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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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.

38 thoughts on “Marfy 3662

  1. I think you are totally correct, on someone without height and/or proportionately long legs, it would tend to overwhelm. I think for this same reason I prefer this dress without the belt, but it looks great both ways and the print suits it. It doesn’t look terribly bra friendly sadly, which is tends to make me shy away from putting all the effort in to something like this, but I there’s nothing wrong with a bit of frivolity! Thanks for modelling it, lovely job.

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  2. Love the dress – so cute! I agree about the height, my daughter could rock that dress! 5′ 11″, body like a Victoria’s Secret model…. You did a beautiful job on this dress. Maybe someday I’ll try a Marfy pattern.

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  3. Your dress is gorgeous!!! I love it.

    Do you think Apple Annie is worth a special trip from Providence? Maybe my mom and I will go next time I’m visiting her…there aren’t that many fabric stores in RI and I think we’ve hit all of them by now.

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    1. Take a look at her website…if you want to be able to see and touch what’s there, then yes. It is a nice well-organized little shop.

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  4. Beautiful colors and it looks fabulous; a perfect beach dress. Your photographer did a great job. Maybe you should keep him, especially if he’s willing to go to the fabric store also.

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  5. I just love how the colors jump from the fabric – it is really gorgeous. Thanks for the detailed review. Attaching bias-cut pieces to straight grain pieces can get real dicey real fast. An inner waist stay (for something more than quick summer dress) would be a good idea. I know what you mean about midi length. I am 5’9″ and my daughter is 5’11” and neither of us can pull off midi length without wearing ginormous heels.

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    1. Yes…we aren’t all built like Lady Mary! I think the handkerchief hem works for a beachy dress like this, but if I made this again I would do a regular knee length circle skirt.

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  6. Fantastic dress! On the subject of the heavy skirt stretching out the bias-cut bodice, did you try a waist stay? That should take some of the weight off the bodice by supporting the weight of the skirt on your hips instead.

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    1. I hate anything tight and non stretch around my waist, so no. At least with a belt I can loosen/remove it for comfort as needed.

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  7. I ditto all the previous comments- the dress looks simply gorgeous on you! – the fabric, the style -beautiful!!

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  8. Anne, this is absolutely beautiful, with and without the belt. I have recently discovered your blog having also recently discovered Marfy patterns. Your sewing is impeccable. I loved your review of this year’s catalogue which has just arrived. I am spending far too long studying the different designs. I wondered if you ever ordered 3784? I think that is number 1 on my very long sewing list!

    Catherine

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    1. It is a real treat to be able to browse in person, especially at a place like this with good quality fabrics and experienced staff.

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  9. Ditto all the stunning color comments. I think you were right to pick a simple design for that fabric. It’s a lovely dress and perfect for summer.

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  10. I love your sundress. I sewed up this same fabric purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics at least 5 years ago. I get compliments on the print every time I wear it.

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  11. Wow, you did such a great job— your dress looks fantastic on you! I’ve made this pattern, and I love it too. (And that reminds me that I must work on a one-shouldered bra.)

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  12. Wow, stunning dress! I would not have seen the potential in that fabric, but wow, you had great vision, and found a fantastic match for it in that pattern. Well done to Tom too, the pictures are lovely.

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  13. WOWSER! You look absolutely BEAUTIFUL in that color — that style — and in the sunshine. I would buy that fabric if it was still available. Evidently, it is not. Make more clothes in that color. It is really amazing against your skin tone.
    Hugs, Joy

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