The Burda Fascination Continues!

Remember when I bought three Burda paper patterns at Christmas? Well, I’ve already shared the twist one with you, and here are the other two!

all burda

When I picked these patterns, I specifically wanted something new and experimental – something unlike the more basic indie patterns that I usually sew! I really enjoyed sewing them all, and learned my standard Burda adjustments:

  • 1.5″ petite adjustment above the bust
  • add width from waist down, because the paper pattern size range is too small for me.

(I know it’s unfashionable to buy patterns that need grading, but because I sew everything in a knit, it’s just a matter of cutting an extra inch as I trim the tissue paper. I’ve also sewn a few Burda Plus designs, and I enjoy their range of options too… even if their plus size range could do with expanding higher.

That said… I did reach out to their Instagram account twice and very cheerfully and politely suggest that they feature more of their plus size patterns… and crickets. Messages were read and no response. I’m pissed, frankly, because that’s not ok. Still trying to decide what to do about it. What would you do? *edited: I decided to post on Instagram and more publicly ask people to encourage Burda’s account to share more inclusive images. We’ll see where that ends up!)

Black Burda Dress

Let’s look at this batwing number first! The high neckline and T-shape are ticking my Kibbe Gamine boxes, and the combo with the tulip skirt and pockets give it a real hourglass shape without being remotely formfitting! I find this one really fun to wear. In a perfect world I probably would have made it a smidge shorter and I’d wear it with a belt… but I hate belts!

Black Burda Dress

I usually don’t like pleats or pockets, but I do enjoy both on this dress! I sewed it in a poly double knit with a metallic ribbed texture… one of those ones that defies description but is fun nonetheless!

Black Burda Dress

I do think I’ll make it again sometime – what kind of fabric should I try next? Would something drapier be good or bad?

Next, the least successful of the three:

Burda Leopard Dress

Can you tell that this has interesting asymmetrical seams and draping? Nope, me neither. I was curious about this one because Kibbe suggests 1920’s dropped waists for flamboyant gamines, and it’s certainly not a style I’ve tried before. Well, two problems:

1. My butt didn’t fit! I thought with all the draping, there would definitely be enough room for my tush without adding width the the weird shaped pieces… but then we hit upon problem #2!

boring back burda

2. Boring Butt Burdas! All three patterns are party in the front, boring in the back! For the black dress I actually used the front pleated piece twice – the back is supposed to be a slim pencil skirt. The back of the leopard dress is just slightly A-line (even with the invisible interesting seaming) and in the end I had to add a big triangular wedge to one side!

Why the boring butts, Burda? Wouldn’t it be better like this?

Burda Leopard Dress

Yeah, that’s me wearing the dress forwards and backwards. I can imagine maybe sewing a summer sleeveless version of this pattern again, with the asymmetric hem in both front and back. And maybe some colour blocking or stripes, to show off the seaming? It’s worth a try, at least!


I aways say that it’s the process of sewing that I enjoy most – and this is a prime example! The leopard dress is never going to be worn, and that is totally fine with me. (No point trying to convince me otherwise, too – it’s so DULL and unbalanced in real life!) All of these dresses were fun to sew, none of the fabric was more than $7/m, and they got me back into sewing after months away from it. Win-win-win, in my books!

27 thoughts on “The Burda Fascination Continues!

  1. Don’t you think the leopard print dress would be great as a leopard print top? You’d probably be more likely to wear it that way.


  2. Burda is a company…sometimes they aren’t quick on the ground to make changes…staff meetings and all that. If I had instragram I could ask as well, but maybe you could ask a wider audience to give them a nudge? The dress look great. I especially like the twist one.


    1. Thanks Barb! You encouraged me to go on Instagram – and it worked! Burda has started a new plus size hashtag, and promised to feature more plus size patterns in their feed… now to wait and see if it happens! 😉


  3. The grey dress with the pockets is fantastic. I like seeing you in something with more details – plus they are fun to sew.I have become a Burda fan in the last few years, they have interesting styles and patterns with details (if that’s what a stitcher is looking for) I mean as opposed to a lot of the indies which are way too simple and not interesting to me. Also the fit on Burda is consistent across their patterns, and the plus offering is very good. On another note – I always measure the pattern to see how it will fit and adjust where needed.


    1. Thank you! I’ve been enjoying the consistent fit, and I’m glad that has been your experience too. I really like being able to buy their patterns as PDFs too, because my nearest place to buy paper patterns is40 minutes away!


  4. I really like the proportions/style lines of the gray/black dress on you! I’m not a fan of belts either, and I don’t think it looks like you’re missing one. I’m a prints fan like you, but I’m really digging the solid in this dress.

    Turning the leopard print dress backwards for some rear-view interest really adds what’s missing, doesn’t it. I won’t try to persuade you to keep that one, but I do love the rear “improvement.”


  5. I think these all turned out great- but I REALLY like that black one. Great details and it looks great on you! Good for you for branching out, like you said, once you learn your adjustments with a company the you are good to go. I’m taking inspiration…


    1. The black one is fun! I’m glad you folks here like it – it’s not the sort of crazy dress that gets me compliments in real life, but I like it nonetheless! 😉


    1. I’m the worst blogger when it comes to actually telling you what I’ve sewn! 😛 I checked, and the black one is Burda 6451! It’s a paper pattern.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As a Burda-holic – woohoo!!!! I like them all…love the twist front but also see what you mean about the leopard.

    Glad you’re getting back to normal!!


  7. Such fabulousness ms Gillian, glad your season has been revamped. I agree about boring backs/butts, it’s nice to have a little something to be remembered by as you walk away!


  8. The black one is my favorite, I think it’s really classy and fun to combine with colorful accessories 😀 I bought a bunch of Burda magazines from (Dutch version of) Craigslist a year or two ago, but I still haven’t gotten around to sewing anything of it yet, although I made a toile for a wintry skirt a couple of weeks ago. I’m curious to see how I’ll need to adapt them to my body shapes/sizes.


  9. Oh you wild and crazy girl! I love the prints you buy. Where did you buy this blue one? I love it. How do you post on instagram? Happy to help out with this project, but can’t figure out how to do it.


  10. Hi, I have a question about your Burda 6451 (which I bought immediately since I liked yours so much!!) Did you still put a zipper in even though yours is knit? Thanks!


  11. I think all 3 of your dresses are wonderful. I always add a center back seam, always, to whatever I’m making to fit my awesome ass.

    While I really miss the Burda Plus magazine, I am perennially disappointed by the images that Burda uses to present their clothes. Their photography is infused with the male sexual gaze, and sometimes, especially on the new Burda website, I wonder just what it is that they are selling.


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