Marfy Catalogues Pattern Haul

It’s been a long while since I did a post like this – mostly because there was a huuuuge gap of not buying any patterns!

I’ve still bought the Marfy catalogues each year for a bit of eye candy – so when I got back into sewing this time a year ago – I went on a big of a pattern buying rampage!

I picked this years catalogue up from the post office 2 days ago, so I’m still digesting that one – this post covers my favourites from the 2017 Evergreen Catalogue, the 2016/17 Catalogue AND the 2015/16 Catalogue. Because, pregnant + #newbornlyf.

I’ll admit to particularly indulging in what is now last years catalogue – the first Evergreen one – because the catalogue is all separates – so there was a bazillion tops in there that I can see myself making again and again over the years to come.

So unlike in previous catalogues where I’ve bought mainly dresses I’m unlikely to make but they’ve just been so awesome I’ve wanted to acquire them for the sake of prosperity – and jackets and coats that I would really love to get around to making but am still lacking in confidence somewhat – I feel like the purchases I’ve made this time are really going to be money well spent.

And that’s already showing – I’ve made up quite a few from this haul already!

Here’s what I bought.

EVERGREEN CATALOGUE PURCHASES
5117: “Crew neck blouse with drop motif and ribbon, short puff sleeves”. I’ll admit I bought this one because it reminds me somewhat of Leisa’s F1882 blouse from way back in the day, but with a slightly more practical non-wrap front! This pattern was on the blinker between my purchase ‘wishlist’ and the sidelines, because as much as I love the design, I’m unsure it will work well on me. We shall see :)

5156: “Blouse with drop shaped neckline, gathered sleeves and cuffs with cufflinks”. Easily one of my favourites – I adore lace but find it a bit overwhelming to wear when it encompasses the whole garment – I love how this blouse pattern allows a smattering of it as a focal point down the front. Depending on the kind of lace, this could either be really subtle or take centre stage. I already know I’m going to have fun searching for fabrics for a lace version of this.

I’ve finished a ‘plain’ version of this one, which you can see here :)

5159: “This refined semi-fitted blouse has an original origami-effect collar that frames the neckline. The sleeves are gathered at the cuffs”. There’s not much I don’t like about this one.

5172: “This classic, somewhat loose-fitting shirt has a shirt collar and yoke”. I had hopes that this would become my go-to work shirt, and I think with a few more tweaks it will absolutely be there. See – Wiltshire Shirt.

5187: “This shirt has a little collar, front placket and sleeves with low-cut armholes. To be made in constrasting colours, or even in a crew-neck version with box-pleat and hidden fastening”. The colour-blocked version doesn’t hold me at all, but I do love the smaller version next it. A bit less 80’s, in my mind. I’m super curious to see how that princess seam into armscye works out.

5200: “This semi-fitted blouse has a crossover V-neckline fastening loose darts”. This is easily the pattern that caught my eye immediately on my first flip through of this catalogue – just gorgeous. It was the first one I tried when I received my patterns – but it has unfortunately taken the title of ‘first Marfy pattern that hasn’t worked for me’. The sleeve however, is utterly gorgeous, and you’ve already seen this in action, transposed onto my most recent make of Marfy 3449 – The Floral.

5205: “This sheath skirt has inset pockets. Suggested fabric: satin or crepe”. Another pattern that was on the fence for me – but did make it across into the purchase wishlist. I love the concept of the pleats at the front, but I think choice of fabric could make or break this.

5212: “This shaped skirt is made of six diagonal panels that open at the bottom giving the skirt volume”. This one was love at first sight. Notwithstanding the fact that it’s a fabric hog (1.7m!) – the lines of this are just gorgeous, and the shape is universally flattering, IMO. Because of the amount of fabric required – I’ve got nothing in my stash long enough and in the right bottom weight. and I’ m really going to have to go fabric shopping for this one soon because I’m dying to sew it.

5276: “Form-fitting corset with lingerie-like cuts, to be made in brocade or wild silk”. After my success with my last Marfy Bustier (as the foundation of my wedding dress), I was super excited to see this one here. Regardless of whether or not I get around to sewing this one, it’s one to have for prosperity!

5285: “Trousers with raised waistband that forms a waistband in the back”. I recall when I got my first and second Marfy catalogues being surprised as how few pants patterns there was. But after sewing my own – I think I understand the reasons why. That it’s really easy to pick and choose your features and add them into any pattern once you’ve got one that works for you. I really like the waistband treatment.

2016-17 CATALOGUE PICKS
3861: “Top with loose ring collar featuring pleats, slightly drop-shoulder sleeve and curved hem. Suggested fabric: voile, viscose or jersey”. With summer coming, and me having spent the last two summers in maternity/breastfeeding-friendly clothing, my options for tops is severely limited right now. I can see myself pulling this together very quickly in a lovely merino knit, and being able to wear it with work and weekend separates.

3893: “Printed silk shirt-dress with optional collar, square yoke at back, tie-fastening at neck, patch pockets, and sleeves with turn-up cuffs.” Looks like a great shirt dress pattern. I’m thinking it might be time to try sewing with Linen?

I’ve got one more sleeve to sew on this and I’ll have this one finished real soon :)

3982: “Double crossover jacket with short belt, raised collar and lapels and cuffs in contrasting fabric. Complete with two-tone skirt with V-shaped hem at the side”. I really lost sleep over whether or not to include this blazer (the skirt has me intrigued, but it’s not something I’d buy on its own). I think in the end, it looks like a safe collar option (because of all the things to sew, stand up collars on jackets are always what scare me off).

3990: “Wool gabardine jacket with peplum, inset pockets with flaps at waist and studded trim”. Pretty simple why I picked this, really. It’s an awesome blazer pattern. I’ve got a muslin for this fitted, I’m hoping to work on it over the upcoming Winter.

3999: “Blouse with either palm-length or cap sleeves. Suggested fabric: jersey”. The intent is to try sewing some more everyday knit tops from this one:

2015-16 CATALOGUE PICKS
3629: “Fitted top with crossed pleats at the neckline and short kimono sleeves with lace edging. Suggested fabric: crêpe, satin, jersey or cotton cady”. I love the lines on it and see it being quite versatile – in a woven print for work, or a stable jersey for casual wear. Perhaps even another attempt at fagotting to get a Zimmermann inspired outcome?

I’ve muslined this, and it’s not exactly flattering on me. I’m thinking to try my first ever FBA on it to see if I can’t salvage it…

3635: “Classic fitted single-breasted jacket with lapel collar and inset pockets with pocket flaps. Suggested fabric: crêpe, summer-weight wool, merino or pinstripe fabric”. This is the one I originally had earmarked for this year’s couture class… I’m thinking about trialling the wearable muslin concept to practice my tailoring before I cut into the special fabrics I’d like to use for this… one day.

3659: “Smart sleeveless sheath dress with parallel, converging V-shaped seams that shape the bodice, emphasized by lace inserts, round neck with loose pintucks and central split. Suggested fabric: crêpe or silk velvet”. There’s just something about this dress that speaks to me… and I’ve got some heavyweight silk crepe in three matching colourways to make it out of hiding in my stash. I think it would make a fantastic sheath dress for work in non-evening wear fabrics. It’s also on Marfy’s most bought patterns list (on their website) – so clearly a crowd favourite!

3646: “Semi-fitted blouse with converging pintuck detailon asymmetrical scoop neckline. Can be made with side frill and single palm-length sleeve, with two sleeves and no frill, or sleeveless with frill over one shoulder. Can also be made as a dress. Suggested fabric: jersey, cotton cady or satin”. So you can laugh at me, but I bought this pattern solely because I can see myself making this maternity dress out of it. It’s a dress I REALLY wanted to sew last time I was pregnant, but I completely lost all desire to create whilst pregnant… so I figure next time, I’ll be pre-armed!

3647: “Fitted dress with crossover bodice featuring side drape and optional shawl collar, and optional ribbon sash at waist. Suggested fabric: crêpe-de-chine, satin or crêpe”. When I look at this I see another classic day dress or evening dress, depending on the fabrics used. I’m not so into the sash, but – who knows!

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It’s a Girl!

And we’ve named her Billie Jemima – born last month, ridiculously healthy and definitely on the larger end of the scale at 4.37kg. Don’t be fooled by the photo below though – this babe does not sleep. Ever.

Billie Jemima

We’re all doing well though… and even with the hardships that come with a newborn, it really is such a magical time.

I’ve been sewing/crafting a few things for her room – like cot and bassinet sheets, covers for the change table and a matching lamp shade (I did a course with The Handmakers Factory for the lampshade), but have on the whole been rather non-interested in sewing myself. Doesn’t stop the inspiration going through my head though… or the thought of being able to sew formal dresses for the little miss later down the line!!

I’ve also crafted a few little things… felt softie toys. More for me than her, really ;)

I’ll probably be silent on here for a little while longer… but I will be back. There are too many ideas floating around in my head for sewing projects for no come back.

Until soon!
xx

Things I’m sewing now I’m a Pregbot*.

Pregnancy is seeing me do things I would never normally do… like sewing with a plan. It’s refreshing to know that my loathing of shopping for clothes is ever so slightly stronger than my inclination to sew whatever I like whenever I like it. Whether or not I actually stick to the plan will be another story!

I’d love to hear from those of you that have been faced with curating a pregnancy wardrobe before – self-sewn or not – what worked? What didn’t? As I’m due in early-ish 2016, I’ll be dealing with a cold and windy Spring as it slooowly morphs into a Melbourne summer. Maybe we won’t even actually get that far? Come on, weather deities!

So, I started by pulling together patterns that make me smile.

MEGAN NEILSEN MATERNITY SURVIVAL PACK.
I feel a close affinity to Megan and her patterns, which is probably because we’re both West Australians. Ok, so she actually lives there and I merely claim that title by birthright, but still. She’s clearly the most go to pattern line for maternity clothing – I bought the survival pack and plan to sew up three of the four patterns it included – the Ruched Maternity Skirt (Erin), the Ruched Maternity Tee (Cara) and the Wrapped Maternity Top (Alissa). The pack had a leggings pattern too (Virginia) but I’m not really a leggings girl. Yet. Be prepared to get sick of me parading about in baby-con dress-hacks, tops and skirts, basically.

MN Maternity Survival Kit

BURDA MATERNITY PANTS 02/2012 #125
Initially I was hesitant to add pants into the mix. But… I bought this from the online Burdastyle – two others have made them up and they look both comfortable and practical, whilst still not appearing overly ugly. I’d heard rumours around the place that maternity jeans are notorious for slipping down – I’ve since bought a pair and can confirm that this is true, you just don’t get the same huggable fit. The pair I got have a similar stretch band over the mid-section to anchor them in place, so I’m hoping these will be just as comfortable as my RTW preggo jeans are. I’m also really grateful to past-Melanie for taking all that time to get my pants block up and functional. I won’t mention the fact that she was clearly too traumatised from that experience to then actually go and sew some pants. Poor past Melanie.

Burda Maternity Pants

Yeah, I wish my legs were this long!!! I’ll be chopping half of that length off, haha!

MARFY 9851 COWL TOP
An oldie, but a goodie – and still available on the mccalls site here. I have a wearable muslin thrown together from probably over two years ago that I found whilst cleaning out some boxes in my sewing room. Being already 90% complete, it will become an early 2nd trimester top that will ideally then morph into a post-partum/breastfeeding top, because the cowl is fabulously stretchy. Winning.

F9851

STYLE ARC Harper Jacket
I’m delving into the world of unstructured garments here – totally uncharted territory for me. I originally had in mind the Nina Cardigan, with Harper being a runner up contender. I consulted with Lara – undoubtedly queen of the unstructured Style Arc pattern – her preference was Harper so that was that. The hope is that this knit outer layer will provide some warmth and match the majority of my co-ordinating maternity wardrobe during the early spring, and then be a staple post-partum also. I want it specifically in a pale grey (preferably marle) merino wool knit, but haven’t been able to find the exact right shade just yet.

Harper Jacket

DEUXIEME ARRONDISSEMENT Outerwear
I’ve developed a penchant for French sewing blogs in the last 9 months, and early this year stumbled across this pattern brand, which caters specifically for maternity. Whilst Megan Neilson covers all things stretch fabric in Maternity pattern land, 2nd District covers wovens for maternity. Now, I’ll admit I’m more team bodycon baby-con than team loose-and-flowy-maternity, but that’s because I’ve always felt really frumpy in shapeless clothing. But, I LOVE coats and jackets, so the fact that this pattern company has these triggered my clicking the buy button.

I’m suspicious of the drafting based on the photos I’m seeing though… and will most likely be altering sleeves and shoulders based on outerwear patterns I’ve already made and like (*cough* Marfy *cough*).

The 7H Manteau – looks like a really cosy winter coat:

Manteau 7H

And the 11H Veste – perfect as a blazer and I think would really lift a comfy knit outfit into ‘smart’ territory. It also looks like it would be pretty simple and quick to sew, making it even more ridiculously attractive. It’s terribly ill-fitting on the model around the shoulders, though.

Veste 11H

I also rather like the 10H Tunic too… but these patterns and postage are expensive ($46 aud at the time for the both of them), and not knowing anything about them or their drafting I’m already taking a risk. Not sure I’ll even get around to sewing the coat, but ah well.

BUTTERICK 6894
ahahahahaha…… yeah, nah.

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INSPIRATION
One word – Pinterest. Except I’d completely stopped using it ever since they brought about the ‘Picked for You’ pins, which clogged up my carefully curated feed with crap I cared nothing for. Until Urbandon posted about an html hack he found that allows you to hide the promoted pins. It does make your feed look a little bare, but this I can handle!

A particularly bare section of my feed after enabling the HTML hack:

pinterest

Now I’m right back into pinning pregnancy style ideas. It’s been the main source of my ideas for pulling together the colours and styles I want to be wearing over the next 6 or so months. Which naturally leads us to…

FABRIC
Upon investigation, my stash returned 5 pieces of knit fabric, three of which co-ordinate quite well together (a total of 6 actually, but the last one is a beloved Missoni knit and I’m not sure I’m ready to sacrifice it for Maternity sewing. I change my mind like the weather in Melbourne though, so who knows what will happen).

I’ve since bought two new ones online – and been gifted two others.

Also, a first at chez poppykettle – buying matching fabric together with the intent to sew a capsule wardrobe for work. I scored these at the 50% off sale The Fabric Store had a few weeks back – four garments for $80! and I’m starting to see how sewing for pregnancy is super cost effective.

The Fabric Store purchases

Top to bottom – a merino knit for a Vogue top I plan to adjust for maternity, a wool/poly blend for the Burda maternity pants, some cream DKNY knit – which you’ll soon see made up as a Megan Neilsen Ruched maternity skirt, and a cotton/lurex blend for the 11H Veste.

My hope is that by sticking to the same patterns and not being so anal-retentive about finishes (except where it counts) that I’ll be able to get all of this done (famous last words?). With that in mind, I have safely stored my bolt of organza away (won’t be needing that) and will be sticking a post-it note on my Janome reminding me to switch to lightning stitch instead of its default straight stitch. I’ve already started and finished on the DKNY knit so progress is great to date.

Now – I need to hear your stories and experiences about pulling together a pregnancy wardrobe!!

*Pregbot(n) – a personal joke that I find particularly humorous and which originated from my disgust of the (both Australian and American) far political right taking action to erode the basic human rights of women who also happen to be pregnant, in many instances reducing their status from human beings to mere incubators of foetuses. Not cool, dudes.

Hello, Strangers!

“Hi, my name is Melanie, and it’s been 6 months since I last posted”.

Yep, and about 5 of that have had zero chances to sew. But – our unlivable house is now moderately livable. Sort of. Still a lot of work to do! But the last month has had some productive sewing in it, culminating in a seasonally inappropriate top that is very different to my usual style. I do really love it though. Photos just as soon as I find my missing camera battery charger, and brave the cold! (Some sunshine might be nice too, but I wouldn’t want to be too demanding or anything…)

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Just a little seam matching perfection…

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I’ve also been working on the French Jacket for my mum. I originally thought having it done for her birthday in early May would has been SO achievable. But that didn’t quite work out, so the new delivery date has been set for early August. Better get my skates on…

Because I’ve also started sewing a new jacket (for me). Marfy 3022!

F3022 SS 2014-15 Jacket

The muslin for it is getting me very excited. Even with no adjustments I really love the proportions. Having been out of sewing practise for so long, and also because this pattern had a rather tricky looking dart/pocket configuration – I went to a lot more effort than I normally would in a muslin.

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But that’s all come to a screaming halt, because my usual size 46 is a little on the snug side. After many months of intensive renovating, with a non-functional kitchen and limited time – a continuous succession of bad dietary choices (and an underactive thyroid!) have left me about 6kg’s heavier than at the beginning of the year. So I’m deciding whether to buy the Size 48, or make it as the 46 as by the time I finish it, it will be Spring and I should be back to normal by then. Decisions…

Regardless, it’s so lovely to be back and sewing!!

 

Sweatshop: Deadly Fashion

A week after watching these videos, and I still can’t get them out of my head.

Watch the mental shift of 3 young Norwegian fashion bloggers who come to realise what life is really like for textile workers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Ep 1   –   Ep 2   –   Ep 3   –   Ep 4   –   Ep 5

The trailer for this series is on YouTube, or you can watch each episode in the links above.