Hi, Melly Sews readers! I’m Susan and I work for Melissa (mostly on the Blank Slate side of the house). I’m excited to share some of my creations with you! This first one is one of my all-time favorites…
What is essential to your wardrobe? When I first asked myself this question, I thought my answer was pretty straightforward. (Umm… t-shirts and jeans.) But then I thought about it a little more, and I started asking clarifying questions, the most important of which was: what’s the weather like outside?
I haven’t always felt this way, but I’ve definitely come around to believing that a wide variety of sleeveless options are essential to me in the 5-month-long Texas summers. At least, if one considers comfort essential, which I do! 🙂 I made a few Texana Tanks during the development and testing of that design, and I have washed and worn them on infinite repeat. But sometimes my day (or just my mood!) demands something a little dressier.
I love the Marbella pattern that was released earlier this year, and I’ve made several in both peplum and dress lengths. To make it truly summer-friendly for me, I knew I needed a sleeveless version. So when I led the sewalong a couple of months ago in our Facebook group, I showed how to hack the pattern to eliminate the sleeves.
To make mine, I first did a quick test of the bodice. Sometimes a pattern with sleeves needs fitting adjustment at the armholes that isn’t evident when the sleeves are attached. On my “muslin,” I determined that I wanted to bring the shoulders in a bit for my sleeveless version. So I roughly marked on the fabric (while I was wearing it) where I wanted the new edges to be. Then I took it off and adjusted the pattern. From a construction perspective, the only thing I did differently was finish the armholes with bias binding. For detailed instructions and pictures on how I did all of this, visit the Facebook group for the full Marbella sewalong. (Bonus – there are lots of fitting tips there as well!)
Lastly, I changed the skirt to a half circle (as drafted, it’s a quarter). I did that for this version in order to add breeziness, and because the fabric I was using was rather thin and I thought it would flow nicely. I love the result! This dress is so easy to throw on with a pair of sandals and look polished. No one has to know that it’s actually more comfortable than a t-shirt and shorts!
One of my favorite things to do when we start working on a new design is dream about hacks and variation possibilities. I have a SLEW of these saved for Marbella — check out my Pinterest board here. I think this is a crazy versatile base for all kinds of garments! And, with this tweak, Marbella is now essential to me all year around.
Another thing that’s essential to me? Ponytail holders. 😉