Thursday, September 11, 2014

Summer sundress with Marfy pattern repeat

Last summer I made my first Marfy pattern and while I really liked it, I thought I wouldn't use it again. Fast forward to this summer and I decided to make a very vibrant sundress for this year's birthday dress. I had a really cute semi-vintage pattern I had stalked on Etsy to finally get in my size, with a nice crisscross strap open back, but time got the better of me and I didn't have the chance to fiddle with the fit before leaving on vacation. So I remembered the Marfy pattern which I had adjusted to fit me (although it was not far off when I started) consequently that is what I used. Also I had a sundress of my mom's that she bought years ago in Hawaii which was a bit of an inspiration for the new one - which you will see if you scroll down further.
So here is this year's birthday sundress entry - and yes - same pattern as last year. Totally unplanned. I am now thinking I will use it again next year and see what I can to to make it look different.

Pink marfy dress front closer view

Totally Hawaiian style, and the fabric is cotton sateen in shades of pink and orange. Here is a closer look at the fabric and on the dress form. Once again my photos are not cooperating and the colors look kind of odd as compared to the real thing. The photo below shows the color most accurately.

pink marfy hem

A look at this year's model and the previous version side by side. In the pink version you can't see the bands across the top and I didn't put the diagonal pieces on the side as they wouldn't even show and are not necessary.

pink marfy front on formMarfy full front view 3

My mom periodically cleans out her closets and makes me take away stuff that I say "oh don't get rid of that - I really love it"  her reply is always, "well then, take it to your house!"  So now this green dress is stuck in one of my spare room closets but I wanted to show a couple of nice details.

Check out how the straps are formed from the continuous binding that goes around the front and side, meeting up in a double row at the strap and then attaching with buttons at the upper back. I think even simple summer clothes used to have pretty little details like this and fast fashion or whatever mass marketing has taken over the world has driven out the interesting details that used to be seen. Even on what I consider mid to high price range items in department stores there is a lot of sameness (just like in patterns as I mentioned a few weeks ago).

green dress frontgreen dress back

And a closer look at the bodice front and the adjustable straps attaching by button to the back bodice.

green dress bodicegreen dress back strap The ruffle at the bottom is a very Hawaiian style touch so I decided to add it to my pink dress. Other than that - a super quick dress to make as the fit was spot on. For once I had adjusted all my pattern pieces due to all that work on the muslin beforehand.

I have one other vintage Hawaiian dress from my mom to show you. I remember she had this one made at a little shop in Honolulu where she picked out the fabric and then came back the next day for the finished dress. I made this photo composite so you can see the front / back / and the matching jacket. Look at how they centered the crane motif in the center of the front and back and the small crane pattern that continues perfectly upward even when the little bolero jacket is worn. So pretty. Plus that is a seam down the center back - fantastic pattern matching for a simple polyester dress. I think it was made in the 70's.

crane composite
Another look at my Marfy sundress, front and back. 

Pink marfy dress front 1 copy pink marfy dress back

For once I am happy with the length on the first try - lately it seems I make things too long, see myself in a photo and decide it makes me look short so go back and hem again. No time for that this time so I just picked a spot and sewed on the ruffle. Used my old Singer with the ruffling foot - that is so handy.

I am just burning through some older stash fabrics this summer  - yay me! And lots more summer stuff to blog about. But there are some winter things on the horizon - a coat pattern coming my way and now I am motivated to use some wools that have been on the shelf for a while.

As for a garden photo - there are bananas growing in this garden, see if you can spot them in the first pic.
This has been a great relaxing vacation - which I really needed. Plus I am resting up in anticipation of second half of this month - lots of sewing students will be joining me soon for some serious jacket-making. Fun!

Happy September sewing, Beth


  1. Fabulous birthday dress and btw - Happy Birthday! Thanks for sharing the dresses from you mom, fun to see the details.

  2. This is so cute! Happy birthday! I really love the crane dress- thanks for sharing the pics!

  3. Happy birthday Beth. Your dress looks cute and I love your mums dresses.

  4. Many Happy Returns, your birthday dress looks so cool and fresh. Your mum's dresses are lovely to see.

  5. What a sweet detail on the green dress--love the buttonhole adjustable straps!
    Happy Birthday Beth!!

  6. Happy birthday! Thanks for sharing your mom's dresses, the details in clothes made pre 1980 or so are great. I watch old TV shows largely to see all the wonderful things people wore and took for granted. :)

  7. Beth I love your birthday dress. It's beautiful and I love pink and orange together. I love the crane dress too and would just love the green dress of your Mum's! It is just gorgeous and reminds me of a hand me down dress I got from my sister in the '70's. I loved that dress and when my mother threw it out (because it was worn out) I grabbed it back out of the bag and wore it till it really died.

  8. Oh, the crane dress is gorgeous!