Karen, does this qualify for Ugly Amnesty?

You is UGLY


Ooh I was full of such high hopes for this project, but things just didn’t quite turn out to plan. Who knows what caused it – the fabric choice, the lack of lining and therefore body and structure, a few extra pounds around my waist… all I can say is – this is a big fat fail of a dress, and in the interests of public sewing health – I’m sharing it with all of you.

When the fabric first caught my eye I was fresh off my Mad Men challenge and itching to use Simplicity 5961 again. It was just such a pretty little shape and so easy to run up. I decided NOT to add trims and details (like I did with the Mad Men version) because I thought the stripes would be quite enough as it was.

I then made what might be called the fatal decision – not to add a lining. The fabric is floaty, yes, but not overly so. However I think this pattern calls for something sturdier. What flowed beautifully with wool crepe and satin is disastrous with cotton seersucker! It just… wilts on the body! I feel like me and this dress have just done ten rounds in the washing machine!

Don’t even get me started on the zip. It took two machine attempts and one hand-picked zipper to get to this point, and I ain’t doing it again, no sirree. LOOK at it undulating along my spine like that, just look at it! My zipper’s doing the rhumba! And where did the swayback come from?! WTF? I haven’t got the heart to redo this travesty of a mockery of a sham of a zip.

Yikes - what a nasty zipper

Did I do this with my eyes closed? Hilariously – no!

To conclude my friends – this is not a dress that will be worn often, if at all. True, it can be saved with a slip, a cardy and a pair of sturdy Bridget Jones underpants, but only just. I haven’t even hemmed it yet – it’s THIS CLOSE to going in the bin.

Ummm – will this do?

What do you think – should I finish it off? Stitch? Or DITCH!


43 thoughts on “Karen, does this qualify for Ugly Amnesty?

  1. Honestly, I’d ditch it, you’re not going to wear it and six months from now you’ll put it in the donation pile. At least in that form. Can you make a skirt out of it? It would be a cute A-line skirt.

  2. If it makes your stomach turn to look at it, toss it!
    But, I really think it looks quite cute paired with the cardi. πŸ™‚
    I’ve found that at times like these, I either have to force myself to wear the offending frock several times right away to get over my disgust, or hide it in the back of the closet and revisit it next spring.

  3. I really like it with that cardi, but can you wear it and put that zip from your mind? The skirt idea from redsilvia is a good one and would be quick to line.

  4. It looks kind of cute in the last picture! But Its my general feeling that after such a bad sewing experience, you’ll never wear it because you’re secretly harboring resentment towards it and you’ll never get over that curvy spine (so funny!!) so why not just either hack it to pieces or throw it in the donation pile?! Hacking it to pieces seems to have the most therapeutic outcome…

  5. I really like it in the last photo but I would have to fix the zip before I could wear it. I think the zip just needs resetting – it looks as if it’s too long, so open the seam below the zip and sew down from the top, if you see what i mean.

  6. Ceremonial burning with witchy dance of glee around the roaring fire, followed by 999 call and explanation to the emergency services that sewing made you force your neighbours to evacuate their homes. It’s the only sensible way forward. Oh, I’m sorry it didn’t work out, my love. I do agree that it looks so much better with the cardie.

  7. I like it. I wouldn’t ditch it. I would remove the zip and stitch up the back seam. The neckline looks large enough to go over your head. If you are still not happy with it you could shorten it to tunic length add a couple of slits at the bottom of each side seam and then wear it over trousers such as white linen baggies or leggings. Seersucker will be lovely when/ IF the weather warms up a bit. The colours are fab.

  8. I think you should picture the look of glee on the bin diver who finds this just the week before Mothers day and carries it home as the perfect gift. Sewing should make you happy- don’t keep the not happys!

  9. When I saw the first image in my feed reader, I only saw the top half and thought “hey! that is a cute top.” Can you chop it off into a shirt, changing the zip into a seam, with an opening at the top with a button or hook and eye?

  10. WTF’s going on with your zip? No wonder you want to ditch it after so many attempts, but I actually think it looks totally ace with the cardi! If you do choose to ditch, I really hope you can salvage some of the fabric for a cute skirt or little top…

  11. My comment seems to have disappeared. Anyway, I’ll try again! When the first image popped into my feed reader, I thought “oh, what a cute top!” and then I realized it was a dress. Could you chop off the bottom and make it into a shirt? You could remove the zip and sew a centre back seam instead, with an opening and button at the neckline to get it on and off. I guess it all depends on how much wiggle room there is…

  12. Maybe you could make a pillowcase out of it? You made my day showing that ugly thing πŸ˜‰ I totally needed that since I have made my own bra today and the thing turned out really ugly. Seriously, it’s so ugly I must do a post about it tomorrow… πŸ™‚

  13. Too funny! You had me giggling along. I actually think it looks cute with the cardi! I think perhaps seersucker has too much “give” for a structured dress and zip? Oh who knows, chalk it up to experience πŸ™‚

  14. I probably wouldn’t take the zipper out because I’m lazy. I don’t want to spend too much time working on something I don’t like. The dress is definitely wearable with the cardigan.

  15. The zip is so painful. I’d probably ditch it. If you have qualms about doing so then give it to a sewing friend who might want to make a dress for her child that requires no zipper (so it can be cut out). My sympathies.

  16. Talk about timing. Just as I was looking at the zip pic my 20 year old son walked in, looked at the pic and HE had a WTF look on his face. It looked nice with the cardi and belt, but if you are not comfortable wearing it, salvage what you can and get rid of it. Life is too short for unruly zips.

  17. Put it out of sight for a month. Then try it on and decide what you want to do. It looks fine with the belt, just wear a slip under it. You can get a zipper put in at the mall for $8-15 (depends on the mall). Considering the cost of the zipper is round $3-4 and the cost of your sanity is priceless + apart from that the dress is fine… I quite like the stripes.

  18. I think it looks good with the cardigan too…and the colours are great. I share your pain though; i finish things because I’m stubborn and (a bit like getting my haircut at the hairdresser) I get into a mindset of “oh well, they (hairdresser; pattern instructions) must know what they are doing – it will be alright in the end”. But I also think the suggestion of wearing it a few times quickly to get over your disgust is a good one. Is it at least comfy?!. And I had to unpick a zip 3 times last night……I especially hate unpicking the thread from in the zipper teeth.

  19. I like it! I bet you’ll soften towards it if you banish it to the back of your cupboard for a month and then take it out again. Also you could make it a bit shorter, it looks like it’s on the knee at the moment but you could totally go a few inches shorter. Could use the remnant for some patch pockets on the skirt.
    Plus, looking at the current outlook for the UK summer, when will you ever be able to take that cardy off?

  20. hi, dear!
    did you know that there are zippers made that weigh hardly anything? the tapes are knit from a synthetic so they are quite flexible. it looks to me like your zipper is too heavy for the dress fabric–hence the buckling. the dress itself is right cute.

  21. Too bad it was such a diva for you – it looks really cute with the cardi & belt but I know myself, I’d always be thinking about that horrible zip LOL – it must have been possessed or something!! LOL

  22. I really like it with the cardigan and belt but can understand how the imperfections will niggle at the back of your brain.

  23. OK, it is not the best right now, but everything I see is fixable. You could do a partial lining in the skirt by using the skirt pattern pieces and sewing them to the waist seam after construction. As for the zipper — resew it one more time. But, this time sew the back seam up matching the stripes carefully using a long stitch. After that, use Steam A Seam under the seam allowance on each side. This will stabilize the seam area where the zipper is sewn. Sew the zipper in and then release the basting. With the seams held straight and made more supportive, the zipper should come out fine and look as good as it does on the first dress. Does this make sense and would it be worth the work to you to have the dress as you first wanted it?

  24. Okay, I’m only just learning about dressmaking so I can’t give any advice, but I really love the dress in your last photo. I’m actually jealous as my curvy (ahem!) frame couldn’t take the stripes and it looks lovely. If you can save it with the advice from the sewing veterans then please do. It suits your colouring and the shape is fabulous on you. I found you through Tilly and the Buttons, and instead of cleaning up my kids’ mess I’m now reading your blog! Thankyou!!

    • Heheh thanks Emma! I got so many great suggestions am still working my way through the options! I think a break is required and then a look with some fresh eyes πŸ™‚ Thank you for stopping over!

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