Monday, July 28, 2014

Pattern Review: Marfy 3339

I finally found the perfect sheath dress!

Marfy 3339 pictured here with the color removed for creative interpretation. I like to scan the drawings, then play coloring book during my breaks at the office.

I can ramble like this because the pattern is shear perfection.

Mine looks a little more A-line than the pattern.  I debated taking in the fullness and making it straight until mid morning when the printer jammed and I spent 15 minutes on my hands and knees pulling tiny scraps of paper out.  I noticed the crowd of people watching and realized how nice it was to not have my hiney sticking out of a tight skirt. 

I really love this dress and I'm happier then I look.  But, the work day was long and its about 95F out there.

The coworker approval rate was extremely high and the compliments flowed in all day.  I had 2 different people ask me how many sizes I had lost, not pounds, but SIZES!

I just noticed that I forgot to pick out the buttons!  Well, that's what happens when you hem the dress for wearing at 630AM.  I have some navy pearl shank buttons that should be a nice touch.

The waist cinches perfectly, accented by the color inset.  The bust shapes perfectly with a small dart that shows on the left side of the drawing.  This dart is on both sides of the pattern for shaping which is a much better alternative then just having the color block seam run over the top of the bust point.

I love this pattern so much.  You could make a perfect simple dress block by copying the left side of the pattern and extending the dart to the hem for a princess seam. You could also double the color blocked side and color block in black and white for an interesting look.

The fabric is a gorgeous 65% polyester and 35% cotton Navy Tweed from Sew Much Fabric that is 60" wide and has a nice tight weave.  The navy inset is tropical weight wool .  I lined in navy Bemberg lining.

I think this is the only garment that I own that is polyester.  I'm such a fabric snob!  I like it though. The weave and the cotton allow it to breathe relatively well for poly.  But as you can see it does wrinkle and doesn't hold a crease as well as wool.  I love the colors and the versatility so I'm making a skirt out of it too.

OK, just one more picture.  Here's the back:

I'm pretty happy with the fit, I may tweak the sleeves a bit. I don't think these little issues would've been worth making a muslin for.  There are some under-bust wrinkles that indicate tightness, but when I lose another couple of pounds I'll probably have to take it in anyway.

Once again, I'm wallowing in Marfy bliss.

This is a wonderful look for the office!  Another winner Becki!!  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Burda Style August 2014


To purchase, go to smfabric.com 

All Styles at a Glance


Line Drawings


Beautiful dress to finish out the summer.
Dress with Cut-Out #116B-Watercolors

Quick summer sewing
Kimono Shirt #108A-White/Red/Black Knit

Simple and sleek 

This dress is so versatile. It will work for many occasions.
Dress #104B-Apricot Linen Blend

Plus Size
Dance the night away!

Weekend Glam!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pattern Review: Bellini and Navy/White Polka Dot Silk

I rocked this pattern!  I need like 27 more of these!

OK, I must give a lot of the love credit to the fabric which she still has in stock here

Pattern Description: As per Capital Chic: "Bellini is a loose fitting, cap sleeved blouse with either a cutaway collar or a scalloped collar. This blouse is designed to be worn with the top button closed but can easily be worn with the neck open. It is a versatile basic that will add options to any wardrobe. The blouse closes with buttons at the centre front and features bias-bound armholes, a machine rolled hem and french seams throughout. Full illustrated instructions for these techniques are included." Super cute, instant gratification top which can be as dressy or as casual as you choose.


Pattern Sizing: This comes in sizes 10 through 18 which are all included in one pdf. I looked at the size chart and my measurements most closely resembled a 16 which is one size larger than I wear in big 4. Their size chart is here

Were the instructions easy to follow? I like the instructions. They are well written compared to many of the independent pattern companies. They are well illustrated and include a the finished garment measurements (which were accurate BTW). 
* Instructions included for French seams which really add to this simple blouse.
* Well written collar application instructions! It instructs to machine stitch but I chose to hand stitch while watching TV.
* I took a short cut and serged and hemmed the sleeves instead of using the recommended bias trim.

I didn't use the pattern layout because I cut on the bias, but it looked quite accurate.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Love the simplicity, especially the shoulders and lack of sleeves.

Fabric Used: Absolutely DEEEEVINE silk charmeuse with the cutest little Valentino V's woven into the print that I got at a great price at Sew Much Fabric. It being 60" makes it so much easier to cut on the bias than 45". I highly recommend that if you love bias cut charmeuse like me, you need to grab all the 60" that you can find and squirrel it.
I cut the collar from a white piece that I have in stash.


I know that some people don't care for pdf patterns, one thing that I really love about them is the ability to print twice. This is super handy when you are printing single layer for the matching of fabric patterns. This allows me to make the most efficient layout.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added an inch or so to the length (I'm 6 feet tall). The only fit change that I needed to make is that the arms were too tight for my heavy biceps. next time I will extend the opening, this time I just shortened them and the hem and they fit fine. The sleeve measures about 13" and my upper arms are about 15", so you might want to check this.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Heck yes! I'm already planning more!

Conclusion: This is a great new pattern company. They don't have too many patterns out there, but they are well drafted with good instructions and great customer service. You can down load the pattern file up to 3 times and it includes a pdf for home printing (8 1/2 X 11) and a pdf that you can have printed if you don't want to print and tape at home. This also includes a pdf for instructions.

Thank you Becki-I love, love your blouse!  Keep up with Becki's sewing adventures here.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mini Wardrobe Plan: Cream Stretch Sateen, Periwinkle Eyelet, Seeing Dots


It’s officially summer and our sewing time gets pushed to the side in favor of spending time with family and friends.  I've put together another 3pc Mini Wardrobe Plan (MWP) to make good use of our limited time with the sewing machine.  All fabrics are from Sew Much Fabric

Cream Stretch Sateen, Periwinkle Eyelet, Seeing Dots
The Basic Fabric: Cream Stretch Sateen
This Cream Stretch Sateen is the back bone of this MWP.  Making a jacket, skirt and pants/shorts would be ideal additions to your closet but if you are going to select one item do a jacket. Yes it’s hot outside but you still need a jacket for the icy AC.  The satin weave on this fabric makes is perfect for the office or weekend glam.  And this fabric will blend right in with the previous MWP.  Whatever you make with this fabric I think you will find yourself reaching for it time and time again. Try accessorizing with chunky wood or turquoise jewelry.  Pattern Suggestions: Colette AniseBurda Style 6/2011 #111, Vogue 1183, Jalie #2561


The Trending Fabric: Periwinkle Eyelet

Certain fabrics are always trending for the spring/summer and eyelet is one of them.  A distant cousin to lace, you can get the look of lace without the expense.  And this beautiful periwinkle color takes this from a “girly” fabric to a more refined and sophisticated textile.   Traditional styles for eyelet are full skirts, shirt-dresses or breezy pheasant tops.  If you favor a nontraditional look try a pair of shorts, a pencil skirt (perfect with your new cream stretch sateen jacket), blazer or the current trend culottes. Pattern Suggestions: Burda Style 3/2014 #101 and #117A, Vogue 8949, Simplicity 1696


The Completer Fabric: Seeing Dots




Polka dots can be lady-like, dramatic or downright sassy.  And polka dots play nicely with other patterns like stripes, checks, florals and eyelet!  This cotton/linen blend fabric is light weight making it weather-perfect for summer into early fall.  Trending styles like the pleated midi skirts, origami shirts, peplum tops or a bow-tie blouse (to go with your cream stretch sateen jacket and periwinkle eyelet pencil skirt) will give you that pulled together look.  You can also use this fabric as a lining under the periwinkle eyelet.   Pattern Suggestions: HP 1171 What's New, Pussycat? Blouse,  McCalls 6706, Burda Style 5/2014 #133, Grainline Studio Archer Shirt


All of these fabrics will work with one, two or all three of the fabrics from the previous MWP.  Getting major mileage out of your sewing time is easy with fabrics that mix and match!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Pattern Reveiw: Marfy 0303


As styled for work with navy J. Crew pants.

I like to take the shape or image of a pattern and reinterpret it in my own way. That brings me to Marfy 0303 which is a free pattern provided in the graph with the 2014 Marfy catalog.

I only gave the pattern a passing glance because I'm not convinced that the sheath is my best look and well frankly, it's a little plain considering the rest of the catalog.  Then I saw another blogger Core Couture make it up and I was a little impressed.  Then I saw this top on Pinterest and I said "heeyyyyy, I know that pattern!"

For those of you who have never "taken the plunge" and made your first Marfy, this is how I approach the whole no-instructions conundrum.
  • Look at the pattern and think through it.  
  • Make a note of the matching letters which are clearly marked.
  • Lay it out in order, I often take a picture of the pattern as assembled for reference.  
  • I measure the pattern bust, waist and hips and plan alterations.
  • Consider and note what interfacing is needed and where.
I serged and turned under the hem and it curled.  It curled and curled and curled.  I swear its about an inch longer (and needs to be) when it isn't curled.  They best way that I found to keep knits flat for sewing is spray starch.  Seriously, hands down better than sizing spray.  The down side is that you have to give yourself enough time to make a couple of passes and let it dry between starching.
Spray 'sizing' on the left, starch on the right
Insides as finished:
interfacing on the center seam
center elastic on the neckline
armholes were turned under and stitched
                          
OK, the arms are a little unstable and gapey.  I should have used interfacing there I guess.  They do stretch a little.

As for construction order:

  1. Finished the front neckline.  This is necessary as the first steps since it intersect the bodice as a crossover.
  2. Stitched the right upper bodice to the bodice, pivoting at the center front (slit through the SA).
  3. Oh yeah, finish the back neckline.
  4. Sew the front to the back
  5. Check the fit.  Do I want to create a sleeve?
  6. Finish the armholes.  I just turned and stitched with a zigzag
  7. Hem
  8. Brag

There you go, 8 steps to a new top.


Thank you Becki-this came out great.  I might be a copy-cat!! Of course, I'll use a different fabric. :)  You can find all of Becki's sewing adventures here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pattern Review: Burda Style 6/2014 #104



I like so many of the styles in the 6/2014 issue of Burda Style.  I decided to sew #104 first to be able to wear it to an upcoming BBQ.


I used Indigo Blue Ponte Knit which was a good fabric for this dress.  I did prewash the fabric and it shrunk 4" in length. 
(sold out)

I didn't realize until after I traced the pattern pieces that the bands (pattern pieces #24 and #25) were templates for purchased trim.  I rummaged through my Mother’s stash and found a nice cotton trim that was a good match but I was 1 yard short.   I’m sure my Mother used this for a home dec project and that she probably purchased it from JoAnn. I decided to see if by chance JoAnn still carried this trim.  To my surprise (surprised because this trim would have to be about 10 years old) they did and even the dye lot was very close.

This dress is very quick to make but the instructions for the bands could be confusing for a beginner.  I wouldn't want anyone to by pass this dress because of that so I’ll share how I put the bands together and attached them to the dress. I'm only demonstrating on one side of the dress.

  • Be sure to purchase a trim that is made from a natural fiber-something not too thick and is pliable.
  • Don’t forget to add seam allowances-I used 3/8” to reduce the bulk.
  • Press the trim into the shape of #24.   This piece will need to curve under the arm. This is why I suggest you use a natural fiber trim.  Don’t forget to press one for the left side and one for the right by flipping the pattern piece.  



  • Stitch piece 24 and 25 together-this will be the underarm seam (marker #6).  



  • Stitch piece 25 together-this is the center back (marker #4)



  • Press the seams open.  Press and fold the excess trim up.



  • Match the underarm seam with the side seam of the dress.



  • Starting at the back edgestitch the trim to the dress stopping at the front neckline.  



  • Match the center back trim to the center back of the dress.  Starting at the upper back edgestitch stitch to the center back,  pivot and continue to the other side.  






And that’s it!  I hope the steps I shared are clear.  If not, let me know and I’ll try again.  I didn’t add the belt loops so the hem was my last step.  You can sew this dress up in just a few hours.  I also like the version with the sleeves.  I think it would look great made up in a sparkly knit for a special occasion dress.  

Friday, June 20, 2014

Burda Style July 2014


 To purchase, go to smfabric.com (sold out)

All Styles at a Glance


Line Drawings


Quick and Easy Summer Sewing-Only 1 Seam
Gathered Skirt #118A-Summer Blues

Pretty formal gown-with sleeves!

Letterman jackets are still trending and this is the sewing course of the month.  The adorable gathered faux wrap skirt makes it fresh for summer.

Perfect for a summer outdoor concert
halter dress #105-Apricot Linen Blend

Pool Party!
shorts #112A-Black Denim

Plus Size
Love how the waistline is highlighted.
dress #127-Cloudy Blue Floral Cotton Lawn and Woven Shades

Add a jacket and this would be great for the office.