Everyone who has ever sewn a vintage dress knows these types of patterns.
Butterick 6015: The Walk away Dress
Butterick 6150: The Saturday Morning Dress
Everyone who has sewn vintage styles has at least attempted this dress. It's a right of passage, it truly is. I TOTALLY see their value as collectable patterns, seeing how popular they are, but I have to say, I don't know many people who wear them a year or two past the novelty of making them. They are truly that terrible.
The walk away dress is the urban legend of sewing patterns!
Butterick's most sold pattern. Production of their other patterns were stopped until backorders of this one style could be fulfilled. I don't doubt that it was popular, but what I fail to find is all the dresses that these were made of showing up in vintage boutiques and the like. Or, photographs from the time when this dress was at its peak.
Why you may ask, why don't we see this.
My theory is because the women saw how silly they looked in it, the tremendous amount of fabric it took to make it, and just said fuck it,
'I'm going to make a blouse from this dress instead.'
Hey, I fell victim too.
I made a back opening version, thinking I was so, so cute. Even used good fabric. But I was just starting into vintage sewing, and I was grading this pattern and well...
Even that isn't an excuse. It's simply a poorly designed garment.
1) It uses way too much fabric.
You are closing in on five yards, depending on your size, and you have no guarantee that the dress will even stay closed. You are working with a circle skirt and a basic towel piece in the front. Any guest of wind is going to show your skivvies, more so that just a basic circle skirt. At least with one of those, you can use one hand to get the skirt anchored if a gust comes your way.
2) So much finishing.
The dress often touts an 'easy' to make monicker, but truth be told, the lack of a button front or side zip just account for more finishing on the sides of the dress. Get ready for bias tape bonanza!
3) Incredibly difficult to fit.
Most wrap garments are. The shoulders can be such a problem. Too long in the upper bust and you can get huge gape beneath the arm. Not tied tight enough and you get gape beneath the arm. Sneeze? You get gaping beneath the arm. The design of the garment is a smock. Sleeveless, which for me, is a big problem anyway.
4) I can not begin to stress how incredibly unflattering this dress design is on 98% of female bodies! Its amazing how this style can make a short torso look too long, or a hippy gal look like a bean pole. Brava, Butterick pattern.
In the years I've been sewing, I've made some terrible stuff. Horrendous in fact, but I've never felt stupid in anything I've made, until this style. Its amazing to me how popular this dress is still. Its been in reproduction for years, and there are sites and groups dedicated to it. And no matter how stellar the construction is, the dress still looks ill fitting.
I guess this dress is one of those enigmas in life.
You know, like black holes, or white after Labor Day.