Recently in Walkaway Dress Category



And here is the finished Walkaway Dress, trimmed, snapped and buttoned!


Everything continued very smoothly and easily, although heavens, that's a lot of hemming! An hour and a half of hemming on an eight-hour dress is considerable. The pattern has you do the hemming as soon as possible, which I think is a good call; by comparison, the bias tape binding just FLIES by. The flip side of interminable hemming, though, is ending up with a delightfully girly circle skirt, fit for the Princess of 1952.


I'm very pleased with the buttons we found for the front closure; David pointed out that they're fittingly evocative of the Japanese aesthetic of the indigo print:


I'm so much happier with the final product now than before the buttons and binding went on; I think the mixture of colors is much more integrated now. The only thing that's a bit annoying about the pattern - and I'm sure that some of the thousands of Walkaway Dress seamstresses of the past have thought up a solution - is that since the sheath part of the dress doesn't have a back to keep it in place, it can tend to bunch up in front as the wearer walks. I'm thinking that just a little tack of the sheath's bottom edges to the inside of the circle skirt would go a long way toward solving the problem. It might make the dress slightly more difficult to get in and out of, but I think it would be worth it. Whether I ever get around to doing it is another question. As you can see, I am a shifty devil.


Most importantly, it's super-fun to wear, and it was a nice, fluffy ride in candyland to start and finish a dress within the space of 72 hours. I wove in the ends on Secret Knitting the same day I sewed the buttons on Ms. Walkaway, so my number of in-process projects is down from four to two, which feels infinitely more manageable. Overall, I am a happy camper. Princess. A happy, camping princess.


I spent the summer...


The sky was blue beyond compare.





Heat wave!


Last summer being rainy and cold, and last winter being rainier and colder, Portlanders haven't experienced a solidly hot day in many moons. I, for one, am ready. I like to get a solid dose of each season as it passes, and between the cold weather and the preoccupation of buying a home, last summer left me feeling like I never really got that lazy, heat-laden summertime essence. Now, at last, we're having a couple of unseasonably hot days (yesterday hit 98F), and I'm celebrating in the best way I know.


There aren't many things I like better than staying up very late on a hot summer night, sewing a sundress and listening to Bob Dylan's Bringing it all Back Home. Back when I was in college and spent summers un- or under-employed, I used to stay up ALL night sewing in my tiny apartment, with the record player going softly and all 150 square feet of floor space covered with fabric. The 5 a.m. train whistle and lightening sky would signal that it was time to put the cover on the machine and head for bed. Now that I am older, working full-time and living with my partner, I'm no longer tempted to be quite that extreme. But last night I engaged in a watered-down version, and boy was it lovely! The warm breeze coming through the windows, the whirring of the sewing machine, the sandy pop of pins going back in the pincushion, and the magical process of two-dimensional fabric becoming a fitted, three-dimensional garment. What more could a person desire?

The above pattern is the famous Butterick Walk-Away dress, of which I had actually never heard before a few weeks ago. "What a cute dress," I thought, like thousands of women before me, and like thousands of women before me I whipped up a version. It's by FAR the easiest pattern I've ever sewn; I got this far, from paper-pattern alteration to "it looks like a garment" stage, in four delicious hours, and all that really remains is hemming and bias tape. Even the bias tape is going to seem like a breeze, as I just got done trimming a suit jacket with self-made bias tape over much sharper, more challenging corners. (The jacket is almost done, by the way. I just needed something a little more summery to go with this gorgeous weather.)


It always cracks me up how much I have to cut out of the backs of patterns; the upper back above was cut from a pattern piece with 2 inches removed from the middle, and it could still stand to be a little narrower. My mom says she's the same way. I don't totally understand how a small-busted woman can have that much narrower a back than the "average" for our size, but it's the truth of the matter. I like to think it's down to our fantastic posture.

Also, there has been lots of knitting going on, so don't think I've forgotten about this whole "Family Trunk Project" thing. It's just that what I'm working on right now is secret at present, but it's almost done and then I'll be returning in full force to the Warren Johnson jacket. I can feel my grandfather tapping his foot, and I won't keep him waiting for long.