Having become addicted to the French Citro-fan website Je Couds Citronille I had already checked out numerous Maries, and decided to try out the modifications described on the blog By Mimosette. This 'manche papillon' (butterfly sleeve) version involves adding about 20cm width to each pattern piece, which, when the pieces are sewn together and gathered, results in a fuller dress with flutter sleeves. As I was making a larger sized dress than Mimosette's example, I added around 25cm to the sleeve pattern piece and added the same amount to the front and back pieces just by placing them 25cm away from the fold when cutting. It was a super simple modification, although all that extra fabric did make gathering a little more intense!
I also made a small change to the way the back opening is constructed - I sewed a facing instead of binding a slit in the fabric. This makes for a neater opening and is easier to sew (the photo above left shows the facing attached to the right side of the fabric before being turned inside and sewn down - I did mean to photograph the process in more detail, but forgot about it in my rush to get the dress sewn up!). Then, instead of a button and loop, I used a metal snap to join the two sides together. I will use this technique next time I make the Paloma, as well.
I couldn't be happier with this Marie - it's so sweet and summery. The fabric I used is a cotton voile from Spotlight's clearance table and I absolutely love it. It's a happy compromise between red (which I love and R hates) and blue (which she loves, and I don't mind). And as if on cue, Melbourne's weather suddenly changed from winter to summer. We went to take some photos in front of a factory wall down near the train station and discovered this lovely little patch of greenery right by the tracks, complete with dandelions and snowbells.
I really recommend this pattern as a sweet little basic with an easy modification. Vive la Marie!