Walkaway Dress from a Pattern-phobe

Hi all! This is my very first post here, I’m excited to be contributing. I’ve long admired the sewing talent and gorgeous projects I’ve seen posted here, so I thought I’d jump on in myself. I come from a family of seamstresses (grandmother, mom, aunt) but I didn’t learn to sew myself until I was in my 20s. Because of this, I’m pretty much 100% self taught (thanks, the internet!) Until recently, most of the things I created were done without patterns, because, basically, I was afraid of them. I just didn’t understand the jargon, and I tend to want to know how everything fits together before even starting, which I found difficult to do with patterns. Also, I’m super impatient and all those extra steps just plain put me off. Until recently I stuck mostly to aprons (which I sell in my Etsy shop) and simple skirts, most of which I designed myself.

But with a few years of sewing under my belt, I started to eye all the lovely retro repro patterns out there and dreamt of making them myself. I was feeling more confident in my abilities as well, and so after doing some research last fall I decided to start with the well known and “Very Easy” Walkaway Dress, Retro Butterick 4790. I’d read a lot of people had fitting issues, so I used Katrina’s fantastic sewalong and was thrilled with the results.

 

My hem is a bit wonky but it has since been fixed. :-)

More details on my blog here.

Since making my first real retro dress using a pattern, I’ve been slightly obsessed! I have a ton of patterns now I’m excited to try out, and have already made a few other dresses (including a tea length wedding dress for a friend!) so I hope to be posting about those dresses and more as I work my way through my pattern stash in the near future. :-)

• Meet the Author • Stephanie


I'm a self-taught, retro-loving Francophile from Austin married to the Frenchman of my dreams, and blessed to get to basically stay home and sew all day. Although I grew up around it, I didn't learn to sew until I was in my mid 20s...it must be in the blood, though, because I got hooked pretty quickly. I started out mostly making aprons I designed myself and selling them in my Etsy shop, but now I'm kind of obsessed with making dresses. I have a special love for anything from the 40s, 50s, and early 60s, and I also love Regency and Victorian inspired looks. I've started to get over my fear of using patterns, and since I enjoy seeing other people's projects here so much, thought I'd jump on in and share mine too.


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15 comments… add one

  • That was my first dress too! It’s addicting, lol.

    Reply
  • Oooh! Beautiful dress! Nice work.

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  • Wow! This dress is very beautiful. I hope one day you will offer such dresses (in custom measurements) in your etsy shop too along with your handmade aprons. Super fantastic job on this awesome dress.

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    • Maybe I’ll get there one day, seems scary now but I do lots of things now that used to seem scary and don’t anymore, so who knows. :-D Thanks!

      Reply
  • This is one of the best walk-away dresses that I have seen yet! :) you did a wonderful job.

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  • Welcome Stephanie! This came out really well – good job :)

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  • This dress is the next sewing project I am going to try. It looks great!

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  • This pattern has been in my stash for months. I love seeing it made up! Have to go check out that sewalong for further inspiration.

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  • Great choice with the gingham. It’s an adorable dress.

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  • Looks great! I made the same style for a friend of mine and I love how beautiful this pattern looks on an hourglass figure. Gorgeous!
    As you’re new to patterns, I can tell you that I find vintage patterns tend to have better instructions and better finishing/detail steps than modern ones. I hope you continue to find patterns you like working with!

    Reply
  • Super cute! Love it with the bolero! Have fun on your pattern adventures. The more you use them the easier it will be to picture the steps in your head.

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  • I’m so glad to know that my sew-along instructions are still being put to use! You did a lovely job, and it looks terrific on you.

    Happy sewing!
    Katrina

    Reply

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