Marianne Dress - Wardrobe by me patterns

A lady with short brown hair standing on a balcony wearing a navy, knee length dress

I’m on a mission to find a dress pattern that I can use as a wedding guest in September and the ideal dress will have some stretch, although I am also going to try some patterns using woven fabrics.  I always struggle with something I’m completely comfortable wearing for formal occasions, so I’ve started early this time!

My first dress is the Marianne Dress by Wardrobe By Me.  I love the simple design & that it can be changed just by using a different fabric.  I’ve worn navy to a wedding in the past and to be able to see the fit and style I opted for a plain navy jersey for this dress.

The pattern is a fitted jersey dress with front and back darts & front buttons on the bodice. It has an A-line shaped skirt.  There are two collar options, inseam pockets, belt loops & a belt.  The shawl collar can be made pointed or round and there are also several sleeve length options.  The pattern recommends light to medium weight jersey fabric.  The size range is EU 30-54/US 0-24 and designed for 5’6”/172cm. 

Black line drawings on a white background of  five dresses showing different options with sleeves, collar and lengths

The fabric I chose, gifted from Minerva in return for a post and photos, is this Minerva Core Range Rayon Nylon Jersey with 50% horizontal stretch and 10% vertical stretch.  There are 13 gorgeous colours to choose from.  I ordered 3 metres as I was undecided on the length, maxi or below knee and opted for the latter.  Although the fabric contains 45% nylon it isn’t shiny like some and has a linen look about it, which I love.  I didn’t want too much vertical stretch as I find it difficult to keep the hem level and it can stretch out of shape with the weight when made into a dress.

I found the instructions very easy to follow and although I have used patterns from Wardrobe By Me in the past, this is the first time I’ve made the Marianne Dress.  I opted for the pointed collar, short sleeves and knee length option in a size 16, grading to an 18 at the waist.  I had to adjust the front darts by moving them in towards the centre by 1.5cm and shortened them by 6cm as the dart point was very high over my bust.  I added a small dart in the armhole at the point of the front notch as I had a small amount of gaping once the sleeves were pinned in position.  This isn’t unusual for me, and I will pinch out the dart on the pattern piece for next time.  I debated making a size 14 and adding a full bust adjustment.  I’m pleased with the fit of the bodice using size 16 and may just take a tiny bit from the shoulder/sleeve seams in future. 

The size and length are perfect for me and for once I trusted the finished measurements rather than making it too big and having to take it in.

I was worried about sewing the buttonholes on jersey as my first practice ones didn’t turn out well.  I retested them by also adding interfacing to be identical in thickness to the dress and had much better success.  I always hold my breath stitching buttonholes on the finished garment & am pleased to say all 4 turned out perfectly. 

Take care when ironing the fabric as I burnt a small hole in the belt – first time in 50 years of sewing!!

I love the finished dress, shown here with white pumps for a casual look.  It is certainly a dress that I would feel comfortable wearing all day for a wedding and could change from heals to the pumps later in the day for comfort – I just need a bit of colour in my legs now 🤣.

Thank you to Minerva for the perfect fabric.


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  1. Helen
    Such a comfortable dress and an easy sew. Helen

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