Marfy 3995 is one of the new designs in the 2016 Marfy catalog. It is a color blocked dress with three-quarter length sleeves, a curved skirt design line with an integrated slit, and keyhole neckline. The red belt in the fashion illustration covers up a waist seam.
Marfy’s fashion illustration is slightly inaccurate. The sleeves are actually three-quarter length, not elbow length as shown. Also, the left side of the dress that wraps below the bust does not have a dart.
I don’t normally like keyhole necklines, but I think Marfy did a great job making this look both natural and intentional. The curves of the design lines are also super flattering, and I love what they do for my figure. This is also one of the few dresses I’ve seen look better with sleeves.
The deep pink fabric I used is a rayon/polyester/lycra ponte I purchased three years ago from Fabric Mart. It is quite structured in feel and drape, even after being washed.
The navy fabric is a viscose ponte/double knit from Gorgeous Fabrics. It is softer and less structured than the mild cherry ponte. I needed about a yard of this fabric.
Originally I was thinking about using a black ponte I already had in my stash, but then thought navy might be a better choice because the contrast would be less harsh. I brought all three fabrics to my dad for a second opinion (since he has a good sense of color and aesthetics), and he voted for navy. So navy it was!
Before inserting the zipper I fused the center back seam with some regular weight Pro-Sheer Elegance from Fashion Sewing Supply. I also fused the placket I made for the front vent with Pro-Sheer Elegance, making sure the interfacing extended 1/2″ beyond the fold.
Marfy just marks the slit on the pattern, and doesn’t include a facing/placket extension. I added a 1.5″ wide extension to match my 1.5″ hem, and mitered the corner:
As you can see I also cover stitched the hem in place. I had started off doing a blind hem on my Janome 6500P, but since my mild cherry fabric had a rather hard finish the stitches were obvious and puckered rather than disappearing into the fabric. I ended up tacking the facings for the vent by hand with a catch stitch.
At first I finished the neckline and keyhole of this dress by zig zagging some clear elastic to the seam allowances, which I then topstitched in place with a regular straight stitch. I wasn’t happy with this finish; it pulled and looked lumpy. I ended up ripping it out, pressed the edges back into shape, and then fused some Design Plus Superfine Straight Stay Tape to just outside the seam allowance of both the neckline and keyhole. Then I carefully pressed the seam allowances over the stay tape and topstitched them in place 1/4″ away from the edge. I am much happier with this finish! It is less bulky and stays perfectly flat, yet the stay tape ensures that the edges won’t stretch out during wear.
I’m thinking of going back and doing this treatment for the armholes and neck of Marfy 3879, since I wasn’t happy with how much bulk the self fabric facing added. The Design Plus stay tape is definitely one of my favorite notions, and a great alternative for those of you that don’t like the stickiness/fussiness of clear elastic.
- Lengthened between bust and waist 1/2″
- 1/2″ swayback tuck
- Added a 3/4″ back shoulder dart
- Added 6″ to the hip/upper thighs
- 3/8″ forward shoulder alteration
- Lowered the bust darts 1/2″. (I have no idea why Marfy princess seams are never too high for me, but I always need to lower their vertical bust darts.)
- Added 1/2″ width to the front waist
- Added 3/4″ width to the bicep
- Shortened the sleeves 6″ to make them elbow length
After trying on this dress I found out I needed to take in the side seams. (I’m making great use of my Janome 2000CPX’s chain stitch function.) The mild cherry ponte is quite hefty, so for this particular fabric less ease was necessary so that the darts were supported properly against my body.
I ended up taking in the side seams a total of:
- Sleeves: 1/2″
- Armholes: 1.5″
- Bust: 2″
- Waist and high hip: 2.5″
- Mid-to-lower hip: 1.5″
- Upper thighs: 1″
I then tapered from upper thighs to the original seamline about 5″ above the hem.