Sunday, February 10, 2008

My next project: a Butterick walkaway dress.

Butterick 6015, reissued as Butterick 4790 in the Retro 52 collection

I am completely obsesses with creating the Butterick 4790 Walkaway dress. The pattern is reissued from an old vintage pattern. Now, it is part of the Butterick Retro 52 pattern, formerly known as Butterick 6015.

This is a Butterick reissue, so you can buy it in your size, instead of altering the vintage version. Butterick has reissued this pattern (with the same envelope art) as a "Retro 1952" pattern, with the number 4790. You can find it at or at most big fabric stores.

As the Butterick History web page explains:

"During the 1950's, Butterick experienced a phenomenon it had not known since the 'Garibaldi Suit' of the late 1860's. It was pattern 6015, and it was dubbed the 'walk-away' dress, because it was so easy you could "Start it after breakfast... walk-away in it for luncheon!". It's simple yet flattering wrap design and easy construction were what made it so popular. Sales of the pattern were so great, that at one point manufacturing of all other patterns ceased, and only the 'walk-away' dress was produced until all back-orders for this dress could be filled."

Don't the women on the pattern envelop look absolutely perfect in the dress? Their waists are so tiny, the skirt is so full, and their upper arms have the willowy nature of a dancers. I expect I will need to modify the size of the pattern a bit more to accommodate my ample chest, and my girdle-free waist. I wear a DD, and I am not sure that the the wrap around element will actually sit "around" my chest without modification.

The fabric I choose was on a major clearance, just $1.99 a yard, but I love it for summer. It is a light cotton voile in a warm beige, with light stripes of white, green and pink running through it. It reminds me of a watermelon.

Following my own mantra from an earlier post, "Sewing is not an immediate gratification endeavor," I made a muslin template last night to baste together as a size template. I will take it to my Tuesday night sewing class, and hopefully return with the advice and instruction to make this fit. Wish me luck, I look forward to breezing around town in a watermelon frock this spring.

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