Hot! The “Leave it to the Original” Dress

image from

The Facts

Fabric: Upcycled sheet, thrifted $4
Pattern: Burdastyle's Wiesn Dirndl, $4
Year: c. 2008
Notions: piping, eyelet lace, $2
Time to complete: 9 hours
First worn: August 2011
Wear again? No

Total Cost: ~$10

The thing I loved most about Adey's Blue Garden Frock was the fit. The thing I hate most about my version is the fit. 

I have to admit that I was really not feeling this week's challenge. It's not that I wasn't inspired by the creations from the other Sew Weekly gals — it's just that I get really frustrated when I set up too many restrictions for my sewing. Of course, that's a lesson to be learned: make sure challenges to paint me in a corner!

The first frustrating thing about this pattern is that it took me about 3 hours to print, tape and cut it out. Setbacks: 

  1. I ran out of printer ink
  2. I ran out of tape
  3. I was missing some pages
  4. There are a lot of pieces to tape together!

So that so of start really dampened my sewing enthusiasm. I hadn't started until Saturday morning and spent the entire day sewing. By the time I got to the finishing details, I said "whatever" and skipped the zipper and made it fit over my head.

Hence, the poor fit. But really, by then I knew I wasn't going to like the dress since that fabric is just not my color. I just wasn't loving it at all.

But that's okay. Not everything has to be a winner.

And that's why the title is the "Leave it to the Original" Dress. Sometimes, it's better to just appreciate a dress from afar.

image from
image from


Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


Comments are closed.

  1. too bad you don’t like it–it’s super cute in these photos! and i think the color is good on you, but if you don’t like it, you won’t wear it, and best to pass along to someone who will. :) i’ll say well done anyway! taping together a zillion pattern pieces isn’t my cup of tea either. :)

  2. I love the dress! But like Liz said above “…if you don’t like it, you won’t wear it…” However, you have inspired me with some of the finishing touches.

  3. It is super cute. I love the lace trim and the pipping on the bust. The color looks good, but if your not feeling it that’s all that counts. I think w/ brown leather belt and denim jacket this would be so cute for fall. But the best thing is you can pass it along to a friend. You make amazing pieces, so if one doesn’t work out it’s OK :)

  4. I think it looks great! I do agree about the pain of taping together a pattern. It took me forever to put together the one pattern I’ve downloaded from online, that it has made me hesitate on doing it again.

  5. The dress is very cute, but if it does not like you, maybe … convert it into a skirt, the skirt of this dress is definitely very beautiful! Save it, please!

  6. Lovely! I totally agree with these ladies though – if you don’t like it, why wear it? Recycle that lovely fabric and trim into something you’re in love with!

  7. Okay. Firstly, you make me laugh because the dress is so cute and I love the color (aqua/sky blue is what it looks like on my monitor) and I’m not actually seeing a fit problem. Hmph.
    And secondly, I know exactly what you mean; I lust after cute things in the shops and dresses that my favorite bloggers have made and try to make them myself, and so many times I discover that it is definitely not the style/color for me! Why must I keep teaching myself this lesson? Because I just can’t seem to learn!

  8. It takes me long enough to trace out Burda patterns from the magazines. I dread the thought of taping a pile of paper together. I like your dress. It looks light and summery and has pretty details. And so someone else will love it if you pass it on (or it will look great as something else if you refashion it).

  9. I actually love that color on you and the dress turned out really sweet. I can totally relate to the frustrations of being ‘inkless’ and having missing pages. I hope you turn the dress to something you’ll wear too, the fabric is a beauty.

  10. I think this dress is great! The fabric is really lovely!

  11. Sometimes having to piece together a pattern really ruins the whole process for me (another is grading a pattern when I want to sew now!). :p So I can sympathize! That being said, I do think it looks cute in the photos and I think the fabric is darling! I know it’s tough sometimes when something doesn’t turn out 100%. I really appreciate that you’re so honest about both your sewing “hiccups” (I hate to call them failures, because each project is a learning experience, imho!) and successes.
    Also: LOVE your shoes! May I ask where you got them/brand?

  12. I like the lace trim too, easy way to jazz up a plain Jane hem. And makes hemming less of a chore too.

  13. I also want to buy the dress to my mother .

  14. You could open a Sew Weekly shop to sell the things you’re not fond of. I think it’s great.