My First Sewing Project--Butterick 4790 - Walk Away Dress (The Plan)

For my first sewing project, I selected the Butterick 4790 Pattern , which is called the Walkaway Dress. In my favorite Facebook sewing group, I heard about a sew along for the dress. I thought it would be filmed as well so I took a look at the pattern. I thought it was very pretty. So that weekend, when Butterick patterns went on sale 5 for $5 at Joann Fabrics, I picked it up. The same day, I stopped by the Goodwill and picked up a twin sheet set for $6! That is about five yards of fabric!

Next, I began researching the pattern. The pattern was a little small so I knew I would have to grade it up, and I also knew I would need a full bust adjustment. I was looking to find out how hard it was (all reviewers said easy), but I never dreamed that I would find such horrible reviews with regards to fit.. However, I did find a review that linked to a sewalong with everything you need to get this right (including the slip)!

Then, I posted to my favorite Facebook group for learning about patterns. I got plenty of encouragement and tips on making my own bias tape. I was also lucky enough to chat with a lady who had made the pattern. She confirmed everything I had read: the pattern was very easy to sew, but the fit was horrible. Upon my inquiry, she told me that the waist was too loose and that it was wide in the shoulders. Add that to the information about the front piece being better prepared as a pencil skirt and the idea to use ties instead of buttons that I got from the lovely Cathleen and I had birthed a plan.

Here is my plan:
First, I need to add three inches to the circle skirt part. I will probably just redraft it.  I need to change the inner radius from 5.9 inches to 6.4 inches and add the same length to the bottom of the skirt (half an inch) to grade the skirt up one size.
Second, I need to do a full bust adjustment on the front bodice.
Third, I want to take some width off of the front piece. I want it half the width of my hips. Then I want to add a knit panel in the back, which will be 2 inches smaller than half my hips. (I may mess with this part a bit. Maybe moving three to six inches from the knit to the woven.)
Fourth, I would like to add ties to the front instead of buttons. That would enable me to get the waist a bit smaller than would buttons. I may even put a bit of elastic in to help the waistline.
Fifth, I would like to do something to the size of the armholes. I am going to measure the pattern and measure the armholes to see if I can blend to a smaller size. All consulted agreed that armholes are an issue.  (Another way to potentially tighten up the armholes is to gather them in the shoulders.)
Finally, I may want to add some circle ruffle sleeves to make it wearable in the spring and early fall.

P.S. This pattern only has three pieces!

Here are more tips for a better fit.

UPDATE: If I can get it right, I may see about trying to alter it to look more like this one! It ties and has sleeves!
Finally, here are links to Gertie on YouTube about how to hemming a circle skirt, which is necessary for those opting out of using bias tape:
How to mark the hem: to sew the hem:

I will be back to share my frustrations and finished product. I will try to remember to post links to them here:

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