Marfy 3662

At the beginning of summer each year I like to make a frivolous and impractical sundress. This year I chose Marfy 3662.

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Marfy 3662 is a one-shoulder dress with a handkerchief skirt. The bodice is cut on the bias, and the front shoulder is pleated and gathered. The zipper is set into the left side seam. Marfy mentions in the pattern description that this dress can be made as separates as well as a dress.

Pattern measurements for size 42:

  • 34.75″ bust (0″ ease)
  • 27.5″ waist (3/4″ ease)
  • Around 72″ hip ease (measured at the notch, 7.5″ below the waist).
  • 21″ skirt side seam length
  • 32″ center back skirt length (waist to lowest point of the hem)
  • 23″ center front skirt length
  • 33″ from the waist to the lowest point of the front skirt hem
  • 7.5″ from armhole to waist (bodice side seam)

Between the wind, sand, and water, I decided to forgo the tripod and let Tom be my photographer. First time I let him use my camera! It was nice not having to deal with a remote, but at the same time I lost most of my control over art direction and never knew when the photo was actually being taken…

Below are photos taken of it with the belt (which is how I will normally wear it). It was REALLY windy, and high tide was coming in full force.

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Trying not to have a Marilyn moment
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Ocean water wasn’t too bad today!
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This photo really shows the difference between the highest and lowest points of the skirt.
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Despite the wind blowing it around, here you can see where the lowest point of the skirt hits my back leg.

Here it is without the belt. These photos were taken the previous day at a different beach. The overcast skies made the light very soft and diffused. It was slightly less windy.  (And the dress wasn’t rumpled yet from a days wear yet!)

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My preference is with the belt; it helps emphasize my waist and acts as a waist stay for the big skirt.

Marfy didn’t include fabric recommendations. I used this lightweight linen from Apple Annie Fabrics. I thought the minimal seaming of Marfy 3662 made it a good match for this large scale print.

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Speaking of Apple Annie Fabrics, Tom took me there while we were in the area today. He actually went in with me too! (And yes, I made his shirt, which I believe is Kwik Sew 3484. Fun fact: he’s actually owned most of the cars in the print at one point or another.)

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The fuller body of the linen combined with the very full skirt made this an even bigger and more dramatic skirt than I anticipated. I am about 5’9″ tall; I think this skirt could be overwhelming on a more petite woman, especially if she doesn’t have proportionally long and slim legs. The long points of the skirt are midi length, which I think is a difficult length for most people to carry off. I inherited rather stout legs from my Polish ancestors, so despite my height I always wear it with heels. Except when I’m walking on the beach, of course ;).

If your fabric is less than 54/55″ wide (for size 42) you will need to cut the skirt pieces on the cross grain or add a center front seam. I wanted to do everything I could to avoid a seam, so I took Marfy’s advice (“if short on fabric cut with weft”) and cut the skirt pieces on the cross grain.

I finished the armhole with a self bias strip and did a simple narrow hem on the machine. I didn’t add a lining because it is just a quick summer dress, and I wanted to make it as easy to care for as possible. The front facing stays in place relatively well, but I topstitched the back neck facing down in place because I could tell that it would flip out during movement. (This won’t be an issue if you line the bodice.) The bodice is on the bias, but the facings are completely parallel to the straight grain, which makes them very stable. No need to interface.

Fitting alterations were done to mostly the bodice:

  • Added 2″ width to the front waist, tapering to nothing at the bust
  • Removed 1″ width from the back waist
  • 1″ swayback tuck. Normally I would do just 1/2″, but the bias made the center back dip down even more than usual.
  • Took in the upper section of the right side seam 1/2″.

This is not a hard pattern to sew; however, the heavy, uneven skirt combined with the bias cut bodice make fitting tricky because it pulls down on the bodice, making it get longer and longer during wear! As I mentioned before, wearing an elasticized belt with it helps stabilize it. I think that’s why Marfy styled it that way in the pattern illustration. If you want to get it perfect, I recommend basting the bodice to the skirt and wearing it around for a while, then shortening it as needed.

Out with Sewy, In with Spitzen Paradis

I can no longer recommend Sewy as a resource for those of us in the US looking for lingerie sewing supplies.

Nearly two months ago I placed an order with Sewy for a couple of patterns. After a month, the patterns still hadn’t arrived. I sent them two emails asking if they had a tracking number available. No response. Still no patterns. After waiting a few more days I filed a dispute with my credit card company and got reimbursed for the order. Out of curiosity I decided to place another order with them this weekend to see what happened. I got a notification on Monday that they cancelled the new order and refunded my credit card. The explanation was:

“Hello, sorry there is always just trouble with sending to usa, its too expensive for us, best regards b. dückers-thielen.”

I sent them another email asking if they stopped shipping to the US completely, or if they will still do it provided the order is over a certain amount. No response. I find this lack of communication irritating and unacceptable. I just want to know if they are cutting off US-based customers completely, or if they fired me specifically! Perhaps they are upset I filed a credit card dispute…but with the total non-response from them I felt like I didn’t have any other choice. I do find it interesting that out of the four orders I placed with them, only one arrived without issue. The box for the second order was heavily damaged and missing some contents (which they replaced), the third order never arrived, and they cancelled the last order.

So, I am trying out another resource: Spitzen Paradis. They are another German-based lingerie sewing supplier. (Anyone know why the Germans and Dutch seem to have the market cornered for the lingerie making materials, especially when it comes to those nice microfiber jerseys?) The notion and fabric selection isn’t quite as extensive as Sewy’s, but they look like they have a lot more patterns (including some Sewy patterns) and corset making materials. They also have the super thin elastic used to stabilize the lace edges of bra cups.

I’ve gone to their website before, but when I tried to place an order I didn’t see the United States as an option. This time, when I was browsing the shipping FAQ section (with the help of Google Translate) I saw a reference asking customers to contact them if they wanted to ship to a place that wasn’t listed. I sent an email asking if they shipped to the United States, and in about a day I got a response back:

“Yes we ship to US and we speak English. So feel free to ask us in case of any lack of clarity.”

Looks promising! I asked them how I would go about placing an order, since I didn’t see the US listed in their countries list. Here was their response:

Ok, because the shop can’t handle weights we have to calculate the shipping cost after you have chosen your materials.

Just put the item in your basket and chose an country of your choice. We will calculate the price to ship to US, deduct the German VAT and send you an statement. After receiving this Information(endprice) you have the choice if you finally order the product.

If you want it, we will send you an Paypal payments request.

All good are shipped with DHL. All prices you can see on the homepage of DHL www.dhl.com  Its all in English. All cost related  to customs are on you.

I will place an order sometime in the next couple of days and report back on how it went. It looks like they answer their emails in the morning.

In the meantime, check out their project ideas page.

I also saw a message on the Spitzen Paradis homepage saying that their lower cost shipping method via Deutsche Post letter was being problematic – lots of stolen and lost items. They’ve since switched to DHL with tracking. I wonder if this is what happened to my last Sewy order…