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Theresa Dress

Added Mar 22, 2010

By burdastyle

New York, New Yo...






By participating in a Project Runway-esque competition at Kent State University, winner Theresa Rietschlin won the opportunity to have a creation of their choice made into a BurdaStyle sewing pattern sponsored by Coats & Clark. This is her lovely design.

This sweet, sleeveless dress pattern features a curved neckband and ruffled front, a voluminous skirt with side pockets and a band which ties at the waist. It is a perfect summer frock. We made our sample in a paisley printed cotton, but explore other cotton options, too. For the front ruffles, we serged the edges, but you could also do a zig-zag stitch or simply leave the edges raw for a more vintage feel.

Material Notes

2 1/2 – 2 3/4 yds. (2,20 – 2,45 m.) self, interfacing and invisible zipper. The skirt is 21" (53 cm.) long from the waistband.



Related Techniques


Garment Type
Bohemian, Classic, Rock, Romantic



58 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Apr 20, 2010, 02.27 AMby goingtothebirds

    very cute dress, but a downloadable pdf of the instructions would be immensely helpful! pleeeease!

    3 Replies
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Apr 27, 2010, 07.30 PMby alisondahl

      There are downloadable instructions! Just click on the instructions tab at the top of the photo above. Scroll down past the technical images and look right above the comments box and see, next to “Add to favorites” an icon and active link: Print page. Click on it. Choose to “save as PDF” and they’re yours to print out. That’s how you download the instructions.

    • Missing

      May 3, 2010, 04.42 AMby goingtothebirds

      oh, yikes, i feel foolish. i thought i had searched everywhere, but apparently not. thank you!

    • Missing

      Jul 20, 2010, 09.25 PMby bibietg

      It’s not working for me. A print window shows up. There’s no “save as PDF”.

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    Apr 14, 2010, 04.43 PMby whitneyw

    Where are the instructions for this dress? I downloaded the pattern but am missing the directions….

    1 Reply
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Apr 27, 2010, 07.33 PMby alisondahl

      There are downloadable instructions! Just click on the instructions tab at the top of the photo above. Scroll down past the technical images and look right above the comments box and see, next to “Add to favorites” an icon and active link: Print page. Click on it. Choose to “save as PDF” and they’re yours to print out. That’s how you download the instructions.

  • Karina_lombard2_large

    Apr 6, 2010, 11.01 AMby possiblymaybeviolentlyhappy

    The dress looks great! As does the model.

    Yes, people that will not fit into this multisize pattern COULD buy this pattern as is and learn to resize.

    But surely Burda knows that appealing to a wider (no pun intended) audience means bigger profit?

    Why not offer plus size for all patterns? Why release them later than standard sizes?

    And, I don’t think anyone enjoys ‘complaining about their weight’

  • 3a3428ec3922d929aaa557062b6f59b8ce3598e3_large

    Apr 3, 2010, 05.21 PMby sewverytall

    Congratulations Theresa! Your dress design is very cute and very wearable. Just a suggestion or two for those without sergers to finish the edges of the ruffles: /1/ cut the strip of fabric for the ruffle on the bias…this won’t ravel and after washing it will have a cute fuzzy edge /2/ cut the strip of fabric twice the width and press it in half lengthwise so the fold is the edge of the ruffle…this works best with thinner fabric of course. That ruffle could be purchased ruffle-trim too. Again, what a pretty spring dress…I love skirts that move as you walk!

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    Mar 28, 2010, 04.34 AMby nikkishell

    Great dress! This would look fantastic in a Liberty print :)

  • Missing

    Mar 27, 2010, 07.46 PMby christellebarth

    so nice !!!

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    Mar 27, 2010, 12.24 PMby pattimcc

    Very cute. Do I have to have a serger to do those ruffles…I don’t, bummer.

  • C894859b65659edb0794a0cf64b6ca9f63141ece_large

    Mar 27, 2010, 04.29 AMby fashionqueen

    Can we please have PDF file of the instructions? I have purchase this patern and ther eis no proper instructions. the instructions here aren’t very printer friendly!

    1 Reply
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Apr 27, 2010, 07.34 PMby alisondahl

      There are downloadable instructions! Just click on the instructions tab at the top of the photo above. Scroll down past the technical images and look right above the comments box and see, next to “Add to favorites” an icon and active link: Print page. Click on it. Choose to “save as PDF” and they’re yours to print out. That’s how you download the instruction from the website.

  • Tiger-and-the-city-wallpapers_12775_1024x768_large

    Mar 26, 2010, 10.27 PMby blueeyes67

    Seriously! petite people struggle with clothes all the time too, like myself, so if you are plus sized don’t complain.

  • 7dddc9613ac57079351f8a4d299e9aece5cf3908_large

    Mar 26, 2010, 06.28 PMby peaudane

    I can’t believe people are complaining about this one as well. I mean, come on! Do you send emails to Vogue for every patterns that doesn’t suit your particular body type? It seems like because the people at Burdastyle have chosen to show their faces and therefore be more accessible, that somehow people think it’s ok to bash all their creations. As someone else has said, everybody needs to do fitting alterations, whether you’re big or small. Otherwise there is no point in making your own! Please just go and buy ill fitting clothes at high street stores and let this place go back to being the wonderful community of sewing enthusiasts that it used to be!

    1 Reply
    • 11258216_10206641305901111_7249394459930650298_n_large

      Mar 26, 2010, 10.33 PMby nouvellegamine

      thank you! i alter every single pattern.

  • M-1969_stones_concert_large

    Mar 26, 2010, 07.53 AMby cinnamon-girl

    I love this, I just the kind of dress pattern I’ve been looking for. I haven’t been able to find anything I liked enough to make lately, but I can’t find to find some fabric and start sewing this!

  • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

    Mar 25, 2010, 07.34 PMby alisondahl

    For those of you who may not fit into the BurdaStyle patterns or size ranges, please look at my posting on Patternmaking Books where I introduce 6 books from which you can learn to CREATE, ADJUST and MANIPULATE any pattern to fit you. These skills are priceless, and you can always have beautifully fitting clothes if you learn a few new tips & tricks. Thanks! alison

    1 Reply
    • Butterfly-8269_large

      Mar 25, 2010, 10.22 PMby blackozbutterfly

      G’day Alison
      I already got your email earlier thanks. I have been aware about the pattern fitting adjustment for long ages. This really helps stopping the people with size problems ranting or complaning then they could find their own solutions themselves by these books. Atta gal !

  • Butterfly-8269_large

    Mar 25, 2010, 02.38 AMby blackozbutterfly

    I like this design so much because it definitely suits for fashion-conscious petite or lean women with small, curveless or non-3D tits, narrow or short shoulders and shapely legs. I like vintage-looking style. Sorry big women! ……….Re: dkocsis45’s comment, please ignore it because they (him and his wife) probably don’t know so much about different women with different figure or chest sizes and their style taste differences depend their looks etc.. in correct match likeness, I think so. I don’t want any arguements here if you put a positive or negative feedback response against me. OK ? Please be happy and let any stupid ranting go. OK ?

  • Missing

    Mar 24, 2010, 11.54 PMby ellenmiawilson

    plus size isn’t the only size that’s hard to fit, i wear a 00 and patterns don’t come in my size either. so stop complaining.

  • Portrait_large

    Mar 24, 2010, 08.17 PMby englishb

    So cute! I’ve been looking for dresses with a more modest cut to wear when I teach (with a cardigan, of course). I’m hoping people will make it and post pictures soon so I can see what it looks like on different body shapes!

  • Img_0960_large

    Mar 24, 2010, 03.09 PMby splendarose

    This dress looks wonderful on the skinny model. However, I foresee that this dress’s shoulders would have to be altered for anyone who is not the same size as she is. The bust size directly affects the way the shoulders fit. Also the full skirt is not flattering to most figures.

    Too much alteration to make it work.

  • Efb472bd8e296043cd7cfd0eb765f2c56f8d3034_large

    Mar 24, 2010, 02.43 PMby lilo

    Lovely wearable all-round summer dress. As for the larger ladies of course you need to size up the pattern etc (I second tobogon), there are good how-to’s available on this site. My 5 cents: if you are larger (as I also am) the half-circle skirt with knee-length will not flatter you; I would choose for adding 10 cm to the length and take off somewhat from the width of the skirt particularly around the waist area. As for those thick arms, I would wear a lacy knitted 7/8 sleeve cardi or a nice summer shawl over the dress (and problem area).

  • 13515127_30_b_large

    Mar 24, 2010, 01.18 PMby dilemmax

    omg. seriously stop complaining already. BS usually release the Plus Size pattern after each pattern releases. Hold on to your panties, ladies!

  • Dsc01439_2__large

    Mar 24, 2010, 11.51 AMby aceshey18

    This looks like the perfect little summer dress. For my 30th in June my Hubby is getting me a new Singer! (Yey!) Probably to stop me moaning about my old one! So this dress is on my list to try after my birthday. Hmmm which fabric though……. at least I have time to decide. x

  • Tree_profile_large

    Mar 24, 2010, 04.49 AMby tobogon

    In response to all of the requests for plus sizes; I get where you’re coming from, none of these patterns fit me either, but you’ve been encountering this problem for years already, why don’t you know how to adjust your patterns yet? You’re not getting any thinner! Why are you making your clothes in the first place? Because stores don’t sell clothes that fit. You don’t want people to think that all fat people are lazy, so stop being lazy and do the work that being fat and looking good requires. I’m sorry, but it does take work. It seems to me that everyone at Burda is skinny, why don’t you apply for a job there if you’re so un-happy with what they do.

    I think that ilynne made an excellent suggestion and was a lot more polite than I have been. Unfortunately, I’m not sorry to anyone that I have offended. The constant whining on this site offends me.

    If I ever get around to making this dress, I’m going to make the arm holes bigger. It looks like they’ll get some large sweat marks pretty quickly. Besides, they’ll probably give my fat arms a wedgie.

    2 Replies
    • Missing

      Mar 24, 2010, 08.36 AMby jan64

      I must say as a newcomer to this site I find all your remarks very funny. I have been big But! got off my backside and did something about it. Is this not a website for people that make clothes, rather than a website for people to have a moan about their size. I think this dress is lovely, and I assume as a dressmaker that other people could adapt the pattern to fit their own size, regardless of how big or small you are. Come on girls pull your skirts up stop moaning and get making. Happy Days
      Best wishes Jan xx I have just got the material out can’t wait to start sewing this. Lovely xxx
      p.s you should love your body regardless of your size.

    • Missing

      Mar 24, 2010, 06.08 PMby ilynne

      Agreed. If you are plus size (or any size) and happy about it, Bravo! You should love yourself!

      But, honestly, don’t whine about the patterns not being your size. I’m not plus, I “fit” into the smaller sizes. But not really. Every body is different. It was well worth the effort to learn to cut my own clothes.

      I was thrilled to see this dress. I’m going to make it without ruffles and with pintucks and pockets.

      And yes, you should love your body regardless of your size.

  • Missing

    Mar 24, 2010, 03.23 AMby sewwise

    I like this dress. I would add different color ruffles for some contrast, perhaps the hot pink or the peacock green that can be found in the fabric of the dress, and the ruffles would be unfinished. I would try to add some darts for the bust area to give a little shape. Most importantly, I would lose the tie in the back. I think it looks matronly or maternal. I have enough black wide belts, skinny belts, and could even make another belt using the contrast idea again.

  • Missing

    Mar 24, 2010, 03.00 AMby katemakowiecka

    “Burda has made plenty of plus-sized patterns but they shouldn’t be expected to accomodate for every size for every pattern.”

    why not?

    when a plus pattern is offered there are always comments from smaller sized people complaining that they’ve been left out: it isn’t just ‘our’ problem.

    p.s. I think this dress is gorgeous by the way :-)

    1 Reply
    • 202413_1236892285178_full_large

      Mar 25, 2010, 12.00 AMby Dani Restercher

      I don’t agree with the smaller sized people who are complaining.

      And because it is expensive and unrealistic

  • Image_large

    Mar 24, 2010, 02.42 AMby metropolitanfrock

    Really pretty and sweet with just the right amount of detail. XOXOXOXOXOX

  • Missing

    Mar 24, 2010, 01.05 AMby dkocsis45

    This comment was deleted by the author.

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Aug 19, 2013, 01.56 PMby donhager

      What do know anyway

  • 202413_1236892285178_full_large

    Mar 23, 2010, 11.20 PMby Dani Restercher

    truly gorgeous dress, perfect for summer days or for the winter over a high necked shirt! It’s a wonderful addition I love it. I’d make it a lot shorter though :P XD

  • A0fbce040f97d35d1eb7c98f90b822eb863c48de_large

    Mar 23, 2010, 10.46 PMby mysalvage

    This is gorgeous, i love the dress and the fabric!

    Am definitely going to make one but i noticed there are no instructions, will they be posted in the future?

    I did find the instructions eventually! “Next time look with your eyes open” as my mum used to tell me C:
  • Missing

    Mar 23, 2010, 07.16 PMby fr8rain

    Like the fabric. Would like the dress better minus the ruffles as I don’t think it does anything for it.

  • Ameraucana_large

    Mar 23, 2010, 06.52 PMby simpleadditions

    Another dress that runs several sizes smaller than us fat girls can get our bodies into. What is it with people thinking we don’t want to dress trendy, too? Should we, then, resign ourselves to polyester pants and muumuu style tops? Come on, Burda, make the patterns in a larger range. I’d like this dress in a 54, or maybe even bigger. Fat shouldn’t equal frumpy.

    3 Replies
    • 364df32059978b016906c79f355a2451bcb53cfa_large

      Mar 23, 2010, 07.49 PMby Lise Petrauskas

      I completely agree!!!!!!

    • Missing

      Mar 23, 2010, 10.03 PMby ilynne

      I have a weird body that never really fits a standard pattern. And clothes that fit poorly look cheap.

      I recommend Simon Henry’s book “The Little Black Dress: How to Make the Perfect One for You.” It is inexpensive and very well written and illustrated. Take some time and make a body block for yourself that fits perfectly. Then you can look at this dress and make your own pattern for it. And it will fit you perfectly every time.

      I spent about a month working on my body block. I got REALLY tired of re-sewing it. It was worth the effort.

      You can also use the how-tos on this site to grade the pattern up.

    • 202413_1236892285178_full_large

      Mar 23, 2010, 11.14 PMby Dani Restercher

      I disagree. Sorry but the pattern goes up to the largest size in most high street shops and unfortunately you are probably going to have to learn to scale the pattern up. Burda has made plenty of plus-sized patterns but they shouldn’t be expected to accomodate for every size for every pattern.

  • E84dba00522fcaf7d1e5c13bffa0b7427a5b9801_large

    Mar 23, 2010, 06.22 PMby theaisforamy

    Arg! it’s SO cute! I only wish that more of the cute dress patterns (like this one) I see pop into my inbox had plus size options as well. I want to wear cute dresses too. Even if I’m a fat girl.

  • Missing

    Mar 23, 2010, 04.57 PMby kelseykay

    looove this fabric!

    • This is a question
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