Saturday, 24 May 2014

Having a Marilyn moment

Pattern: Sew Serendipity Marilyn dress
Size: M
Fabric: Stretch cotton from ClothSpot

I was really excited when this pattern came out as I heart a good 50s-style dress, AND it has a low back which seems to be my number one requirement since acquiring my latest tattoo. Such vanity.

I'd made one Sew Serendipity dress before and whilst I don't wear it anymore (shirt dress, gaping issues), I remember the pattern being really well drafted and fun to make. This one wasn't so much fun, mainly due to fitting issues. You probably know by now, I'm not a fan of a muslin, so I just went ahead and chopped in to my lovely fabric (and isn't it lovely?!) only to find that the bodice was waaaaaaay to short, the result being that the skirt hung out like a maternity dress. Which is great if you're pregnant but very bad if, like me, you're not.

Thankfully, the sewing gods allowed me enough spare fabric to re-cut the bodice and I added an inch in length to both the top bodice and waistband parts. That's TWO WHOLE INCHES, boys and girls! I'm perplexed by this. I think I do have a longer torso than some, but overall I'm pretty short, and it looks from the photos on the pattern like the model is quite long-bodied too. So why the pattern has been drafted for people with only half a rib-cage is beyond me.

I think every part of this dress has been unpicked and resewed at some point. I sewed the wrong skirt pieces together, had to redo and tweak the contrast binding a few times to get the thickness right, and the zip. Oh my LORD, the zip. I don't have enough fingers to count on to work out how many times I redid that beast. There were far too many things to line up at the back and no matter how hard I tried there was always something off. Pretty happy with the end result, though!

So, a bit of a painful journey, but now all that is almost forgotten and I'm left with a well-fitting dress that I love! I wore it yesterday to a good friend's wedding so took advantage of the decadent surroundings for a few sneaky photos. I even had a Marilyn moment as we got out of the car - embarrassing perhaps, but very apt.


  1. As soon as I read the first few lines of this post I thought I could just die of excitement! I've had my eye on this dress actually ever since I started sewing and I have been umming and arrrring all this time. You have me totally convinced that I neeed this pattern. Your version just looks divine!

    1. Thank you so much! I've had that experience with many a pattern so I'm glad to have helped make your decision for you. I look forward to seeing yours!