Burda 08/2016 #113 Dress

I’m trying my best look as cool and elegant as the model in Burdastyle, but it was very difficult on this very hot and humid evening! After about 15 minutes the lining was starting to stick to my body…

The belt included with this pattern really takes this pattern up to the next level. It has an origami look to it which nicely sets off the sleekness of the dress. Burda includes a couple of line drawings for how to construct it.

Sans belt:

Below I styled it with the Style Arc Stacie jacket, so you can see how it looks with a topper.

Burda 08/2016 #113 features cut-away shoulders, a front skirt wrap detail, and coordinating belt. This is the tall pattern for the 08/2016 issue.


The front underskirt goes completely to the side seam, and has a considerable amount of coverage. No worries on windy days with this dress.

The fabric I used was an acetate/nylon/lycra midweight crepe suiting. The weave has tons of flexibility, but despite the lycra content the stretch is minimal.

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 10.52.39 AM

I love the vibrant color of this fabric, but found it a pain to press! I think it was a combo of the nylon content and mushy texture. I found it impossible to get a nice sharp crease without the use of a wooden clapper. It definitely slowed down my progress. I would say the idea fabric to use for this dress would be a wool crepe double cloth – thick enough for an unlined skirt, while still being easy to press.

I lined the bodice with some pink Ambiance Bemberg I found in my stash. (The skirt is not lined.)

The back button is a half dome pearl button from Cleaner’s Supply. Since I was already fighting with a fabric that was somewhat difficult to press, I sewed the button loop on by hand after the fact, rather than insert it into the center back seam of the neck band. I also sewed the bottom seam allowance of the inner neck band by hand. It gives an invisible finish and was easier to manage.

The zipper is a 30″ invisible zipper from Zipper Stop.

I used Pro-Sheer Elegance Light to interface the neck band. I interfaced the belt with Pro-Tailor Fusible Hair Canvas. I stabilized the armholes and upper neck edge of the bodice with Design Plus Fusible Stay Tape.

I think this is the first tall Burda pattern I’ve used. After making my last Burda dress I noticed that the armholes were slightly tight and the bodice definitely a little on the short side (fortunately the print fabric does a great job disguising those issues). So this time I decided to not do any alterations for length. For tall sizes Burda lengthens between shoulder and bust about 1/4″, between bust and waist about 1/2″, and about 3/8″ between waist and hip. I’m just under 5’9″ (174cm) tall, and found these length alterations really worked for me. The waist was right where it needed to be, the armholes feel comfortable, the bust darts are right where they should be, and I did not need to take in or extend the back darts on the skirt nearly as much as I did on my previous dress. I will definitely be using more tall size Burda patterns in the future, and applying these length alterations to regular size Burda patterns in the future.


  • Shortened the skirt 3.25″
  • Added 1/2″ to the center back hem of the skirt
  • Removed 1/4″ length from the center top front of the skirt
  • 1/2″ swayback tuck
  • Moved the front French darts inward 1/2″
  • Added a total of 5.5″ to the hips (1.25″ to the back side seams, 1.5″ to the fronts)
  • Added 3/4″ width across the front waist
  • Added 1/2″ width across the middle of the back armhole seam
  • Rotated the back skirt dart from a horizontal to more traditional vertical placement

After trying on the dress during fitting I took in the waist a total of 2.5″ and the lower hip/upper thigh to hem a total of 2.5″. I also had to take in the upper to mid hip curve a significantly larger amount, but that’s pretty normal for me. I like to add more fabric than I need to the hip/thigh area, just in case if the fabric needs more ease than I originally anticipated. I also took in the middle of each back dart 3/4″ and lengthened them 1″.

I did not do a rounded back alteration this time. I suspect doing it to my previous dress was the reason why the back neckline came out too wide. (I think perhaps this alteration is unnecessary for me in Burda patterns that don’t have a collar.)

The fact that this fabric was squishy and difficult to press resulted in the belt being less than perfect. If I made it again I would add an inch of additional length to the strip. I ran a little bit short at the end, and had to do a little bit of reworking in order to make it fit.

While I love the sleek, modern, and very Victoria Beckham look of this dress, I’m not entirely sure I would make it again. The front is just narrow enough that you either have to wear either a strapless bra (which I loathe, especially in hot weather!) or a racerback bra with clear straps (which is what I did in the photos above). Also, the collar band is rather high and slightly stiff, which at times makes it feel slightly constricting. I would have preferred something a tad looser around my neck, especially on such a ridiculously hot and humid day like today! But at the same time I think it adds to the elegance of the style.

49 thoughts on “Burda 08/2016 #113 Dress

  1. You look gorgeous in this dress! It’s so elegant on you! Your sewing is impeccable. Always such a great job. I’m sewing my very first Burda pattern. Making # 118 from bursa style April 2016. Simple tank. Everyone says how great the fit is on Burda, so after all these years of sewing I’m going to give it a try. Have never wanted to trace the patterns. Takes to much time. You constantly inspire me! Thanks!


    1. I find fit a little subjective…in my opinion, no matter what the pattern company most people will get a nicer result making at least a couple of alterations. Burda is very good when it comes to consistency and not being overly generous with ease. The tracing is a pain (and turned me off of them for a while, especially after they went from four to just two pattern sheets) but the styles they’ve been putting out lately have convinced me to go back to them. I find the SACurve ruler extremely helpful for adding seam allowances. Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Another lovely dress that fits you so well – and THANK YOU for the detailed discussion of how the tall Burda fit compared to the regular sizes. I am 5′ 9″, and my daughter is 5′ 11″ but I haven’t tried a Burda pattern yet so this is wonderful information (planning to very soon though, it is in the queue).

    I really like this dress, and have bookmarked this page for reference when I attempt it.

    Thank you for all the work you put into blog posts, it is so appreciated!


    1. Your success will depend on your proportions. I have my height pretty evenly distributed (which is why this bodice fit so well) but a lot of taller women have their height mostly in their legs…so even though they are tall they might need to stick to a standard size bodice and use the tall sizes for pants and skirts. Even that can vary – I am actually very average from crotch to knee, so when I add length to pants I only add it between knee and ankle.


  3. This is what excellent fit does for people! You look tall, slim, elegant, and in perfect proportion (not that you aren’t, Anne, but you know what I mean, right?). This is the most perfectly fitting dress I have seen in a while. It truly looks like a commissioned designer dress. You should be so proud of this, and I can only say you look gorgeous in it, just gorgeous.


    1. Thanks! I had very little actual need for a dress like this, but as soon as I saw the pattern I fell in love and knew I would have to make it! I’m very bottom heavy so I have to be mindful when it comes to the fit and style of my clothes. There’s a lot of elements to this dress that just happen to work well for me.


  4. Congratulations on such a superb finish. It looks really stunning. Also congratulations on your comprehensive blog and your willingness to share your talent and thoughts to help and others. Thank you andbbest wishes.


  5. That’s a fantastic style and a great colour. Another great job on the fitting and sewing too. I think Burda styles are reflecting German summers, where they can get hot but it’s not the high humidity some places get. I look at some of their stuff sometimes in summer issues and think I would die from heat on a normal day in it.


    1. I knew a professional horseback rider that lived in Germany for a couple of years, and she said overall it was milder than Connecticut – not as hot in the summer and not as cold in the winter. And yes, East Coast summers have terrible humidity. This summer has been particularly bad…yesterday the heat index was 111F at one point!


  6. Beautiful fitting dress. Any chance you could show the adjustments you make to your pattern pieces. I need a lot if the same adjustments, except I am very short waisted and am having trouble with getting the angle of the shoulder darts correct I need to add after having done a back adjustment.


    1. It may be something you just need to keep working at for a while (which is why I have done with a lot of my alterations). Two people could have the same wrinkles but require two completely different solutions. I’ve had people say I needed a full bust alteration because I’ve had drag lines at the bust, when in reality it was a matter of needing to move the placement of a dart or princess seam.


  7. Beautifully made as is everything you do. This particular pattern caught my eye, but alas there is just too much of me for this style of dress. Ha, ha


      1. The belt really caught my eye – it definitly helps to “make” the dress (as my dearly departed sewing Mom would say). I am so fasinated that I may have to purchase the pattern just for that. I am thinking of adapting it to other applications. I like the simple elegance of the dress too. Being retired I do not have much need of dresses any more, but this is so tempting. I would need to add sleeves, but I think that could add a fun look to it as well!


  8. I always admire the dress patterns you select. They are perfect for you shape. You have excellent sewing skills! This is lovely dress style on you and love the color you selected. The belt is great design for this dress!


  9. Fabulous dress. The colour suits you to perfection and agree the belt lifts the garment to yet another level. Your sewing and fitting skills are top-notch! Thanks so much for sharing the steps taken.


  10. Gorgeous dress and fabulous finishes. You always do such an amazing job! I was very tempted to buy that issue just for that dress…love the darts and belt but I’m only 5.3 so alterations are massive for me…. Where is your fabric from?


  11. I’m amazed by your technical knowledge! I abandoned Burda, because i wasn’t satisfied with the fit and also I still don’t have enough construction skills to achieve a great fit when it comes to alterations.
    This pink fabric is gorgeous and the belt is superb!


  12. What a showstopper! Regarding the collar, I see it sits higher on your neck than on the model. My guess is that perhaps the bodice is being pulled a little to the back. You said you do a rounded back alteration sometimes? So maybe you need even a bit more length a the back. Not that anyone would notice.


    1. It sits ok in the back – the last time I did a rounded back alteration it just made the center back gape. If you look at the full res photo here you can see how the top of the neckline sits just below the tendons of her neck, which is where it sits for me as well.


  13. Wow, this is absolutely stunning, I agree that the belt is a real eye-catcher, but so is the perfect fit that you achieved. I hear you on the strapless bra issue, but honestly hadn’t even noticed the clear straps till you mentioned them so maybe that’s the way to go.


  14. This pattern is perfect for someone with your height and shape, Anne. You show it off beautifully. Love the belt especially, but the sleek design is also very appealing. You did a great job on it!


  15. Love this dress. Your attention to detail is always top notch. I’ve been enjoying your blog for years. Wonder if your remember the name of the guy you bought snaps from several years ago? Maybe for a jacket or jeans. I hate that all the old post are lost. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks


    1. I get my post style snaps (used for heavier things like outerwear) from Cleaner’s Supply and my prong style snaps from Snap Source. I used clear nylon sew-on snaps for this belt, I think I picked them up from Joann’s.


      1. Thank you. Maybe it was rivets. I can’t remember. All my tags are on my old computer. So sorry to have lost those. You are truly a wealth of information for anything sewing related. Thanks again, Gail


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