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. :-)


Kristen said...

I love this dress! I want to make one now! :) Thank you for the link to the sew along, I am going to follow her directions too.

M. Bloom said...

That's the cutest darn dress and it looks wonderful on you (darling with your maryjanes.)

MarieBayArea said...

I just adore this dress. It's just so good.

Lady D said...

It was the image on the dressform that intreiged me I though 'ooh off scentre closure interesting, wonder how that was done.' lol!
This pattern was my first dress...the problem is it took me so long that by the time I finished it I lost weight and it was too big. I hope to do another one soon.
Your one looks great. Good idea to wear a slip. Stops embaressment if there's a clothing malfunction.

Stephanie said...

Ha, Lady D, it does look pretty cool with the buttons off center!

drapedincloudlets said...

Very cute!

Cherie said...

I have this on my list of things to sew and hope mine turns out as nice as yours. I will definitely make a special petticoat, too. What a great idea!

twilightstormcrafts said...

I just wanted to say you did a wonderful job on your dress. I just got the pattern recently and I'm crossing my fingers I can pull off the alterations including fitting the pattern correctly.

Stephanie said...

Thanks twilight! I can't believe it's only been a little over 2 years since I made this, it feels like ages ago, especially as this was one of my very first dresses using a commercial pattern. Now I look at it and see so many things that could have been done better, lol, BUT it really was my gateway into feeling more comfortable with patterns and I've learned so much since then, so I'm happy to have made it!

lahbluebonnet said...

This is so nicely done! I'm using Katrina's sew along to try to figure it out. I tried it on and oh dear. I have more fitting to figure out despite the alterations I made before I started!

Stephanie said...

Thanks Laurie! Good luck with yours! :-)

Unknown said...

Forgive me for jumping into this conversation way late, but I am just now discovering the walkaway dress. I love how yours turned out. It looks lovely on you! I was wondering, though, if you could give me tips on turning the skirt from full to an a-line. I like the whirl away dress by Butterick better, but I can't find the pattern anywhere. A-line skirts look much better on my frame.

Stephanie said...

Hi Jodi! All you really need to do is find a skirt pattern/shape you like and just use that instead. Just make sure the waist length matches up with the bottom of the waistband on the walkaway pattern, and otherwise you'd just attach it the same as the original skirt. I tend to love full skirts myself so I haven't done it, but if you have a skirt pattern you've used before or know what fullness you like, it should be easy enough to substitute. :-)

Alternatively, there's also Retro Butterick 6211, which is another of the wrap around type dresses, but the skirt is much less full. You could always grab that one and use the skirt on it!

Good luck!