I am a member of the Minerva Crafts ‘Craft Club’ and each month they send through a discount voucher for a particular item in their online shop. One of these was for the ‘Walkaway Dress’ (aka Butterick 4790) as made famous on the last Great British Sewing Bee. I love 1950s fashion and so I thought I’d give it a go.
A ridiculous amount of fabric and black biased binding later I had a 1950s walkaway dress ready for trying on. Due to the amount of fabric needed it just wasn’t feasible to made a toile, but with hindsight I should have made the bodice at least.
When I tried on the dress I found that the armholes gaped indecently and the bodice was too long. The press studs on the front wouldn’t hold closed and the front part of the skirt had a tendency to ride up in just the few minutes I was wearing it. I hated it. I put it to one side and got on with other projects, not sure if I would come back to it.
A few weeks later, I was feeling ready to look at the walkaway dress again. I added in another dart to each side of the bodice and exchanged the fake buttons and press studs for real buttons and button holes. I then hemmed the bottom of the dress to finish it off. I’m still not feeling too happy with it, although it is now wearable, but I think that’s partly to do with the ordeal of making it and that I don’t wear dresses or skirts very often. Perhaps I just need to get used to it. I do think the shape is flattering though, showing that I have a waist, so I may see if there are other similar patterns I can try.
I’ll see if time makes me feel any warmer towards it, but I can’t imagine making another one. I have learnt a lesson about toiles for bodices though. I think I was simply very lucky with the fit of the first blouse pattern I made.