I’ve had a seriously soft spot for this dress pattern ever since I laid eyes on it… from the Autumn/Winter 2012/2013 collection. It’s got the three magic ingredients I really like in a dress – a bit of draping/fabric interest, a defined waist, and wearing comfort (due to being made up in a knit). Marfy’s translated description:
“This sheath dress has important draping in the bodice and the waistline is marked with two tone jersey bands matching the imprimé jersey dress”
I’m been waiting really impatiently for it to arrive in the mail and I’ve actually got three stash fabrics that would be perfect for it… but I’m going with the one that’s been sitting there for the longest – a deep red ponti knit from EmmaOneSock. For the mid-section, I’ve sourced a wool woven with red, pink, grey and cream to match (from Stitches to Style). Being a winter dress, I’m also planning to line the skirt so I can comfortably wear tights/stockings. I love bright colours in winter!!
As a knit, I figure there’s very little point in doing a practice run, so I’ve been utilising the couture method of thread-tracing the seam lines and cutting extra wide seam allowances to give me any extra room I may need for fitting, coupled with the knowledge that Marfy patterns are fabulously drafted and so unlikely to require drastic changes beyond refining the fit for my own unique shape (or the amount of stretch in my fabric). Even better, I don’t need to trace the pattern out this way. Only problem is, I forgot that this uses up a little extra fabric than the usual way. I only have 1.8m of this red ponti (which would have been enough had I not gone for fat seam allowances) so I’m going to have to get creative with the sleeve cuffs as one sleeve is about 4cm shorter than the other…
What absolutely fascinates me about patterns with draping is what the 2D pattern piece looks like. You never really know quite what you’re going to get when you unwrap the onion paper to see your pattern pieces with Marfy…
The edge of the paper pattern piece is where the seam lines will be once the fabric is arranged to line those edges up. A big thanks once more to Suzy of SuzyBeeSews who sent me what feels like a lifetime supply of silk thread in every colour under the rainbow – I’ve definitely been making use of it!
Figuring out how it all fits together is like a cross between a puzzle and making origami. I worked across it in alphabetical order according to the markings on the pattern piece, and basted them together for the first fitting…
Those two front darts could be a little lower, but I’m not unpicking them now. Interestingly, the two panels at the waistline overlay the dress fabric – so you could leave them off if you wanted to and still have a complete dress pattern. It’s almost like a facing put on the outside which hides the darts in the bodice and skirt pieces. As my contrast fabric is loosely woven I ended up underlining it with silk organza (it’s see through so you’d see the seam allowances folded over). The only thing of concern is the bulk of the ponti in the seam allowances now.
Otherwise, there’ll be a few minor tweaks here and there… but it’s looking good so far.
PS – my fitted shirt is also nearing completion! Whoo to two projects on the go at the same time!