The house on fire dress



Last year, just before a last-minute holiday to Spain, I decided to do some last-minute sewing. And I had this dress pattern that I had fallen in love with, McCalls 6741. I liked the fabric they had used on the model and even though I never wear white (because I am quite pale) I was thinking nah, it’s fine, I’ll be in Spain, I’ll get a tan (ha!), it’ll look ok. Regrettably, the dress never made it to Spain. I was rushing, used a zip that was too long, cut the top off, the zipper flew off the end and refused to go back on again. The whole mess got flung in a bag and I didn’t look at it again for nearly a year.

So then this year, holiday season again, I was looking for dress patterns and came across this one. The zip went on instantly, with no fuss. I have no idea what my problem was. Seriously, it took seconds. I sewed up the end so that it couldn’t fall off again and hemmed it and ta da! Done. Quickest dress ever.


Unfortunately, when I tried it on I hated it. And then I remembered, it’s the white dress thing. Every time I see one (on other people) I think they look lovely, and then I try one on and I look a little crazy, like the stereotypical ‘escaped mental patient’ from a budget film. I think it’s the messy hair; slightly wild, too big eyes; hasn’t seen sun a while, deathly pale skin…. yeh one of those. So I tried to picture a scenario where I would feel ok wearing the dress (do you do this?!) before I put it in the charity shop bag, and I ran through them:

Walking T to school: no
Going to the shop: no
Visiting elderly relatives: no
Visiting elderly relatives with really poor eyesight: no
Gardening: no

And so on, and so on UNTIL:

Running from the house, if it was on fire: yes.

Yes, I would wear this dress if it was what I had on when I discovered the house was on fire, and I had no time to change before vacating the property. Yes. Though given the overall ‘look’ this dress gives me, a casual observer might assume I was the one with the matches, so, not ideal.


Off to the charity shop it goes, which is a shame as it’s a nice dress. If you like it and want to pick it up for (probably) less than the fabric cost then you best get down to Headingley Oxfam.