Super Online Sewing Match Round TWO! The Marianne Dress

Marianne Dress SOSMI was SO happy to have been pushed through onto the second round of the Super Online Sewing Match with Sew Mama Sew! This time around we were given the Marianne Dress by Christine Haynes. It is a casual and comfortable knit dress, which is awesome because I love sewing with knits! I am already a fan of Christine Haynes, two of my favorite dresses are sewn from her Emery pattern, here and here. So I was pretty excited to try another one of her patterns!

Marianne Dress SOSM

The dress comes with a couple different options, short sleeves with a peter pan collar or 3/4 length sleeves with cuffs and a color blocked top. I thought about what do do with the pattern for a while, and decided that I needed to sew the short sleeves because I live in Texas and I can’t even imagine sleeves right now. The problem was, I ADORE the cuffs on the longer sleeved option! I wanted to incorporate that into my dress so I decided to add it at the hem! While peter pan collars are cute on some people, they are not my personal style so I left them off.

Marianne Dress SOSM

Something funny- We went to South Padre for the July 4th weekend. We left on Thursday, but I didn’t find out until Friday whether or not I made it into the second round. I was freaking out that I would lose 4 whole days of the competition while we were there so I brought my computer and printer, along with my paper cutter and tracing paper! I almost brought my machine and some muslin fabric but Jake flat out refused to let me haha! It worked out well that I didn’t bring it though, as this turned out to be a knit challenge and I wouldn’t have been able to really utilize the machine anyway! I was so happy to have brought the printer though, I managed to figure out what I wanted to do, trace it all out and draft the hem pieces all while on vacation. It helped that I’m an early riser and woke up before everyone else in the house every day so I got to work on it without too much interference :)

Marianne Dress SOSM

My measurements threw me between sizes 10 and 12 and since it is a loose fitting dress, I just cut out the 10. When I sewed up the muslin, the dress seemed huge!! I pinched in 1 inch on the waist at each side, which helped define my shape better. The fabric was pooling at my lower back and I realized that if I lifted up the fabric by the shoulders it would relieve the drape. So for the final pattern, I chopped off an entire inch on the shoulders of both front and back. I kept the armholes the same size, just drew a curved line about 2 inches from the sleeve down to the new lower neckline. Speaking of the neckline, I found that again I didn’t like the feeling of the high crew neck, so I lowered it by 4 inches, widened it by 1/2 inch and made it a soft V. I LOVE THE NEW NECKLINE!!!

Marianne Dress SOSM

Fabricworm gave us each a gift certificate this round. I have used them a bunch before, they have a nice variety of knits and especially children’s fabrics. I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to use them or not because of all the kid friendly designs, but I totally fell in love with this Charley Harper print. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not afraid of a ridiculous print on a dress. I’m actually wearing my purple ostrich dress as I’m writing this post. So I went for it :) I bought 3 yards, which at first I was like HOLY MOLY that was so much, why did I buy so much?? (possibly the holiday boozing?) But then as it turns out, I’m SO GLAD I did. As much as I love the print, I don’t know if I’ll be buying any more Birch Fabrics. I love how they are organic and the design was printed on grain, which was great, but the selvage was off grain?? It was so weird, like there wasn’t even a selvage, it was just sloppily cut on the sides, making the width vary from 43-45 inches.. With the large print, as much as it was impossible to match the birds, I did take care to match the stripes on the sides. That made me have to utilize more than I thought. My muslin only needed 1 yard, but this took almost 2.5 yards!

Marianne Dress SOSM
my little buddy wanted in on the posing action

I am confused though, because I bought the coral fabric for the hem and neckband, which was also Birch organics, and it is awesome. Maybe I’ll just stick to 60 inch Birch. I love how the coral perfectly matches the birds :) I wanted to find some buttons that went well with everything and I audibly gasped when I saw these coconut ones :D They are so perfect, they go with the nest so well and I feel like they just tie the whole dress together! I also had fun while sewing them on, I randomly woke up at 5 am and had all this time to myself, so I watched some Downton Abbey and got a little creative with the stitching :)

Marianne Dress SOSM

It was pretty fun trying to figure out the best way to make the button placket on the hem. I tried 2 different ways on the muslin, but then decided to do a completely different thing for the actual garment. I think it came out much cleaner this way :) I kind of did something similar to what we did on the hem of the Sutton blouse.

Marianne Dress

The instructions were great! And you know what else is awesome? Second round of SOSM and this is the second time I’ve done something new!! I’ve known about reinforcing certain seams with invisible elastic, but I had never actually DONE it before this dress! It really makes a huge difference in stability and I will for sure be adding it to future garments. French seams and now this. What next??

Marianne Dress SOSM

I serged all the seams and when I sewed the hem and sleeves I used a twin needle on my machine. I thought about using thread to match the coral of the dress as well as matching the teal, but then I thought it would look REALLY nice to add the decorative effects of the teal thread on the coral. I am super happy with the results! Something SO simple adds such a nice design element. I decided against top stitching around the neckline and hem band because I prefer the clean look without it.

Marianne Dress SOSM

I contemplated for a long time whether or not I should add pockets. I LOVE pockets and I always figure if I’m making my own clothes, I should incorporate these things. But I only have one other knit dress with pockets and to be truthful, they are a bother. They are flimsy and are always popping out to the front and I hate that aspect of that dress. I end up not wearing it very often because of them, even though there is a convenient place to put my phone/keys. I was also concerned that since this is an a line dress, the outlines might show on the outside of the dress and be an eye sore.. So I decided to just leave them out.

Marianne Dress SOSM

All in all, I am super happy with this dress! I was scared at first because, again, this isn’t my normal silhouette, but after pinching and pulling the fabric in a bit, I love it. It is SO comfortable, like secret pajamas! And it ended up being super flattering (or at least I think so)!

Marianne Dress SOSM

Check out the other girls at Sew Mama Sew and wish us all luck!!

36 thoughts on “Super Online Sewing Match Round TWO! The Marianne Dress

  1. Looks great Michelle! I love that bird fabric (bummer that the selvage was strange though). And I love what you did with the v neck and the hem band!

  2. Love it! The fabric is great (I had my eye on that one, too, although I ended up using stash fabric for mine), and I love the buttons and contrasting band at the hem. Good luck!

  3. This dress looks awesome on you! I’m in God’s Country too so I totally get the “no sleeves” and open neckline. From March through Nov, anything around my neck makes me feel like I’m in an oven. The fabrics are perfect and the buttons on the hem? Oh my! I’ve read all the other posts about the dress and still wasn’t sold on the pattern…too boxy for me. I’m built like you (only bigger ha ha). But you did a great job altering the fit and neckline so I just might have to give it a try. Love it!

    1. Wow that is awesome that my dress would inspire you to make one! Go at least a size lower than you’d think, lol! Happy to know I’m not the only one choking in this heat ;)

  4. Congratulations! I love what you’ve done with this. The print is adorable, and the coral with the teal stitching looks wonderful.

    I always wonder about confusing fabrics (that’s my polite name for them). I don’t know how companies get away with producing them. I recently bought a bundle that had one fabric that would have benefitted from some very careful cutting, but the print was so far off the grain line, that I just decided to give up and cut it straight. Everything else was perfectly printed, which left me very confused. It’s wonderful that you were able to work with this despite the strange selvedge. I find it very frustrating when I can’t find the grain easily.

    Congratulations again. I’ll have to head on over to Sew Mama Sew and see the rest of the entries.

    1. Thank you! Confusing fabrics is TOTALLY polite for those annoying things, lol! I’ve seem some serious off grain printing where you wonder if they even tried a little bit. Off grain stripes are the most frustrating! Either way, I’m happy this stuff worked for me in the end, even if it was causing me some strife!

      1. I didn’t realize this when I first read your post, because I was mostly just excited for you (and I loved the judges comments on your entry) but I’m glad that you pointed out the issues you had with the fabric. A lot of people are going to read that post, and hopefully companies will slowly start to understand that when bloggers talk openly about substandard quality, it gets around quickly. I’ve been too polite to say anything publicly about one line from a usually very quality producer, that I’ve had nothing but issues with. I bought a very large amount of fabric for a border, and ripped it, as I was taught to do with long strips, and it ripped unevenly. The print was purposefully not straight, so that wasn’t an issue, but the end I started at was 4.5 inches wide, and the other was closer to 3. I was really disappointed. So, aside from that huge waste of fabric, which I can slightly redeem for a feature on the back of the quilt, I had to go and buy more. I picked up a different print from the same line, and there were serious issues with the dye. Fortunately the ladies at my LQS were kind enough to unroll the entire bolt to find enough continuous yardage for what I needed, but it was just so disappointing.

        Congratulations again! I can’t wait to see what you come up with for the next challenge.

        1. Oh wow, how frustrating! Now you have me curious of what to avoid… You’re right, I find so much praise in blog land, which is nice, but problems don’t get remedied with niceness. I’m always plagued by my desire to tell (and hear) the truth! A while back I blogged about having major issues with one pattern designer, and while I never actually named who it was, I thought it was probably obvious because of the dress I made right around that time. I felt SO BAD about openly talking about my frustrations and wondered if I should have or not. And maybe I should have contacted the person directly. But the truth really does need to be out there. Anyways, thank you again for the support! This round is a bag, which is SO out of my comfort zone! I’m going to need all the good lucks in the world haha

          1. It’s so tough to be honest in blog land. I’m terribly worried about calling people/companies/fabric lines out because I might decide to take this very seriously in the future, and it would be so awkward to have to run in to the people I’d been bagging online at shows.
            There’s such a downside to the internet, where everyone feels that they can say whatever they want because they don’t know you. I’ve seen some very unnecessarily violent responses to people who have openly raised concerns that they’ve had with products. The problem is that I’m not the customer of the fabric company. My LQS is their customer, and I’m the customer of my LQS. I know they’ll mention something about the dye issues, because they either have to discount that fabric, eat the cost, or send as much of the bolt is left back to the manufacturer knowing it can’t be replaced. Whether they’ll pass on anything about the uneven weave is another matter.
            I don’t know how things work with clothing design, but I’ve found that quilt designers are usually really happy to help out when I’ve had issues with patterns. It’s not uncommon for there to be errors in patterns, particularly the first few, before a designer has a wide enough following to attract testers.
            I don’t think I’ve successfully put a bag together since I was 12. It never clicked with me. I wish I could give you help, but I’m always around for moral support. Fingers crossed that you end up with well behaved fabric this time.

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