This is my 11th hour entry for the new to me challenge!
Somehow this dress makes me feel as if it really wants to be pictured by a pool, while I am holding a fruity cocktail and the sky is as blue as the flowers on the fabric. What you actually get is my back garden (again), but I have made a bit of effort on the ‘styling’ and added – sunglasses!I don’t think the pictures really capture the intense shades of the colours on this print, the blues are incredibly bright against the white background. There is nothing subtle about this print – and to me it just screams summer?This is the Marbella dress from Itch to Stitch Designs. I received this pattern from Pearl Red Moon in the Monthly Stitch PDF pattern swap. I love that this pattern has been made by people of all shapes and sizes and it seems to have worked well for everyone.
As the pattern was new to me I made a complete muslin first and I was cautious about sizing. My measurements were all over the sizing chart – my bust is a size 6, my waist between 8 and 10 and my hips between 12 and 14. I initially cut an 8 through the shoulder and bust grading out to a 10 at the waist and out to a 14 at the hip. The first muslin ended up only slightly too loose at the front but there was a quite a lot of excess fabric at the waist at the back.I recut the front pieces a size smaller. For the back pieces I needed more of a dart shape at the lower back so I took a wedge from the centre back princess seam (folding back about an inch) and a smaller fold from the side back piece. I reduced the size of the back skirt pieces at the waist and increased the dart intake to match the princess seam changes on the bodice piece. I also had to add a bit more width to the back pieces at the hip (so the pattern pieces now look weirdly curved – because my curves are weird!). Finally I lengthened the skirt by two inches.The fabric is a stretch cotton print from Minerva Crafts – using the IPM discount code! It is available in red and orange as well as the blue and purple. It is quite a thick cotton with 3% spandex. Because of the thickness of the cotton I decided to skip the pockets and I lined the bodice with a lightweight white cotton with a tiny amount of stretch rather than self lining. I didn’t attempt any pattern matching as there are so many pieces across the bodice that I didn’t have the energy
The instructions are incredibly detailed – there are over 60 steps in total with lots of diagrams and really helpful instructions for under-stitching all the seams – including the zip – which was really useful. My fabric really needed the under-stitching to hold all the lining seams in place neatly as it is quite thick. The pattern drafting is excellent – all the yoke pieces fit together neatly and all the darts and seams lined up perfectly (even after my random fit adjustments). I love the way the bodice lining is finished at the zip without any hand sewing and the insides turned out pretty neat!Overall though I really like the fit and I am so pleased with how this turned out, it looks quite closely fitted at the back but isn’t tight anywhere.I feel as if this swap has given me a real challenge and pushed me out of my comfort zone – thanks to Pearl for choosing this pattern for me. I hope everyone else enjoyed the swap and the new-to-me challenge just as much!
Find out more about what I have made for IPM 2015 at notsewsimple.