Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Marfy 3443

Here it is:  Marfy 3443
This was a mental challenge, figuring out the order of construction and where to use structural fabrics.  I am very pleased with the outcome!  My original plan was to walk through the muslin and construction in more detail, but I had a deadline for this dress (son's First Communion) and found myself less than two weeks out without so much as a  cut-out muslin.

Here are the fashion illustrations.  Both have a buckle or brooch at the center.  I considered adding the brooch I mentioned here, but the fabric is so busy, I think it would have been lost anyway.

I think my waistline falls higher than in the illustrations, but it's hard to tell.  It does fall at my narrowest part, more at my lower rib cage than natural waistline.  I do think it is flattering. 

My waist and hip measurements fell between two pattern sizes, so I ordered down due to my small bust.  I figured the bust would be the most difficult part to adjust.  This plan worked out well.  I did add about 1" total to the waist area at the side seams, and I needed to add almost two inches in the back since it felt tight across the shoulders and back.  The hip area was fine as drafted due to the A-line shape and tucks.  I'm so glad I made a muslin for this dress.
Because the sleeves fall right below the crease of the elbow, and mine are simply one layer of silk chiffon, they do tend to get bunched up like you see in the photos, but it doesn't bother me.

Side view:  Despite the higher waistline and pleats, there is no maternity look about this dress.  The silk just lays perfectly flat where it is supposed to.  It could easily be modified to make a killer maternity dress, though.  I found the muslin sleeves were tight for me and I couldn't move my arms enough.  I added an inch to each sleeve and they are so much more comfortable now.

 I guess the back of this dress is nothing to write home about, but the fit is good and I got that center back invisible zip into the silk without bubbles, so that's something!

This dress is soooo swishy.  Love it!  I used a printed silk chiffon with a silk charmeuse lining/underlining depending on the area of the dress.  I used silk organza to add structure (interface) the back pieces and the side fronts.  The bust and skirt (areas with pleats and gathers) are just the chiffon lined with the charmeuse.  The sleeves are a single layer of chiffon.

The chiffon and charmeuse are from Pennie Fabrics in Sarasota.  The organza I've had for years and just use as needed on projects like this.  I mentioned using it to interface this blouse.
 Here are all the details.  I stitched down the skirt pleats for a couple of inches as shown on the pattern piece.  In the muslin, I didn't do that - I just tucked them and basted without stitching down.  I think these pop more and look more like the pattern illustration.

Inside, some areas are finished with the charmeuse acting as a lining, and some seams are finished with bias tape depending on what the area needed.  For instance, the zipper needed all three layers (chiffon, organza, and charmeuse) treated as one so the zipper wouldn't show through the chiffon and organza, so I finished that seam with some bias tape.
 I also treated the chiffon and charmeuse as one for the skirt pleats and finished the ends with bias tape.

Edit:  If you're interested in the Marfy process, I wrote a post about opening one up here.


  1. WOW, your dress is magnificent! I love the way the chiffon looks over the charmeuse and organza. It's so nice that you were able to make and wear something so special for your son's first communion.

    1. Thanks! Sewing this dress has really made me see the difference between silk and poly organza and charmeuse. Silk is not only gorgeous, but so much easier to handle with less fraying.

  2. I LOOOOOOOOVE it. I was going to say something about the communion pics before Gus dumped all of the pots out of the cabinets. You look AMAZING in it and I think..... I need to borrow it. Sometime soon. :)

    1. Oh Gus... I'll be up in less than two months! Can't wait for school to be out. Having kids in school is almost like being there yourself for the excitement around May.

  3. Lovely on you, and love the thought you went into for the interfacing/lining fabrics! Very special dress!

    1. Thank you, Cherie! The muslin was definitely a big help with figuring the order to construct things and what to do with the seams.

  4. The dress is really lovely. You have done a great job matching fabric to design. The end result is certainly worth the effort of making a muslin. Enjoy wearing it - you look fab!

  5. Absolutely gorgeous!! I was checking it out in your communion pics, wondering if it was store bought or not. You're an inspiration! :-)


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