Last summer I went to a Dragonfly Fabrics open day, and got to see their beautiful garden studio and pick up some lovely remnants, with each purchase you could choose a free pattern from a selection by the till. Having narrowed it down to a few, I ultimately chose the Walkley dress/top, which originally came free with Simply Sewing. I was swayed by the stash-busting element of this pattern. It’s for a dress or top and needs less than 1m of fabric for a dress! For a top it needs just 75cm, so I was sure I had some leftover fabrics in my stash to make this a pattern I would use. And because the pattern is for stretch fabrics, its a really easy and quick sew.
The fabric I choose for my first Walkley was a fabric I fell in love with at Fabricland, and then wondered if the pattern was just too “out there” for me to ever wear. It was cheap and feels it, so I didn’t have much to loose if it didn’t work out.
The pattern only has 1 piece which you cut out twice and sew together and that is your dress finished ( I told you it was a super quick make!). This is a no-frills pattern, and there is no darts to give shaping, but the shape still hangs quite well. The armholes and neckline are not finished with a facing, but with a simple turn over and hem method.
The neckline is a boat neck, and I don’t like boat necks, I need to remember this when I am buying future patterns. Is there a way I can change the neckline to bring it in a little I wonder? Perhaps I should make another Walkley and transfer over the neckline from the Sew Over It Molly top which I love. I find something sitting so wide on my neckline really awkward to style – Is my bra strap showing? Have I stretched out the fabric? Will my shoulder strap of my handbag pull it off my shoulder? but apart from my dislike of boat necks, I really like this pattern. I particularly like the fact that even though it uses so little fabric, it’s not super short. There are even instructions and ideas about how to colour block this dress so you could just even smaller scraps of fabric to make the Walkley.
I sewed it up super quickly, in a size large (I might cut a medium next time around) and used a 3-step zigzag on all the seams and hemlines. Don’t look too closely at the hem in the photos, it looks all wavy, stretched out and uneven, but I’ve just checked and it doesn’t look like that in real life! I finished all the seams with the overlocker as well.
I did think a little about the placement of the girls faces when cutting out, and have now sewn one of my “Handmade by Chloe” labels in the back, so I always wear it the right way round (one of the downsides -or not- of having a dress which is exactly the same front and back).
Because of the stash-busting and quick sew elements of this pattern, I’ll probably make a few more of these in the future. I might even make a few tops with fabric that I have left over from other projects. I’ll think about drafting facings to give it a neater finish, and I’ll certainly change the neckline in future, but really how much can you complain about a pattern which is quick + easy + stash busting? That’s a pretty perfect pattern in my eyes!