Burda 04/2016 #122 Dress


Burda 04/2016 #122 is a fully lined boat neck sheath dress with a front twist detail. The front bodice is cut on the bias.

One thing I liked about this pattern is that in addition to doing the draped design, you could also use the front lining pattern (which has no waist seam) to make a simple sheath. Great for when you want to highlight a print.

My fashion fabric was a light blue 4-ply silk crepe I bought from Fabric Mart a few years ago.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 9.44.48 AM.png

For the lining I used a silk georgette, which I also bought a few years ago from Fabric Mart. The description describes it as just “georgette” but the weight feels more like a double georgette.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 9.43.31 AM


  • Shortened the hem 1″
  • 1/2″ swayback alteration
  • Lengthened 1/4″ between shoulder and bust, and 1/2″ between bust and waist
  • Added 5.5″ to the hips (1.25″ to each back side seam and 1.5″ to each front side seam)
  • 3/8″ sloped shoulder alteration
  • Added a 3/4″ back shoulder dart
  • Lowered the front neckline by 3/8″
  • Added 1/2″ to the center back hem
  • Moved the front darts of the lining inward 1/2″
  • Lowered the back zipper position 2.5″

During fitting I took in each side seam 5/8″ from the hem to the waist, tapering to nothing at the bust. At the suggestion of my mom I ended up taking up the shoulders 1/2″. The shoulder alteration was definitely not expected, especially since I found the shoulders on Burda 06/2016 #112 a little too short. I think the heft and general shiftiness of the 4-ply silk crepe, combined with the bulk of the front drape and the fact that the front bodice is cut on the bias just dragged everything down. I made it work, but the beefy weight of this fabric was definitely not ideal for this pattern. I would recommend using a charmeuse, crepe de chine, georgette, or any other lightweight silk or rayon instead.

Another thing I should note is that the side seams of the skirt don’t hang completely straight. I think the weight of the drape and the bias effect once again came into play, because if I support the twist at the front with my hand, the side seam straightens out. This pattern was obviously balanced for a lighter weight fabric.

Construction Notes

I stabilized the armholes/neckline/waist with Design Plus fusible stay tape. All stitching was done with Magnifico #40 polyester thread. This thread is thinner and silkier than the all-purpose Gutermann and Mettler threads, and it glides wonderfully through silks. I find regular thread tends to chew up lightweight fabrics.

Normally I don’t bother with instructions, but the front drape made me decide to check them out. I found they made sense until it came time to pull through the side front piece to create the twist effect. I’m not sure I did it correctly – the pattern piece indicated a fold, and I did more of a wrap effect rather than a fold in order to gather up those skirt pieces to create the godet effect. It looks like the pattern photo, so I guess I did it correctly!

25 thoughts on “Burda 04/2016 #122 Dress

  1. Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing your experience with that pattern. It is one I have looked at and hoped to make. Your comments will be very helpful when I do.


  2. Another beautiful dress, Ann. Thanks also for listing your thread choice. I agree, regular thread is not great used in fine fabrics, so extremely useful to know what has proven successful for you.


  3. Hi, I love your dress. I started to sew this too but got frustrated and gave up as the waist seam isn’t quite level on either side of the twist. I notice that your’s doesn’t line up either like the Burda pictures seem to convey. Do you think Burda tweaked the pictures so the waist seam is level or we’ve sewn something a little off?


    1. I can tell you right off the bat – they used a different fabric than I did, and their model has a different shape than I do. If they did any “trickery” I can almost guarantee that it wasn’t anything more than re-arranging the fabric as much as possible and using clothespins to fit, which is something that happens on ALL professional photoshoots. If you use a fabric that doesn’t stretch quite as much on the bias you might be able to make it happen. My fabric has a very weighty drape, and unless I made the dress really tight through the waist, there’s no way that seam is going to ever be level because the bodice and side piece are both on the bias, and you have the twist in the front pulling everything down. I am also quite thin through the waist and don’t have much width around the high hip level, so there’s not much for the fabric to “sit” on. I actually like how it angles – I think it contributes to the look of flow and draping and gives more shape to the godet .


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