Vintage Pattern Pledge #1 – The Walkaway Dress

My version of the infamous Walkaway Dress

My version of the infamous Walkaway Dress – the Butterfly Pose

OK, I’m cheating a little with counting this as one of my Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge makes, but if it’s good enough for A Stitching Odyssey then it’s good enough for me!

Maybe I should back up a little here.  I decided to take part in the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge 2015 and I pledged So I, Megan, of quirkykiwi.com do solemnly pledge, to make up at least 4 garments from my vast vintage pattern collection during 2015″.   So why is this dress cheating?  Well I don’t actually own the original sewing pattern, I made it up using the pattern in the Great British Sewing Bee book: Fashion With Fabric.  However it is a very vintage style.  The pattern was originally published in 1952 by Butterick and was dubbed the “walkaway dress” because it was so easy you could “start it after breakfast and walk-away in it for luncheon”!  It was a massive success and for a time Butterick had to stop printing all their other patterns so they could print this one to fill all the back orders!  

The "Hmmm, that sure was a popular pattern in the 1950's" Pose

The “Hmmm, that sure was a popular pattern in the 1950’s” Pose

Now this pattern has a bit of a reputation amongst modern sewers.  When I first discovered the world of vintage patterns I kept noticing references to this pattern, and they weren’t all good!  Basically, even though it is a wrap around dress with only 3 pattern pieces, it is very hard to get it fitting well.  Also it seemed that everyone who was into sewing 1950’s patterns was making one, so of course, being the stubborn rebel that I can be, I decided that I would NEVER make this dress.  And that was fine . . . UNTIL it appeared on Series 3 of The Great British Sewing Bee – I loved the dresses they made and they seemed to have no fitting issues.  In fact, they looked like they were quite fun to make!  Then I discovered the pattern was updated to fit modern day figures and it was included in the Great British Sewing Bee book, well it suddenly went from a pattern I would NEVER make, to a pattern I HAD TO make!  See, I can change my mind if I really want to 😉

Oh look!  I've made one of those dresses I vowed I would never make! The There's My Knee Pose

Oh look! I’ve made one of those dresses I vowed I would never make! The “Oh, There’s My Knee” Pose

So what was it like to make?  It was fun!  Oh, and the bias binding was so easy to put on using the instructions in the book – I may use that method rather a lot in the future! 😀

And did it fit?  No!  But with a little tweak (moving the button at the back which holds the front piece together – I know, it’s confusing), it fits alright.  However, the only time I’ve worn it is for this photo shoot, and I have a suspicion that when I wear it for real (one day when the weather gets warm enough and dry enough), I will be fighting it constantly.  I reckon the front will have a habit of riding up and getting rather baggy round the boobs.  Baggy boobs, not good 🙁

The "Half-Akimbo" Pose

The “Half-Akimbo” Pose

Right, I wasn’t sure whether to include this, but, what the hell 😉  The front of the dress has a unique-by-today’s-standards shape – it’s very pointy!  In fact, so pointy, I started looking into bullet bras!  I think one of those would be perfect under this dress, and under all my other clothes too!  I even found a tutorial online which shows you how to make one – guess what has been added to my list of things I want to sew 😀

Alright, I’m going to leave you with the silly photo.  I was messing about during the “photo shoot” (set the camera to take a photo every 3 seconds and it’s pot-luck what you end up with!), pretending it was starting to rain.  About a minute after finishing the photos and taking the camera inside, it started raining!  I think I timed it well.

The "Is That Rain?" Pose

The “Is That Rain?” Pose

I’m afraid there’s no ‘in progress’ photos or close-ups of the inside, showing off my fabulous dressmaking skills.  I do have quite a few more photos of me in front of that brick wall though, however I’m guessing you’ve probably seen enough now! 😉

 


A quick update on my Etsy shop, I sold two patterns last week!  I was very excited! 😀

 


4 thoughts on “Vintage Pattern Pledge #1 – The Walkaway Dress

  1. That is a fun dress. I love the vibrant colours. I’ve been umming and ahhing about this pattern. I did wonder how it would stay down at the front. I might just make it so I can add all that bias binding.

    • Hi Cheryl! Thank you! I love bright colours, especially orange but I keep getting drawn to pink these days, so this fabric ticked all the boxes! The bias binding was fun and easy, although I bought an extra half a metre than the pattern said and I’m so glad I did – I would have had just a few centimetres to spare if not and that kind of thing makes me nervous! Please share your photos when you’ve made your walkaway dress! And thanks for stopping by my blog! 😀

  2. The walkaway dress is on my list of to-dos ( I also got mine form the sewing bee book). I love the fabric that you chose. My local fabric shop made an amazing monochrome version and now I’m torn between that and a vibrant version like you made!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *