26/52 Curtains to Walk-away In

When you think of a dress made from curtains it beings images of the Children in The Sound of Music



Or Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind


When I found a curtain at Fabric-a-brac in April last year I know it would become a dress, hopefully not looking like any of the above options.

I loved the colours in the print and just had to wait for a pattern that would work. Then at a recent WSBN swap Zara put Butterick B4790 into the mix – in MY size! This dress is a retro re-print and is also known as the ‘walk-away’ dress, because it was so easy you could “start it after breakfast…walk-away in it for luncheon!” It was not completely smooth sailing for me but it was pretty straightforward.


The dress is three pattern pieces, darted in front and back, with back waist and shoulder seams. The back wraps around to the front for a sheath-and-overskirt look. Because I was working with a curtain of material I was able to lay the back circle skirt piece on the fold and eliminate one of the seams.

I opted to highlight the green in my fabric by using green bias tape. The only notions I had to buy for this dress was premade bias tape from Made Marion. The pattern calls for “Three Packages of 1 /2″ Double Fold Bias Tape”, since I bought mine off the roll I guessed how much might be in a package and bought 9m. I used 7m at the most, but better to have too much than not enough.


My only hold up in making this dress was when I tried it on I had flappy wings above my boobs in the armholes. No photographic evidence of this but we all know flappy wings are not flattering so I had to unpick the bias binding along the edge and figure out what to do. I got Andrew to pinch out the offending fabric and it seemed like another dart was in order. I consulted the oracles of WSBN and they confirmed that I should try a dart. My only concern was that it was coming to another dart. Apparently I shouldn’t have worried as it worked perfectly.

How much needed to go in the flappy part


Inside view of what the dart(s) ended up looking like

I also fixed the problem of having the inside hem (of the sheath part of the dress) hanging low at the back as it spread across my bottom by adding a ribbon tie across this part. A lesson I learnt from Simplicity 8125 which I have shown below.




I think this style of dress either you love or hate (especially when reading others reviews in the web) and I definitely LOVE it, so much so that this was not the first of its kind, many years ago, pre blogging, and inspired by a dress from Kilt I made Simplicity 8125 – a pattern I had acquired from my Mum’s sewing stash. She had made this dress for herself as a young woman. I love that I have some of her history in my sewing room now too.


From 1969 this dress without side seams has scoop neckline, the dress front is fastened in back with ribbon ties. The dress back fastens in front with self fabric tie ends above normal waistline.  I made mine in a quilting cotton front and black crepe back.



10 thoughts on “26/52 Curtains to Walk-away In

  1. It is so good when you use curtains or a sheet to make something with a full skirt, less seaming! I love your version of the walkaway. I really must make one up too.

  2. Pingback: Fabric-a-brac creations | Fabric-a-brac

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