Hello Spring! And hello Spring Sew Box Seasons! I have been busting to show this Box off, because I am so, so happy with my makes for spring. Dead set, 100% in love.
Finding a dressy dress that suits my shape has been a challenge. Unlike a quick and easy boxy Tee, making a more fitted dress takes time and effort, and so it hasn’t been something I’ve experimented with much. I’ve considered playing around with creating my own bodice sloper, but, you know, time.
I’ve struggled with getting a nice shape with darts (bust, waist and combinations of both), and have never really ended up with something I <3. When Leesa suggested a dress for the Spring Seasons Sew Box, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to solve my dress problem. All the contributors and I trawled through dozens of dress patterns, trying to decide what would be the most versatile and complimentary dress for the range of beautiful bodies out there, and we kept on coming back to the Itch to Stitch Marbella Dress. The only problem was the skirt. Some hips like to hide under a full skirt, while others prefer the shape creation of a pencil or tulip shape, which is what the Marbella had. Enter Kennis, the talented designer behind Itch to Stitch, who completely redesigned the pattern so that Seasons subscribers could have the choice! I love it when talented people make things happen!
The Marbella has princess seams on the bodice front and back, and also has a yoke to create the bateau neckline. It comes with two skirt options, a tulip and half circle. I wasn’t all that keen on the half circle skirt until I tested it, then I was completely sold! For this version I went with the tulip skirt (probably stating the obvious here!). The instructions are comprehensive and detailed, and really push you to create a beautiful finish inside and out. I actually finished my facings with binding, just so they’d be as pretty as the rest of the dress. The icing on top is that Kennis has drafted for A-D cup sizes, so no need for a FBA unless you are super busty! I made a size 12 with a D cup, and only needed to make one adjustment.
I’m a bit of a lady turtle, and really struggled to get my zip to sit flat at my neckline. I took a small wedge out of the yoke, and just basted it down to see how it sat. It was perfect, but then I worried that I’d mess it up by doing a dodgy zip insertion. I went and had a cup of tea to psych myself up, and as I was flicking through a book on vintage fashion, saw a photo of a mid-back zip. Problem solved! I sewed the centre back seam from the neckline down 18cm, then inserted my invisible zip from there. It is absolutely perfect and the yoke sits completely smoothly across my shoulder blades. I honestly didn’t want to take it off once I put that zip in.
I did find both skirts a little short for my liking, but I am quite tall. I added 10 cm to the circle skirt, and did a bound hem on the tulip to keep it as long as possible (because I forgot to check its length before cutting out – goose!). I strongly recommend you make up a toile first, just to see what adjustments need to be made. If I wanted to be fussy, I think I’d lower the front neckline by abut 1 cm, and lift the bust apex about the same, but that’s me being really, really fussy.
Of course, Seasons wouldn’t be Seasons without a few other goodies in the box, including the RabbitRabbitCreation Lotus Blossom Shrug. A very quick and easy sew, I made this one with some cotton double knit from East Coast Fabrics. I was sooooo tempted to do the ruffles as well, but decided to keep it understated. I made mine on the overlocker, and top stitched using the sewing machine. My fabric doesn’t have the greatest recovery, so the band is starting to stretch out, but it was so quick and easy to make that I don’t mind busting out another one.
Because I was so happy with the Marbella, I decided to make another one, with a matching bag, that also happened to be one of the Spring SewBox Seasons patterns. I’ll save that for another day …