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Reversed Mary De

Updated: Feb 14

The Mary De has been a mainstay choice for the perfect dress for many years. Sew this fun variation on a darling classic. With a few modifications Susan switches the front and back bodices to achieve this darling look. Mary De was revised and released in 2016 with a larger size range (6mo - 8), more detailed instructions, and instructions on how to sew with a smocked insertion were included.


Children’s Corner Mary De pattern Contrasting fabric for ties and piping – 1/2 yd If making ties only – 1/8yd Cording or ready made piping: (Sizes 6mo – 4) 3 yds (Sizes 5 – 8) 4 yds French curve (optional)


1. Trace the bodice front and back onto tissue paper.

2. Place the traced front onto the original back. Match the side and bottom of the two bodices. Change the armhole and shoulder to match the original back. Place the neckline template (free download available here) on the neck and trace to raise the neckline. Now label this pattern "Back."

3. Place the traced back on to the original front. Match the side and bottom of the bodice. Change the armhole and shoulder to match the original front. Now label this pattern "Front."

4. Remove the new pattern from the original pattern. Raise the neckline ¼” starting at the bottom corner. Continue the additional ¼” until you are about 4” from the shoulder line and ease back onto the neckline at the shoulder.


1. Stitch shoulder seams.

2. Stitch piping to the armhole curves and to the neckline.

3. With right sides together, stitch the lining to the bodice, starting and stopping ¾” from the bottom back edge. Turn right side out through each shoulder seam.

4. Separate the lining from the fabric at the side seam. Place the side seams right side together and stitch lining to lining and fabric to fabric.

5. Stitch piping to the bottom of the bodice. Now complete seams at back edge, stitching over ends of piping.

6. Stitch side seams of skirts. Form back facings by pressing the back edges of the skirts ¼” to the wrong side and topstitch. Press 1” to the wrong side for the facing.

7. Gather skirts and stitch to the bottom of the bodice, keeping lining loose. Trim seam and whipstitch lining in place.

8. Work the buttonholes.

9. Fold ties length wise with right sides together. Mark the center with a dot. Stitch across the end and then up the long edge, stopping ½” before the center mark. Leave a 1” opening then continue stitching . Turn right side out and press.

10. Stitch ties in place of buttons.

Adaptation by Susan Whitman

Click the printer icon below for printable version.


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