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Making a Marceau Dress


The Marceau is a knit top featuring an asymmetrical collar and hem, as well as a statement sleeve with pleated detail. It's a great top for everyday casual wear, but I wondered, can it be transformed into a dress? Of course! Read on to see how I transformed the Marceau Top into a full-length dress. 

This was a spur-of-the-moment project, so I didn't have any fabric specifically chosen for the garment. Luckily, I happened to have a fabulous silk floral print on-hand. I decided to contrast it with a dark navy blue Ponte knit. 

Because the original pattern is designed to work with knits, I wasn't sure if I would need to adjust the neckline of the pattern when sewing it with woven fabric. I decided to combine a knit with the woven with the idea that the knit would stretch enough to get my head through. Later, I made a woven version and found there were no adjustments necessary. 

​I liked the color-blocked contrast of the navy with the floral but decided that it needed to continue into the skirt along the center front. 

To adjust the pattern, I started by cutting off the Front and Back pattern pieces at the lengthen/shorten line. On the Right Front pattern piece, I extended a 6″ wide strip to my desired length. The skirt pattern is a rectangle the length of the strip extension by the circumference of the waistline x 2. 

Then, it was a simple task of sewing the skirt around the waistline and down the extension. 

The final result is a boxy dress with a lightly gathered skirt. Originally I added waistband ties to the sides but decided I didn't like the bulk they added to the dress. Now, I just have a belt that I tie loosely around the waist.

If you are sewing the Marceau with a woven fabric, I suggest adjusting the cuff. As an experiment, I kept the cuff pattern as-is and made the sleeve according to the directions. Because the cuff is designed for a knit, it's fitted on the wrist. 

On my silk sleeve, it is a VERY tight squeeze to get my hand through. Personally, I like the way the tight cuff accentuates the sleeve, so I didn't change it. However, if you are making a woven version, I would suggest either using a knit for the cuff, or considering other sleeve finishing options. 

All in all, I'm very happy with my Marceau dress. I know that a silk dress sounds like it should be worn only for dressy occasions, but for me, this is a casual dress that I can wear at home or out on errands. If I want to dress it up, some great accessories would do the trick. 

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