F3093: Safari Blouse

Merry Christmas Eve, all!

May I present to you, another green Marfy blouse.

This may not seem like much to some, but this is the first thing I’ve ever sewn that I didn’t initially muslin to test for fit. It was a little exhilarating, not knowing whether or not I would like it! I need to get out more.

I think I do now understand a little better why some sewists are dead set against muslining. I’ve been super time poor these last few months, but still wanted to have a wearable outcome from my sewing efforts. I compared the pattern pieces for this against my last Marfy blouse at the shoulder and bust, and my Blue Blotch Blouse (a McCalls pattern) through my mid-section. It was pretty much on par, I ranked it low risk, and so away I went.

F3093 Blouse 4

F3093 Blouse 2

Yeah, there are probably a few things I would alter had this been my actual muslin. You can see from the Marfy sketch below that the shoulder seams are not quite dropped – but still gently off the shoulder. I brought them back in by 0.5cm (because I was so thrilled with the shoulder seam location of my last Marfy blouse, which I used to copy the alignment of) but actually I regret this now and would stick to the original design if I were to make it again.

Marfy 3093 S-S 13-14 (blouse)

In fact, I would say the sleeves of this blouse are my favourites, ever. No ease – it fit into the armscye perfectly, slim-fitting but still with enough space for movement, and I love the button down tabs to roll up the cuff. They aren’t full length when unrolled – more midi.

There are no darts for shaping in the bodice here, unless you count the centreback seam. Not normally one for loose fitting clothing around the mid-section, I figured the CDC would billow enough to compensate for any sack-style leanings.

I like the front side pleats more than I would have thought, and the only thing I didn’t think about until I put it on for the first time (at the 80% completed mark) – is that it’s awfully low cut. I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable without a singlet for weekend wear, let me put it that way.

F3093 Blouse 7


F3093 Blouse 6

On the inside, this blouse is not my best work. I french seamed where possible, overlocked the armscye seam (thanks to Helen bringing along her machine to social sewing!), and top stitched over folded seam allowances everywhere else. I tossed up whether to interface the collar and facing, but ditched it in favour of keeping with the drapey look of the blouse. I did use a few scraps of organza to help stabilise the four pivot corners (front and back) of the collar, which worked like a charm.

F3093 Blouse 8

F3093 Blouse 3

The fabric? Silk CDC, from Mood. If you recognise it, it’s one of the two fabrics I used to sew my bridesmaid’s dresses. I had enough left over to squeeze this out of. Actually, I was really surprised I had so much left over – especially as I had nothing left from the other dress. Turns out I had extra because there was a fault – which of course I didn’t realise until I’d cut everything out, with nothing to spare.

Thankfully the flaw was half covered by one of the front pockets – and due to sewing ‘couture’ (marking the seam lines and having large seam allowances) I was able to shift the entire pattern piece across by the 1.5cm required to get that flaw entirely hidden by the pocket. Not too shabby an effort, if I do say so!

F3093 Blouse 9

I’ll admit this blouse was partially inspired by both Reana and Sallie. CDC is just a wonderful mix of opaque and floaty, and feels just lovely and cool on the skin to boot.

It is incredibly low cut – and I’ll probably be wearing it as a beach cover up when I’m chilling out in Byron Bay this summer, or unbuttoned with a singlet underneath.

F3093 Blouse 1

If I thought my sewing time couldn’t get any less right now, I thought wrong. We bought a house! We’ve got a week holiday booked in at the end of January, and we move in after that. At which point we will be waging a war of attrition on asbestos, sinking foundations, decrepit shag-pile carpet, shiny olive-green drapes, and original 1960’s textured wallpaper. The first major aim will be to get a toilet actually plumbed on the inside of the house so we don’t have to spend next winter going outside to go to the loo. No joke. At least I’m having fun putting together the epic spreadsheet that we’ll use to project manage the whole thing! It’s going to be such a long and ongoing project that I’m actually fighting the urge to start a renovating diary blog. So far my sensibilities are winning on that front!!

So from February onwards I’ll still be squeezing some sewing in where ever I can of course – but there will be a bit of radio silence for the first few months whilst we tackle a few bigger projects. I’ve got an exciting project to work on prior to then though – a wedding guest dress!

Have a wonderful Christmas and holiday period everyone – and a safe and happy new year!!

Much Love to you all xx



  1. such a pretty blouse! and love the color too.. and fit is great, i need to make a similar shirt (i’ve actually made one recently, also in green color, but mine has a different silhouette)..btw, i’m one of those that never make muslins, i’m just too lazy for that :)
    also: happy holidays! and i look forward to see some renovation posts :)

  2. Beautiful blouse. As always, Mel, your work is meticulous! How nice to have a memento from you wedding and a reminder of all of your hard work. Congratulations on your house! Renovation is a never-ending project but very rewarding! I know this because we’ve been working on our 100 year old house for 40 years! Have a great Christmas! Looking forward to hearing from you when you come up for air! Cissie

    1. 100 year old house for 40 years? Yikes! Good thing it’s an enjoyable and satisfying (if somewhat irritating and frustrating) life sentence/hobby ;) And thank you! It was like closure, removing that remnant from the stash…

  3. Great blouse!
    We’ve also just bought a house but our renovations mainly involve bucketloads of paint. I am not brave enough for a project like you are describing… Are you going to do most of the work yourselves? Congratulations and good luck!

    1. Everything that it’s not illegal to do ourselves, yes. We’ve done it before on the first place we bought, on a much smaller scale. So naturally we’re totally over-confident we can take this on! haha! Thanks, Emmely :)

  4. I’m loving the blouse, but got totally sidetracked on the house. Outdoor loo?!! You have got to show pictures of some of your renovations!!

    Congratulations and Best of luck!

  5. I think it should read impending domestic doom! Haha. Your house will be stunning just like you, when you get to the bones of it all. Please start a Reno blog, I read quite a few myself and always enjoy seeing the progress. It gives me hope that we will finish stage 1 of ours eventually. Which is doing up the old section before ripping the 70s extension down…
    Nice blouse very sexy! Should be lovely and cool to wear in the soon to be heat. If I haven’t said it already, merry Christmas to you dear Melanie, I’m so glad we’re friends. (I am resisting the urge to make spelling and grammar mistakes on purpose!) xx K

    1. Oh, I was tempted. Once we get into the thick of things, I’m sure there will be plenty of moments of dispair and hatred. Which reno blogs do you read? Email me the links? All in good time, Kat. Ours will most likely move at snails pace, too! Glad you like the blouse, and hope you three have a wonderful Christmas/New Years. See you on the 1st! xx

  6. Very beautiful blouse! I love the button details, especially on the collar. How exciting re: the house renovations! We made a lot of updates when we bought our house — luckily we were able to stay at our old place while the renovations were done, which made it a lot easier. Love the spreadsheet — I knew there were others out there! Have a Merry Christmas!

  7. Your blouse looks great! I hope you have a Happy Christmas and a new year full of house projects. Long, long ago my husband and I bought a big old Victorian house and spent five years restoring some and updating some. You will have wonderful, adventurous (lots of oops,uh-ohs, oh, and ahhhs 😊) and happy time.

  8. Beautiful! And congratulations on the new house! I remember all that renovating when we bought our first home being such a fun time (and hard work, too, of course!). Merry Christmas to you!

  9. I love it, it is beautiful, you have a knack for picking colors and textures that are delicate yet not frou-frou. I am glad you mentioned the drop shoulder issue, I wouldn’t have noticed it, and since I am a beginner it helps me to learn that the shoulder seam may have to vary depending of the style, I did not know this, To me it’s beautiful but since it is a safari-ish style, I get what you mean by making it a little bit dropped. Thanks for posting and Happy Holidays!!!

    1. It’s a really delicate balance of design feature and style, that shoulder. The more I learn, the more I realise there is still so much to learn! And thank you for the compliment – that’s exactly what I aim for so it’s so lovely to hear I’ve hit the mark! Thank you Ines, and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones :)

    1. Thanks Melizza! I’m pretty happy I got to use up that remnant, silk cdc is a really gorgeous fabric to wear! And yep, 2015 is going to be a big one. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  10. It sounds like 2015 will be a real adventure for you and the hubby…painting and scraping and getting an indoor bathroom…whew…high priority there! Maybe sewing will be an escape from all that heavy labor. Your blouse is just darling and very clever to cover the flaw with the pocket. Best wishes for the new year!

    1. I hope so – I’m very much looking forward to moving into my new sewing space, and not having to walk outside to go to the toilet! All the best to you too, here’s to another year of funny and heartwarming stories about bridal alterations!!! :)

  11. So pretty! Loved this on instagram and it’s even better here. That colour!

    Quick question – is there a back neck facing? If not, how is the top collar finished at the neckline? Working on a notched collar project and I McGyvered my own method for eliminating the back neck facing, just wondering what you did.

    1. Thanks Heather :) Nope, no facing – I finished the top edge of the front collar facing then turned it under and attached it to the shoulder seam, which is where the pattern piece finished. Before sewing the facing to the front, I folded the top seam under so it was already turned, all I had to do was press the fold and sew it down :)

  12. Beautiful blouse and congratulations on the new house.
    Vive cuture technique for saving the day!
    Have yourself a very Merry Christmas and New Year.

    1. Yep, thank goodness for those giant seam allowances! Otherwise it would either have had to be binned, or just worn with that wierd fault sticking out from under that pocket. It would have definitely been relegated to being just a beach coverup, at that point! Thanks Cather, and I hope you and your loved ones had a wonderful Christmas :)

  13. Lovely blouse. Congrats on the house and I”m jealous of what I’m sure will be a relaxing holiday in Byron. I have such fond memories of those childless holidays we used to have there. Good luck with renovating. First houses have a tendency to be big projects, but it will be worth is! Have a great Xmas

    1. Thanks Christy! This is going to be a big project, but we’re both so excited/naive about getting stuck into it :) I hope you and your family have a really lovely Christmas and New Years break!

  14. What a gorgeous blouse! And congrats on the house. Can’t believe it has an outside toilet. It doesn’t look that old – 60’s? Very much like my childhood home in Shepparton. But we had an inside toilet (but only one and there were 7 if us!!). Merry Christmas :)

    1. haha, thanks Vicki! I know, an outdoor toilet. Although I think I’d take an outdoor one over one shared between 7 people :P It was built in the late 40s, then had a facelift in the mid 60s. Untouched since then! But it’s exactly what we wanted – an blank canvas. Exciting times ahead!

  15. Merry Christmas Melanie. Loved reading your wedding dress sewing journey and this is such a lovely shirt too – great colour. Congratulations and wishing you happiness in your new home.

    1. Merry Christmas to you, too Evelyne :) Lovely to hear from you, and I hope you and your loved ones have been well. Are you still sewing gorgeous things for your daughter? Thank you for your wishes! :)

  16. Great blouse – the colour and shape are very flattering. If I didn’t have so many patterns already I’d be buying some Marfy. The design features are very chic. If you make this one again, you might also consider a small sway back adjustment to perfect the fit.

    1. Thanks Gail, in the end I was quite glad I had some of the dress silk left over to make this from. I do have such a soft spot for Marfy patterns and if you ever feel the need to buy a few more patterns… I would be recommending them :) Such thoughts did occur to me too, however on looking at the other photos, it seemed I picked the worst one in that regard. I think it’s more a combination of my posture and a hefty breeze than make it appear to need a sway back. Ah well, I’m unlikely to sew it up again soon anyway as there are always so many other wonderful patterns to play with! Merry Christmas to you :)

  17. Congrats on sewing without a muslin! Oh, and also the house :) Both are exciting, a little scary, and very rewarding! Good luck with your renovations, it’ll suck your time more than you even know, but when you do get back to sewing it’ll be even more fun (I speak from some little experience here).
    Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you, and yes absolutely – that’s a huge concern. We’ll be getting everything tested before so we can handle it correctly and safely. You should see the apocalypse-looking face masks we’ve bought!

  18. Beautiful blouse. I love the way it drapes. Good luck with the house. It sounds like quite a project. Post photos so we can follow your adventures in home renovation.

    1. Thank you so much, Mary :) I will, and hopefully we’ll be successful renovators so I have some lovely ‘after’ shots to show! Marry Christmas to you and your loved ones :)

  19. Just lovely on you Melanie. And nice save on the fabric flaw (make it work, make it work). Happy that my overlocker played a small part in the creation of such a beautiful garment!

    1. Oh Helen, your overlocked saved my social sewing day. This fabric was just too annoyingly slippery to try and force into a topstitched seam! You’re such a dear. I hope you and your boys had a really lovely Christmas :) xx

  20. Merry Christmas!

    That’s some fancy sewing right there; it’s beautiful. I’ve always wondered what that Marfy blouse would look like made up!

    And a deciphering Marfy question – you said your Marfy sleeves fit into the armsyce perfectly. Were there any words on the pattern pieces there? I ask because I was making up 3075 (the free pattern in 2012/2013), and whilst the drawing has no gathering, the pattern markings say “loose”. Yet I know from other Marfys I have made they will use the word “gather” when they want you to gather. Marfy English is not always English English!

    1. To you too! And now you know :)
      And no, I haven’t see that word on Marfy armscyes before… it might be worthwhile asking Leisa (A challenging sew) if she has? She’s sewn many a Marfy pattern. From looking at the sketch of it, I haven’t got a clue. Although the amount of ease that is worked into a sleeve depends heavily on the style. The last blouse I made had HEAPS of ease built in, and that was a Marfy also. Have you tried measuring the seam line length on the sleeve and the armscye to see if there is any difference? The ‘usual’ amount of ease is around an inch, I think. Any more and you’ll have a flouncy sleeve head, any less and you’ll have what I have here. Although the intended fabric makes a huge difference on that as well. Goodluck! And let me know if you find out :)

  21. First–gorgeous blouse! I’ve eyed that pattern before. It looks great!

    Secondly–good luck on the reno! Wow, sounds like a lot of work. I hope you share some of the progress though!

  22. This is simply smashing, Mel! Though I must say I am stunned- nay, simply aghast- at the lack of a muslin! ;) Welcome to the dark side… And hells yes for your new place! So excited for you! A spreadsheet is the bomb!

    1. You and me both, Amanda. I think it was a blue moon event though, not to be repeated for a loooong time! This is the woman who made a muslin of a bathroom, for goodness’ sakes. Thanks! x

  23. That green is one of my favorites, and CDC is so lovely to wear!

    Your home project reminds me of when I was a newlywed and we had the energy for DIY. Bittersweet memories…good luck with it all, it is exhausting.

  24. Gorgeous blouse! You’ll be throwing muslins to the wind from now on! I have a similar Marfy pattern that I have been holding on to for several years but am moving to the top of my queue for 2015.

  25. I definitely like this blouse! I see what you mean about it being very low cut, but I like how you’ve styled it with the singlet (a new term for me; I think we call these things chemises). You look wonderful in that color! Hope your holiday was perfect. Keep sewing through the house project – it will help to keep you sane…

    1. Ah, yes, terminology! I would call it a chemise if it were silky and flow-y, but in a knit fabric, definitely a singlet :) Thank you Karen, I most surely will do my best to squeeze in a little sewing here and there – I’d miss it too much otherwise!

  26. I love this cut and style – it would even make me reconsider button down shirts – I don’t normally wear this kind of style, but I love this. The shoulder pleats and cuff tabs are lovely details.
    Congratulations on the house purchase – if you start a reno blog I will follow for sure – it’s one of my other (many) hobbies! We’ve just finished and sold so onto the next one soon!
    Happy New Year!

    1. You would totally be able to pull this off, Liz! It’s not dissimilar to those gorgeous flowy and drapey blouses you made mid last year :) So have you got your next house yet? Will let you know if I do end up going there… still undecided!

      1. We have bought our next house – due to settle on 24 Jan, although it is likely to be delayed :( This time it is quite modern, but very bland so I see more work in my future, although this time will just be cosmetic, paint, wallpaper, soft furnishings etc. Good luck with your place!

  27. Seriously, you must have the patience of a saint to get these kind of results with such a shifty fabric and a pattern with so many details. It looks amazing.

    I love all your Marfy makes, by the way. I find the super-stylised sketches pretty distracting and not really styled in a way that I would consider wearing, but you’ve got the eye!

    1. I’m a sucker for slow projects with lots of details :) Thanks so much, Jenny! I love looking at all the Marfy sketches, but probably because I’m all for a bit of closet melodrama ;)

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