Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Pattern Review: Marilla Walker Roberts Collection View C dress in Art Gallery Denim

My love for the Marilla Walker Roberts Collection pattern goes on! Honestly I hope she's sold a shipload of these because I feel like I've had my money's worth from this one pattern many times over. (See View A jumpsuit here and View D top here.) View C is a dress with overall/dungaree-style bib and straps, and I made version C2, the longer length.
I used a fabulous new vibrant blue denim we recently got in from Art Gallery Fabrics, who seem to be moving more and more into garment fabrics, much to our joy! At time of writing there are just 2 metres of this left but we do have rather a lot of other denims in at the moment, any of which would also work well for this pattern.

For the bib lining I used some precious Marimekko 'Unikko' fabric from my stash. One of those large flowers fitted beautifully and little glimpses of the lining during wear make me happy. It's also inside the pockets.
This marked my first foray into applying jeans-style snaps to fabric and I'm glad to say it was a success. Snaps on all the things now!

I bought these snaps and the setting tools from the Needle Nook at Highgate. The instructions blithely suggest you 'hit lightly with a hammer', which had the result of nothing happening at all. Instead I recommend you belt it with all your might, many times, and offer up a prayer to the sewing hardware gods that your finger and thumb stay out of the way.

I topstitched in yellow and I have to say using a proper topstitching needle in the machine really does make a big difference. (Using the proper tool for the job... who'd have thought?)
 I know this garment is a basic I will be wearing a lot in all weather, with few or many layers.

It's certainly not a million miles away from the Apron Dress (pattern G) from Stylish Dress Book 2 which I made pretty much exactly a year ago and have thrashed (worn back then with same Alabama Chanin top!). As a comparison, I am loving having the very functional pockets and the extra details of the snaps in the Roberts dress, and the narrow straps make this feel like a kind of 'updated' apron style.
As an overalls fan from way back, I find myself wanting to reach for a front bib pocket! So there may be another of these in my future with a traditional front pocket.

Roberts Collection by Marilla Walker, View C2
 100% cotton Textured Denim by Art Gallery Fabrics in Bluebottle Field, Marimekko cotton for pocket and bib linings. The main fabric requirements stated were spot-on at 1.7m of 150cm wide fabric for this version.
At first I cut a size 3 graded to 4 at the hips which is the size that works for me in the jumpsuit. However this version is designed with a lot more ease, and in this substantial fabric looked too baggy. I spent some quality time with my unpicker and cut it down to a straight size 3 and am very happy with the fit - I advise to note the finished measurements listed on the pattern!
If your fabric has a bit of give in it, you may with to use a stabiliser e.g. light interfacing along the seamlines of the front and back bibs to prevent stretching out of shape:
Check sizing as mentioned above. Also, snaps are more decorative than necessary for function so straps and side opening could be sewn down if you find fastenings intimidating. Other than that it's quite a straightforward, very achievable sew with a forgiving fit.

In summary, I love it!

- Jane & Fiona xx


  1. This is a super denim dress and the yellow top stitching looks good! I have this pattern but need to find the right fabric.

    1. Thanks! I think it would work well in a variety of fabrics that have a reasonable amount of structure - cotton/linen blends, corduroy, mid-weight canvas etc :)

  2. Love this on you Jane - you already sold me this pattern (bought a few weeks ago) - maybe I can get to it in the hols

    1. Glad you have bought it Justine, looking forward to seeing what you make!

  3. So fabulous!! You totally rock the overalls, Jane! That fabric looks so lovely, too. I am really excited about AG branching out into knits and denims, yay! (Because I TOTALLY need more fabric. TOTALLY.) Beautiful topstitching, and your discussion of snaps cracked me up because I have never had any luck with snaps, but maybe I wasn't belting them hard enough while offering up prayers to the sewing gods (both important for snaps that stay on, right?)? ... clearly I was missing something!

    1. Indeed the belting and prayers are integral to good snap results. Really, really happy with this AG denim and there are a few other colours available so I recommend if you come across it! I think I 'need' to make the proper overalls version of these next... thanks for the encouragement :D


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