Saturday, September 29, 2012

31 Flavors of Marfy 0692

Just a quick note to rave about my favorite TNT
Sometimes there is just that one pattern that is so versatile, classic and simple that you can't get enough of it.  I thought for sure that the basic shell with the gathered neckline would go out of style a long time ago, but it keeps reinventing itself.

My favorite by far is the one shown here.  I got this Just Cavalli fabric at High's in Houston for way too much money (if you ever see it, I got it on sale!) with a bonus from work a few quarters ago.  Sometimes the perfect fabric in the perfect color with the perfect design just needs to be taken home and sewn.
This was my 5th copy of this pattern so I had figured out a few things. 
First of all, cut it on the bias.  I know its a pain and uses more fabric, but you just like it better that way! 

If you are going to take the time to make it, take the time to LOVE it!
Second of all, put sleeves on it.  It doesn't have to be bold or properly structured, just a little cap.  Having a sleeve broadens the line of the shoulder, narrows the hips and helps stabilize the shirt under jackets.

Its a free pattern from way back in 2008 that I first made because Yorkshirelass reviewed it on PR here.  The picture in the book doesn't even show the whole shirt, its hidden under a flowy jacket seen here:

The first one pictured below is another one of my favorites.  Its white silk charmeuse with an organza ruffle folded to the inside, and a beautiful rayon Venice lace trim.  The downside is that white silk has such a short life span, it already needs to be replaced.
The second pictured is the very first one that I made to match a jacket.  It isn't on the bias so it kind of binds and doesn't get worn often.
The blue I didn't like the satin band around the neckline so I sewed a self-fabric ruffle over it.  The last one was made from a skirt.  It is a couple of inches short which isn't as flattering, but I still get compliments on it.

My next version is a knock of of the Elie Tahari.  I love the different colors used, but it would be more flattering bias cut and that center front seam doesn't really have to extend to the hem.  One interesting thing to notice it that the back neckline has the ruffle edge stitched to the neckline so that it sits up almost like a collar.  I think this will make it sit better and be less fussy under a jacket.  This is pretty easy to do if you don't put too much fullness in the outer edge of the ruffle.

I have both the shirt and the ruffles cut so I should be able to post pictures of this and the jacket later in the weekend.

I know I have a lot of work left to do to this weekend, but it seems pretty doable.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pattern spoilage, New Look and Burda... And I'm the brave one?

You all know what a Marfy fanatic. I am, I can't help myself.

What is it about them that intimidates so?  Is it the fancy illustrations, the lack of instructions, or that fact that they don't pop out of a pattern drawer for $1.99 during a Sunday afternoon?

OK, I will admit, they do have a very narrow size range and I have been very fortunate to fall within that range.  The fact that they come one size to an envelope doesn't leave a lot for guesstimating, but it eliminates a lot of confusion too.  

I am trying to branch out, see what the fuss is and run with the in crowd. I do like my Jalie Sweetheart top so 87 reviews can't be wrong.

Two jersey wrap dress patterns come to mind, Marfy 2827 on the right and the ever-popular New Look 6097.  Who can forget all those fabulous reviews.!  I will admit it, I went out and bought it right after reading this blog post from Goodbye Valentino.  After all, I'm gonna look just like that, right?

I haven't sewn a  New Look in forever so I had no idea what I was missing.  I first noticed that I didn't have to paw through 4 different envelope size ranges.  This one comes with sizes 10 - 22 in one envelope!  So, the 11 pattern pieces are actually printed on two great big sheets of paper in various size groupings.
Are you kidding me???  All that time I saved not having to trace seam allowances was totally gobbled up sorting through different size iterations and groupings trying to remember if I was cutting a 16 or 18! Sometimes the pattern piece is sizes 10 - 14 - 20, and other times it was 10 - 16 - 22.  I know, I'm whining... but consistency would have been helpful!
And then to the instructions...  They actually weren't bad.  They made the usual pattern company mistake of putting in the sleeves after the side seams, but we all make that mistake once, right?  Thank you Peggy L for showing me the light on my first knit top reviewed here.
I can't believe that there are 4 pages of instructions for a super simple knit dress!
I am also working on Burda Style designer dress from September.  The style photo doesn't do it justice, its interesting lines scream for color blocking instead of being hidden in some wild print.
I did my pattern tracing while sitting at an office table during lunch hours.  I love sewing at lunch, it keeps me from eating too much and helps with the sewing progress.  It also starts some wonderful conversations with other seamstresses around the office.
Likes about the Burda:  it comes with complete lining and facing patterns.  I will admit, I wish Marfy included better 'extraneous' parts.  One thing that I miss:  pattern measurements like you get on Big 4.  These are easy to get on the well marked, single sized Marfy, but not on Burda.  I sized up from the 44 to about a 46 so that its 46 at the hips and 35 waist.  This is kind of confusing with that nested and scrambled pattern menagerie that is the Burda pattern sheet.  I would like to say that there was some calculated scientific method to it.  My mother said that I was bad about "meandering across the fabric," she had no idea.

Bottom line on pattern companies, I still like Marfy.  They are better marked and I prefer the efficient packaging.  Really, how many of those whole wardrobe patterns do you have where you have actually made more than one view?  You usually just buy it for the top or maybe the jacket, the rest of those pieces are just in the way.
I just love the efficiency.

Next, I will talk about those instructions and post pictures of that jersey dress which is almost done.

I promise, I will post pictures as soon as I can get some decent ones with a clean mirror or a better camera!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Celebrating Fall Wardrobe

Fall is definitely in the air.  Football cheers ring out (yeah TEXANS with their perfect record of 2-0) and the water that comes out of the tap is actually not hot!  Don't laugh, 6 months out of the year you can only launder in cold water first thing in the morning.

Sewing progresses on the fall wardrobe.

I searched and searched for the original Marfy blouse selection 2314 but I can't find the pattern. I absolutely fell in love with the Ellie Tahari blouse in green.  Its so simple, so colorful and so not worth $198!  Sheeesh, who buys these things!  I am going to use bias cut teal charmeuse for the body and light blue and purple for the ruffles.

I am progressing on the jacket.  I see from the picture on the left that the first thing I need to do is clean my mirror and get a better camera!  The waist pleats are super easy to sew and the pieces fit together perfectly.  I will say, the drawing of the patterns seems to exagerate the angle of the inset a little.  I may see if that can be fiddled with a little, but not much.  I am so tickled with the fit right out of the envelop.
I only added an inch to the sleeves and they seem perfect.  I traced 1" SA's on the sides of the sleeves, giving me and extra 2" in the sleeves which I find that I need. 

Next, I need to add the facing and collar.  OK, It would have been nice if Marfy had included a complete front facing and lining!  The only facing included is the lapel facing at the bottom of the picture so I grabbed the stay (underlining) for the inset and the lower front.
I really should have made the lining front before I put that sleeve on... now I have made it difficult!

I should be able to get the collar and lining taken care of this weekend, and get pictures of that jersey dress that I have almost finished.  Maybe even a skirt!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Marfy 2745 and my first FBA

So, its that time of year again.  Time when the hot summer days get shorter, the morning commute gets longer and our thought inevitably turn to fall.  
Fall wardrobe that is...
Its also time for the Annual PR wardrobe contest.  Once again I have tossed my hat in to the race.
This is out of necessity.  As of September 1 I will need to do full bust adjustments rendering my old tops, dresses and jackets unfitting!  If you don't understand, here's a little comparison with a recently finished garment:
Before   --   AFTER
No, I'm not growing a belt.
I really like that jacket, but when I adjusted the sleeves so they didn't gap so much, there was too much room in the bust area.  Well, I can't have misfitting clothes so I had to find someone to take care of that.  my surgery is Wednesday the 29th (hopefully) I will let you know how it goes!
So, it looks like I will have to learn the FBA.  I fortunately left myself enough in that jacket, I will have to see how it goes.  I should be able to post better pictures next week.

As for the wardrobe contest, I really needed to get started on the jacket if I have any hope of finishing 5 pieces in September.  
OK, a tailored jacket was probably not the best first choice for my first FBA and those new fitting issues, but nothing ventured nothing gained...  
I have always believed in that in sewing you dive right in to the deep end instead of dipping you toe in the shallows.  Cautiousness is for work and accounting, you should sew full speed ahead!
Besides, I have more fabric... I can recut the top of the front if I need to.  I will never know if I need to unless I cut it in the first place, right?
Here is the pattern and my new jersey dress fabric *match-match heaven*  Anyway, they did include an underlay for the front pleat section.  But, they didn't include a full front facing piece, just the little top facing that is next to the magazine!  Boo Marfy!  I can draft my own lining (I probably would anyway) but please, throw me a bone with a full lining piece!
Anyway, I'm off to cut the lining and the interfacing!

Monday, July 16, 2012

New sewing project, Marfy 2762

Hey, I finally figured out the easy way to get pictures from my camera phone downloaded to my new MacBook!  Now I can blog more easily!
So here's an update:
I just happened to have the perfect 2012 shade of *it* coral cotton sateen in my stash and it really screams to be a short sleeved jacket.

I totally love the casual look of Marfy 2762, and cute little jackets are necessary here Houston where summer starts early and drags on.

Here it is almost done with out the hem, belt or the pockets.  I am going to change the pockets to incorporate that yellow zipper that I had to use since coral just couldn't be found.  I think it works for tho year when zippers are the accent to have this year.  If I don't like it, I can change it later!

The pattern pieces are laid out below:

Instead of adding the bulk of a full lining, I decided to use a partial cotton batiste lining in the shoulder area, and finish the seams with a charmeuse hong kong finish throughout the rest.  I really think I will like the light weight, and it should wear for a few more years than just served seams.

The part that really befuddled me, and I am still not totally happy with is the front of the sleeves.  The pattern drawing and the pattern layout both show the front of the sleeves overlapping the under sleeve instead of meeting which made it difficult to tuck the seam intersection (point Z on the pattern)
See how one of the sleeves overlaps much better than the other in the picture above? I think I did one sleeve one way, and the other sleeve another way.  LOL!  you can't change your mind about construction half way through!

The way the front yoke is constructed, you can't really tuck the Z point into the yoke seam, or into the pocket.  The picture below is from before the seam finish, but I think I am just going to finish the edge, the hand baste it to the lining to hold it in place.

Oh, for the pockets I will probably just omit the flap and fold the top edge at an angle and put the zipper at the top.  Or, I could get ambitious and put in welt pockets with the zipper at the top...

Who knows...

I must get back to work for now.  This job is killing my sewing at 7 days a week.  But, it has paid for some nice fabric and RTW, so I  guess I shouldn't complain.

Stay tuned for more updates

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Finished Marfy 2280!

Finished!  I even took it in a little before work this morning, how perfect is that.  I love how swingy and comfortable this is. I got a handful of compliments on it today, which is quite an accomplishment when you work in an office full of male accountants.

It is super comfortable to wear. There is just enough fullness in the skirt for wearability, but it lays straight without looking too poofy.

Oh, those are Bettye Muller shoes.  They look fabulous, but they hurt after about 6 hours at the office.  They are the tallest heels that I have, and I  must say that I am breaking them in!  I fell in love with the heel shape.

I am currently celebrating with a quick drink, and a pattern review so stay tuned for more details.

This doesn't count for the natural fibers contest that I was hoping for, but i still have two weeks.

I'll post more pictures and a review later...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Marfy 2280, instant gratification

I set aside that dress 2758 to work on the fit, and tried to get Marfy 2280 done this weekend.  I got close!  Seriously, how long can one skirt take?  Well, when you add in one movie (Dark Shadows which I highly recommend to those who appreciate the dark side of Johny Depp), some gardening and a couple of naps it takes a weekend and maybe an evening or two.  The pattern is Marfy 2280 seen here:

Since the largest size the skirt comes in is a 46 (30 3/4" or 78 cm waist by pattern guide, actual measurement is 32" or 81cm) and it is only 18" long, I had to add 6" to the length and 4" to the waist.  Is it still the same pattern then, or just a desperate exercise in  denial? 
LOL!  Denial is such a fun place to visit!

I decided to add 4 1/2" to the top section (above the pleats) and 1 1/2" to the hem.  This will make it a little flippy at the hem without looking overtly pleated.

Notes about the pattern:  As you can see form the plaid in the drawing, the hip insets are cut on the bias.  Even if you don't cut this in plaid, the bias is a nice touch for a little ease in the hips so it doesn't sit so tight.  This also means that I BARELY got it out of this wonderful 1 5/8 yard (45" wide) remnant from Roz @ Sew Much Fabric in Houston.  This is navy leopard print is actually 80% silk and 20% cotton from Designer 3.1 Phillip Lim.  It has all the softness of silk, but the substantial hand of cotton.  It is a wonderful weight for a dress or skirt.  If I had had more, it would be a dress.  Having the sides cut on the bias also means that I am putting the zipper in the back instead of trying to get it to lay flat on my hip.
Also, the bottom pleats make it almost straight across the bottom which is the selvage.  It only curves up 1/2" from the center front to the sides so it will be quite easy to hem.  Yes, that means that I cut it cross grain in order to get it out of 45" wide fabric.  I will try to forgive myself...

As of this morning, I have the body together and the zipper sewn in.  I just need to put the lining together and sew it on with the waistband, then hem it and I am done.  I hope to post more complete pictures in the next few days.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Monday Part II, from afar

I got the most wonderful surprise at the office today!

A box of Anglophile dreams from my friend Jenny (Sewyld or Yorkshire Lass from PR).  My favorite thing is what I think is a tube pass cover, it has a graphic of the tube system on the back, and it holds my driving license and accounting license perfectly so I don't have to dig for it in my purse.  I also got a wonderful shopping bag from the V&A Museum, an address book and pencil, some lovely shirting perfect for summer and some stitch markers to go with the fabulous summer colored skeins of yarn for summer knitting.
Each and every item came individually wrapped in wrapping paper so it was like an early birthday!  I got to unwrap each one individually so as I unwrapped them a small crowd formed in my office.
It really was a happy Monday!

It was so wonderful to see that things that come from Great Britain come with a lovely gold stamp labeled "Royal Mail" and have a beautiful picture of The Queen.  Even their post looks regal.

One of my office buddies asked me how I could consider people I would never meet my friends.  I asked him what he knew about allowing for the turn of the cloth on the roll line of a collar stand, he just rolled his eyes.  I think its a little arrogant to assume that the best people to be friends with are within arms reach, sometimes we just need to grow long arms.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Some Marfy Basic info

Due to the new sale on Marfy's for NEW Club BMV members, I have decided to post a little about measurements and size comparison.  I am comparing mainly two straight dress patterns, one is McCall's 6028 on the left, and the other is Marfy 2733 on the right.  For comparison I used McCall's size 14, and Marfy size 46

The McCall's dress is described as fitted, the Marfy dress description doesn't actually talk about the fit like some of them do.

The chart below give the measurements stated on the size chart (in inches) and the measurements on the actual pattern pieces (as measured on Marfy and stated on McCall's)  

McCall's McCall's Marfy  Marfy 
6028 6028 2733 2733
Size Chart Actual  Size Chart Actual
Bust 36 40 37.75 39.5
Waist  28 32.5 30.75 34
Hips 38 41.5 39.5 41.5
Back waist length 16.5 15.75 17 16.25

Both dresses have front and back princess seams for shaping.  I measured a similar Vogue dress (#1100 which I couldn't find a picture of) from the Vogue Wardrobe collection and found it to be exactly the same as the McCall's pattern so I didn't include it in the comparison.

I hope that this helps some of you guys at least a little if you want to pick up a Marfy in the sale.

One rant about BLOGGER:  I had a nice little post written up yesterday with more pictures and warm fuzzes, but when I looked at what I had posted it was completely BLANK!  This made me feel like a total fool.  There was no record of my wonderful oration so I had to start over which is why I may sound a little irritated this morning, sorry about that.
I will post more sizing and pattern comparisons later when I dig out some of my Burda traced patterns.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Marfy 2758 facing question

OK, I have made it to the top and facing of this wonderful dress and I now have to figure out how to finish the neckline.

I have never worked on a pleated neck top that didn't have a band around it so I have been stumped.

I foolishly cut a self fabric full facing, not thinking it through.  I think its going to be too bulky and not turn correctly.
Here is the pattern pictured with the center front and side front of the dress.

There is actually a stitch line that extends down the pleat about and inch into the top, so the pleat is stitched and reinforced. 
The normal way of finishing a neckline would be to stitch the facing to the top all the way around the neckline, then I would have to fold in and stitch the pleat.  I think this will make it too bulky at the neckline.  If I fold and sew the pleat into the lining and top separately then sew them together I don't think it will lay right. 

I think what I am going to end up doing is underlining the entire top with lining, then cutting a facing strip (about 1 1/2" or so) with the pleat folded out of the pattern.  Then serge the inside edge of the facing and use that to finish the neckline.  Using this method I could even finish the sleeve hem by sewing the shoulder seam first, then sewing the underlining to the top and turning it right side out (I had just planned on having having to use a bias strip on the whole edge), THEN sewing in the pleat in both layers treated as one.  Then I could sew on the facing and I would have to hand sew the outer edge of the facing to the lining without letting the pleat get too messy.

OK, what are the odds that I still remember this when I get home tonight?  00.00000

So, I'm glad I wrote it down.
This is one of those occasions when it would be nice to have instructions, but figuring it out myself is half the fun of Marfy!

If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My first order for Marfy 2012

Finally, the picture that I saved to my work computer is available for upload.  I was out sick yesterday with sinus problems, but feeling better today.  I compiled this with Snag it (love it!) using mostly screen shots captured from the Marfy and Vogue websites.

There were several that I liked that didn't make the cut:

2845 is really cute, and would be fabulously fun to make.  But where on earth would I wear it, and it the strapless thing wouldn't look good on me.  It might make a cute skirt with just the bottom, but that would be expensive and a lot of work.

2747 is another one I like this, you could make it look stunning in a nice, floaty rayon.  Especially in a black and white print with black trim.  But it looks like a lot of work to put those bands on there, then sew it.

I did make some progress on 2758 yesterday.  I got the pockets in to my satisfaction.  Unfortunately the tweed doesn't photograph details well so I will have to figure out a better way to get pictures.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Happy Day

Hey, it's me again.
I finally got a break from the office (don't get me wrong, I love my job) and a new laptop.  Its much easier to write when all the keys work.
After much deliberation and questioning I decided to drink the Koolaid and get an Apple.  Seriously, Apple lovers seem to be quite committed.  So far I am liking it.  Now, if only I could get a better blogging program.  If anyone has any suggestions, I am open.  This is my first attempt at a post in awhile, I'll see if I can't get it to look right without pulling my hair out.

I actually have been sewing some.  I am working on my first 2012 Marfy from the new catalog!
I absolutely fell in love with this dress the first time I opened the catalog.  The pleats at the neckline draw the eye upward while the pleated pockets seem flattering for those of us without much of a waist.  I like the look of the stripes, but I wasn't sure how it would look in pinstripes.

I chose a navy and cream silk and wool that I picked up at EOS a few years back.  The tricky part is that its only 45" so it took almost 3 yards.  (I cut it with 2" seams on the sides)  The biggest size is a 46 so I will probably need every inch.  I had planned to use blue for the top but I found the perfect bright silver remnant at High's

I took this shot to show how well the pattern matches up and to remind myself of the layout.

The side front has the inside pocket bag included, and the hip pocket pleats are folded in to show the matching symbols.  If I had had any brains I would have stopped here and used this for my lining pattern. I didn't though, so my lining matches the fabric all too well.  Now I will have to trim and sew to get it to work without too much bulk.
One more picture because it so much easier now:

This is my new helper Chevy.  He loves to eat pins and chew on that crunchy pattern paper.

Now, I must get back to sewing so that I will have more to talk about.
Later, more Marfy patterns and sewing excitement.
Thank you for your patience in my time away.  If I had any idea that getting a Mac would make blogging this easy I would have taken the plunge last fall!

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