Tale of Two Tiered Dresses – M4M Blythe and BurdaStyle 04/2013

 Made for Mermaids – Blythe Dress


Measurements at the time:

    • high bust 39 inches

    • bust 42 inches

    • waist 39 inches

    • hip 49 inches



Size Sewn:  shoulders and neck at size green, the rest straight size Yellow

Started and finished Sewing:  11/12 & 11/13/2022



  •  I made 1/2-inch forward shoulder adjustment
  • Low neck option
  • Double tier option
  • Short sleeve option – green size for sleeve cap and top grading to yellow at bicep
  • I used Fold Over Elastic to strengthen the gathers like I always do

Fabric:  Black Double Brushed Poly Elephants I’ve been saving in my stash for a long time. I squeaked this dress out of 1 & 7/8 yards.  I have 3 yards total of this fabric and I bought it sometime from Knitpop. Probably around $6/yard so total for this dress= $11.25


Likes: the seam allowances and hem allowances are marked on the pattern itself. I love that. The instructions are easy to follow as well.

I tried two methods to gather just to see if one was faster/easier.  I first gathered by doing a zigzag over a string and then pulling the string to gather – I do not like this method at all. It doesn’t look clean and it just takes too much work for me to bother. I then did what I always do, I basted 2 lines and then pulled them to gather – much faster for me and ends up with even gathers – I much prefer this method.  Then I like to serge fold over elastic at the waist.  It helps the gathers retain their shape and the FOE is soft so it doesn’t irritate my skin the way elastic does.  There is a picture of this near the end of my Boundless Dress post from 2018. 
I felt like there were not many gathers on the top tier and overall I wish the tiers had more gathers.  The hem calls for ½” allowance and I feel that is just too short for a dress.  I prefer a nice thick 1” hem or at least a ¾” hem otherwise my fabric likes to flip there.


After sewing the dress up it was WAY to wide at the bust and side to waist. I didn’t like it and it felt frumpy. So, I took off fabric from armpit to hip. I started at 0” armpit then to 1.75” at bust to 1” at waist and then 0” by hip on both sides. This means I took a total of 5.5 to 6” off the bodice. However, now it looks so much better, and I love the dress.  I guess I should have sewn a green size for the bodice. I love the look and feel of the dress.  It is comfortable and fun.  I would make it again if I remembered to size down the bodice to size green and leave the rest in size yellow.

left is before taking off excess, right is much better.



Video of Blythe Dress in action on Instagram

Also on YouTube if you don’t Instagram

Pattern:  BurdaStyle 04/2013 #129B Peasant Dress


Measurements at the time:

  • high bust 39 inches
  • bust 42 inches
  • waist 39 inches
  • hip 49 inches

Size Sewn:  Bust 48, Waist and hips 50

Started and finished Sewing: 10/21/2023



    • I made 1/2-inch forward shoulder adjustment

    • Bicep elastic called for 12.75” and I used 14.5” because my biceps are bigger.

    • Guessed at neck elastic (read below why) and used 24”


Fabric:  This dress took 3.5-3.75 yards.  I used this aqua floral Double Brushed Poly that I have been saving for something fun.  I purchased it June 17, 2020 from the now gone fabric. com for $5.38/yard. So dress total= $20.17

The directions on this Burda were…… well, worse than most.  The neck just says “use ends of remaining elastic” with no exact measurement.  I ended up using 24” of ¼” elastic for neck. I’m not sure what the waist instructions said but I serged it at 6.5 width on my serger, then flipped up the seam allowance and triple zigzag stitched on the elastic.  The hem called for 5/8” and I did ¾”.

For fun I calculated what Burda wanted the neck elastic to be (as it said “use ends of remaining elastic”).            Sleeve: 12.75 + 12.75, waist 33 = 58.5” of elastic. The entire pattern called for 72.625” of elastic so in essence burda wanted me to use a 14&1/8” neck elastic.  That would have choked me completely!

SO to recap for later reference: I used 14.5” elastic on sleeve hems, 34” on waist, and 24” on neck. 

It was only after sewing the entire dress and scratching my head at the instructions that I realized Burda wanted me to use a LIGHT DRESS WOVEN fabric…… and here I was using a THICKER KNIT.  (Facepalm moment).  Now some of the instructions made sense for woven fabric.

I’m not sure how I feel about the dress.  It is pretty. I love the fabric and color.  But my body shape. Ugh.  I can’t handle these changes.  My thyroid belly sticks way out in this dress.  It didn’t in the double tired one above as much as it does I this one.  You can see how much my belly sticks out in the second picture above.  The first day I made it I didn’t like it at all. But I think it may grow on me in time.  Partly it is my own fault on using the wrong fabric.  The gathers are really thick on this dress too because of the knit not woven.


Happy Sewing!




  1. I love the look of these dresses! They look so comfortable. I do the same as you: I always seem to alter the pattern in some way or another.


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