At the beginning of summer each year I like to make a frivolous and impractical sundress. This year I chose Marfy 3662.
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.
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!)
My preference is with the belt; it helps emphasize my waist and acts as a waist stay for the big skirt.
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.