Friday, October 24, 2014

Marbella Dress Pattern Review and Giveaway

I want to introduce you to a brand new sewing pattern company, Itch to Stitch.  The owner, Kennis, asked me if I would like to review her first pattern, the Marbella dress, and I jumped at the chance.  Stay with me until the end for a chance to win your own copy.

I mentioned here that I've been wanting a classic white sundress for years, and for some reason, this pattern immediately made me think of that.  I purchased this white cotton eyelet from Pennie Fabrics in Sarasota specifically for this dress. 
I also used a bunch of plain lightweight cotton to both underline and line the dress.

This is a PDF pattern, a very well developed one.  Kennis created the pattern pieces using different layers in Adobe for different sizes, so you only print the size or sizes you need.  This is explained very clearly in the instructions.  I printed sizes 4 and 6, and I cut at the size 4 for the bust and waist and blended to a 6 in the hips.  I measured myself and picked these sizes based on the size chart with the pattern.  The fit turned out great, and I made zero adjustments.

I needed to print 25 printer pages of pattern pieces.  I opted to read the instructions from my computer and didn't print those pages.  I timed myself cutting and taping the pattern pieces together and it took 30 minutes, as long as my drive to and from JoAnn's.  :-)  Not bad at all.

 This dress was a pretty involved project, partly because of the changes I made just for my personal preference.  The most obvious change is to the skirt.  The tulip skirt, as designed, is really cute, but I've made one or two before and I fear the pleats over my tummy.  Anyway, I used the pattern piece for the skirt front and just changed the side seam to an A-line shape.  I used the box pleats as drafted.  I used the same pattern piece for the front and back and it fit beautifully.  I love the pleats.
 The bodice has interesting seaming.  The neckline is a very flattering wide boat neck, and there is a curved yoke piece with princess seams underneath.  Yea for no darts to mark and sew!!  ;-)
 Gah, why is it all wrinkly in the back?  I think it's just the effect of my belt accessorization.  I didn't notice it any time before.
 The other change I made to the pattern was to move the zip from the center back to the side and cut the back pieces on the fold to continue the pretty eyelet across.  I didn't think ahead about how that side zip would affect my pockets, though.  I refused to omit the pockets, and after a little fiddling around, I am very pleased with what I came up with.  The invisible zip tapers into the pocket opening and ends inside the pocket.  Strange, perhaps, but it works.
 Here, I was trying to get a shot of where I hand stitched the skirt lining to the pocket top.  I can't think of any good way to explain this.  It just worked out after some fiddling and quite a bit of hand stitching.
 I should say that although moving my zipper to the side seam meant I did quite a bit of hand stitching, the pattern instructions are fantastic for avoiding hand stitching!  Kennis even explains how to attach the lining to the zipper using the machine.  Love that technique.  The only hand stitching in the pattern instructions is the hem.
 My lovely hem.  All of the layers make it feel like a luxurious petticoat.  I really took my time finishing the inside nicely with this dress, and I'm really happy with it.

Some more thoughts on the pattern:


*The website and pattern are VERY professional.  I would never guess this is Kennis' first pattern and this is a new company.
*Nice use of fusible interfacing and strips at the zipper opening and pocket edges.
*Detailed instructions and diagrams, including stay stitching, clipping, and explaining why you do things.


*The pattern pages have large numbers in the middle.  All of the other PDF patterns I've purchased have numbers and letters at each edge to help you join them correctly.  I didn't really have any trouble assembling the pieces, but it could possibly be confusing for a beginner.
*Everywhere I'm used to reading "right sides together", she uses the phrase "with the correct sides facing" which I found slightly confusing at first.
*I think the step 61 diagram shows lining fabric where it should be the wrong side fabric color
*Step 81 shows a picture of stitching in the ditch but no instruction - could be confusing for a beginner.

Overall, I am very happy with this pattern.  I recommend it and do plan to use it again.  I especially love the bodice design and think it is a very flattering shape.  I could see it altered to be a woven top or tunic, too.

Ok, did you make it?  Now the fun part - I have a copy of the Marbella pattern to give away!  Just leave a comment on this post with what type of fabric you would love to use for the Marbella dress.  I will use a random number generator to pick a winner in one week, on Saturday, November 1st.

* Disclosure:  I was given this pattern for free to review.  If you purchase the pattern using one of the links on my blog, I receive a small percentage of the sale.


  1. I love the dress!! I love the material! And I love the way you did the pleats! There is a bag of similar fabric at our thrift store; I almost bought it last week, but the tag indicated the price would go from $8.50 to $4.25 next week, so I plan on going back to get it on Tuesday. My inexperienced eye thinks it's going to be 3 or 4 yards (hopefully not cut); I guess I could have/should have taken it out of the bag to make sure the inside isn't all stained or anything. Anyhow, I think this dress would be awesome in a soft cotton jersey for everyday wear! That's what I'll attempt if I win!

  2. This is a great, versatile dress pattern - always a great addition to a pattern collection. I think a nice soft cotton lawn would work well.

  3. You made a great looking dress and kudos to you for altering the pattern and making it YOUR way! I love to do that too. I would use a quality cotton in small print on a black background for my dress.

  4. I have the perfect cotton/spandex fabric with beautiful large flowers all over it!

  5. I'd love to try this in a jersey/knit. It's a really cute pattern!

  6. Really pretty dress and I like your version a lot!

  7. I recently won some vintage fabric and so would love to use it to make this dress! thanks for the chance!

  8. I could see a border print eyelet I have in the stash, or a lovely crisp linen... Maybe ponte knit or chambray for fall? A silk or buttery wool for the holidays? Oh, the possibilities...

  9. Really pretty dress. if I were to sew it I would use a linen fabric that I have in my stash and it has a border print that I think would work great with this pattern.

  10. Beautiful I would make it with a pretty cotton or linen for my wife

  11. I love this pattern - thanks for the review! I have a beautiful piece of cotton sateen that I think this pattern would really suit!

  12. I have some fabric i bought from the lisette collection in the spring that would look great with this.

  13. I would use a suiting fabric that just has a slight textured look to it.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It is wonderful to know someone is reading. :-)