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!

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