German Magazine Burda Moden Forms Open-Source Design Site

A fashion start-up has taken an approach to clothing design that can easily be described as if iTunes offered sewing patterns at no cost and without any DRM. Since that isn’t about to happen, two young women decided to reinvent established German magazine Burda Moden as an open source sewing pattern site called BurdaStyle.

Burda Moden, the 60-year-old magazine, sells paper sewing patterns that allow women to dress well even if their local shop has nothing fashionable, a piece in the IHT notes. Its circulation stands at one million copies a month and it is sold in more than 80 countries and in 16 languages. By removing copyright restrictions for the site’s sewing patterns, the company hopes to encourage people to make money selling their improved versions. The only requirement for people to use modified Burda patterns is to acknowledge the company as the source. For about $4, people can download a pattern that can be modified and then printed on a single large sheet on printers available at most print shops. An upcoming version of the site will include a “family tree” feature that allows people to show the previous versions of a design they developed. A fashion show is planned later this year in New York to showcase the range of design variations from a single pattern.

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