The Oath of Finished Uglies
I, the undersigned, swear to hereby clear my make of all crimes against fashion or wearability. I promise to love it, cherish it, and allow its inner beauty to shine. I will not banish it to a cupboard, take it to a charity shop, do the dusting with it or gift it to a friend. I will learn to love my Finished Ugly…
Okay, everyone. No loud noises or sudden movements. Breathe as quietly as you can and just pray to God that you’ve done nothing at all to annoy Marie. Some people use their sewing careers to create dresses of beauty or quilts of happiness. Marie of A Sewing Odyssey employs her machine to give us all nightmares.
Did you ever have a nanny when you were growing up? Ever fantasised about having one? Well, you wouldn’t want Nanny McScare in a ten-mile radius. Marie calls this the Sinister Nanny dress. She’s not kidding. If you don’t clean your teeth before bedtime, my goodness, she’ll give you a spoonful of sugar – through the gaping hole she’s sliced in your neck.
Ahem. I’m going to attempt to interview Marie. Can someone be ready to dial 999?
Hello, Marie, and thanks for joining us on this Ugly Amnesty. Can I ask where you found the inspiration for your dress? Is this a self-drafted dress or did you (cough, splutter) follow a pattern?
Thanks for having me Karen, I’m so pleased that you decided to celebrate my unique creation, right here on this very awesome blog of yours. Sadly I can’t take all the credit for this beauty. It was actually born out of my first ever vintage sewing pattern purchase – Simplicity 7672. When I first started sewing a couple of years ago, I swiftly fell out of love with modern patterns and discovered an affinity for vintage ones. Some may say that it took me a little while to distinguish between classic styles and sinister ones…
The ruffles on the sleeves and collar are … extraordinary. How did you get them to stand so proud from the body of the dress?
Hmmm, I actually didn’t do anything to them. I didn’t use interfacing or any special techniques, as I was still so new to sewing. I think they must stand so proudly all by themselves, I mean wouldn’t you if you were part of such a beautiful design?
Some people will recognise this mushroom print from one of the shops on our recent Goldhawk Road Fabric Fandango. (Very neat zip insertion, by the way.) Do you have other good fabric sources you can recommend to other Sinister Nannies?
Oh no! I didn’t spot it at the Goldhawk Road Fabric Fandango…if only I had then I could have stocked up on some yardage! Don’t you agree that it’s got such a light and breezy quality to it? Not! I actually got mine from a stall at Leicester market, but please don’t be put off, it generally is fantastic source of fabric. Blogger meet-up in Leicester anyone?
Are you a fan of strangulation? That neckline looks very close to your throat?
Erm, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of modesty is there?!?
Marie, have you worn this dress out in public? Have you found that young children tend to, er, burst into tears?
It’s tragic really, but I haven’t. I ‘m not sure the public, and children in particular, are ready for something quite like it yet. On a serious note, the scariest thing about this dress is that I actually thought it was amazing and didn’t consider it ‘sinister’ at all…until one fateful night. I’d worked late into the evening to finish my second ever dress and when it was complete I hung it lovingly on my dress-form – which resides in a corner of our hallway – and went to bed feeling rather proud of myself. Fast-forward an hour later and my boyfriend came to bed. His constant turning and sighing finally woke me up and I asked him what was wrong. To my utter bewilderment he said, “I don’t know, there’s just something really sinister about your dress. It looks like something an evil nanny would wear.” Surprisingly, despite such a raving review, I’ve not felt the desire to wear it out!
In the words of Marie’s boyfriend: ‘Something an evil nanny would wear.’
I don’t know what there’s left to say, other than: HOW did Marie get herself photographed clutching a knife in an outdoor shot without the police swooping to arrest her?!
I leave you with a Youtube link to a funny sinister Mary Poppins spoof, that was surely inspired by Marie’s dress:
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT Ugly Amnesty is looking for more volunteers. Do you have a dress lurking in the back of the wardrobe, an abandoned skirt in the stash box or a blanket woven from hamster hair? We need to hear your stories! Don’t hesitate to get in touch.