Burda Bust Business

Dear Burda,

Thank you for all the patterns you crank out every month, my wardrobe would look at lot more boring without you!

Usually your patterns fit rather well, but there are exceptions. Such as the Wrap Dress 07/2016 #102, it looks simple, fits the model well. Glam it up with heels or wear it casual with flip-flops, the seemingly ideal summer holiday dress.



Hm… the cleavage is a bit open, but since I’m less busty than the model it should be fine…

And so I started sewing the dress in a lovely viscose fabric. But OMG that decolleté was loooooooow. Indecently so.

I first tried shortening the straps to the max, so as to raise the bustier part maximally. I’m almost up in the armpit yet you still see a lot of bra…


Did I make a mistake???? Apparently not. A quick search online and the ladies who made this dress had the exact same problem. They either just wear it as a ‘cover-up’ on the beach and show some boob and/or bikini, one clever lady even inserted an extra piece of fabric. Shame though. And shame on you Burda, a simple prototype or two would have revealed the busted busty issue. I wonder how many times a pattern gets tested in a company like yours?

image3_large great dress/photo/model but the bust part of the dress is obviously much too small / low / to the sides.

2a_large inserting a bit of lace to keep one’s dignity.

Dear Burda, I think you realised your mistake at the photoshoot, and tried covering it up with the model’s tresses, as all her hair was combed to the front and over her cleavage.

So I re-drafted the bustier adding 3cm to the offending part. New parts + lining made.


It’s now decent enough, but the excess 3cm have to be tucked in elsewhere, see bottom pinned fold. Also the top edge starts to curl now 😦 despite stitching inside and top stitching. (In retrospect my adding of fabric was poorly conceptualised for such a fluid fabric, that’s why I buy good quality patterns rather than draft my own, duh)


So I unpicked the inside + top stitching and ironed some vlieseline to avoid that curl. I also took it in a further 2cm by the strap to pull it upwards.


It’s now ‘wearable’, and looks OK from far. But I won’t wear it, the front part is still too wonky and gaping. If someone talks to me, this is what they see:


Should you still be interested in making  this lovely dress, there’s a Burda Style Extra magazine out now (summer 2019) where for 6,95€ you get this pattern but also 15 other patterns. In Dutch it’s called “the Best of zomerjurken”. I’ve seen it in French as well “Best of Robes” 🙂

If I find the courage I’ll remove the top again, and try draping something myself.

It’s just not funny when a sewing projects takes an extra 15 odd hours unpicking and trying to fix a problem someone else’s mistake. I will try to research patterns better before starting, and I will try to post my work more often, model photos or technical drawings really don’t say that much, but bloggers do. Thank you all out there!


  1. Deb Mackenzie

    Hi Anna, thank you so much for sharing this drafting mistake. As I’ve said previously, I learn a lot from your blog, but I’m far from convinced that I yet have the skill to correct this issue by myself. (Furthermore, it’s highly likely that I’d have blamed the initial shortcomings on a personal sewing or cutting error and not on Burda itself!) Although you spent many extra hours to appropriately adjust the bust, I hope you’ll eventually take the additional extra time to redraft the top in its entirety, so that you’re completely happy to wear it. I love your choice of fabric and after investing so many hours of thought and sewing, it will be a shame if it’s never worn. (Certainly though, take a decent long break before reassessing it!) With best wishes and commiserations, Deb

    • Hello Deb, I initially also blamed my poor skills/fabric choice/etc… until I noticed that other ladies had the same problem! Thank you for your kind words, this really helps with the prospect of starting a new, and hopefully last, round.

  2. Oh how annoying. Burda’s drafting is normally so good too! I suspect you’re right that they don’t test a great deal, when you consider how many patterns they put out a month they’d need an army of seamstresses! Thanks for the review.

    • Yes they’re usually quite good, which is why I forgive them. It was also a good lesson in terms of doing a bit more research before starting a project, and definitely a kick in the behind to post more often.

  3. This is such an annoying flaw in the pattern! To correct it and avoid curling of fabric, I would suggest to add more material almost as you’ve done, but rather than making a curve and add at the bottom of the triangle, I’d go up the strap and add a line from the top corner upwards, say 4-5cm, then connect that point with the bottom right corner of the triangle. See what that does? It keeps a straight line along the cleavage so there is no curling, and it raises the lowest point where the two panes cross. You’d need to experiment, obviously, but I think this is the way to go.

    • Thanks Elena, thanks a lot for your input! I considered drafting a parallel line to the existing, say 3cm outwards, which is I think similar to your idea, but then on either side of the strap the fabric would be at very different heights, in itself not dramatic, but it’s a different design of bustier, and I’m trying to keep that triangle idea. What I’m currently considering is widening the side panels of the bustier, thus bringing the straps and overlapping parts closer together. I think the Burda model and drawing have the straps closer together than us other mortal sewers…

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