Walkaway Dress / Altered (Butterick 4790)

Walkaway Dress with alterations

I picked this one, because the dress has a high waist, which is more flattering on me than regular waistlines.

Difficulty: Easy to sew, and simple directions. Alterations took longer than the sewing.

Fabric: Medium weight cotton sateen with 5% elastane from Spotlight. The little bit of stretch made it easier to get the fit! (And besides the Vogue fitting shell, this was my first attempt at a bodice this fitted.)

Design alterations:

This re-release was changed, and it comes out looking like Butterick’s online photo rather than the 50’s drawing on the envelope if you sew it up as is. I altered the back bodice to get the v-shape on the drawing by following the simple directions on the Edelweiss blog.


Removed a little over a quarter of the fullness (44″ from hemline circumference) of the skirt. Not the true 50’s circle skirt now, but I’m not planning to wear a crinoline with it, so I’m happier with less yardage.

Didn’t add the bias binding to the vertical edge of the back bodice (where it wraps to become the CF waist) and the skirt. — Basically the vertical line down the lower half of the center of the dress.

Left off the snaps. Added bias binding button loops to the front.

Blind hemmed skirt.

Fit alterations:

I cut a 14 even though my measurements are closer to a 16, and that was a definite plus!

I’m a towering 5’2″, so I shortened both bodice pieces between neck and bust line. Shortened more at back than front, which is usual for me. (Didn’t have to true up the waistline, since the front and back bodice are only sewn together at the shoulders, and the front bodice waist is hidden.)

Narrowed the shoulders.

Shortened bust and waist dart points.

Narrowed back waist darts.

Shortened skirt.

Then at the muslin stage, I shortened the shoulders and changed the slope slightly.

The alterations went pretty smoothly, so it was more a matter of spending the time than getting frustrated. I’ll be tempted to make another in a different color and fabric at some point, since I’ve done the prep, and the next one should sew up quickly. First garment sewn on my Bernina Activa 130.


4 thoughts on “Walkaway Dress / Altered (Butterick 4790)

  1. Lovely version of the Walkaway dress. :-) I find it so frustrating that they altered the pattern so much from the original – like you, I spent more time altering the pattern than I did actually sewing it when I made my version!


    1. Yes! I feel like I almost have to make another sometime, because all that fitting work is already done. Thanks for stopping by and leaving the first comment at my new blog. :) I’ll have a look over at macskakat for yours. I saw your forties foxes top already, and love it. Great vibrant color on you, too!


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