Pattern Hack | The Grace Dress by Marsha Style
I first came across Taree’s pattern company Marsha Style when I first got into the sewing’gram. The Sia dress had just launched and it was all I seemed to see in my feed. I loved her style right from the get go… there is a laid back cool chic to all of Taree’s patterns which really fits with me. I quickly bought both the Sia (never sewn though) and the Leila (one of my favourite makes from 2020).
Then, early in 2021 Taree put out a tester call for the Shameka dress and I was in! I loved the testing process with Taree and so I was stoked when she reached out and asked if you would join the testing team for her newest pattern, the Grace dress.
‘It’s a summer dress’ she warned me, as we were heading into the darkest point of Auckland’s winter. And ok, it’s not really that dark, or not even really that cold compared the the British summers I am used to, but it’s still winter. This didn’t put me off though and I quickly said yes!
I should say right now that I received no incentive or reward for testing the pattern, other than the fun reward of sewing up a new dress before anyone else. I am not obliged to post content, or write this blog post and so all opinions are my own, very honest ones.
The Grace Dress
The Grace dress has a great boho-vibe. Taree designed this pattern in conjuction with Abby Houston (@abby_sews). The dress has two views. View A is a simple knee length dress with a gathererd skirt and a bodice that has amazing tie straps that create an awesome bow. View B has 2 tiers and a maxi length. The bodice straps are buttoned in this view and a tie waist added.
Pattern & INSTRUCTIONS
The pattern is well drafted and the instructions clear and easy to follow. In my experience, the size chart is accurate with very little adjustments needed… the flowy nature of the dress is also very forgiving.
My First Make
My first dress was a straight pattern make. I cut the 16 D cup, View A bodice in a summery print cotton lawn. I was really chuffed with the dress but found that my G cup bust needed a little more length on the bodice. The other problem with the dress that it was super summery and as I stood shivering on the coldest day in Auckland’s winter (don’t let that blue sky deceive you… we were having an Antarctic blast on this day) I couldn’t help feeling that I didn’t want to wait a few months to wear it.
My brain got thinking about how I have been planning a bit of a pinafore style dress for the winter, but so far hadn’t managed to find a pattern that really suited my style. The Grace dress though had something about it, and if I just switched around the straps from view B… bingo. Pinafore Boho dress of dreams!
My Winter Hack
I also made a few other adjustments to the fit in my second dress. Most importantly I added 2.5” to the length of the front bodice and shaped it up at the seam edges to fit the back. This meant that it fitted over the curve of my bust much better, rather than hanging from it in an unflattering way.
I had been saving this fine navy corduroy for the said pinafore dress. I had one failed attempt already with the Seamwork Dani (shapeless), had pondered the VikiSews options, and the JLhandmade Pippi dress but none of them seemed to really be my style. So it seemed to not be saved any more and I set to cutting it out for my Grace. I’ll be honest, as I was cutting I wasn’t sure how the corduroy wasn’t going to be with the gathered skirts… would it be too heavy and thick? Only one way to find out.
Lucky for me, I don’t think it could have worked out better. I lined the bodice with a light ‘Cinderella blue’ slinky fabric which although you can’t see it, matches perfectly with my vintage blue glass buttons.
The instructions for view B will tell you to sew the straps to the front bodice. This part I changed and attached them to the back. I also shorted the straps by about 8cm to get them sitting just right.
And here we have it, my winter grace hack… and my summer dress, well that will just have to wait!