Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

The Marianne dress from Christine Haynes

My latest make is here! (A quick selfish make amongst all the Xmas prep!)

It’s the Marianne dress from Christine Haynes.

This is the first Christine Haynes pattern I’ve tried – it’s a simple drop shoulder t-shirt dress with the option of adding a sleeve and cuff or a collar or a yoke for details. I was kind of in the mood for something relaxed and slouchy when I bought this one!

I made mine in a divine French terry that I bought from Girl Charlee. It’s so unbelievably soft! It is unfortunately not that stretchy and I think the softness distracted me from that fact which became a problem later on.

Now the pattern doesn’t come with a stretch guide (that I could see) so there isn’t a recommended stretch percentage to aim for but let me tell you right now, you want more than 20% which is what I used! I definitely should have made one size up. It’s tight on the arms and a little across the bust which I think is a little strange considering I chose the size above my actual bust measurement.

I opted to make view B with the contrast yoke and sleeves. I used the fabric on the crosswise grain for my “contrast” fabric as I couldn’t find a match for the colour or the texture of the French terry. And before anyone says anything, the stretch is the same on both grains. I checked. The pattern is simple enough and th instructions are good. It’s definitely a good pattern for beginners who are starting to sew knits if anyone’s in that position!

My main problem with this dress wasn’t the pattern itself but the fact this was not the right fabric for the dress. I definitely needed something much stretchier!

I did have a moment of concern when I was putting the neck binding in and realised the fabric was really not stretching around very well. Warning bells were ringing but rather foolishly I carried on sewing. Silly me. It’s rather a struggle to get my head in… No jokes about my big head please! I’m going to have to cut out the neck binding and widen the neckline methinks. Or put a short exposed zip in the back? Maybe in a contrast colour? That could be a good design feature!

I still think it looks cute. 

I really like the shape of the dress on me I just need to either use a stretchier fabric or make one size bigger next time!

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  1. Did you check the vertical stretch of the fabric? That maybe your problem. I have a hunch that it would be more forgiving if you had cut it all on grain. The contrast detailing is terribly cute so I get why you did it, but even if it had technically enough stretch for the pattern, if it had a lot less than the rest of the dress (say 65% stretch vs 25% stretch) you’d definitely feel the difference, especially in the bicep and armpit.

    1. I checked it at the time and I felt the stretch vertically and horizontally were about the same and the sleeves are cut on the grain anyway. Though to be fair I think I have quite chubby upper arms so maybe that’s the issue there! I wish I’d made the view A version without the yoke! I’d have still have had the neckline issue but at least that’s an easy fix!

  2. it certainly LOOKS lovely 😉 I was thinking. couldn’t you still cut off the sleeves and make them into fake cap sleeves to solve your arm issue? just and idea 🙂

  3. That looks so comfy and cute! I want one too 🙂 For the neckline, I’m not sure if it would work with the fabric, but maybe you could do a slit or keyhole in the back yoke with a button closure? Or an exposed zip would definitely look cool!

  4. Love it, just about to unpack my sewing station after 3 years of it being in storage and know I have this pattern. Did you ever make any more?

    1. I haven’t actually! I don’t really wear this style of dress much anymore so I never bothered remaking it!

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