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All of the entries are in for the Round Two Marianne Dress Challenge in our Super Online Sewing Match II! Each of our contestants made this dress their own, turning sometimes-tricky knits into delightful finished looks. This casual knit dress pattern has two options for sleeves, plus countless possible fabric combinations. Our judges now have the difficult task, once again, to eliminate two challengers in the next two days. They will look for sewing quality, fit and style as they make their decisions. Later this week we’ll tell you who will continue on to Round Three, and we’ll also announce the next pattern. If you’re playing along in the Community Match you can now sew any top or any dress to enter!
We have short excerpts from each of our challengers’ posts about their Marianne Dress. Click on any link below for more pictures and information.
Find up-to-date links for every post in the Super Online Sewing Match here.
Teresa Behr from Dandelion Drift
- From Teresa: “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!)”
Cheryl from Red Knits
- From Cheryl: “I was optimistic when I saw that my measurements fit neatly into a size 8, but the finished muslin was too big and looked frumpy on me. I got out the pins and made quite a few adjustments for a flattering fit. First, I went down to a size 6 all over. The most important thing that this did was raise that front yoke seam to the top of my bra cups, which immediately made for a nicer fit. I also nipped in the side seams significantly at the waist to avoid drag lines from the bust.
- There was even more work to be done in the back. I nipped in the side seams at the waist here as well, but I also removed 1 1/4″ total from the center back and did a 1″ swayback adjustment. Finally, I added 1″ in length to the dress along the lengthen/shorten lines because I never wear dresses that feel too short. Although my pattern pieces look fairly different from the originals, I think I’ve stayed true to Christine’s design lines while making this pattern work for my body.
Lori from Sewing Myself Stylish
- From Lori: “Wednesday morning I decide to go ahead and cut out my hand-dyed fabric. I just wanted to keep busy, rather than wait for my Fabricworm shipment. As I laid out my pattern pieces to cut View B, I realized I hadn’t dyed enough solid fabric for the sleeves. And I really wanted my sleeves to be solid. I decided I would leave them off. EXCEPT, my dress would then be too SIMPLE. In the spirit of the competition, I took a big gulp and cut out the Peter Pan collar that I was 100% certain I would never use. And this is how my dress came to be… To my surprise, I LIKED my Peter Pan collar. The collar was an interesting element in an otherwise simple dress, and the tie-dyed fabric took away the ‘sweetness’ I was concerned about.”
Tanya from Mrs. Hughes
- From Tanya: “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!”
Barbara from Zibergirl Sews
- From Barbara: “Right after finding this fabric, my vision started to materialize. I would make the Marianne dress with the sleeves, cuffs, and yoke, but also add the signature Peter Pan collar. To make it standout against the black yoke, I trimmed it with coordinating pink piping. Because the collar is all one piece, the thickness of the piping made it impossible for the middle to tuck under the band and lie flat, and so it has a continuous pink line from end to end. I think it looks like it was meant to be.”
Leah from Sew Spoiled
- From Leah: “When I started looking for knit fabric for View B of the Marianne dress pattern I looked for stripes. I assumed that I need a busy print or something with horizontal lines. It wasn’t until I went fabric shopping that I realized color blocking would give me a classic look. The fabrics I chose are solid red, white and black Ponte De Roma Fabrics. Ponte De Roma is a double knit fabric with tons of elasticity, it is a medium weight knit fabric, which helps hold this beautiful shift dress shape. Ponte De Roma medium weight fabrics can be worn all year long. I can wear my Marianne dress in the spring with flats, summer with sandals or in the fall and winter with boots and/or a scarf… You could color block the Marianne dress using any colors of your choice. I used three colors here, however you could use two or more. It is fun to try and test out different options when you are color blocking.”
Michelle from Sewnhenge
- From Michelle: “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!… It was pretty fun trying to figure out the best way to make the button placket on the hem. I tried two 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.”
Shannon from Adventures of a Young Seamstress
- From Shannon: “[For the contrast] I had to work with what solid knit I had in my stash, which was a small amount of some off-white bamboo jersey. I thought that the off-white would be too high-contrast for what I was planning, though. I was planning a leaf pattern, and I wanted something a little softer. So, I tried dyeing the fabric with tea! After making some samples with coffee and a couple different kinds of tea, I liked the color from black tea best. I made a large pot of pretty strong tea on the stovetop, let the fabric sit in it for about 20 minutes, then rinsed it in cool water and dried it. I didn’t think it was quite dark enough, though, so I tried again, making the tea a little stronger this time. Still, not dark enough… The next morning, I added another five tea bags, kept the water simmering, and let the fabric sit in it for about two hours, while I worked away on the design that I wanted. Finally, I was happy with how dark it was, and cut out the dress!”
Round Two of the Super Online Sewing Match is sponsored by Fabricworm, your source for modern, designer and Japanese import fabrics, perfect for crafts, quilts and home decorators. Fabricworm specializes in modern cotton fabric for quilting and many other craft items, and they also carry one of the largest selections of Japanese imported fabrics online. Our Round Two Challenge pattern is designed for knits, and Fabricworm carries a large selection of knit fabrics, including the full range of Birch Organic Knit Solids.
There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of creating something by yourself and putting it to good use. At Fabricworm, whether you’re a professional or a beginner looking to get into the wonderful world of quilting, there’s definitely something for everyone. They carry a wide selection of modern fabric from top designers like Alexander Henry, Moda Fabric, Timeless Treasures and more! Each of their designer fabrics is sure to spark a fire in your imagination, so you can let loose and create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces for your personal home decor, fashion or quilt collection.