Fail: Dress Pattern

Name: Abby @ Trial & Error Creativity

My Blog:


Original Inspiration:

What I Did: Now, this should’ve been a simple dress. A simple, simple, simple dress. A simple, simple, simple pattern for a simple, simple, simple dress. And it was: Take a yard of fabric, cut it into 4 long rectangles, sew it all together (save for arms and head), sew in some elastic. Viola.

So — how do you completely mess up something so easy? Get the wrong #%&ing fabric.

I found the fabric online and I was enamored. Of course, anyone worth their weight in sewing equipment will tell you that you need to feel the fabric before you buy it. But I wasn’t thinking about that. All I thought was cherry blossoms — pretty, pretty! So the above is what I ended up with before the elastic. Pretty in its own right, right? Wrong. I tried it on and the fabric had no give to it. I looked silly, to be quite frank. To call it a red rectangle would be a misnomer, since even rectangles look better than this mess.

Now it was time to just wing it. So, I clipped, I hemmed, I tried on again. Terrible. Lathered, rinsed, repeated — still terrible, only with thinner straps.

So I tried one.more.time. And I made them thinner than I ever thought they were going to be. The upshot is that I got to trim the straps inwards toward the neck, a European style for dresses that I love but can never seem find in stores. And then, I pinned, I hemmed, and it didn’t matter how bad it looked. I was done with those straps. I didn’t care if I looked like a homeless person mugged a transvestite. I was done.

I ended up with what you see below, which isn’t bad, but is terrible getting on and needs a belt to hide how unflattering it is.

Blog Post Detailing The Experience:

My Result:

pinterest fail dress pattern

Next Time I Will:  Get better fabric! I can see this working with a nice cotton fabric — something with a little give!


  1. Amber J

    It really is gorgeous fabric! So beautiful! Hey, maybe take the panels apart, frame them and hang them on the wall? Instant art, LOL!

  2. Linda

    Satin or silky fabrics are always twice as hard to work with. You are right they have no give whatsoever. You also have to make sure that you are using the right needle and tension which would help with the seams puckering. As for this pattern it seems good in theory, but I can see how sewing it could actually be a real pain. I think getting the openings to look right might be harder than it looks and could wind up just looking a little like a poncho or something. LOL. I think I’d avoid the elastic altogether and just belt it with a sash or a belt, too, if you can get the thing to look decent. Rectangle patterns nearly always look like you are wearing a box. On the upside, you could disassemble the dress and have a couple of pretty scarves made from the fabric. It is a lovely fabric, but just not a great application of it.

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