Frocktober – Little Black Dress

I recently had the opportunity to do some pattern testing for one of my Pattern Workshop classmates. The pattern is the Marbella Dress by Itch to Stitch Designs, a brand new indie pattern company. And the result is this lovely little black dress!
At first I wasn’t sure if the silhouette would work for me – generally I prefer fitted skirts with looser tops – but I thought it would be worth a try. Turns out I love it! The tulip skirt is balanced perfectly by the boat neckline.

The Marbella Dress comes in a wide range of sizes from 00 to 20 AND four different cup sizes! I loooved not having to do an SBA! So convenient. I’m also a huge fan of princess seams and deep pleats, so obviously this dress was right up my alley in that regard. The yoke is really nifty because it both finishes the neckline edge and provides a great opportunity for color-blocking.
Since I was testing, I decided to go with a plain black cotton twill for my dress. Also because up until now I didn’t own a little black dress. I know, right. I sewed a straight 00 with an A cup. Looking back at the size chart, I should have technically graded to a 0 at the hip, but I’m happy with the fit as-is. The only modification I made was to shorten the skirt by two inches (I’m 5’4″).
The only fit issues I experienced were some gaping at the back neckline and fabric pooling at the low back. Easily fixable on my next version by doing sway-back and rounded-back adjustments. I added some back neckline darts after I was already finished with this dress, but they would obviously look a lot nicer and less bulky if I’d done the adjustment beforehand.

The PDF pattern has a great feature where you can turn on and off layers to print only the size (or sizes) you want. The instructions are fantastic and super detailed, and there are options to make lined or unlined versions. I opted for unlined and finished the armholes with bias tape.Nice, roomy in-seam pockets are also included! I lined mine with rayon bemberg scraps from my Rigel Bomber, and they feel so luxurious.

I highly recommend the Marbella Dress! I think Kennis did a wonderful job with both the drafting and the instructions. It looks fantastic on a variety of shapes and sizes – you can see more tester photos here.

The Marbella Dress pattern is currently 20% off. There’s also a giveaway for a free pattern going on through Oct. 24th! This is such a versatile dress, and I can’t wait to see more versions popping up around the blogosphere!

Also posted on my blog

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