Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Back in time with Clarissa (MCM Studio Designs)

My daughter is continuing to move further and further away from ruffles and over the top
crazy dresses, and she’s starting to turn her eyes to simple, classic designs soooo when the tester call came for the Clarissa dress from MCM Studio Designs, I was all in!  Once they were done, she was over the moon with her dresses.  This is very rare that she will wear anything I make because she loves the idea and process, but by the time the wearing part comes around she’s moved on so this one was a WIN!!!

Okay, let’s talk about some basics for the pattern:

- Sizes 2T through 10 so you have a pretty large size range
Center pleated front bodice
- Button up back so NO zippers (bonus for me!)
2 sleeve options: short sleeve and long sleeve
- Illustrations for those of us who sometimes need the visual to doublecheck ourselves
- Clear, concise directions for each step

My daughter’s measurements fell perfectly in a size 6 for this dress, and it was spot on with ready to wear clothing!  She had plenty of room to move and play in the bodice, and the length of the skirt was just right that she could run around and chase after her bubba with no issues.

The front of the bodice has a really simple but perfect set of pleats that run down the center front, and I keep envisioning this dress in a velvet with some lace.  I really am going to make one in long sleeves for when the winter rolls around again because I’m itching to do it. I love that the long sleeve version has a very elegant look to it that reminds me of the French dresses that I see in movies…or even a dress that Ann Boleyn might have worn. 

For my dresses, I used snaps down the backs so that my daughter could maneuver them easier.  The pattern is written so that you can use either buttons or snaps.  The pattern itself is rated Intermediate, and I would absolutely agree with that given the pleating, the sleeve construction on the long sleeve version, the back placket for the skirt, and the collar.   None of these make the pattern some sort of impossible dream for the beginner sewist, but it does help to have some experience with sewing for this pattern.  There is some understitching for the collar and working with the fabric to help it to lie flat, and when it says to use interfacing, definitely do that!  I didn't do it on the first dress because I was in such a rush to get it done that I didn't want to wait until the next day to go buy some, and well, yeah...I would just like to say, please save yourself the desire to swear at a runaway collar and interface the heck out of that sucker.  It will help to keep everything sitting where it should when all of the pieces are sewn together.  

I also love the waist on this dress.  It has an empire waist that curves along the bodice to give the dress a unique look.  It's such a great pattern for either dressing up for a special occasion or making in a simple cotton for everyday wear.  My daughter and I spent a fair deal in "Mom's store" (aka my fabric stash...I probably do have more fabric than my local quilt shop, to be honest.  If anyone repeats that to my husband, I'll deny it with all that is in me...)

I really do look at this dress and think that I could make a period piece for my daughter if I could just get my act together.  The Clarissa is such a classically beautiful design, and it really does make me think of walking through the halls of an old castle back in the day!  

So, now for the best news, the Clarissa will be on sale from May 12-21.  You can grab it for a special release price of $5.  After the 21st, it goes up to its full price of $10.  You have a few options for where you can buy the pattern, too!  Linda has a website, an Etsy store, and a Craftsy store where you can buy the pattern.  Just remember, it's only on sale for a limited time so if you think you might need this pattern...well, you really do.  

If you've read along this far, I really do appreciate you!  Don't forget, special release sale price, and you can follow along with Linda's happenings over at her MCM Studio Designs FB page!  

Happy Sewing and Blessings,


  1. Your dresses are "sew" beautiful!! Excellent job!! Its a winning feeling when said child loves it too!!

  2. Thanks so much for all your help with the dress and your kind words. I so appreciate it!