I've ordered Ponte de Roma from girlcharlee.com in the USA before and liked the softness and drape of the fabric. This was exactly what I wanted for this dress so I bit the bullet and ordered 2 yards. With postage it was about $40 - so not much more than if I bought 2 meters of 'nice' fabric here in Australia. Problem is this is not particularly great fabric - it feels nice but has really poor recovery, I can tell it's going to pill and I lost about 80cm as there was a hole in the fabric (for which I've received a small in-store credit for). With some fabric tetris I was able to cut out my size 18 dress and have enough for neckband and sleeve bands.
So...problems aside, I'm pretty happy with what I've ended up with.
Apart from terrible fabric for my last Marianne Dress I also couldn't cope with the small neckline. This time I cut off 1cm from the pattern piece - from the shoulders all the way around. This coupled with the small amount I lowered the neckline last time has given me something I'm comfortable with. I'm pretty pleased with how good the neckband and top-stitching look too!
Back view -- fabric pooling above my butt as usual, but like I always say - I can't see it so the problem doesn't exist! My butt has definitely gotten bigger as fabric pools more there now.
Like last time I decided to use bands to finish the sleeves rather than turn them under and stitch. The more drapey fabric means they don't stick out quite as much. Due to the fabric I also reinforced the shoulders with clear elastic as they definitely would stretch out otherwise...I don't always do this on this type of shoulder depending on fabric quality/recovery.
All in all I'm pretty happy with this dress. During my "sewing career" finding a dress pattern than fits/works for me as been a struggle. I don't really have this problem with RTW so I'm not sure what's going on. The Casual Lady Dress did work for me - but the last few I've made have failed (too tight as I suppose my weight gain has caused this). I also make the Tessuti Gaby Dress in a knit. I'm glad I have another dress pattern to add to the mix. I'm keen to try the Cashmerette Turner Dress this year as I'd love a fit and flare dress that works for me.
Pattern: Marianne Dress by Christine Haynes
Modifications: added 2" to the neckband length, added 1" to the length, lowered the neckline all the way around by about 1cm
Fabric: Ponte de Roma from girlcharlee.com
Changes for next time: none for the short sleeved version; but when I made the long sleeved version I need to added some width to the lower sleeve piece.