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U.S. Most Popular Pattern: Walk-Away Dress #B4790

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

When Butterick patterns released pattern number 6015 in 1952, they hit the jackpot. The 'walk-away' pattern was so popular due to the fact that one could "Start it after breakfast... walk-away in it for luncheon!". Though it's not the first of its kind, it was the first to sweep the nation. The Walk-Away pattern was so popular that Butterick had to stop production of all other patterns in order to catch up with the demand.

Butterick has recently re-released the pattern under their Retro sewing pattern line #B4790. This walk-away wrap dress has only shoulder, waist, and side seams. There are no facings and features only buttons and snaps for the closures.

For the dress you will need between 3 3/4 and 5 yards of fabric. Which is why this pattern was perfect for the African Wax print that I had in my stash. African Wax Print historically is sold as a "full piece" with 12 yards or a "half piece" with 6 yards.

Purchased in the garment district, I bought a half-piece at 6 yards. My intention when purchasing this fabric was to step outside my comfort zone and sew with a fabric that I have never worked with before.

While it is similar in content and weight to a lightweight woven cotton, the fabric is coated in a wax while printing and creates a stiff and heavier material. Not to mention, the fabric pattern designs and colors are always one to stand out.

To complete the garment you will also need three packages of 1/2" double-fold bias tape, one 7/8" button, three 5/8" buttons and three 3/8" snaps. To compliment the fabric colors I chose a bright yellow bias tape. Again, something outside my comfort zone and normally a color that I would wear. But with just a touch of yellow around the edges, I felt it would highlight the fabric well.

I was able to find the perfect buttons from Pacific Trimming that matched the bias tape. Other than lining the garment edges with tape, the only other thing to do is to hem the bottom of the dress. This dress takes a lot of fabric but is very simple and comfortable to wear.

While wearing my dress to take these photos I was stopped by a woman wanting to know where the pattern was from. Take a look at tell me what you think about the most popular U.S. pattern: the Walk-Away dress by Butterick:


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