sewing the Marcel Dress in Fabric Godmother viscose
Fabric | Patterns

A Dreamy Marcel Dress for my 32nd Birthday

September 24, 2022

Have you ever found yourself daydreaming about a particular fabric? This one captured my mind on so many occasions, that I knew I’d eventually have to purchase a nice cut of it! The shipping from the UK to the US isn’t inexpensive, so I waited until I had a nice bulk order to place and finally – FINALLY! – ordered a few meters to come my way back in September of 2021. 

In total, I picked out cuts of 7 different fabrics that I was so excited about, but despite the fact that my 31st birthday had barely past at the time I placed my order, I knew I’d be saving this one for my next birthday. I got it pre-washed and ready to go right away, and then set it aside, planning to sew it up with the time came.

When I planned out some monthly makes from my fabric shelves back in December, this one was the first one on the list!I wanted to be sure to sew it up in time to wear it on my birthday, so I wrote this one in as my planned July make. I could hardly wait to get started this year, and it was heart eyes all the way through the process for this one.

I don’t remember if I’d already decided on the Marcel Dress when I ordered my fabric, but as soon as that idea popped into my mind there was no going back. This pattern was such a fun option, giving me the chance to play with the floral stripe direction on each tier on the side. As I sewed it little by little, watching it all come together on my mannequin at the end of each evening, I was so proud of what I was making! I hold a lot of pride about each thing that I’ve made, but this one was special – through the entire process, I just kept looking at it and thinking that if I walked past this dress in a store, I would buy it. That is a such a cool feeling, to know that I don’t love it simply because I made it but because it truly is just my style!

August is very busy for us, so there wasn’t a great time on the calendar for photos after I’d sewn this dress. I usually like to take photos of things before I wear them the first time, because on the few occasions I’ve worn before photographing, I’ve had weird freak accidents such as the Winslow Culottes that I sliced through with a rotary cutter! I don’t often ruin any of my clothing, by stains or any other method, but I have a huge fear that if I don’t photograph them first, this will happen! 

However, I made this dress for my birthday, and I wasn’t going to let my birthday pass without wearing it! I put a cute cardigan on top and wore it to work on my birthday, and not a single bad thing happened. My dress came home spotless and intact, and I breathed a sigh of relief after tempting fate all day long. However, a couple more weeks passed and I wanted so badly to wear my dress, so at the end of August, I decided to wear it on a Sunday morning bike ride to brunch. As soon as I walked out of the house, my husband expressed his concern, but I was stubborn and told him it would be fine and I wanted to wear my cute dress, so he relented. I tucked the length of the dress between my backside and my bike seat, and we took off.

And about 10 minutes later, I felt a pull… and looked down to find that my dress, no longer tucked beneath my bum, was tangled in my brakes. My heart broke a little bit, and after a good bit of trying, it was clear that we had no choice but to rip the dress out of the brakes. I held my breath as I ripped my precious fabric apart, and felt so deflated to see the raggedy little bits left hanging off of the area where the bike had eaten it. I didn’t cry (shockingly!) but wore my ripped, sad dress to brunch and then came home to send it through the wash while I figured out what to do. I didn’t have any fabric left, and as I mentioned, overseas shipping didn’t make the idea of ordering just an extra bit very conducive!

Finally, I decided what the heck – this is a gorgeous dress, let’s just call this a unique design detail. I cleaned up the shape of the ripped area into some sort of rounded little inverted U-shape, clipped my curves and did a little double hem around the edges. Now, I can show you how cute my shoes are without even having to kick them out from under my dress, thanks to this interesting little ankle window! See if you can spot it in the photos above! It’s not perfect, but this dress is still perfect to me and you bet your bottom I’m going to keep wearing it regularly!! (PS – if you love this fabric, too, I linked three different versions below – this viscose lawn, the same colorway in a cotton lawn, and a PINK version of the viscose lawn!)

Dress: handmade by me
Fabric: Fabric Godmother – Joni Floral Stripe Viscose Lawn
Pattern: Chalk & Notch – Marcel Dress

Key Ingredients: 
Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine 
Brother 1034D Overlocker 
Dahle 36×48 Self-healing Cutting Mat
Prym Sewing Machine Needles
Gutermann Sew All Polyester Sewing Thread

Thanks for reading my thoughts on this garment! Both the fabric and pattern used in this piece were purchased by me and are not part of any sort of affiliate or ambassador program. Links provided throughout this post, however, may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!

  • XX Elizabeth

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