Pattern Review – Shameka Dress and Top by Marsha Style
The Marsha Style brand is known for cool, relaxed patterns with a nod to a boho vibe (cue the Leila anyone..!). This is a vibe I like to think I channel at times and so I was thrilled to be a part of the pattern testing team for the final stage of this pattern development. I will note right up front that I was not paid for pattern testing, nor obliged to post or publish anything about it. All views are my own, honest opinions.
The Shameka pattern comes with 5 variations. There’s a top, 2 mini dresses and 2 midi dresses so plenty to play with. The overall style of the Shameka is relaxed. It’s an unlined dress with a relaxed boxy shape.
The stars of the show when it comes to the Shameka are undoubtedly the sleeves. This last 12 months or so has all been about statement sleeves, and Shameka does them in her own way – and they are fabulous!
The Shameka is a beginner pattern and includes bias binding to the neck, a waistband cased (for the views with the elasticated waist), sleeve casing.
The 5 different styles of the Shameka pattern offer some real choice. They include:
– A top
– A Mini Dress
– A Mini dress with elasticated waist
– A Midi Dress
– Midi Dress with tie waist
… and there are a heap of other things you could to with the pattern too. In fact, one of the dresses I made wasn’t a listed option. The pattern is available as a PDF printable with both A4/US print and home and A0 copy shop files.
When it comes to fabric choice, the Shameka pattern is really versatile. This is suitable for both woven and knits and depending how much drape or structure you want you can really use anything. The pattern recommends mid weight knit or woven fabrics such as: linen, linen blends, velvet, silk noil, cotton and cotton gauze. For a softer silhouette consider polyester, viscose, rayon, tencel, silk or blends of.
Pattern & INSTRUCTIONS
The pattern is provided in a number of print at home formats or copy shop versions. I chose to print at home and the pattern was quick and easy to put together.
When it comes to the instructions, Taree (the brains and braun behind Marsha Style) is really clear, with great illustrations for each of the steps.
This is a fairly straightforward dress to make and I once I had sorted out a few fit issues on my first version I was quick to sew another (yes I really love the pattern) and it was a pretty quick make. Obviously this will depend on the version that you make as the elasticated waist has a few more steps.
The pattern is pretty good when it comes to fabric waste and I found I could lay out my pattern with barely any waste, with the exception of the bias tape cutting. This was a big plus for me.
I loved making this pattern so much that I made 2! My first was a light teal gingham viscose-linen blend, and the second in a black silk noil.
I started out with view C – the mini dress with the elasticated waist. I love boxy relaxed shapes, but with a curvier figure than I would like, something with definition at the waist would be flattering, I thought.
Making the dress itself was straightforward, but when I came to try on it was clear there was really too much floof and fabric above the elastic. I carefully unpicked the waistband and raised it by a couple of inches. This does mean that the dress doesn’t have the exact shape that the pattern intended, but my body defnitely needed some of those blousons removing and I absolutely love it!
I quite quickly decided I needed another one (!) and wanted to give the belted option a try. I made a mini length version of view E with a gorgeous silk noil I have been saving. I wanted to do something a little bit subtly different on this one so I top stitched the shoulders, the sleeve casing and th ebelt with a metallic bronze thread. The result isn’t full out bling, but just the right little bit of sparkle. I made no adjustments to this second dress as the belt allowed me to manage the blousons vs my bust.
I think I also ‘need’ view A, the Shameka top.. what do you think?
Versatile pattern with a cool vibe
Those sleeves <3
The standout on this pattern is the sleeves. They are a deep elasticated cuff style sleeve which just gives such a great look and they’re really comfy to wear.
The relaxed style of the Shameka is so stylish and contemporary, and something a little different to all the other boxy shift dresses that are out there.
I love it, and these certainly won’t be my last Shameka makes.