Marimekko shift: The dress that started it all…

I’ve been a huge fan of Marimekko designs for a very long time now. Their loud colors and signature bold patterns are just so fun! Although I have plenty of (deeply discounted) Marimekko goods in my apartment, I never bought any of their clothes for two reasons:

1) Their clothes are not cut for bodies like mine. I have a very hourglass shape and their designs are on the boxier side, which just makes me look like I’m wearing a circus tent. See below:

Amazing, but not flattering on me

2) Frankly, I can’t afford their clothes. Their dresses start in the $250-300 range. Now, I’ve spent that sort of money on clothes before, but I only do so on things with complex construction details, not simple shifts made out of pretty fabric.

On a recent weekend in New York, I walked past the Crate and Barrel on Broadway and Houston and fell in love with a lime green, pink and orange Unikko printed cotton. (Unikko is the signature Marimekko poppy print, which gets re-imagined every season in different colors.)

Can you see my reflection?

Imagine my surprise when I spotted the same fabric at the Marimekko flagship on Madison Square, bolts of it resting on a table with a 50% off sign. Yes! I ran to the cutting table with a bolt in hand and requested 1.5 yards. My wallet cried a bit when I paid $36 for a cut of cotton… But when the alternative is a $250+ dress that doesn’t fit well, $36 sounds like a bargain.

And so armed with this fabric, notions and a pattern replicating the cut of Marimekko dresses, I began my journey back into sewing…

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