Twice as stylish: Burda dress 128 from Burda Style 6/2013

Burda Style 6/2013 dress 128
Burda Style 6/2013 dress 128

A few weeks ago I was wandering through my local (covered) market and out of the corner of my eye I spied, on the newsagents stall, a copy of Burda Style 6/2013. I flicked through it, and decided there were a few cute things in it. So, having never bought a copy of a Burda Style publication, I decided to give it a go.

Burda dress 128 was the dress that caught my eye the most. It seemed perfect for my forthcoming holiday. Something light, easy to wear and comfortable. It’s actually made of two dresses, each gathered at the waist, which according to the magazine, could also be worn separately (note: the “overdress” is cut VERY low and I personally don’t think I would wear either dress separately for modesty reasons).

Burda dress 128 with technical drawing
Burda dress 128 with technical drawing

As mentioned above, I have never bought a Burda Style publication before. Having made this dress I now don’t know if I ever will again.

For those who have never bought this publication either, here is a scan of a SMALL proportion of the rather large pattern sheet which is included with this publication (excuse not very good scan – I think you get the message though).

Scan of small proportion of Burda Style pattern sheet
Scan of small proportion of Burda Style pattern sheet

Can you imagine being confronted with a scan like that, multiplied by like 10 and printed on both sides?! Plus, remember, this is Burda….you also have to add on your seam allowances?!

Anyway, thankfully this is a super easy dress pattern. There were only two pattern pieces that I had to trace. One piece for the under dress (I made mine in coral), and one for the over dress (floral print). I pretty much disregarded the instructions for assembly. They instruct you to cut bias strips for facings, but somehow I didn’t quite understand their instructions so just did it as I have done before. They also tell you to zig zig over elastic (and draw the elastic up) to create the waist. The elastic I had was too wide for my zig zag so I ended up sewing in a casing made from cotton bias binding. This has added a little bulk at the waist, but overall it is fine. Finally, they tell you to zig zag the hem, and trim of the excess?! I did a rolled hem on my serger. My first time and I love it.

Burda Style 6/2013 dress 128
Burda Style 6/2013 dress 128
Close up of my rolled hems and the fabrics - the coral one is a dobby spot cotton, and the floral print is a cotton lawn
Close up of my rolled hems and the fabrics – the coral one is a dobby spot cotton, and the floral print is a cotton lawn

I have only ever tried a Burda pattern once before. What about the fit of this dress? It is supposed to be a loose fitting garment. Blousy on top and a flared skirt. I think if you have a smaller chest than me (let’s face it – most people do), then you might want to cut the necklines higher. But I like how the under dress is drafted so you are not showing anything at the underarm etc, and then the over dress is cut lower so you can see the under dress.

Burda style 6/2013 dress 128
Burda style 6/2013 dress 128

BTW in my version you can see the under dress peeking out at the bottom. I quite like the effect so I went with it.

In conclusion, I am glad I tried it, but I am too impatient to be on with figuring out which lines to trace, tracing and adding on seam allowances. I do like my dress, and I can see me wearing it a lot over the summer. But, Burda Style, I like looking at your pretty pictures but not your confusing lines!

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Two dresses, each gathered at the waist, which according to the magazine, can also be worn separately.

Pattern Sizing:

34 – 42

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes, I think so.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

I found them confusing. I just did my own thing. Attached the facings in my usual manner to the neckline and armholes, made a casing for the elastic rather than zig-zagging over elastic and drawing it up (my elastic was just too wide!) and did rolled hems (rather than zig zag and trim).

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

My first experience of using a Burda Style magazine. Probably going to be my last. I found tracing the pattern too confusing and I don’t have the patience for it. I do like the finished dresses though 🙂

Fabric Used:

Under dress coral cotton dobby spot.

Overdress ditsy floral print cotton lawn.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:


Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Probably no to sewing it again. Hmmm…recommend…yes…if you have patience and incredible eyesight to follow the pattern sheet.


Very easy to wear. light, comfortable dresses. Easy to sew if you are not relying on the Buda instructions.

I am away now…see you in all again in a few weeks. Holiday for a week, a week to get over post holiday blues and do all the washing and a week to sew something new (got an exciting delivery of knit fabrics today!)….same place in around 3 weeks or so? Until later……

Burda Style 6/2013 dress 128
Burda Style 6/2013 dress 128

Posted by

By day I work in the exciting world of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, registering medicines (!), but by night I turn in to a sewing diva, making all manner of clothes in my beautiful sewing space (which you can tour using the link at the top of this blog). I love how sewing and sewing clothes that fit my curvy body continually challenges me. I enjoy working with all different types of fabric, and whilst I don't like to put restrictions on myself and say I won't buy RTW, the truth is that I probably rarely do buy it, preferring the fit of my own me-made clothes. I love to use natural fibres where ever possible and colourful coats are an obsession of mine! Sewing is both my addiction and my therapy. You can contact me at

21 thoughts on “Twice as stylish: Burda dress 128 from Burda Style 6/2013

  1. WARNING: Burda Devotee about to comment, LOL!

    I have known Burda all my life and two of the very skilled seamstresses in my family who used them, my Paternal Sewing Aunt and my Maternal Great Aunt by Marriage, both were always very complimentary of the draft. So in my mind, Burda is The Best.

    Their draft is consistent and fitted means fitted, unlike the US pattern companies, in my experience (even Vogue! Imagine : 11 cm of ease in a “fitted bodice” for an 88cm bust, is that not insane?!?!?).

    My friend Mélissa @ has a cool tip :

    which, coupled with a double tracing wheel, might help you get over it:

    There is also a whole thread of tips on Pattern Review:

    Or you could download an individual pattern from their online shop?

    I don’t really use them (though I stockpiled all the old free ones!) but at least you only get one pattern to trace off, even if they do overlap the pieces in the print-out.

    1. Haha Lakaribane, was I being controversial? Am I now going to be bombarded with hate mail from Burda followers world wide? 🙂 Yes, I can see the double tracing wheel would be useful and I will check out the links you sent. Someone has also recently given me a pattern for a Burda dress. But at least that does not involve tracing anything! But who knows, perhaps I will grow to love them…

      1. Oh, sorry for giving the wrong impression! Not witch hunt coming…well, *I* am not orchestrating one, I promise. I’m just conscious that I am biased in favor of Burda so I don’t get the problem with the pattern sheet. The first ones I did were from the early 80s and only the instructions were translated to Fr, the rest was in German. And the sheets were smaller, too! So I am long-trained and don’t get cross-eyed anymore, LOL! (Also I admit to being Type A so I always plan to win!)

        Anyway, give Burda a second chance, please!

  2. This looks great! I have used a couple patterns from Burdastyle magazine and been pretty pleased with the results, but I agree, tracing off is a total pain. What I’ve started doing is to go over the lines I want to trace with a highlighter first – take a bit of time, but it makes it much easier to see the lines you want once the tracing paper is in place.

  3. I agree with you completely, Burda magazine patterns are incomprehensible to me! way too confusing to search for and trace the pattern pieces. I can always find an envelope pattern that is close enough to any style so i don’t bother with the magazine. That said, your dress is super cute, perfect for vacation and the color is lovely on you.

    1. Phew glad someone agrees with me Beth! 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, would be happy to buy a Burda pattern envelope or even download one, but just didn’t like the pattern jumble!

  4. I am a Burda devotee too. You have to realize that the little box showing the pattern pieces next to the pattern instructions is your friend. It says, for example, Sheet A, green pattern, 21-25. You find Sheet A and look along the border for the green numbers. Perpendicular to green 21, you find the right pattern piece. Then you look at the little box again, where it shows you a miniature of the pattern piece with all its markings, notches, etc. That helps you to find them all easily with no confusion. I put a towel on my table, a piece of tracing paper over the towel and the Burda sheet over the top. Then I trace along the pattern using a tracing wheel which perforated the paper right through to the tracing paper underneath. This is what Melissa of Fair Trade does and it’s so quick. Takes minutes to trace a pattern. And no seam allowances means you can make alterations easily before cutting. Love Burda. Love, love, love!

    Your dress is gorgeous. I think I’m going to make it as a maxi. Love it.

  5. I love everything you make! This dress is so cute. I’ve tried a few Burda patterns, most were downloaded from the website. I traced one from the magazine and I was unimpressed. Once I got everything traced, the pattern was great…but I spent hours trying to trace and then add seam allowances. It was a bit of a pain. It’s not too bad if the pattern is simple with only a few pieces, but imagine trying to trace a complicated pattern. No thanks. Simplicity offers paper Burda patterns, some are similar to the patterns found in the magazine and on the Burda website. I would use them instead:

  6. I saw this in my magazine and had blah thoughts about it, but I really love it on your…it looks so cool and comfy. The color looks great on you. I think the more you trace the patterns the easier it gets. I would actually rather do that than download a pattern. Don’t give up. Love your dress.

  7. how cute is this!!
    i too find tracing Burda a complete PITA but once you get used to the mumbo jumbo lines it gets easier. i find them not having seam allowance even more frustrating especially when I jump between patterns so much – most times I forget to add the seam allowances all together…..however I must say, their fit is very good compared to the Big 4 & very rarely do I need to do alterations.

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