In October 2007, I tried the infamous Butterick 4790 "Walk Away Dress" pattern, the reissue of the 1952 classic. Cute, 3 pattern pieces, no interfacing or zippers or buttonholes. Looked at the pattern envelope, picked a size 10 based on my body measurements, and away I went. Imagine my surprise when I tried it on and it fit all wrong! I had no clue where to start fitting it (though even the most experienced sewists have been puzzled, too, if you've read any of the B4790 reviews on PR), so I tossed it on the floor in the UFO pile. On and off for a couple of years.
I saw the overskirt part of the dress in a UFO bag a few weeks back. Feeling guilty, I picked it out and threw it on Clementine to see what I could do. Considered some very interesting options and ultimately decided that, since the skirt fit right below my bust without any further alteration (yes, that much bigger than my waist) I would use it as the skirt of a new empire waist dress, using a modified top from New Look 6723, which I had sewed last year and gotten to fit like a dream after many pattern alterations.
Somehow -- fate? -- I happened upon a small stack of remnants of the almost-Walk Away in my scrap drawers the day after I pulled the skirt from the UFO bag. It was enough to cut the "self" layer of the dress top, but not enough for the bodice lining. So I grabbed some plain black cotton batiste from the stash and cut the bodice lining.
Finally it is done.
I like that it can be belted/ sashed to look like the waist is empire or natural. The dress looks "Audrey Hepburn" on Clementine but I feel non-Audrey when I wear it. I want to add some edge, like crazy gladiator stilettos or an Outsapop zipper belt. Must be that recent reminiscing with a high school friend about that crazy boy in high school who gifted me an audio cassette of "Never Mind the Bollocks Here Come the Sex Pistols." I was too scared by the boy to hang out much, but the music made an impression.
(BTW, I see that clicking on the pics doesn't enlarge them -- you can always go to my Flickr photostream for bigger versions.)
How classic and ubiquitous this dress is, though, in the end, and right in time for summer. Cindy just posted photos of great-looking summer dresses, one of which is a shorter version of this here Sid & Nancy dress. And Burdastyle just posted a tutorial on sewing your own circle skirt with an interesting d-ring closure. Happy Summer Sewing to you!