So Last week following Episode 3 of the Great British Sewing Bee the world went mad about the Walkaway Dress.  That included me who went straight on line and bought myself a copy of Butterick B4790 from Jaycotts and at the same time I also ordered the new Sewing Bee Book, Fashion with Fabric.

GBSB, fashion with fabric, thrifty stitcher

The book was first to arrive and I had a good look through.  From the outside it looks very nice, there are good projects and the instructions seem clear.  ‘We shall see though’ I thought to myself remembering my foray with last years book and it’s terrible measurements and wobbly instructions.

Well, yesterday the pattern arrived.  I have to admit I have not seen many finished walkaway dresses on social media this week.  I would have thought by now they would be springing up all over the place but I think I might know why.

Straight away I can see a big issue.  The pattern is not designed for the everyday woman.

Lets take my measurements as an example.

Bust: 40 inches
Waist: 36 inches (I know how lucky am I)
Hips: 46 inches

A tea dress usually fits me beautifully as I have a narrow waist and the skirt can skim out and over my enormous bottom, therefore I thought the walkaway dress would do the same.

pattern grading, pattern cutting, dressmaking

Alas the bust – waist ratios on both patterns make simple pattern grading next to impossible.  On a regular pattern I can grade in from my bust to my waist with ease but as this has an unusual construction method with the wrap front and back grading seems impossible to me.  On the back piece how can you see where the bust ends and the waist begins?

I had hoped that one pattern may be better than the other but with Buttericks I am an 18 bust and a 20/22 waist (I don’t worry that my hip measurement is off the scale as that’s irrelevant with this type of pattern.

Looking at the book version it’s even more ridiculous.  I am a size 10 bust and a size 18 waist.  Hilarious how can 1 pattern come in two totally differing sizes?

So I have made a decision…….I think I might get angry with the book version going by past experience so I’m going to cut a size 20 Buttericks from an old duvet cover (which is very pretty so may end up totally wearable – fingers crossed) I am hoping and possibly assuming that as the whole thing is bound, once the bodice is attached to the skirt I can try it on and if need be shave a little off the sides here and there before I bind it!

toille, wearable toille, dressmaking

Watch this space………….

I’d love to know your thoughts on these patterns, have you had the same brain numbing conversations with yourself that I have or have you made a beautiful frock first time round?  Do comment below and let me know I’d be most grateful.