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Marieke Sew-A-Long : Day 1

June 16, 2008


Day 1

Here we are, Day 1!  I have smile on my face.  I’m definitely ready to begin this sew-a-long.  I hope all of you are ready.

You will need:

Farbenmix Marieke Pattern  ( found at Banberry Place & Fabric Hound)

Fabric (enough for the size that you are making; I’m using Amy Schimler’s Creatures & Critters.)

Buttons or Suspender clips (depending on the option that you choose)

A small amount of elastic (for under the arms)

Fusible Interfacing (I’m going to be using a Pellon Fusible.)

Tissue Paper, Pattern-Ease, Swedish Tracing Paper, or Plastic Sheeting (for copying your pattern)

And of course, matching thread and any embellishments that you might want to use!

The first thing that you need to do is decide what size dress you want to make.  Make sure that you look on your pattern at the finished dress sizes to make sure that it will fit your little one. 

Now, based on that size, choose the amount of fabric that you will need.  I’m going to make my dress in a size 86/92(1/2).  This is the size that my daughter currently wears.  I’m also going to use two different fabrics.  I’m going to use one fabric for the main part of the dress, and I’m going to use a complementary fabric for the straps and pockets. 

There are a couple of decisions you need to make before tracing and cutting your pattern:

  • Am I going to have pockets (front & back)?
  • Am I going to use buttons or clips to attach the straps?
  • Am I going to have the straps fasten in the front or in the back?
  • Am I going to line the dress (how much)?
  • Am I going to have an underskirt?
  • Am I going to add a ruffle to the hem or the underskirt?

 For the purposes of this sew-a-long, I’m going to keep the main sew-a-long simple.  I’ll add in how to do more complicated things as we go along or I’ll add them in at the end.  I want beginner sewers to be able to complete this sew-a-long, too.

Here are the answers you need to know for the above questions:

  • We are going to have front and back pockets.
  • We are going to attach clips instead of buttons.
  • The clips will fasten in the front.  ( This means you will cut the straight strap piece.)
  • We are going to do the simple bodice lining.
  • There will be no underskirt.
  • We are not going to add a ruffle to the hem.

I will show how to do some of these other techniques along the way or at the end in a big changes add-on, but so that we can all accomplish this pattern…let’s keep it simple.

Now, trace your pattern and add 3/8″ seam allowance.  You’ll have to choose whether you use tissue paper, tracing paper, pattern-ease, Swedish tracing paper, or plastic sheeting.  This is a personal preference.  Choose what you like and trace the pieces.  You’ll need to have pieces: 1,2,3,4,5,6, and 7(the straight straps…not the curved).   Make sure all of your markings are transferred as well.  Mark each piece clearly. 

To make pieces 2 & 4 you will see the line that with the little scissors icon on the larger pieces 1 & 3.  This is where you cut to make your lining pieces.  The rest of the lining will look just like the larger pieces.

When you have traced, added seam allowance, and cut out your pattern pieces, it will be time to cut your fabric.  Your fabric should be prewashed and dryed.  Iron out all of the creases with a good hot steam iron.  Now, fold your fabric in half selvages together.  Iron a sharp crease down the center.  For the larger sizes, you will probably stop here and cut out your pieces.

If you are making the smaller sizes, you will want to open your fabric up.  Then, fold each selvage in toward the center and press.  You will end up with something that looks like the diagram on your pattern.  This will help you save fabric.


I’m sorry that the above picture is so horrible.  It is hard to photograph in no light.  I hope that you can see how I have folded the fabric and laid my pattern pieces.

Now, lay out your main pattern pieces and cut them out.  I’ll be cutting 1, 2,3,&4 out of this fabric.  The process is the same for your other fabric.  Iron it the same as above.  Then, cut pieces 5, 6, & 7.  Remember, pieces 1,2,3 &4 are to be cut on the fold.  You will need two 5s, two 6s, and four 7s.  This is important to keep in mind.

Remember that you will need to cut 4 strap pieces, there are only two in the picture.

Make sure that once you have cut your pieces, you transfer all of the marking to your fabric.  I use chalk pencils.  Use whatever you usually use to transfer markings. 

Now, that wasn’t so bad.  We have all of our pieces cut!  We are ready to move on to our next day.  Here is what is in store during our sew-a-long:

Day 2 – Adding Fusible Interfacing to Lining Pieces

Day 3 – Stitching the Pockets & Straps Together

Day 4 – Stitching Lining

Day 5 – Adding Underarm Elastic & Hemming

Day 6 – Attaching Clips

Day 2 will be posted tomorrow!  Make sure that you check back and complete your next step.

If you have any questions or comments, make sure you leave a comment!  I’ll try to help answer your question the best that I can.

If you are participating in the sew-a-long, make sure you add your link to the Mr.Linky below.  It is never too late to join!


6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2008 4:12 am

    Just came across your blog and I believe I’ll keep coming back. Looks like a great sew-along, I may just have to get myself that pattern. Beautiful fabrics you have chosen! 🙂

  2. 5ofusnj permalink
    June 22, 2008 11:09 pm

    Just ordered my pattern so I can catch up!
    Wondering – what exactly did you use to trace the pattern (I read your suggestions), and what type pen/pencil did you use (and where can I buy them)?

    Can’t wait to see how I can do with this!


  3. wondermommy permalink
    June 23, 2008 9:43 am

    I sent you an email, but I’ll answer it here too for others.

    I used plain old tissue paper. I find big, cheap packs of it in the gift wrap section at Target. You have to be careful with what you use to trace on this. It can bleed through. So, I usually just use a plain old ball point ink pen or pencil.

    When I go back and add my seam allowance, I sometimes use a pen or sometimes I use a marker. If you use a marker, make sure that you put something under the tissue paper so that it doesn’t ruin the table underneath.

    I’ve also used big tracing paper purchased at Michael’s. This is nice because it is sturdier than the tissue.

    I want to try Pattern Ease or Swedish tracing paper soon. I hear that they are great.

    I hope this helps.

  4. Laura permalink
    July 28, 2008 4:35 pm

    I just bought the Marieke & am waiting for to arrive! Thank you so much for making this for us all!

    FYI =
    I use tissue paper too … and to get better/more use out of them, I cover them with CLEAR CONTACT PAPER. 🙂
    You can use the SMOKE kind, too – helps it not slide around so much, since it’s textured = but it has more troubles folding, for storage, than the clear does.

    You can just cover the top side of the tissue pattern piece.
    For me, IF I plan to use the pattern quite a few times or store it for later, I will do both sides.

    Helps the traced pattern piece not rip from the pins.

    Use a flat surface & some patience to install the contact paper = once it’s on, it’s on there … so, make sure your tissue pieces are nice & flat before & during the install.

    + Be careful not to IRON them after the contact paper is installed 😉

    Hope that helps. =), Laura

  5. wondermommy permalink
    July 29, 2008 9:20 am

    Thank you so much for the great tip!


  1. Marieke Sew-a-Long « The Adventures of Wondermommy

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