The Ugly Dress

I’ve really outdone myself this time. I decided to make the Let’s Go Fly a Kite dress over on The Ribbon Retreat.

Click to go to the tutorial

Let me back up. Let me, shall I say, lay out my case for the defense. I was sewing to distract myself. I was struck by a sneaky bout of grief over the loss of my father-in-law. So, to start with, I was completely flubbing it up. I cut the pattern wrong. I have the bodice reaching down rather than arching up. I couldn’t figure out the most basic instructions (it’s really a clear tutorial).

I ended up messing up the bodice-to-skirt sewing and decided, for some godforsaken reason, to make a bow to cover it up. I must have been having a strange case of temporary giganticism as well because I made a ridiculously large clown bow, sewed it to the dress, and did not even think twice until it was done. Without further ado, the Ugly Dress.

Nailed it

The look on Eden’s face is a mirror of my own. However, she LOVED it. The atrocious bow is her favorite part. I do get some comfort in thinking of my father-in-law laughing that Eden’s favorite thing is a reminder of my own failure. Because he would have laughed at that. And the more I protested, the harder he would have laughed.

However, I did what any good mother who is looking out for her fashion-challenged child would do. I fed her a s’mores while she was wearing the dress. Oh, yes. She dripped chocolate all over it — mostly on the bow. And I couldn’t get the stains out…. mainly because I let the chocolate sit on the bow… for a day and a half.

Now with an excuse to cut off the bow, I have decided that my sloppy sewing is really the best it’s going to get and the dress is cute and wearable.

Sloppy sewing and all

But even before the accidental-intentional ruination of the Ugly Dress, I knew I had to redeem myself. The fabric I used for the Ugly Dress was mystery fabric I ordered from You can buy a 3lb pack of remnant fabric (100% cotton) for $20. I love mystery fabric. You’ll see more mystery fabric projects up here eventually. In the pack was also some Berenstain Bears fabric. I’m not a huge fan of preachy books and Eden didn’t even know who they were but whatever. They are iconic of my childhood so this fabric would be used.

I skipped the curve on the bodice-to-skirt sewing since that’s where I flubbed up initially. Anyone who is making this dress for a non-toddler, note that for the bodice to be tight enough not to gap but loose enough to get on and off without struggle, you need to add a zipper.

A few things that should have given me pause:

1. I’ve never sewn in a zipper before.

2. I only had an invisible zipper on hand.

3. I do not have an invisible zipper foot.

4. I did not have a seam in the back to put the zipper.

You would think, especially on the heals of the Ugly Dress, that I would have pulled out the white flag. I’m either really daring or stupidly optimistic because I did not even hesitate. I cut a seam down the back, used a regular zipper foot and got as close as I could to zipper teeth, and I installed my very first zipper. I am just that awesome (assuming you’ve already forgotten about the bow).

We call this her Library Dress and she wore it to the library today to pick out some books. The librarians loved it. And, yes, we grabbed some Berenstain Bears.

I swear, I did her hair in the morning. Humidity won.



2 thoughts on “The Ugly Dress

  1. That bow is ridiculous. Of course Eden loved it… 🙂

    I will have to check out that tutorial. I love Jess’s stuff… xo

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