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A Retro A-Line Dress - #136 by Burda Style

I feel like we're stepping out into bold territory with this dress for Indigo, given that she has recently expressed a strong preference for wearing neutrals and muted tones.


I know.  Even I was surprised.  The kind of surprise I feel when homeschool moms tell me that all their kids love memorizing Latin stems.  I'm like "really?"  But yes, really.  Indigo has declared bold colors and especially pinks and purples to be "too kiddish."

retro a-line dress #136 by burda style 

This print, however, passes muster because the color is indigo - her favorite color (naturally) - and she likes the print.  "It's cool," she says.  So yeah, I'm not going to lie, my sewing mama heart kind of does triple flips with all of this.   :)

Burda Retro A-Line dress #135 

I found this fabric at Jo-Ann.  They are carrying some really awesome fabrics these days.  This was part of their designer line and it's by Elizabeth Olwen.  They also had some fabrics by Lotta Jansdotter. Pretty great stuff, I'm telling you.

rainy days 

 When I saw this particular print, I immediately knew I wanted to turn it into this Retro A Line dress #136 - a PDF pattern by Burda Style.

burda a-line retro dress #136 

Burda patterns remind me a lot of Ottobre patterns.  You have to add a seam allowance to both.  Also, the instructions are concise and assume a foundational knowledge of sewing.  I'll be honest and say that I was a little nervous before tackling this pattern with the piped yoke and the pockets given that the pattern instructions were so short.  Also this dress was designed to be sewn in knit fabric.

piped pocket 

However, I didn't have any trouble at all, so that was awesome.  The instructions, though short, were thorough.  I understood everything perfectly and the finishing was great.  It was actually easier to sew the yoke with the piping than without (for example, this O+S roller skate dress).  The piping made the yoke curve beautifully.  (And it's peach piping but just didn't photograph well.)

piped yoke burda style #136

After I sewed my last Burda pattern, I ended up having an email conversation with a Burda 'online community manager' who shared with me some details about their affiliate program.  I wanted to pass along that information because I thought it was pretty cool.   First of all, it's open to any sewing blogger.  I love that.  You just have to fill out a form and they give you 10% of the price of any patterns that were purchased from traffic coming from your blog.

retro a-line dress -136 

She said they appreciate the hard work that sewing bloggers put forth and that they're really impressed with the sewing and photography by sewing bloggers.   She said they want to give back to sewers for their hard work rather than take advantage of the free advertising.  Cool, right?

Now, to be clear, I am not an affiliate with Burda.  Not for any reason, other than that I have chosen not to be affiliated with anyone right now.  But I have no problem with sewers making money from their hard work.  I think affiliate programs are great and that this was a stand up move on Burda's part.

burda style a line retro dress no 136 

After I sewed the last Burda pattern, they told me they'd send me a pattern if I wanted to try any of their other patterns.  But they left it up to me to choose which one and didn't put me on any kind of timetable.  I'm super impressed with them and felt they were so respectful of the work that sewing bloggers are doing.

And, of course, they didn't ask me to write any of this.  I just wanted to share because I thought it was pretty awesome!

burda retro a-line dress no136 

I did make a couple of modifications to this pattern.  Indigo is long and lean, so I cut the pattern based on her chest size which ended up being the dress size 122 (cm).  Then I added 6 inches in length to that.  I also added 1/2" to the back center seam allowance rather than cutting it on the fold.  I didn't want any gapping along the back closure.

back closure
hair elastic button loop idea courtesy of Kristin

It was a pretty quick sew and I love that it's unlined, which is great for our hot, though lately rainy, Texas weather!


Have a great weekend!


  1. I was homeschooled in secondary school (in Belgium, but Latin is the same everywhere), and I remember loving the stems as well! Almost as much as I love this dress and the pictures. The dark cloud background is so cool!

  2. Great dress! My heart would do triple flips as well if my daughters chose fabric like that :)

  3. I really like the pattern, the pockets in particular. I think the retro looking fabric works really well.

  4. I really like the dress, the fabric is so cool and goes so well with the style of the dress. When I first read your title, I thought for a second that this is #136 dress that you made from that pattern. LOL In my defense, it was before I had any coffee. :)

  5. That is a beautiful dress. SO many interesting details!

  6. Great dress! Glad it met Indigo's fabric preferences because it's a fun print! I also love that you're exploring all of these different patterns. It's nice to tuck away all these ideas for later.

  7. Oh I love it!! These colors are just wonderful - navy, mustard, and peach, what a great combo. Compliments Indigo's coloring so nicely. Thanks for blazing the trail as far as sewing for a slightly older girl goes too, as always, I truly appreciate it. ;)

    Really digging your stormy sky photos here, so saturated and moody!

  8. You are so lucky having a girl whose second name is not Pink ! I am right now sewing a dress in jean with yellow piping, and I am not quite sure it's gonna be really appreciate, if you see what I mean... Anyway your dress is so cute with this retro looking fabric.

  9. It's great. Love the colours:)

  10. Great dress and beautiful pictures as always. I like the shape and it looks like a perfect fit.

  11. I love it! There are a few Burda Style patterns I've been wanting to try, but haven't because of the sparse instructions and the whole seam allowance thing. But maybe I should just go for it. Yours have turned out so great! That fabric is super cool, perfect choice for the pattern.

  12. You already know how much I love this fabric:) I, too, have been impressed by the new fabrics Joanns has been carrying - great to see! Now maybe they will start expanding the knit section!
    Love that Burda contacted you - with your amazing sewing and photography, they certainly recognized talent when they saw it:) I have only sewn with a Burda download once, and remember scratching my head a few times. I'm starting to realize I"m a visual learner and love all the illustrations I can get! Perhaps that's why I enjoy the Japanese sewing books, as opposed to just written instructions. Bravo for doing such a fabulous job with this pattern - Indigo looks beautiful in it!

  13. Lovely dress, wonderful print and I adore the piping finishings!

  14. I hope I will be able to sew burda patterns one day. Now they seem to be too difficult for me. Or maybe it's just me?
    This dress is awesome. And the material - perfect for the blonde girl.
    By the way, I love your blog and your instagram.
    Here is my sewing blog:

    1. Thank you so much, Doris. I have only sewn 2 Burda patterns and the instructions are definitely on the sparse side. However, I personally have not had any problems with them, though I have sewn a lot of dresses in my life. :)


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