Ellie Frederickson

I need to wear this dress more often. That’s really the biggest takeaway from this. I like this dress and I like this pattern.

Way way way back in 2011, a friend of mine was getting married and since I had done her alterations, I wanted to make a dress. I picked up Vogue 2960 and some really nice floral print cotton that a vintage vibe to it, and got to work. It’s a shockingly simple pattern, especially with the changes I made. The original pattern calls for the dress to button up the front, but ain’t nobody got time for that.

I cut the front bodice pieces on the fold and inserted a red zipper (a fancy exposed zipper!) in the back. It made it so much easier to assemble, and honestly it made it simple to wear too, since I wasn’t worried about my boobs popping out as they are wont to do with a button front anything. I did make a full bodice lining as well, which gave a little more heft and a little more opacity to the fabric.

A few years later, when I was teaching, I needed an outfit for Spirit Week for fictional character day. For some reason my usually overactive brain completely stalled out when it came to what I wanted to wear, so I ended up pulling this dress out of my closet so I could be Ellie Frederickson from Up. I added a red cardigan, red heels, a petticoat borrowed from my sister, and a Grape Soda Ellie Badge pin borrowed (begrudgingly) from my mother.

Lanyard of teacher keys optional.

I ended up revisiting this pattern for my Dapper Day Wendy Darling dress, and still love it- but I’ve since learned I need to take some of the ease out of the back. It makes more sense if you read that post; you can see where things didn’t quite work out as easily as it did with this dress!

Dapper Day Wendy Darling

Oh lord. This dress. This dress nearly killed me.

So for starters, my sister and a bunch of her friends were visiting for Dapper Day, and we decided to do a big Dapper Day Peter Pan squad. I was unanimously chosen as Wendy (because really, have you met me? I’m a Wendy.) I planned my outfit pretty quickly-  a sky blue lace dress with a blue sash. Nice and simple, right?

Wrong. I procrastinated. I waited until literally the night before. Oh, and guess what else was also the night before? My first 10k. I was running the inaugural Disney Star Wars Dark Side 10k race, and for some reason I decided to procrastinate.

I used Vogue 2960, which is a vintage reprint pattern, and I’ve used it before to make my Ellie Frederickson dress. I did the same alterations- I cut the front pieces on the fold so that the dress could zip up the back instead of button up the front. I adjusted the shoulders. I checked all my measurements. I cut the pieces from a sky blue lace and a sky blue cotton and had sky blue bias tape to hem the edges.

Yet somehow, when I sewed the skirt (a gathered dirndl), somehow the bodice was DRASTICALLY longer in the back, making the whole thing droop and making the skirt hang too low. I was devastated. I honestly could not figure out what was going wrong with this stupid thing. And by then it was around nine at night, and I needed to be up at 3 am to run the 10k.

Luckily my friend Kimberly stepped in and offered to do some work on the dress and to finish the sash. I cried my way home (did I also mention I put myself into a panic-induced asthma attack? I’m a quality human.) carboloaded with some pasta from Panera, and crashed.

Somehow, though, I dragged myself out of bed, got to the race, and did a fairly respectable job! My time wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible, and I felt pretty good about things. When everything was over I drove to where my sister and her friends were staying at the Caribbean Beach resort, showered, and wrestled into this stupid dress. I had preemptively packed my Rapunzel Dapper Day dress from the year before and picked up a blue ribbon as a backup sash,but magically the Wendy dress was wearable! Kimberly had done some magic to raise the waistline in the back and finish the sash. It still wasn’t perfect, but it was going to work, and that’s all that really mattered.

I clipped my beloved cheap eBay weave into my hair and my sister’s friend Torrance styled it into a nice half up-half down for me, and I added my Wendy bow from Ever After Bowtique. I wore black ballet flats from the kid’s section of Target (I wasn’t even going to try with heels) and wore my thimble necklace from Whosits and Whatsits.

Somehow I survived the entire day walking around. I don’t know how. My friends were like “do you want a wheelchair? We can totally push you in a wheelchair” and I was like “I AM STUBBORN I WILL WALK.” I ended up walking 38,000+ steps that day between the race, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom.

And then I crashed. I crashed so hard.

At least I looked cute, right?

(And here’s a closeup of my bow!)

From Matt the Radar Technician to a Wendybird. Translated: it might not be the best idea to get up at 2:30 in the morning, run a 10k, and then get dolled up for Dapper Day. #starwars10k #matttheradartechnician #wendydarling #dapperdayspring2016