The Marilyn Dress by Style Arc Patterns

August 11, 2017   /   byCarolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic)  / Categories :  Feeds
This is the first Style Arc pattern that I've sewn even though I own a bunch of them.  It's taken me a minute to get on the Style Arc bandwagon because I had issues with waiting for a pattern to arrive from Australia. I know not very global thinking...but I'm an instant gratification kinda girl!

Anyway, as soon as the nested patterns appeared on Amazon, I bought several...and then several more...without sewing any of them. However, I've seen a few of these dresses on the Internet and knew that I wanted one for my wardrobe too.

First impressions...
The instructions are scant. The diagrams are scant. I believe you need to have some sewing knowledge to make this pattern. The dot on the pattern "instructions" suggests Medium skills and I would agree with that assessment. Also, the seam allowance is 3/8", it's very important to remember that!!!

At first I was confused by the stitching and cutting lines but after handling the pattern a little, I caught on. I read the scanty directions and then proceeded to go my own way.

Materials ~
A blue embroidered border print chambray by Telio purchased from

24" invisible zipper
white corded piping
white rayon bemberg lining

Construction ~
There were a couple of things...

I didn't have enough fabric to make lined sleeves. So I used a white rayon bemberg fabric from the collection to line my sleeves.

I added an invisible zipper to the back of the dress, cause I hate button & loop closures. Which I'm so glad I did because it allows me to unzip the dress and step into it instead of wrestling with it to get it over my head.

I made a v-neck that is between the high and lower necklines the pattern recommends.  Because of that I had to make an adjustment to the front neckline facing also.

I added 3 1/4" to the hemline so that the dress would cover my knees. Since it's a border print that I wouldn't hem, I needed to make sure that was correct and was the source of much angst before cutting it out.

I added white piping to the neckline. The dress seemed too plain with all of the party at the bottom. The white piping carries some of that detail to the neckline.

I cut a size 24 but probably should have cut a size 22 because I ended up going back in and sewing 3/4" side seams to remove some of the width. Before I did that, wearing the dress felt sloppy and nightgownish and even now it's a very loose fitting dress. 

Sleeve Construction ~
The sleeve construction was particularly trying. I know I'm not good at puzzle pieces and the way the sleeves went together wasn't intuitive to me.  Also, scant I had to sit and puzzle it out. I did eventually figure it out but it was dicey there for a bit. I made no changes to the sleeve patterns figuring that they were open on the sides and that would cover my bodacious biceps.

However, I don't like how open the sleeves are...they seem to flop around on my arms. I notice that Megret (Cookin' and Craftin') made the same observation. I checked Linda (DanvilleGirl) and Lara (Thornberry) posts and they don't mention it either so I wonder if it's a curvy girl thing?!

After sleeping on it, I added a bartack halfway down the sleeves. This does pull on the front a little when I put my hands on my hips but I'd rather that then the floppiness that was occurring.

Neckline Changes ~
As I mentioned above I added piping to my neckline to bring some color to the top...otherwise it was kind of bland. Also, I cut my neckline between the highest point and the lowest marking on the pattern. Was this a precise cut, hell no?! You do know me right?! *LOL* I just picked a point that looked like it would work for me and cut. It worked though! The piped neckline is one of my favorite parts of the dress.

A few pictures of the dress ~

Conclusion ~
I'm glad that I made the dress. Though I won't be making it again.  I could tell midway through constructing the dress that it was a one and done. However, the experience hasn't soured me on StyleArc patterns. I will definitely try out some of the others in my collection.

...and I'm hoping that during the next heatwave, I will turn to this dress because of the air conditioned sleeves and the loose fit. Those features will make it perfect for the humid, steamy, hundred degree weather we can experience.

This dress does fit into my plan to make as many denim/chambray dresses as I possibly can. I love the ease of wearing a good denim dress especially since it works in my office...and while I'm probably still a little more dressed than anyone else but I'm not over dressed.

I know that I said the border print NL 6340 would be up next but I have a packed weekend and I plan to wear this dress. I thought it appropriate to move this one up in the queue and share it now instead of later! always more later!

This is a syndicated post. Please visit the original author at Diary of a Sewing Fanatic

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