My First Marfy Pattern

•January 7, 2010 • 7 Comments

(Marfy 1961 Single-breasted A-line coat with a broad gathered collar.)

Ooo, I’m scared. I just ordered my first Marfy pattern. Tany of the fabulous Couture et Tricot blog made the most gorgeous coat in a TDF salmon color. Girlfriend has mad sewing skills and the patience to show us lesser beings how to properly construct a garment, so I feel encouraged.

After sewing my first coat this time last year, I thought why not? I need a longer dress coat because the present relic I wear to church and other significant outings is exactly 24 years old…and no it’s not something I bought at a vintage shop. I held two jobs fresh out of college, 1.) Research assistant for a pharmaceutical company and 2.) Part-time clerk at Lord&Taylor. I held on to my little pennies and bought a cashmere navy blue dress coat. I have replaced the buttons no less than four times and repaired the lining as many. So, I could use something new.

With that said, I have one goal this year: Try a pattern company without instructions so I am forced to figure it out myself and really understand the construction process. My guinea pig of choice…Marfy 1961. This is a hottie. I love the big open collar and it looks fairly straight forward.

It was a hot mess ordering. I made it through the site just fine in English until the ordering page miraculously switched to Italian. I had to call in my daughter, who merciful Jesus, is minoring in Italian in college, and she held my hand the rest of the way. 24 euros later (don’t bother calculating the conversion, it hurts) I made the order. Wish me luck, after I make the dress for this weekend.


McCalls 5977 Sleeveless Dress Blouse

•January 6, 2010 • 16 Comments

My father is one of those souls with an endless capacity to help others and is being recognized for his efforts. Of course his three girls and adoring wife will be there in attendance. And of course that means I need something new to wear. 🙂

With a tight deadline to get this done, my plan is to make a BWOF dress, but you know how that goes. Tracing those patterns takes time, so as a hold-over in case I can’t finish it, I made a new blouse. This is McCall’s 5977 and this one is a winner. I love the pattern mainly because it’s easy and gives a polished look. I will have to say it took longer than expected due to the excessive amount of hand-stitching and my own OCD-ness.

I used a nice silk from a local fabric store, Sarah’s. Problem though, I noticed that this was garment dyed as some of the color made its way onto my clear nail polish. Thank God they just opened a Zips dry cleaners ’round the way. I don’t mind coughing up $1.99 to clean it.


Anywho, all and I do mean ALL of the bias binding requires hand-stitching to finish. I used their method of cutting a bias strip 2 3/4″ wide, folding in half right-sides together, attaching to the unfinished edge of the garment, folding over and handstitching in place. Next time I will use a single fold bias and attach via Roberta Carr’s method. That will allow for a cleaner finish when stitched together. I managed fine all the same.

(Interior finish to the armhole binding.)

I used french seams for all garment seams and I added a center back seam to 1.) tailor the blouse a bit more and 2) help address the back neck gap. I made a simple slash and overlap at the back neckline to decrease some of the circumference around the neck to handle that as well. Worked like a charm.

Ditched the big hem called for and added a narrow hem using the method from the Threads Industry secrets video. You stitch 5/8″ (I stitched 1/2″) for the unfinished edge. Iron hem to inside favoring stitching just to the inside. Sew directly on top of that stitch and trim very close to stitching. Fold over again, favoring stitching to the inside just barely again. Stitch directly over stitching again. Despite all of the stitching, only one seams shows to the outside. The instructor, Louise Cutting, is correct. The folding and stitching adds weight to the hem and makes it hang just that much better. It’s a minor detail, but it begins to show the difference in superior methods.

Another detour. The instructions call for you to sew the two flounces together then pleat. I did them separately to give more “poof.”

(Fullness added to flounce via separate pieces.)

It also calls for you to fold over and stitch the side of the flounce. That looked cheasy to me, so I stitched, folded over and hand-stitched in place to give a smooth finish to the edge.

(Side finish to flounce.)

Here’s a throw in pic of my label.

Wish me luck on the dress!

Need Blog Roll help!

•January 3, 2010 • 4 Comments

Crud Monkeys! In my infinite ability to get bored with blog layouts, I was foolin’ around with my template and switched it to a temporary design. When switching back, I lost my entire, precious list of sewing blogs! I could cry.

Asking for blog help. Share your favorite sewing blogs in the comments and I’ll add them to my new list. I need my fix of fellow sewists. Much love in the New Year!

Work in progress

•January 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Sometimes you mean your best, but you have to ditch a project. This was intended for my Jack and Jill induction ceremony, but I cut it a size too small and tried to add a lining as the last minute. This went straight into the trash.

Christmas throw down

•December 31, 2009 • 5 Comments

Alright FB family, this is how we throw down in my house for Christmas. My whole family is jammed packed with cooks and everyone helps out. Believe it or not, they complained ’cause they thought I was cooking lite…not enough dishes. 🙂

You know I parked in front of my plate and sat there until I couldn’t move. Ooo, Lawd, I ate myself into shame.

On the menu:
• Chocolate Trifle (threw some Kahlua in the cake batter)
• Apple Crisp
• Gumbo (no okra…yuck! Just Maryland crab, shrimp, chicken wings and ham. No andouille sausage either, too much heartburn with that. My mother-in-law put a hurtin’ on this!)
• Honey Baked Ham
• Roasted Chicken with red potates and baby carrots (threw some white wine in the stock)
• Yams with pineapple
• Christmas congealed salad
• Cornbread dressing
• Toasted bread (no time to bake from scratch, I was tired.)
• Okra and Shrimp
• Christmas green salad with apples, cherries, walnut in a yummy dressing

With all that cooking, someone’s got to bust suds. Took me three long hours to clean up, that mess lined an entire counter.

Butterick 5332 – Leopard-print Jacket

•December 12, 2009 • 11 Comments

I love animal prints, but never really owned much of it. I dove in, bought fabric and I’m like a kid in the candy store. My first project is this Butterick 5332 jacket.

Pattern Description:
Loose -fitting, unlined jackets, slightly below waist length with
collar, front variations, single or double-breasted front button closures and stitched hems.

Pattern Sizing:
Sizes 8 – 22
I cut the 10, totally unaltered.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very easy to follow instructions. However, I strayed a bit and added a lining. Honestly, you can eyeball the pattern and figure it out, but I still like to read through the instructions to get the intent and order of construction

There was something
about the instructions that wasn’t quite right, but I can’t remember what it was.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This is an easy, quick assembly pattern
Likes: Sleeves are cute. Easy to make.

Dislikes: Non-major. The drafting of the sleeves is very generic. I will have to alter it because it has that home-made pulling across the bodice look, as if the armscye needs to be higher. Other than that, I’m fine.

Fabric Used:
Some cross between microsuede and microfiber from Sarah’s fabric in Maryland. I’ve been dying to sew an animal print and this was just the entry I needed. You should see the shoes I’ve bought. Oh, off topic.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
My only alteration to the pattern itself was to cut the undercollar in two pieces on the bias. I also opted out of button holes and simply sewed them to the front and added snap enclosures on the interior.

I did add a lining. I duplicated all of the pattern pieces with the exception of the collar and the sleeve bindings. For the lower front facing, I took a bit off of the side that attaches to front. I attached the back neck facing right on top of the lining back and continued assembling the facing as instructed. I sewed the entire lining and did a modified bagged attachment.

For the sleeves, I simply sewed the band by hand onto the sleeve lining using a slip-stitch by hand.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I may possibly sew this again, short sleeved for the summer, but there are so many others I want to try.

This is a solid go-to pattern. I wore this to a brunch with dress slacks, but could easily wear it with jeans.

Shoes to love

•December 12, 2009 • 3 Comments

You know you have a shoe addiction when you dream about them. This was love at first site. My first born for these. Take her, she’s yours. Have mercy, be still my heart!

I might possibly give up buying fabric for a few months to get my dogs in these.

Oscar (de la Renta) where ever you are, the creative soul you left in charge just rocked it!