Sunday, August 21, 2016

Marilla Walker Roberts Dress Hack


Hi there! Hope you're enjoying your weekend so far. I'm getting ready to go on vacation and have been sewing like crazy in the hopes that I'll have some appropriate things to wear that make me feel fabulous. Sewing for vacations is both fun and funny. I mean, I'm the same person; I'm just going to be in another place. It's like all of a sudden I'm imagining myself like Lauren Bacall on a yacht or something.

So as you can see I'm still obsessed with the Marilla Walker Roberts collection and made both a top and a dress. For the dress hack, I followed this tutorial by What Katie Sews. It was super easy--just lengthen and slash and spread.  Katie even included an illustration. This is why I love blogs so much, that someone would take the time to do that just to help out fellow makers. Pretty awesome.


I really love this and think it will be a perfect addition to my holiday wardrobe. And in the winter, I'm thinking I can wear it with tights and a cardi to work.

The details:
  • I lengthened the shirt 9 inches. It ended up hitting me at the perfect place, so I used store bought bias tape instead of a double fold hem. 
  • The fabric is tencel from Fabric Outlet. I think it was 9.99 per yard. This was my first time sewing with tencel, and I really like the smooth, slightly shimmery quality and how easy it is to work with. However, next time I would like to try a crepe or rayon--something that has a little heavier drape.
  • The dress slips over my head, so I skipped button holes and sewed the buttons through both plackets with my button hole foot. I used a fabric glue stick to keep things in place and taped the buttons down with clear tape, sewing right through the tape. (Another tip from What Katie Sews. Thanks, Katie!)
  • I added side seam pockets, naturally.
  • Even though this was an easy, quick make, I took my time and did lots of clipping and grading. I was inspired by this post on clipping from Sewing on the Edge. I've read about clipping and grading many times, but something about how she explains techniques really resonates with me.
  • Next time I will raise the shoulder seam 1/4 inch. It sits a tad too low, which means I have to wear a cami underneath unless I want everyone to see my bra. If I wasn't such a lazy maker, I would unpick the arms and collar and make the necessary adjustment to this garment, but you and I both know that ain't gonna happen.

So that's it. I also made this Roberts top from some inexpensive embroidered cotton and posted it on Instagram. The only thing I need to note in terms of my sewing diary is that I did not shorten the top--in fact I lengthened it by 2.5" to get the most out of the embroidered border.

Summer holiday sewing #sewingblogger #indiepatterns #marillawalker

I'm happy with both projects but, man, I really love the dress and I think it shows.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!


  1. I think your dress looks fab, the fabric suits it (I've not seen or come across Tencel before) I think it's a super hack and it's why I love reading blogs, I get huge amounts of inspiration from seeing what's made, what fabric, what hack, how to fix a problem, so thank you.

    1. Thanks, Lynsey Jane! I am constantly inspired by all the people who share their makes. Instagram's great, but I still prefer blogs. :)

  2. This is my favorite style of everyday dressing. So very cute and looks super comfortable. Perfect combination!

    1. Thanks, Rhonda. I wore it the other day for dinner with my inlaws, and it was indeed comfortable. I'm onboard with the day dress. :)

  3. Both of your vacation makes are winners. I love sewing blogs to learn new techniques and also to realize that other seamstresses struggle with similar issues with patterns. It is motivation!

    1. Totally! I am continually inspired and astounded by blogger generosity, especially, it seems, within the online sewing community. Thanks, Annie!