I saw the pattern a while back for the re-issue of the infamous Walkaway Dress by the Butterick pattern company. ( Here ) I looked up blogs and forum posts about it from people who made the dress and saw that mixed success and disaster ensued.
At the time I researched it there was quite a few more disasters then there were successes so I passed on buying the pattern. Another reason I passed on the dress is because I don’t exactly have a 50’s figure either… The re-issue supposedly changed the pattern some from the original 50’s pattern to suit today’s “modern” figure. From some of the many many blog posts about the dress, some adjustments will be needed to make it fit how the wearer might want it to fit.
Earlier yesterday evening I took the plunge and ordered the pattern. Both sizes of the pattern…. I am fairly confident I fall into the 16-22 size category according to my regular bust measurement and the upper bust measurement directions from Edelweiss Patterns. (http://www.edelweisspatterns.com/blog/?p=552) BUT A lot of people say they had to go larger or smaller due to the way the parts of the dress fit them. I didn’t want to order the pattern packet I thought I needed and find out the fit I want lies in the smaller pattern and have to try to heavily modify something. Heavy modifications equal definite disaster in my book! I have never successfully altered a pattern yet, so this plunge might prove to be a disaster regardless. I hope I can just take it slow and get it right. I’ve really liked this dress since I first saw it. I’m not super crazy about the bias binding on it, but after learning I can hide the bias binding on the inside of the dress, and saw the finished dress on other people with a similar body type to me, it made me REALLY want to finally try the pattern.
I hope to try to do french seams, or maybe some kind of enclosed seams on the interior if it’s possible. I need to deepen, and maybe change the shape a bit on the neckline. I’d like to make the front closure more V shaped like the 50’s artwork, rather then the more U shaped closure the pattern provides. The large openings under my arms where the two pieces wrap may drive me crazy. I may modify the fabric in that area to provide a bit more modesty depending on how that area actually fits me. The underskirt may be a must, I’d like the dress to be shaped at the bottom. I may have to add more fabric to the back of the sheath dress area depending on how it fits. A lot of people complained about wind picking up the very “twirly” skirt, and perhaps showing off a little more back there then they would have liked to show.
Season 3 of The Great British Sewing Bee also featured the contestants making this dress on Singer Featherweight sewing machines! The Butterick site links to a YouTube video that I can’t watch since I live in the USA or something. I personally think it’s stupid that people can’t watch global TV programs! The contestants apparently hated sewing on the Featherweights which I find hard to believe, but I suppose vintage sewing machines just aren’t everyone’s cup-o-tea.
Anyway Butterick should be shipping my patterns soon. I’ll have to start looking for fabric! The 201-2 is in working order now, and I’d love to sew this dress on it as this sewing machines first major project. I also plan on trying the cut-work embroidery on it soon too!