Hey there! I advanced on to round two of the Super Online Sewing Match, which had me sewing the Marianne Dress by Christine Haynes. I was so happy to get this pattern, this one has been on my radar for a while now! In fact, when some local friends saw what the second challenge was for the match, they told me right away how the Marianne dress is my style!
I love the cover photos Christine did of the dress, and pretty much just copied her! I knew I wanted a striped dress, so I called Harts fabric to make sure they had enough yardage of the fabric I wanted. They were great and shipped it out right away. The solid white fabric is Robert Kaufman laguna jersey that I grabbed from the Imagine Gnats shop. And the buttons were from my stash.
I sewed a quick muslin of the Marianne dress to check the fit and size 6 was perfect. (My measurements are 34-27-37 if that helps you judge size.)
One of the great things about sewing patterns is that they are like little mini sewing lessons. You learn new techniques which can carry over into other patterns. With the Marianne dress, I had never used clear elastic before. It is perfect! There is no pulling on my shoulder seams, leaving my dress looking pretty professional!
I grabbed a few techniques from other patterns to apply to this pattern. I finished the neckline differently than Christine instructs. The greenwood tank pattern (by Straight Stitch Designs) has you finish the neck leaving the binding pretty narrow. I love the feminine look of this finishing technique and have been pretty much applying it to all of my knit tops!
I’m sure you’ve noticed, but I also added pockets to this pattern. I love a dress with pockets, but knew that side pockets on a knit dress are not the best. I have added side seam pockets to a lady skater dress before, and the pockets constantly bunch up and add bulk at my hips. The pockets I used are from the Cabin pattern (by Blueprints for Sewing). I love these pockets and thought they would look great with the Marianne dress. They are called weltless pockets, and are pretty easy to sew up! (I do have to confess, though, that I was crazy nervous cutting out my weltless pockets when I had to slice into my dress. But it all worked out great!)
Here’s a quick peak at the inside. I sewed it all on my serger, except the hem and the neck line, which were done on my regular sewing machine. (Christine’s instructions are great and walk you through how to use either machine to sew your dress.)
Oooh, last thing. The stripes. I was meticulous about matching these stripes, so I pinned, and pinned, and pinned some more. I tried pinning two different ways and thought I’d share what I learned. The first side I sewed, I pinned each and every single stripe, with my pins perpendicular to the seam (that was a lot of pins)! The second side, I pinned with my pins parallel to the seam, with the tip of my pin going into one stripe, and out the second stripe. Both sides worked great, neither one yielding a different result than the other. From now on, I’ll be pinning the parallel way, using half as many pins as the other side!