Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Walkaway Dress - Retro Butterick 4790

Well clearly I haven't been busy blogging, but I have been busy sewing! I've been trying to build up my Etsy stock for the upcoming Christmas rush. Amidst all that, though, somehow I found time to make myself a dress, with a pattern! Look at me, using patterns like a real seamstress...I almost feel like I know what I'm doing. ;-)
So I was at Joann's during a $1.99 Butterick pattern sale, and decided to flip through the book and saw their retro pattern 4790. I'd just been reading some mixed reviews on it, but I figured for $1.99 why not give it a try?
What makes this dress so interesting is that, first it's supposed to be very quick and easy to put together (which I think it was!), there are only 3 pattern pieces, nice right? The other thing is how it is worn, but we'll get to that in a minute.
A lot of people had fit issues with this dress, so after reading as much as I could online, I ended up using Katrina's alterations outlined in her sewalong. I was very happy with the results!

(The buttons are off center because my dress form is smaller than me, lol, and do forgive my wonky hem. I was in quite a hurry when I did it, trying to finish the dress in time to wear it out. I may try to do a better job when I get a chance!)
The pattern itself has you using bias tape on all the edges, and while I love using bias tape, I didn't particularly care for the look it gave the dress, so I was thrilled to use Katrina's instructions for sewing bias tape to the inside! I'm definitely going to be using this trick again and again, love it!
So as you can see below, the back of the dress wraps around in front, making a kind of overskirt.

What you can't see as well is that underneath that, the front part of the dress wraps around and fastens in the back, making a kind of sheath dress underneath.

So, here I've fastened the back, so you can see how it looks underneath before fastening the front.

So then I pull in one side...

And button the front, et voila!
I took Katrina's advice and made a special petticoat as well for the dress, which slips on over the sheath, as you can see here.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it was to wear. A lot of people complained of it slipping/sliding to the back, due to the weight of the skirt. I didn't find that to be too much of an issue, I think it helps if it is fitted very snugly. I also wore a slip under the sheath part to help avoid riding up as I walked, as well as a shrug (did you see my farmer's tan? My goodness I'm pale, lol!) partly to make sure I didn't flash any bra on the sides. If I wore it without a shrug, I'd probably pin the sides just to be safe.
It's certainly a very fun dress to make, and to wear! I definitely recommend it (with Katrina's alterations) and I can't wait to find time to make another one. :-)