Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pattern spoilage, New Look and Burda... And I'm the brave one?

You all know what a Marfy fanatic. I am, I can't help myself.

What is it about them that intimidates so?  Is it the fancy illustrations, the lack of instructions, or that fact that they don't pop out of a pattern drawer for $1.99 during a Sunday afternoon?

OK, I will admit, they do have a very narrow size range and I have been very fortunate to fall within that range.  The fact that they come one size to an envelope doesn't leave a lot for guesstimating, but it eliminates a lot of confusion too.  

I am trying to branch out, see what the fuss is and run with the in crowd. I do like my Jalie Sweetheart top so 87 reviews can't be wrong.

Two jersey wrap dress patterns come to mind, Marfy 2827 on the right and the ever-popular New Look 6097.  Who can forget all those fabulous reviews.!  I will admit it, I went out and bought it right after reading this blog post from Goodbye Valentino.  After all, I'm gonna look just like that, right?

I haven't sewn a  New Look in forever so I had no idea what I was missing.  I first noticed that I didn't have to paw through 4 different envelope size ranges.  This one comes with sizes 10 - 22 in one envelope!  So, the 11 pattern pieces are actually printed on two great big sheets of paper in various size groupings.
Are you kidding me???  All that time I saved not having to trace seam allowances was totally gobbled up sorting through different size iterations and groupings trying to remember if I was cutting a 16 or 18! Sometimes the pattern piece is sizes 10 - 14 - 20, and other times it was 10 - 16 - 22.  I know, I'm whining... but consistency would have been helpful!
And then to the instructions...  They actually weren't bad.  They made the usual pattern company mistake of putting in the sleeves after the side seams, but we all make that mistake once, right?  Thank you Peggy L for showing me the light on my first knit top reviewed here.
I can't believe that there are 4 pages of instructions for a super simple knit dress!
I am also working on Burda Style designer dress from September.  The style photo doesn't do it justice, its interesting lines scream for color blocking instead of being hidden in some wild print.
I did my pattern tracing while sitting at an office table during lunch hours.  I love sewing at lunch, it keeps me from eating too much and helps with the sewing progress.  It also starts some wonderful conversations with other seamstresses around the office.
Likes about the Burda:  it comes with complete lining and facing patterns.  I will admit, I wish Marfy included better 'extraneous' parts.  One thing that I miss:  pattern measurements like you get on Big 4.  These are easy to get on the well marked, single sized Marfy, but not on Burda.  I sized up from the 44 to about a 46 so that its 46 at the hips and 35 waist.  This is kind of confusing with that nested and scrambled pattern menagerie that is the Burda pattern sheet.  I would like to say that there was some calculated scientific method to it.  My mother said that I was bad about "meandering across the fabric," she had no idea.

Bottom line on pattern companies, I still like Marfy.  They are better marked and I prefer the efficient packaging.  Really, how many of those whole wardrobe patterns do you have where you have actually made more than one view?  You usually just buy it for the top or maybe the jacket, the rest of those pieces are just in the way.
I just love the efficiency.

Next, I will talk about those instructions and post pictures of that jersey dress which is almost done.

I promise, I will post pictures as soon as I can get some decent ones with a clean mirror or a better camera!


  1. Good comparison of the different pattern companies.
    I guess it just depends on personal choice. And I do like that Marfy dress!

  2. Love the comparison. I remember being very nervous of my first Marfy but once I'd tried one I was hooked. I do prefer them because they seem to fit together better and I like the greater emphasis on seams and shaping. I find some of the big four patterns to have very little shaping in them and Burda patterns tend to vary but they don't suit my figure at all and even patterns with seaming don't appear to incorporate much shaping into the seams the way Marfy do.

  3. Yes, all the pattern companies have their own little quirks and quoibles :) I am yet to try out a Marfy pattern; thanks for the recommendation!

  4. It is so true! I love Marfy for its elegancy, challeng and the fact of no seamallowances - so time saving. And that I do not have to trace the pattern first. Next to Marfy and self drafted patterns I use a lot Vogue patterns - true I have to trance them and mark seam allowances - but they fit ok.
    I have noticed I shift from Vogue to Marfy and in generally to own designs. Besides I have enough patters so I am not buying a lot anymore.


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