I was invited to a coworker’s wedding that would be taking place in a fancy distillery in the mountains. A week before the wedding, I looked through my closet and picked out two options and was going to narrow them down when I ended up at the new JoAnn location in my neighborhood* and I saw this:

Green fabric with a crane print

Reader, I immediately decided to make a dress out of it–despite the fact that I had exactly one week in which to do so, despite the fact that I had two perfectly fine outfits to wear, despite the fact that I hadn’t made or worn a dress since 2016. I didn’t care; I couldn’t shake the idea of THAT print in a ruffly prairie style dress, worn with ankle boots.

So I did it! It was such a throwback experience at that nice JoAnn, too: I found the fabric (a polyester crepe), then walked back to the pattern books and looked at some options, then made a decision based on what was in stock and seemed the fastest to make. No reading indie pattern reviews, no scrolling through Instagram tags to see how the pattern looked, no ordering fabric online–it was just like I was a little girl again planning out a new dress with my mom in one visit.

The winning pattern was Butterick 6677. It was simple but the narrow hems on those sleeve ruffles took a lot of time.

A selfie of a woman in a green dress

My only change was to shorten both the skirt piece and the ruffle by two inches, to better show off ankle boots.

A woman in a green dress in front of mountains
Forgive the weird crop, but I didn’t know if my new wedding friend wanted to be all over the internet.

The only way I was able to get this done in seven days was Doc: He stepped up to take over pretty much most of the house stuff and didn’t mind when I disappeared upstairs to sew for an hour or two after dinner every night.

I loved wearing my dress and the bride (who knew what I was planning) was so impressed I got it done. Now I’m suddenly all about full, gathered dresses: I just bought a ruffler foot for my machine off eBay to make more.


*The newest JoAnn store designs are SO nice, and they’ve really upped their garment fabric selection. Well done, JoAnn.