Butterick 4790 (repro 1950’s dress, aka “The walkaway dress”)

4 Jan

The pre-christmas Spotlight sales had all patterns at half-price. When that happens, I often buy myself a treat of a pattern I love but won’t usually buy because I will probably never make it up.
This year’s treat was Butterick 4790

Although it started as pure indulgence, a closer look at the pattern had me keen to make it up.

  • The waist definition will suit my hourglass figure
  • The 1950’s style (I think I have been watching too many Ms Marple episodes!)
  • Pattern versatility – cut short it would probably make a nice top (though with a less full “peplum” – the skirt itself is a full circle.)

But the most intriguing bit was realising it is actually a wrap-around dress. I have had only one of those, one I found in an op-shop in my teens, a real 70’s leftover in bright green. I loved it. So funky! (But I would have probably said “It was grouse” back then).
This pattern certainly looks like fun.

It requires *gulps* over 4m of fabric, and the edges are worked in double-fold bias trim.  Happily, the after christmas sales at Spotlight revealed a $4 cotton poplin fabric I could just envision in the dress. I found a soft lilac bias binding to match.


Do I really want a full-circle skirted dress?

At first I thought it the full skirt would be far to bulky, and started trying to work out how to cut it down a bit. However, while the fabric was being pre-treated with a wash in the machine I googled for reviews of the pattern. (I always think “I should do this before I buy a pattern, not after!” Spotlight soooo needs a little laptop available for their customers to google for pattern-reviews.)
To my delight there were plenty, and mostly positive. A lot were made up in polkadot fabric which looks fantastic, and very period. I almost went back to Spotlight to look for polkadot fabric instead of the already-bought poplin, but sadly my bank balance told me not to.
[Edited to add later: Ok, I admit, I did go back for it and happily for my bank balance, sadly for my wardrobe, I simply couldn’t find it again.]
For the sake of sheer frivolity, here is a selection of photos of other people’s dresses.
From Cheetah Velour

From Molly and Mango











From What’s she building in there?

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