Ugly Amnesty 3 – The Nanny McScare Dress

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.

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15 Responses to Ugly Amnesty 3 – The Nanny McScare Dress

  1. Ashley says:

    I think it’d be ok without the collar and cuffs, which by the way stand up a crazy amount! And maybe lowering the neckline? I don’t know, but I think it could be saved! :)
    Ashley x

  2. Marie says:

    Don’t worry Karen, I was only brandishing my weapon on the safety of my own balcony ;o) Thanks for immortalising this dress in the Ugly Amnesty hall of fame, haha!

  3. KC says:

    I think a few well-placed cuts around the neck and arms, perhaps with the pictured knife, might greatly improve the style! Love the Scary Mary trailer.

  4. Clare S says:

    Oh dear, poor dress!! Those cuffs seem to defy the laws of gravity – that IS scary!!

    I actually would be well up for some sort if Leicester blogging fabric craziness – I’ve lived in Nottingham for about a year and a half and have been meaning to go to Leicester!

  5. liza jane says:

    I love this series. And thanks so much for sharing, Marie. This is so much fun.

  6. Tilly says:

    Cripes! It’s… erm… different. I think the knife is what Marie used to cut out the pastry collar and cuffs.

  7. Pingback: 9 Dress Blogs

  8. Gabrielle says:

    The cuffs and collar are pretty amazing features (reminds me I have similar though larger cuffs on a shirt I made in the early 90s – which I actually like), but the dress looks nicely made and fits well. Can it not be made more friendly?

  9. Jane says:

    I love these posts Karen! Marie looks like she’s about to go and sort out the mad woman in the attic (or maybe she IS the mad woman in the attic?) And the mushroom fabric!!!! You’re setting a very high standard with this series, well done! x

  10. Suzanne says:

    Definitely lose the collar and cuffs! Kind of scary….I like the fabric print!

  11. muddledstyle says:

    Hmm, I think Marie looks ace in the dress, she’s got the height and (I kind of hate this word, but can’t think of another right now) attitude to pull it off. I don’t think it would work on me!

    I sort of suspect that the dress I’m making is going to be pretty hideous, so it may be a candidate for Amnesty…

  12. Marie says:

    Thanks for all the comments, you have inspired me to re-work this dress at some point and make it wearable!

    Clare S, anytime you fancy visiting Leicester, I’ll be happy to show you around ;o) There’s only two main fabric stalls at the market, but they are pretty good I think. And around the corner we’ve got a brilliant vintage shop. Is there much in Nottingham? We can do a swap?!?

    muddlestyle – thanks for such kind comments!

  13. Marie says:

    You betcha! I’ll let you see it first, you might change your mind if by some ugly turn of events it turns out worse!

  14. Portia says:

    Photo caption “just take my frikkin’ picture. Don’t make me hurt you….!!”
    Px

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