Valentine’s Walkaway Dress (Challenge)

Valentine’s Walkaway Dress (Challenge)

Just before Christmas, the Walkaway Dress Challenge popped up on my YouTube, and I immediately fell in love with the dress! There was no way I could fit it before Christmas, but I decided to make one lovely Valentine’s Walkaway dress for Valentine’s Day!

JAN 23, 2023 >

Sadly the challenge had unfortunately expired on NOV 15 (2022). But still, I decided to contact Stephanie Canada, the instigator of this Walkaway Dress Challenge madness, on YouTube. I was very surprised to get a response from her with the Last Round of the Post Challenge. I have graciously received the challenge guides with the original Butterick 6015 hand-drawn pattern. Yay! And I have also decided to film a video.

Brenda’s Valentine’s Walkaway Dress

From Christmas to Valentine’s Walkaway Dress

Originally I wanted to make this dress for Christmas, but not only was I unable to find the right fabric but also, I ran out of time. So I have decided to make a lovely Valentine’s Walkaway Dress instead. Unbelievably I ran into the same issue with the fabric! What is going on?? I was looking for something in red or pink with a medium-sized random pattern of flowers, hearts, butterflies, birds, something romantic… anything. Nothing! And besides, I don’t like shopping for fabrics on the internet. I don’t know what I’m getting until I hold it in my hand. I needed a good quality 100% cotton fabric, that would hold its shape, be soft, and not be droopy.

Getting the Sewing Supplies

I have visited all the local fabric stores, and in some, they even told me it is too early for spring fabrics! Well, I like my spring dress to be ready for spring and not still be making one! On Friday, I gave it a last try and visited the last forgotten store. I was about to leave when I spotted a sliver of fabric at the doorway. I had the shopgirl show it to me, and I got excited. It was the material I was looking for (100% cotton, 135 GSM (5oz) canvas), and the fabric pattern was definitely in the line with what I had in mind. Selecting a contrasting fabric was not that difficult, for I needed something rather plain, with a fine pattern. Something that wouldn’t distract from the main fabric and match the color.

Having the fabrics in my hand, I visited a few Notion Stores to find the best bias tape. I got the last bit of the only one that fit, and it was short in length, so I will have to get creative again. I haven’t found ANY seam binding in the local stores, so I will have to do without it. I know it sounds unbelievable, but it is true, sad but true. I got the only 3 white retro buttons that suited my style, actually 4 (the last one was so I wouldn’t leave a stray one behind). Of course, I got matching threads with no problem. And a piece of elastic.

The Walkaway Dress Pattern

While the original Butterick 6015 pattern is worth a fortune, and the new Butterick 4790 is worth a trashcan, there is only one other option that I have found. You can get a free-download pattern at the Hardie Grant Publishing Look for GBSB_Walkaway Dress. It is slightly different, but it will work with some adjustments. In fact, it has a better full-circle skirt, while the original only calls for a half-circle skirt. The back piece is fine with just a slight adjustment to the side angle. And the front piece darts need to be fitted anyway because of the bust and waist differences.

Walkaway Dress Patterns Comparison


I prepped – hand-washed my fabric in warm water to shrink it, air-dried it, and ironed it straight. After going through such an ordeal getting the right fabric, I didn’t want to ruin it. So I have decided to test the pattern first. I have printed the one from Stephanie and also the one from the free source… and they were quite different.

Shrinking the Fabric

Hardie Grant Publishing GBSB pattern

First, I tried cutting out the free GBSB pattern from an old bed sheet. The skirt was long but good, but the front piece was way off. After aligning the bust darts, the shoulders were a mile high, as was the neckline, and the angle of the sides was wrong on both the back and front pieces. Well, after some creative adjusting, it fit pretty well. But I wanted to see how different is the original pattern.

Original Butterick 6015

I transferred the original pattern onto the other bedsheet. I marked the adjusted free pattern lines, which I redrafted to see the difference. There were a few major differences. The first one is that the original pattern calls for a HALF-circle skirt, while the free download has a FULL-circle skirt. Another difference is in the angle of the sides of the front and back pieces. Well, well. I decided to follow the original pattern for research purposes, and I was not really happy with it. I wasn’t impressed with the half-circle skirt, and the top back piece was huge! Even though the pattern was supposed to be the smallest available size (bust size of 32).

Pattern Redrafting

I was overjoyed I didn’t waste my lovely fabric on either of these patterns and started redrafting. I tried to make the best out of both patterns

  • I kept the full-circle skirt, and adjusted its length to 27″ plus 2″ hem, which is quite enough for my 5’4″. 
  • I used the free pattern back piece, which fit my small back better. But I kept the side angles from the original pattern.
  • Then I shortened the shoulder straps to bring the waist up.
  • The front piece was the biggest alchemy. All I had kept were the bust darts.. everything else went and came. I used the longer darts from the original pattern, which are about 4″ longer than the ones on the free pattern. 
  • I moved the side darts so they would actually sit on my sides, not my back (like with a free pattern) or the front (like the original one).
  • Of course, I shortened the shoulder straps and drew a slightly larger neckline… The front piece side angle was a small guesswork, but they are going to be hidden beneath the back wraparound piece anyway. And lastly, I adjusted the length to fit the wraparound skirt.

I guess I am ready.

Madness Day


I woke up and decided to calm my nerves with a Sunday breakfast. I had a French-pressed coffee with milk and my homemade apple strudel while assessing my plan.


The Challenge

I started my clock at 8:15 AM. I spread my new fabric on the clean floor in the kitchen and started cutting the circle skirt. I made sure the salvage edge was from both sides of the back half circle piece. The two front quarter circles had the salvage edge at the center front. I cut the back piece from the same fabric, watching the pattern so it wouldn’t look upside down. Then I cut the front piece from the contrasting fabric.

I sew the skirt pieces together, the cut edge from the front piece to the salvage edge on the back piece.

Sewing the Walkaway Dress Skirt

Then I hand stitched the darts on the back piece. After that I pinned and hand-stitched the skirt to the back piece. I made sure the back center of both was aligned.

Handstitching the skirt and Back Panel

Then I suggest you hand stitch the darts on the front piece, too. I know it is extra time, but there is a saying. Somehow, there is no time to do it right, but always time to do it again. As me. I was trying to cut corners and sewed the darts on the machine and later had to unravel them and redo them to fit better.


After the first fitting, I pulled the skirt up higher to get about an inch larger waist. And moved the side darts on the front panel to sit on my sides.


Soon it became clear that I would not have my lunch in the new dress 🙂 So I decided to do it well rather than quickly.

At 1:30 PM, I was only about to start hemming with bias tape. And as I was not competing with time anymore, I first pinned it in place, hand-stitched it, and then ran it through the sewing machine.

Hand-stitching the Bias Tape

Then I attached the buttons and loops at the front of the waist.

Button Loops


There was only the hemming of the skirt left. But when I looked at it closely, I started getting very frustrated. The bottom edge was all whacky! When I remeasured the lengths on the skirt pattern, I found out that by removing the same distance from the whole bottom of the skirt, I somehow still ended up with an inch longer skirt in the front and back than on the sides. So I first fixed the pattern and then the skirt.

Correcting the Skirt Length

As I was not able to get the seam binding tape the pattern called for, I decided to use my

Grandma’s skirt hemming technique

First, fold the edge under and hand stitch it in place. Then sew along the whole bottom hem, close to the edge.

First edge Sewing

Remove hand stitching and with extreme care cut off any excess hem. Be careful not to cut a hole in your skirt.

Cut off the Excess Hem

Then fold under once more, pin in place…

Second fold on the Hem

and sew along the edge just a bit farther from the edge than before to securely attach the hem. It is OK to run over the first stitching from the back side.

Second Hem Stitching

And there it is. A very neat, delicate hemming that will not fray when done correctly.

Finished Skirt Hem

Well, after a whole day of hard work, the dress was done. I know I am not a professional seamstress. Not even a house seamstress. This is only my second dress, but still.

Can you make the Butterick Walkaway dress in under 4 hours? YES.
But will it fit? Most likely NOT.

This dress needs a hell of a lot of fitting and adjusting than one can do in 4 hours to make it look right. Unless you are a very skilled professional and can prevent all the flaws ahead.

You are invited to watch my Valentine’s Walkaway Dress video on my CraftyHanded YouTube channel …Or if you like what I do and would like to support me, please become my Patron

Other Sewing Posts

  • Valentine’s Walkaway Dress (Challenge)
    Just before Christmas, the Walkaway Dress Challenge popped up on my YouTube, and I decided to make one lovely Valentine’s Walkaway dress!
  • Singer 1897 Hunt
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  • Apron for my Mom’s Day
    … I started cutting the fabric on Saturday evening and finished sewing at 5:30 AM Sunday morning…

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