The Marbella Dress + A GiveawayTuesday, January 06, 2015
Hello there and welcome my first make of 2015! Well a majority of this dress was made in 2014 but I finished it in 2015 so I'm just gonna claim it my first make of 2015. Okeedokee?! It's the Marbella Dress and it's the first pattern from a new independent designer, Kennis Wong of Itch to Stitch.
I was contacted by Kennis back in October asking if I'd be interested in making and reviewing her new pattern. First off let's address the fact that that was back in October! I feel bad it's taken me so long to make up this pattern as I had other obligations, holidays, sickness and time to overcome. Ah but such is life. I'm stricken with the mentality of being able to sew all the things all the time... "Oh I'll get my 5 page sewing list done over the weekend" or "Oh how's about I whip up a quick blouse after work tonight? I'll have something new to wear tomorrow!" I wish I was half the sewing wizard that I think I am but I digress.
The Marbella features a princess seamed bodice with front and back yokes, a tulip skirt and yes...pockets! You can line the skirt if you chose. Their is a wide selection of sizes and you choose your cup size. The pattern is only available as a PDF. All you PDF haters wait, hear me out! Let me tell you what makes this PDF different from any other PDF I've ever worked with! This pattern has layered pattern tiles that allow you to choose and print only the size(s) you need. That's right, no going cross eyed trying to follow your size line among the many when cutting. Need to grade between sizes? No worries you can print each size you need. The how to print sizes and grade if needed is all in the instructions. Another plus, cup sizes are all on their own pages so you only need to print the pages specific for your cup size. Paper saver!!
I ended up making 2 muslins. My measurements were all over the place and I was worried about the extra ease in the hips. The extra ease is needed for the tulip design but I've never been a big fan of that style. Basing my measurements against the finished garment measurements I started with a size 0 at the bust and waist and graded down to a 00 at the hips. The pattern does state because of the skirt design if you down size at the hips you risk the back of the skirt becoming too tight. This is something to keep in mind. I myself didn't see a problem but I only graded down one size. I could foresee a problem if you went down two sizes. My first muslin showed some major gaping on the back neckline. A usual problem of mine. I cut two 1/2 inch wedges from the back bodice pattern and also shortened the hem line 1 1/2 inches. Being pretty happy with the fit of muslin #2 I cut into my real fabric a vintage mini houndstooth print. I won this fabric some time ago from a giveaway hosted by Sue of Sewin' Steady. I believe it's some type of wool blend.
I chose to fully line my dress which I don't have photographic evidence of. I was so totally wrapped up in getting good photos of the outside that I just forgot about the inside. The print of this fabric made it a real bear to photograph. The print in the photos was showing up wavy and reminded me of one of those hypnotizing wheels. Apparently there is a name for the problem I was having, it's called moire. I have a few better choice names for it....After about 200 photos (I'm not kidding) my best bet was either up close or holding something in my hand for the camera to focus on then quickly tossing it before the camera took the picture..not always an easy task.
The instructions are very thorough and detailed. I really appreciated this when it come to installing the lining, which is rayon bemberg btw. Instructions for stay stitching, clipping, stitch in the ditch and finishing seams are all there when needed.
I shouldn't point it out because it's barely noticeable but I had one heck of a time trying to get the waist seam to match on the back. I started to let the perfectionist get the best of me and ripped out the right side of the zipper twice trying to line it up perfectly. If you've worked with wool before you'll know ripping out stitches is not exactly easy as they tend to sink into the fabric. I finally said, good enough. Not sure why it bothered me so much as it will be covered by a cardigan anyway. I don't ever see myself wearing this without some type of cover up. And while we are spilling secrets here I ended up shortening the hemline an extra inch. It ended nicely above my knees until I washed and dried the dress. Now it's a tad on the short side when sitting. Oopsie!
I'm really pleased with the way my dress turned out and think it will be a good work staple. If I had to make any changes at all I wouldn't mess anymore with the hemline. I think the fit of the back needs a little tweaking and the bodice is a little long. I did not notice this with my muslin which is really annoying.
The Marbella is available for purchase as a PDF download here.
GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED..
but first try your chance at winning a copy! Kennis is giving away one pdf download of the pattern to one of you lucky peeps. If you would like to be entered in this giveaway please say so in the comments and tell me what your favorite design feature of the pattern is. Please make sure I have a way of contacting you either by your blog address or email address.
GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED..
I will draw one lucky winner's name out of a hat in one week - Tuesday, January 13th. Good Luck!