Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sew Serendipity The Marilyn Dress Pattern Test Drive

Today I will be giving an overview of The Marilyn Dress designed by Kay Whitt of Sew Serendipity Patterns. This pattern features a full gathered knee length skirt, close fitting V-neck bodice with subtle gathering at the bust-line, and a wide pointed waistband that fits just above the natural waist. The back features a V-neckline and centre zipper.

As a rule I would never recommend making any clothing pattern without first sewing a toile, even if it is only just the bodice section. I decided to live on the edge and made this dress directly from the pattern with no alterations or adjustments while sewing. The pattern is multi-sized from XXS - XXL and my measurements are a XS bust to a S waist so I did grade between the two sizes when I traced off the pattern. As the skirt is so full I didn't really look at the hip measurement though I took a couple of inches off the bottom of the skirt as I'm only 5'2"ish and wanted the skirt to finish just above my knee.

The fit is actually pretty good, perhaps one of the most accurate I've ever gotten straight off a paper pattern going by the measurements on the pack of the packet.

The only problem I have is that the front waist is higher than the back waist, this issue also affected the hemline which had to be straightened as it was higher at the front than it was at the back. So saying I am quite happy to wear this dress as it is and the majority of people won't even notice the waist isn't straight. It is a fun dress to wear, cool enough for Australian summer and has a nice twirl factor.

Difficulty Level
This pattern is rated as Basic to Intermediate due to the invisible zipper and gathering required. The written instructions are good but might not be explicit enough for a beginner sewer. After the first couple of seams, edge finishes are no longer specified so you need enough sewing knowledge to know when to finish the edges. The sewing techniques used are sound and result in a professional looking garment. The illustrations in the pattern are hand drawn which may be difficult for some people to understand.

More variations of the Marilyn Dress from the pattern cover. 
I have since made a second Marilyn Dress and next week I will go over the adjustments I made to straighten the waistline.

- Ky


  1. well done it looks great. but that waistline is weird looking from side on.... interesting. wonder if its meant to be like that?

    1. Yeah, Margo I mention the waistline is on an angle. On my figure this pattern requires a small pattern adjustment to fix this. It's rare for a pattern to fit straight out the packet so I am blogging about pattern adjustment next week. Watch this space! :)

    2. hehehe, nothing ever fits me straight out of the packet. But I did 'discover' the Sally Shirtdress by the same designer in my pattern stash when cleaning up so might have a go at that - will keep you posted.