!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5f69de0) out of 5 stars Great for inspiring your imagination Dec 27 2012
By JodiMade - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The book is organised by the decade going from the 20s through to the 80s giving bits of information about what was cool at the time and how you can make garments inspired by those fashions in a modern way.

I really like the concept of the book. There are 5 base patterns which you can use to make different items of clothing. The book shows how to make 19 different items from these slopers. It really encourages creativity - I think a lot of people don't realise how many possibilities there are from basic patterns. Changing necklines, adding sleeves, colour blocking etc - they enable you to really make a garment how you would like it to be. You can let your imagination run wild. You can learn a bit about pattern drafting too. How to change the slopers is clearly explained. Maybe not suitable for total beginners but if you have done a bit of sewing with patterns and want to expand your knowledge I recommend this book.

It's kinda like how I use but in book form...

There are some very nice garments in there. My favourite project is the 1950's Lillian Blouse. It's gorgeous - a simple blouse with a cream lace yoke. Also the Heather Bustier dress is very cute.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5f69d38) out of 5 stars Encourages Creativity Based on Past Looks Jan. 1 2013
By A. - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'll begin by admitting that this book is one of the few modern pattern-sheets-included sewing books that I own. I've always been worried about not fitting the author's basic sloper and, therefore, not being able to gain much from the patterns. But, since I've used BurdaStyle patterns in the past and have gotten great fits, I decided this book was worth the venture into new sewing-book territory. And, I'm happy to say, it was. So far I've made the 20s-inspired Louisa Drop-Waist Dress, and with only a few tweaks it fits like the 20s dress I have long wanted. The instructions were spot on, too. I've read through the rest of the book, and I learned quite a lot from all of the discussion on pattern manipulation. This book makes you feel like you can make almost anything from just a few basic patterns. As for the format of the book, it covers decades between the 1920s and the 1980s, giving a two-page overview of the iconic styles before launching into patterns. Some decades have one pattern, some decades have several. If you're a fan of BurdaStyle patterns and vintage style or if you're interested in learning basic pattern manipulation, I'd highly recommend this book.