Purple Dress — Marfy 3367


Oof that flash is harsh.

This was a little overly ambitious, but the internet told me to look at the Marfy catalog. And the internet told me the Marfy patterns were so good that I ordered the catalog. And I had that mix-up with the Pendleton woolen mill store lady and I got this plum-colored ‘boomerang’ fabric instead of the plum-colored sharkskin fabric, which was probably for the best. Because, really. Who wears sharkskin. 

it's much easier to see the detail in the fabric here.
it’s much easier to see the detail in the fabric here.

And then I really (really) wanted to use the fabric to make the shirt-tail high-low(ish) dress. It’s one of the free patterns that came with the catalog, which meant that I needed to trace the pattern out. There are pattern parts for 20 projects printed on the two sides of two sheets of paper, because the free patterns are obviously not the same as the hand cut one-sized patterns you order for 18 euro a pop. Anyway, no cutting allowed.

I’m pretty pleased with it. I did all the super fussy things Khalje told me to: I underlined with china silk, I lined it with silk charmeuse, I did catch stitching at the hems and then stitched and under stitched the lining to the dress. Also, I hand-picked the zipper. It’s a real metal zipper I got in a raid at The Resource Exchange in Philadelphia several months ago, when it was warm enough to ride my bike there. Check out how beautiful this thing looks right before you step into it.


It took me three weekends (sort of…I had soooo much of the $5/yard wool that I’m actually making two. But one for a friend because ain’t nobody need two dresses of that fabric in their closet). My only disappointment, really, was that the wool was a bit to heavy to handle that hem. Too many layers of fabric at the side seam juncture.

To review!

Materials: $5/yard wool; $14/yard charmeuse; $7/yard china silk for underlining from Mood Fabrics in NYC.

Time: 3 weekends. Could be done in one or two if you are advanced, are only trying to make one dress instead of two, or don’t get quite as distracted by the Netflix machine as I do.

sorry for those cut off feet
sorry for those cut off feet

A pattern review, cribbed from one I wrote on the aptly named patternreview.com:

Pattern Description: Shirt-tail hem dress.

Pattern Sizing: Italian. I’m 5’3″ and took about 1.5″ off the hem of the size 44. I also did do a substantial sway back alteration, of about 1.5″.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Well, I’m not built like a fashion drawing.

Were the instructions easy to follow?Hah! No instructions here, except the ones in Italian in the back of the book. But this was pretty easy construction: just the front and two back pieces. And there were only two darts. Super simple.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I had dreams about the hemline. But I think the wool was too thick for all those corners in it, and it doesn’t lay quite as nicely as I would’ve liked.

I loved that there were only two curved french bust darts. The pattern pieces themselves were quite curvy to make up for it.

Fabric Used: Plum boomerang from the Pendleton store. Silk lining and underlining from Mood in NYC.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:Sway back alteration, and I redrew the hipline, making it less curvy by about 3/4 of an inch. I also drafted two hem-facings — one for the front and back, obvi.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Would recommend and migggght sew it again, but in a much lighter fabric. Although I do love this one.

look at that hemline. ignore the exposed window frame.
look at that hemline. ignore the exposed window frame.


    1. Thanks! I also have a soft spot for pendleton but it’s a bit of a shot in the dark since I live on the east coast and they take roughly as much care with lighting when photographing their fabrics for online as I do. I ended up loving this, but it just as easily could have gone the other way!

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