Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Black Burda Dress, 80s Style!

It's close to the end of the year, but I think I've just made a favourite for 2022! I bought this unopened  Burda 7169 (c. 1983) at the thrift store last year, and have been meaning to make it ever since. But I found some black ponte and a great checkerboard knit remnant at the fabric store recently, and it finally came together. 


This pattern has interesting seam lines, even if they aren't highlighted in my version. I chose View C, the one with the cowl neck and the one that is made from knit in the directions. Both of the other versions can also be made in wovens, and they have a centre back zipper to manage it. But I definitely wanted the squishy neckline in this checkerboard knit. 

It has fairly easy construction; there are 4 pieces, pretty much identical for front and back. And then some small side seam pockets. (I enlarged the pocket bag but the hand openings are pretty small so I'd also increase the length of the attachment seam next time to give me more room there). 

I like the way that these intersecting seams are put together -- no sewing of angles here, you sew one side piece to the main body, then sew the neck and other side piece together, and then attach those two long straight seams. The key is to pin well at the matching seams that will create the point. I had to upick a bit because I got a bit of a jog there, but the second time it worked perfectly. 

I didn't follow their pocket instructions as they seemed quite complicated with flipping them around a bit. I just sewed them in like any other side seam pockets and it worked well. I sewed the whole dress with a narrow zigzag, but on the pocket seams I used a straight stitch because I don't want those openings to stretch out. 

The only real change I made was to add 1/2" to each side seam, to give me about 2" more across the hip/butt area. I'm glad I did or I wouldn't have to been able to get into this one comfortably. The 80s silhouette of big shoulders and small hips isn't mine so I always check those measurements before starting out. The seam allowance was 5/8" but I sewed the under arm and body seams at 1/2" for a pinch more space as well. I really like the shape of the dolman and how it tightens up nicely at the wrist - I just did a turn under and stitch hem at sleeve and bottom hem, and it is sufficient. 

I love this dress! I'm really into checkerboard prints right now so love that I found one for this style. And this dress is comfy and cozy, rather like secret pyjamas even if it does look more 80s chic. And I had a matching mask that I made last year so it was perfect. It was fun to wear, and very comfortable too. A real winner!


  1. Yours is a handsome & sophisticated dress, much nicer than the pattern illustration!

    1. Thanks so much! I do love the photo with all the fab 80s yellow accessories but likely wouldn't wear that myself ;)


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