The Green Malvarosa | A Finish {Dressmaking}

Monday, 13 January 2014

 Beware - this post contains some dodgy poses 
and non-existent hair and make up styling... 
But at least it was not raining!
I have finally made the Malvarosa. I thought I would have had this dress by Christmas (hence the Christmas tree colour) but there were way too many things going on at the time. However if I had known it was that quick to make, maybe I should have allocated some time! 

Pattern: The Malvarosa dress by Pauline Alice (available here) - 
Pauline also designed the Cami dress
Fabric: A boiled wool jersey fabric found 
at my local John Lewis (Welwyn GC) - similar online here
For info, I used my normal sewing foot. 
Size: 42 but probably made a size 38 in the end
Modifications: Less loose fitting and shorter. Also I made the hems more visible, but I may change that modifications. I am not sure it works.
Result: It is really a fun dress, very feminine. I made a more winter version, but I reckon it would be an awesome summer dress as well. I was wondering whether to make the pockets and I am glad I did - it adds to the fun size of the dress. 

this is my very serious pose

Here are my five things to know about the Malvarosa:

  • It is quick to make - I did it within a week (including putting the pattern together) - and probably spending an hour and a half every day on it. 
  • There are two tricky sewing points: the inserting of the sleeves at an angle (see this tutorial for help); and the gathering of the skirt (see this tutorial for help). 
  • The pattern is a loose fitting version - I cut mine in a size 42 but by the time I changed what I wanted to change, I probably made a size 38. 
  • I wished I had seen this version and the use of a patterned fabric before making mine
  • Proportions are key to this dress (see picture below). I made it much shorter to suit my size - this is really easy to modify of course. I cut the suggested size for the skirt and just shorten to the size I wanted it to be. 

This is a Ted Baker version (seen on IG and facebook) - and it felt wrong on me 
I have bought some fabric to make a black version of this dress for work. I know:  handmade clothes at work - even considering it makes me feel all funny. I try to wear colours at work - but this would just be just a step too far - I may also have to make it a tad longer. But it is so comfortable, and I don't feel too self-conscious about it, that I have to make one!

I had to add this last picture .. an interesting shot of me twirling (yes I twirl with my hands like this - don't you?). Mr MiH (and my neighbour incidentally) thought I had gone mental. All I can say is that we have now established that I cannot possibly write a fashion blog!

In case you were not convinced about the dress, you may have noticed that I did not mention a zipper - because there is none to sew in. No buttons, no zipper. I know, brilliant right! So have you bought it already?


  1. This looks adorable on you! Perfect length.

  2. The skirt on this dress is adorable. I love the color, and I think you styled it beautifully with your tights and shoes. :-D

  3. Lovely! I haven't made any Malvarosa with knit fabric and it makes me want to! You look amazing!

  4. Clever you! I really like the length and those cute pockets.

  5. love the twirling! Perfect dress for it :-D

  6. OMG! Love the dress on you. Wish I can sew!

  7. This is a great dress. It looks really warm and I love the pockets :)

  8. Super cute, I'm drawn to anything with pockets, so this is going on my wish list. And you have amazing poses.

  9. I likey! You look like a young college student. Cute flats.

  10. great fun dress, and perfect for your petite frame. The ted baker dress just swamped you.

  11. Great dress! The fabric is perfect I think it gives the skirt the right fullness. I love the pockets great thing you kept them.
    The picture of you twirling is adorable; if you have a cute dress twirling is a must :)

  12. Great dress and I love the twirling photo :)