Steely Seamstress

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Sewing The Seventies: Make 3 – More on Burda “Dusty” Dress


I was just looking through all the posts from my Sewing The Seventies makes and remembered that I hadn’t written a proper post about my third make the Burda “Dusty” dress. And because this is my first garment for the Burda Challenge I thought I’d better write a proper post.

The “Dusty” dress was published in the Burda 70s vintage edition last year. Does anyone know what this dress could be called? I’ve thought it might be a pinafore dress, because of the lack of a back, but that doesn’t really provide a good description of it.

Seventies Dress (Burda)

I was glad that I made a toile of this dress. I don’t usually make toiles, because I have found that I tend to make the same adjustments on all my makes and therefore a quick check that certain measurements, for example, the width across the back are adequate, I’m usually happy with the fit. However, I was scared of this pattern! It looks so different from anything else I’ve sewn, and I wanted to get the fit right. The toile gave me more confidence over the fit and also made it possible to mark some button and button-hole markings on the pattern, which didn’t exist for my size on the pattern traced from the magazine.

The construction was relatively easy, but the instructions needed re-reading a few times. I’m still a little confused about the step to tidy up the side seams; how should I secure the front facing where it joins the side seam at the waist? I actually haven’t completed this step as I keep on considering the fit of the skirt and wondering whether I need to take the skirt side-seams a little. So much for doing the toile! I suspect the fact that there weren’t button and button-hole markings for my size didn’t help here. I’ll probably give the dress another wear and come to some conclusions on this.

The fabric I had chosen sadly, frayed rather badly. I wish I’d finished the edges as soon as I’d cut out the pieces, because just manipulating the fabric just resulted in more fraying. This made the hand-sewing of the facings at the shoulder seams quite tricky and I’m still not convinced this is as neat as I would like.

Shoulder Facing Finish

Shoulder Facing Finish

With this in mind, I decided to use bias-binding to finish the skirt hem. This way any unfinished edges would be fully enclosed and wouldn’t present any fraying problems.

Hem Detail

Hem Detail

Burda Dusty Dress

Side View Dusty Dress

Here’s the unusual back view. Personally I think it looks best from the front and actually I’ve mostly been wearing it with a cardigan over the top anyway.

Dusty Dress Back View

I’ve worn the dress in combination with my deep purple shirt quite a few times now and it’s a combination I like for a day in the office. I do wish I had a non-bulky turtle-neck top that I could wear it with. I think this would be a good outfit for cold days and we’ve had a few of those lately.

Dusty Dress

Author: steelyseamstress

Sewing a new wardrobe

14 thoughts on “Sewing The Seventies: Make 3 – More on Burda “Dusty” Dress

  1. I’m glad it turned out well. It would have been too experimental for me, since my mind would think of it without anything underneath as in the photo, and that would not suit me at all!

    • Oh yes! I’m not going to be wearing this without anything underneath! But I’ve enjoyed wearing it as a winter dress with tights and a shirt underneath. It’s a cosy combination.

  2. I think I’d be tempted to call it a sundress as shown in it’s original guise although you would end up with some pretty strange tan marks! I do like your take on it as a pinafore as it makes a unique and original garment and I love the fabric/colour even if it was a pain to sew with. On the whole I was a bit disappointed with the Seventies style special after the Sixties one but I have been given a pile of 70s Burda and I can confirm that there was not much in the way of designs to choose from.

    • Thank you. Ha, ha – tan marks would be so weird! I was quite disappointed with the seventies style special at first – I think it must be the Burda choice of fabrics and styling. When I’ve found other people’s versions of these designs they’ve actually always been very good. I didn’t buy the sixties edition, I remember deliberating over that one in the shop. Perhaps I’ll look at the Burda website and see what creations have been made from it. I may be tempted by a pattern or two from it!

  3. I really love the back detail on this dress! The fabric works so well for it too!

  4. Wow! i love this pattern, It is one of the things I want to do… and I love your version!

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  7. It fits you so well – it was definitely worth taking the time to toile it. I think it will look fab in Summer with a plain t-shirt underneath to highlight the interesting design features.

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