Saturday, February 7, 2009

Walk A Way Dress And Its Rockabilly Cousin

In 1952, Butterick Pattern Co experienced a phenomenon it had not known since the 'Garibaldi Suit' of the late 1860's. They released pattern #6015, and dubbed it the 'walk-away' dress, because it was so easy you could "Start it after breakfast... walk-away in it for luncheon!". It's simple yet flattering wrap design and easy construction were what made it so popular.

The envelope back states: Here’s the smartest idea of the season….a dress that has only back, waist and shoulder seams, that has its back wrapped around to the front for a sheath-and-overskirt look. Binding finishes the edges. Wear it for any occasion.

Sales of the pattern were so great, that at one point manufacturing of all other patterns ceased, and only the 'walk-away' dress was produced until all back-orders for this dress could be filled.

The pattern was reproduced and released in the 90's under Buttericks "Retro" line, but the originals remain elusive to most collectors. Of the thousands of patterns I have collected and sold I have only had two.

And later that year Advance tried to steal Butterick's thunder with this lovely creation. It too is a wrap dress and very simple to make with only three pieces. So versatile you can whip it up to wear to the market, wear it over a sweater as a jumper, leave off a piece of the bodice and wear over a sexy jumpsuit for at home occasions or a strapless underslip for the fanciest cocktail party.

Both are available right now at cemetarian on ebay.


Judi said...

Hey Rita :) Added ya to my blog. Judi

Anonymous said...

I know this and the reprint is wildly popular, but I never could get behind it. It's sleeveless. A shame since it's cute.

Shay said...

I will need to find it and check the date, but one of my vintage knitting magazines (pre-1955) has a pattern for a "three-way" sweater that is half of a dolman wrap bodice, similar to the Advance style shown. The magazine recommended that you knit three of them (two shades of brown and one of lime green, if I remember correctly) and switch them on and off.

It is almost identical to a sweater pattern offered by Claire McCardell.

Anonymous said...

oooh, I would love to get my hands on the original "Walkaway" - the re-issue apparently doesn't have a full circle skirt, and doesn't seem to sit or move as well as the original draft.

Sadly, way above my price, LOL!

scarf said...

Fashion is a cycle. As long as they are beautiful, people will remember that and love it.

Anonymous said...

It was very interesting for me to read this article. Thank you for it. I like such topics and anything connected to them. I definitely want to read more soon.

Anonymous said...

Keep on posting such articles. I like to read stories like this. By the way add more pics :)