Ella’s First Fashion Creation
Reading Comprehension Activity

Ella creates her very first fashion creation. When she wears the dress to school, the day has a very surprise ending.

Topic(s): Realistic Fiction. Skill(s): Character Traits, Context Clues. Genre(s): Prose

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Ella walked into the kitchen and twirled. She was wearing a new dress and she felt like a famous model. Even better, it was a dress she made! Her very first piece of fashion! “What do you think?” she asked her family. They were all gathered at the kitchen table for an early before school breakfast. The scent of French Toast hung in the air and made Ella’s stomach grumble.

“Is that the secret dress you’ve been working on?” Mom asked.

“Yes! This is it! Don’t you love it?” Ella twirled again.

“It’s very pretty, Ella. I can’t believe you designed and sewed that all by yourself!”

“I’m so proud of you! How long did that take? I could never do something like that!” Dad said as he reached across the table for the syrup bottle.

Ella pulled out her chair and sat down. “Two weeks! But I think I could make the next one faster. I had a few problems.”

“She wouldn’t even let me see it,” Madison, Ella’s twin sister said. “She kept the door locked when she was working on it!”

“Well, it looks like it was worth all of the work. Nice job, Ella! I can’t believe you can sew like that! You’re only eight years old! Isn’t your sister’s dress pretty, boys?” Mom said to Ella’s brothers, Carter and Jackson.

“Yep. Looks good,” ten-year-old Carter said before finishing the last bite of his pancake. “Can I have another pancake?”

“Me too!” six-year-old Jackson said. “And your dress looks good.”

Ella smiled as she poured some syrup over the pancake on her plate. She had so many problems making the dress, but right now it was all worth it. It was going to be a great day.

The kids at school weren’t quite as excited about her dress as she thought they would be, but she did get some nice comments from some of the girls, so she was happy about that. The day went by quickly, and before she knew it, she was outside for the last recess of the day. Soon, she’d be going home. What a perfect day, she thought to herself as she swung on the swings. Ella leaned back in the swing and looked up at the blue sky full of white wispy clouds. She smiled. This would be the first dress of many that she would make. Some day she would have her very own fashion line with all kinds of clothes. She would be famous. And probably rich too.

She wondered what to call her fashion line. Ella Johnson’s Fashions didn’t sound very good. She’d have to give it some thought.

The school bell rang and recess was over. Ella sat up straight on the swing and waited for it to stop. She thought about dragging her feet but didn’t want to get her shoes dirty. 

When the swing was close to stopping, Ella jumped off. When she landed, she heard a loud rip. “Oh no!” she whispered as she moved her hand to the back of her dress. It was ripped all the way down the back! Everyone would see her underwear! They were bright pink with white bunnies. This was not good.

All the kids were moving slowly toward the door to go back inside. Ella spotted her teacher, Miss Miller, near the door. “Come on, Ella! It’s time to go in,” Miss Miller called out.

Ella stood still. She didn’t know what to do. She put her hands behind her and tried to hold her dress shut.

“Ella! Come on!” Miss Miller said, this time louder.

Ella shook her head. She should say something, but she didn’t know what to say. Now, all of the kids were inside the building and only Miss Miller was outside. Ella took one hand from her dress and waved for Miss Miller to come to her.  Miss Miller started walking toward her. Ella was so embarrassed. Her very first fashion creation and it fell apart!

“What’s wrong, Ella? Are you hurt?” Miss Miller asked when she reached Ella.

“No. I’m not hurt. It’s my dress. It ripped in the back.”

Miss Miller looked at the back of Ella’s dress. “Oh no! And it is such a beautiful dress!”

“I made it myself,” Ella said.

“You must be very proud! You did a great job!”

“Not really. Or it wouldn’t have ripped.”

“Well, that happens sometimes. Even with clothes you buy in the store! Here, I have an idea.” Miss Miller took off her sweater and helped Ella to pull it on. “There! My sweater is long on you. Even longer than your dress! You can wear it home on the bus. No one will ever know your dress is ripped! Just bring me back my sweater tomorrow.”

“But won’t the kids wonder why I’m wearing your sweater?”

“We will say you got cold. You are a little cold, aren’t you?”

“Yes, I am. Especially since my dress ripped.”

“There you go. It makes perfect sense. Now, come on, it’s almost time to go home.”

As soon as Ella got home, she ran right into Mom’s room to tell her what had happened.

“That was sure nice of Miss Miller,” Mom said.

Ella nodded. “She saved me, for sure.”

Mom looked at the back of Ella’s dress. You did a great job of sewing this, but I think I have an even better idea. Come on. Follow me.”

Ella followed Mom upstairs. The attic entrance was at the top of the stairs. Mom pulled on a rope from the ceiling and a staircase dropped down. Mom and Ella climbed up and into the attic. Mom walked across the attic and over to something that was covered with a sheet. Mom reached for the sheet. Before she pulled it off, she said, “Grandma gave this to me when I was a little older than you, but I was never really interested. I know enough to teach you how to use it, but not much more. I think that always made Grandma a little sad. But she’d be happy to know that I’m giving it to you.” Mom pulled the sheet off and revealed what was below it.

“A sewing machine!” Ella gasped! “I didn’t know you had a sewing machine!”

“I forgot all about having it until now. I wish I had known you were making a dress. If you had told me, I think I would have remembered this was up here and you could have used it.”

“That’s okay. I wanted to surprise everyone. I guess I was the one who got surprised. What a terrible day.”

“No, Ella. It’s the best day ever! Some day you will tell the story of how your dress ripped and when you got home your mom gave you a sewing machine that used to belong to your grandmother. And on that sewing machine you started to create the fashions that would one day make you famous! This is the very beginning of Fashions by Ella!”

Ella laughed and gave Mom a hug. “I love you Mom.”

“And I love you even more. Now, let’s get this sewing machine downstairs. You have to get busy and sew the back of your dress!”

Comprehension Questions

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