I got my first issue of Burda Magazine in July of 2008. The news service I bought it from gave me a free copy when I bought a subscription. (I don't think they do that anymore). I've let my subscription lapse after two years, now that I have hundreds of patterns at my fingertips. My library happens to have a subscription if I'm ever dying to see the most recent issue.
I picked up this tattered copy from 1977 on ebay. Burda magazine began in 1950 and started including traceable patterns in 1952. Long ago, it included recipes, knitting patterns, and lots of ads. Now, it has cut the ads and recipes, and has more feature items: analysis of the runways or biographies of designers. I'd really like to see an issue from the 1950s!
Just about as interesting as the changing fashions is the evolving tracing sheets. This one's from 1977. The lines are in just two colors. Each pattern piece in the magazine is indicated by a number, which you locate in the margin. One of the lines in the piece you want to trace will be parallel to this number.
By 2001, they had added multiple colors and notes on the pattern pieces (such as fold lines and grain lines).
For several years, they reduced the number of patterns per sheet (by adding more sheets) and it was comparatively EASY to trace.
In the 9-2010 issue, the crazy overlapping lines were back again.
This is an instruction sheet from 1977. The magazine didn't have any sort of master list of the patterns included. You had to flip through the entire magazine.
The modern directions seem a little longer now than in 1977. I wonder if the instructions were as cryptic then as they are now?
One other interesting thing I noticed: modern Burda patterns each come in varying ranges of 5 sizes each (for example 36-42, or 44-52). Most of the vintage patterns came in just one random size; a few came in 2 or more - making grading and fitting patterns a little more challenging.