Hot! It’s a “Mad Mad MuuMuu” dress

I love this fabric and had a hard time figuring out how I would use it in a garment. You see, it has those built in crinkles and wrinkles. The kind of fabric that you hand-wash and then wrap it around a broom handle to dry. So anything very structured, or form-fitting, just wouldn’t work. It would have to be loose and simple, with no set in sleeves, darts or waist. When this challenge came up, I thought that a white neckline embellished with embroidered flowers that matched the fabric would look really cool. I cut the neck out and began embroidering around the existing flowers on the fabric. It took the longest time! Argh!

The Facts:

Fabric: Black with red/pink flowers a crinkle cotton fabric from Jo-Anns
Pattern: Butterick B5210
Year: 2008
Notions: embroidery floss in pink, red, and green
Time to complete: 3 hours to embroidery and 3 to cut and sew dress
First worn:July 3 out to lunch and then for the rest of the day!
Wear again? To the swimming pool for morning arrobics
Total price:I’ve had it in my stash for awhile,but the price was probably under $10.00


After I finished, I didn’t really even like how it turned out. The haphazard placement of the flowers didn’t have symmetry.  But I wasn’t about to call it quits, not after all that time spent embellishing! I knew that this pattern would pass the Mena Zipper Test, so that was a time saver and the cost of a zipper saver. I serged the sides, tacked down the facing on the neck band, and did a simple serge, turn, and top-stitch hem. It was done, and I felt unhappy.

The back looks better than the front

I don’t think the embroidered flowers on the white band, really were the best choice. Maybe a solid red or black neck would have been better. What do you think? Another thing that really bothered me about the neck band is that when I serged it to the dress, I didn’t serge evenly. Yikes! There’s no going back when that happens. I did pick it a part though, and tried to make it just a little bit more even. I may have changed it 1/8 of an inch, but not enough to even it out. I don’t think that anyone would really notice except for me and other sewers.






Despite my displeasure with the dress, I do like the pattern. It feels light and comfortable, especially without a belt. I wore the thing all day, out to lunch, around the house, for an evening walk. It reminds me of the dresses my mother used to wear. She totally existed in Muumuus. I can understand why now. There are no restrictions! It’s not my favorite dress this year, and I don’t know that I’ll wear it much. I think it will become my swimsuit coverup. Yeah, that’s it!

I must confess I’m not ‘mad’ about the dress!



Barbara is a resident of Northern California. She loves to sew and has pledged not to buy retail clothes for the year of 2012. That means she has to make her own, or buy it at a thrift store. I hope she doesn't spend too much on fabric. When she shops for fabric her eyes light up as she imagines the possibilities! She's like a kid in a candy store.


Comments are closed.

  1. Hi Barbara, I think it will be a frat coverup and beautiful for the beach. Serging can be scary sometimes, there’s no turning back. I often still sew it in my machine and then serge because of previous oops.

  2. Whoa.. This one is for next week. Some how it got posted under this challenge. Oh darn.

  3. I think the neck on this is wonderful! Lately I’ve seen dresses with necklines just like this, with a totally contrasting fabric. (Uniqulo, for example, had some muumuu-like dresses that had a contrasting fabric on the neck. Check them out online! They look just like this one.) I like it!

  4. Hi Barbara, I think you’re being a bit hard on yourself. I can understand that you think it might have been better to use a solid color for the neckline and not do any embroidery. I would have probably done it this way thinking that the fabric itself is already very pretty in itself and there’s no need to distract from it. Having said this I think that the dress looks very pretty and whether the neckline should be embroidered or not is just a matter of personal taste. It does look very pretty.
    I am a bit jealous that your post was published early while my contribution for the trend challenge has been pending for almost 14 days. :( I guess your post fits perfectly to the embellishment challenge – maybe someone thought you used the wrong tag. ;)

    • Djamila-I’ve contacted Mena a few times to ask her to publish my post. Mine still hasn’t come up for this week. Once I send her an message though it goes right up. I think maybe sometimes it gets lost in the shuffle. Try it and see if it helps. i can’t wait to see it!

  5. I love the print fabric, and, overall, love the dress/muumuu. I’m not crazy about the embroidered yoke. I agree that a solid would work better–green or deep rose (red?) from the print. The white is a bit stark and while the embroidered flowers are very pretty, they don’t quite work back to the print. IMHO, that is!

    The dress/muumuu actually looks better with the belt. It helps balance the stark white at the neckline, but defeats the idea of a loose, comfortable garment. As you noted, very few people will notice the minor sewing inconsistencies, so don’t worry about them!

    I love muumuus and Hawaiian style prints–I was a young child when Hawaii became a state and Hawaiiana was at its zenith. And I particularly like this version, which updates it into an eminently wearable style.

    You’ll probably make several of this pattern when everything is tweaked exactly the way you want it!

  6. Hey Barbara! I think the dress looks really pretty. It will be great as a beach cover-up. I’m sorry it got posted early-it fit right in though!

  7. A Dress you an wear all day, that is a dress for me. It looks comfy.

  8. Yes, it is quite comfy and an easy pattern. I recommend it :)

  9. The first thing I thought when I saw your picture in this dress was, “I love the contrast of the white and the dress fabric” So there you go! ;) I think this dress is adorable! It will probably make a great swim suit cover up too!

  10. I think it looks really comfy and versatile, bet you get loads of wear out of it!

  11. Thank you Faith and Marguerite. I really love the fabric’s texture and design, so I probably will wear it a lot.

  12. Ah Barbara you are fabulous. That last photo of you makes me smile. A swimsuit cover-up she is. Great stuff indeed.

  13. I like this, Barbara and I’m glad you found an occasion to wear it because it’s quite cute. And, so are you.

  14. Very few people can make a muu-muu look cute but you did it! And it will be the BEST swimsuit coverup : ) But seriously I even like it with the belt. Your outfits are always spot-on so keep up the good work.