I’ve made it into Round Two of the
I’m super honored to move on in the Super Online Sewing Match and it’s exciting to see different versions of the same pattern by the talented sewists in this competition. For Round Two, our challenge is to sew the Christine Haynes Marianne Dress.
The Marianne is a casual knit dress pattern with two options. I chose View B as I like the sleeves and this is a dress I will be more likely to wear in cold weather. It will work well with leggings and boots in the winter as it’s a bit too hot for the current weather here in California.
As this is a shift dress, I didn’t want a knit fabric that was too clingy, so I chose to use ponte for my dress. Harts Fabrics generously donated a gift certificate for Round One, and as I love buying knits from Harts, it seemed like the perfect option. I chose this black floral rayon/poly/spandex ponte knit for my main fabric and this pink poly/rayon/spandex ponte knit for my contrast fabric. I previously used Harts’ aqua and rose floral ponte knit (no longer available) that’s similar to my black floral knit fabric, so I knew that this fabric would work well for this dress.
As I waited for my fabric to reach me from Santa Cruz (it only took a day once it was shipped), I worked on altering my pattern. This dress is rather short, so I lengthened it by 5″ for both my preference and for my height. I graded it up to about a size 22/24 and widened the neckline. As I changed the neckline, I also had to lengthen the neck binding. I sewed this dress on my sewing machine with a zig zag stitch and finished the seams with my serger. I used clear elastic on the shoulder seams and knit stay tape on the hem.
My plan for this dress was to make it unique and different from other Marianne dresses I’ve seen online. This dress has a 1960’s vibe and I thought it would be interesting to incorporate some vintage details into this dress. I used a covered button kit to make buttons with my floral fabric, which stand out on the contrast cuffs. I also made a self fabric belt with a bold covered buckle. I had never thought about adding these accouterments to knit garments before, and although it was more challenging than working with a woven fabric, I’m happy with the end result.
Shift dresses really aren’t my favorite type of pattern unless I belt them. I prefer my dresses to have some waist definition as styles like these can look like a sack on my figure without some fitting. I wanted to keep the pattern’s integrity, but also personalize it and make a dress that I feel comfortable in and one that I would actually wear. To make this belt I used belting, eyelets and a vintage covered buckle set I picked up at Grey’s Fabrics when I was in Boston. I think the buckle has kind of a mod look to it and I thought it would work with the retro feel I wanted for this dress.
My inspiration for this dress was the 1980’s do the 1960’s with the bright pink and the off-shoulder bodice. Kind of Joan Holloway meets Cyndi Lauper plus Laura Ashley. I wanted to personalize this pattern and make it my own and I think I achieved that goal. I’ll look forward to wearing this dress when cooler weather arrives. In fact, it perfectly matches a pink silk trenchcoat currently lingering at UFO status in my sewing room!
- Dress: Christine Haynes Marianne Dress in black floral rayon blend ponte knit and pink poly blend ponte knit, made by me
- Shoes: Naturalizer
- Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Jackie Ohh