F2570: WIP

I’ve been having a ball getting stuck into this Marfy coat pattern, but it’s thrown me a few curve balls, to use that universally understood American euphemism. Namely:
 – There are no pattern pieces for the lining;
 – I need to figure out how to do curved welt pockets,

Yikes. Thankfully, I’ve been able to find a lot of information on the interwebs around drafting lining pieces (like this resource by Sherry from Pattern Scissors Cloth), and it took many practise versions (and abject failures) to get a good finish on the curved welts. There was one blog post by Jilly Be Joyful who did a curved welt on a Japanese-style robe, which got me started. Still confusing as all hell though!!!

My first attempt at the curved welt pocket (photo on the left) – used the bias strip pattern piece included and just doesn’t sit flat – there’s a very definite ripple along the fold line of that bias strip. I attempted the same style again with different types of interfacing and that didn’t work either. For the final acceptable result (on the right) I drafted a pattern piece to match the curve and sewed them together so there’s a seam on the welt edge – giving a much nicer, flatter and more stable result:

Initially I completely over-thought the curved welt pocket process – it’s actually very simple once you get your head around the process. The single welts I’ve done in the past have had the same backbones as a double welt pocket, whereas these are a true single welt – the kind you see on RTW coats (funny that). 

The main difference is that previously the welt’s I’ve made (like on my Sweet Shorts and Crimson Clovers) have been underneath the fabric, whereas these welts sit on top of the fabric. 

Thankfully I’ve also been able to work on things other than welts, so here’s where we are so far :)


F2570: Marfy on my Mind and my Mind on my Marfy

It must be the week of Marfy… because not only have I been able to get excited about their Autumn/Winter collection release (blogged here), I also received my pattern haul from them (after a significant kerfuffle with Australia Post who originally lost it. Nice work there, Aus Post). So, all my sewing projects have come to an abrupt halt because of this:

It’s from their 2011/2012 catalogue (sadly not available online) and it’s just what I’m after in a coat. The little english description under it says:

“This form fitting coat has a double wrap with arched cuts trimmed in leather, patent leather or velvet. It has pockets set parallel, a rounded sporty collar and strip cuffs. Suggested fabrics: plain fabric, vicuña, cashmere”.

Well, at least thanks to my time in Peru, I actually know what Vicuña is (the little squiggle on top of the N means you add a Y after it, so the word is pronounced vick-oon-ya). Until I saw this I was intending to make the iconic McCall’s 5525 trench coat, so I’m hoping the lovely oatmeal coloured canvas I bought for this will be enough. And to stick it to the super dreary weather Melbourne is experiencing right now, I’m thinking of using some of the left over stretch yellow cotton from this top (Marfy, of course) for the contrast arched trims, but I’m not 100% on this yet. We’ll see. Whatever it ends up being, it will be bright!

By golly gosh does this coat has big shoes to fill. I’ve had a green Trench-coat from Jigsaw in winter wardrobe circulation for a few years now which I just adore:

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, New Zealand

I bought it back in 2009 because I was travelling to Iran and needed a coat-like garment that covered my backside and thighs. It ended up being a lot warmer than I thought so it only got one or two days wear before I bought an inexpensive, lightweight royal-blue Chinese-made version: 

(and some gratuitous holiday snaps if you don’t mind). I also borrowed a manteau which is basically just a form-less shift great for warm weather (but still ‘modest’).

Since then that green trench has travelled with me to 3 other countries (Jordan, Israel and New Zealand) and been witness to countless events that will one day be stories for the grand kids… But after four winters in circulation, I’m kinda getting sick of wearing it. Surprisingly, it’s still in completely wearable condition – a testament to Jigsaw quality I suppose. 

Has anyone else got a favourite garment that even after years of wear still gets pulled out regularly? And more importantly, have you been able to replace said beloved item when it finally reaches the end of its tenure? Do tell !

Marfy Autumn/Winter 2012-2013 Collection

It’s that time of the year again… where I lurk and refresh the Marfy website every couple of hours in the faintest hope they have uploaded the latest patterns of the season like they said they would. I even checked multiple times on the weekend. Good thing I did, because they uploaded the range yesterday!

Moving away from my lame-ness – here are some of my favourites :)

Of course being a winter collection, there were plenty of coats – and I LOVE both having and wearing coats! The lines of F2888 (left) are gorgeous and I really like the simplicity of the neckline and the curved front hem. The raglan sleeves of F2918 (right) looks like it’s stolen a lot of aspects of the traditional trench and catapulted it into something more modern, I love the yoke treatment at the back:

There is also no shortage of long-sleeved stretch dresses with a bit of waist definition – a style I really like and feel comfortable wearing. The draped neckline on the sheath dress (F2940, left) designed for stretch fabric (I’m thinking ponti knit) looks like it would be comfortable, flattering, warm for winter and office appropriate too. F2935 (right) is similar, but I might be transferring that front split to the back were I to make it!

The mod sheath dress (F2917, left) is something straight out of the 70’s, and I love it! It almost has a bit of Chinese Cheongsam styling with the neckline treatment too. The keyhole style neckline at the front of F2924 is really different, and could make a great biker-jacket interpretation:

I’m currently grappling with fitting a vintage dress pattern with kimono sleeves – so the emergence of several patterns with this type of sleeve piqued my curiosity, like this draped neckline sheath dress that reminded me of a more practical version of Stella McCartney’s Miracle Dress (F2940, left) and the jacket (F2930, right):

I like the idea of the draped hooded top of F2913 (left) being used for sportswear, and the v-neck top (F2879, right) has mass appeal for comfortable everyday wear:

I’ve just started work on one of the nine patterns I ordered from them this week, and it’s a LOT more complex that the pleated-front blouse I made from them back in January. More on that to come real soon. 

Have you tried a Marfy pattern yet? You know you want too!!

M6130: Crewel Drop Vintage Top


I’ve been really hooked on the idea of embroidery as embellishment lately, and the swirling drops in graduated colours shown above (from a DIY kit) were the perfect match for me. I practised the crewel embroidery technique with the kit first as the lovely thick wooly threads included weren’t colour-fast, so they were hardly appropos for something to wear’n’wash! 

I came across the vintage McCall’s pattern 6130 on Etsy a while back (it even comes with pattern pieces for the cute little bow and belt!) and I’m yet to come across a woven princess seamed blouse pattern I like the idea of more. After rather a LOT of fitting adjustments (I’m still in amazement at how tiny the waist was in ratio to the bust and hips, and how those side darts pointed up towards my chin initially instead of the bust point – fallout from the bullet-bra’s of yesteryear, no doubt) and making the bateau neckline slightly wider – I’m happy with the end result. 

M6125 3

M6125 7

For the embroidery, I simply transferred a slightly curvier translation of the drops outline onto my fabric, embroidered then cut it out (After a lousy first attempt I realised you need the tension that comes from having your fabric secure all around the embroidery ring, rather than having an already cut piece in there, which yielded a pretty messy result).

I really love the the textural aspect of linen (making it perfect for embroidering) – but its proclivity for wrinkling and creasing has always kept me at bay. After reading about Marina’s gorgeous linen panel dress and how she underlined it to minimise this, I pulled out the silk organza and got busy. I chose the linen to match the ‘neutrals’ on my colour wheel – very cool because I’d never normally choose a fabric in this shade (although I can always be found swooning over earthy toned textural linens in fabric stores) and it makes a perfect backdrop for the red and pink droplets. 

I even catch-stitched the seams down with silk thread, couture style, because I liked the inside pictures of Marina’s dress so much. I was more than a bit worried about fraying from normal wear so I also used some fray-check too. Mostly I was just too lazy to use the standard rayon seam binding treatment.  The linen also had a really pretty striped selvedge which I kept for around the sleeves.

I really loved being able to veg on the couch with my beau at the end of a long work day (unfortunately for me all my work days are long at the moment), switch off mentally and slowly work through embroidering this. Especially as the weather has been SO dreary of late. It was definitely sewing for the soul.