If I were a cartoon character, this fruit salad dress would be the item I would be drawn wearing every day. Granted, I do have a certain affinity for making fruit print garments, but I love this one. I made this dress to take part in the #SewFruity24 sewing challenge in June (hosted by Yvette of @blossomsandwich), but each time I put this dress on, it reminds me of the really wonderful day I had in March at the Stitch Festival, where I purchased this fabric!

I have had this gorgeous Fabric Godmother ‘Frutta’ cotton lawn on my radar for a while now, so when I was at the Fabric Godmother stall at the Stitch Festival, I spotted it on the bolt and quickly scooped it up! This print is also available as a viscose/linen blend substrate on a white background, and I am a clumsy, messy person… Navy is just a safer choice for me 😅 This cotton lawn washes, presses and sews up beautifully. It gathers really well and is lightweight, making it perfect for warm-weather clothing. I am eyeing up even more of the fabrics designed by Fabric Godmother (this tomato print stretch denim is simply darling), as the quality is really impressive and the conversational prints are fun and interesting.

I have been in Gertie’s Charm Patterns Patreon for several months now; the first dress I made back when I started sewing again was one from her line of patterns for Butterick, and I really like her range of glamorous, vintage-inspired patterns, so joining the Patreon for a new pattern each month was a no-brainer. Several patterns began climbing up my sewing list, including the (currently unblogged) Barbara bodice pattern I made last summer– unashamedly for the Barbie movie premiere! The monthly fee is well worth it in my eyes, as I am so happy with the drafting in particular; the Charm Patterns cover a wide range of sizes and offer bust-cup sizing up to an H-cup, so I usually have minimal fitting tweaks needed. Another bonus of being a Patreon is that you are gifted a pattern from the standard Charm Patterns range once a year for free, and last year it was the Maria Dress.

The Maria Dress is a beautiful skater dress, with just the slightest nod to a traditional dirndl silhouette. The bodice has princess seams with a graceful scoop neck that doesn’t sit too low, and a knee-length skirt that is full and pleated. There are three sleeve choices (sweet short sleeves, cosy ¾-length sleeves, or dramatic lantern sleeves) and pattern pieces for an optional Peter Pan collar and a fabric belt. Light- to medium-weight woven fabrics with some body and crispness are recommended, like cotton sateens, poplins, lawns, as well as linens, wool suitings, and silk taffeta. As the seamlines are quite simple, this dress perfectly showcases interesting prints or fabric substrates like broderie anglaise. This is quite a fabric-hungry pattern, and I only had 2.5m of my cotton lawn, so I switched out the pleated skirt for a simple gathered skirt that hit just above my knee.

Gathered skirt instead of pleated skirt

This dress was a breeze to put together, thanks to the combination of the easy-to-handle cotton lawn and excellent pattern drafting. I made a size 8 with the F/G cup bodice, and although I could probably take in some of the seams for a closer fit at the waist, I find this dress as it currently is to be comfy enough to eat a large dinner in 😊 Apart from switching to a shortened gathered skirt, the only other modification I made was switching from a lapped zip to an invisible zip for practicality — I had a navy blue invisible zip in the right size on hand, and didn’t fancy faffing around to order a standard navy zip. This does mean this dress looks pretty plain from the back, but that is only if I am looking for things to quibble. The Maria dress is simply fantastic.

I am thinking about amending the back bodice to a scoop back, just to add a bit of visual interest

I have worn this dress at least once a week since I finished it, I just adore the classic silhouette, the scoop neck, the fit and the fruity fabric. I was thinking about seeing if I can track down some jumbo ric-rac in either emerald green or scarlet to jazz up the hem a little, but I am also unbothered if I can’t. This is exactly the kind of dress I would have wished to find in shops before I learned how to sew — I am so thrilled that I made this and it fits my body so well! I will probably make some alterations to scoop out the back bodice the next time I make this dress, but rest assured, there will be a next time. I have a gorgeous D&G-inspired cotton sateen in my stash for which I have been trying to find the right pattern, and I think Maria is the perfect match.

Charm Patterns Maria Dress
Size 2 – 34
Full Bust: 30.5″- 62″
Waist: 24″- 56″
Hips: 36″- 64″

You may also like...

Leave a Reply