Friday, July 25, 2014

Dress Pattern Perfection Marfy 3339

I finally found the perfect sheath dress!
Marfy 3339 drawing
Marfy 3339 pictured here with the color removed for creative interpretation. I like to scan the drawings, then play coloring book during my breaks at the office.

I can ramble like this because the pattern is shear perfection.

Mine looks a little more A-line than the pattern.  I debated taking in the fullness and making it straight until mid morning when the printer jammed and I spent 15 minutes on my hands and knees pulling tiny scraps of paper out.  I noticed the crowd of people watching and realized how nice it was to not have my hiney sticking out of a tight skirt.

I really love this dress and I'm happier then I look.  But, the work day was long and its about 95F out there.

Marfy 3339
The coworker approval rate was extremely high and the compliments flowed in all day.  I had 2 different people ask me how many sizes I had lost, not pounds, but SIZES!

I just noticed that I forgot to pick out the buttons!  Well, that's what happens when you hem the dress for wearing at 630AM.  I have some navy pearl shank buttons that should be a nice touch.

The waist cinches perfectly, accented by the color inset.  The bust shapes perfectly with a small dart that shows on the left side of the drawing.  This dart is on both sides of the pattern for shaping which is a much better alternative then just having the color block seam run over the top of the bust point.

The Marfy size chart can be found here and I have found the 1 1/2" inches of ease through the bust and hips to be pretty consistent.  The fit isn't tight through the waist, the ease is about 4 inches.

notice the bust darts and the front pleat extension
This pattern come in sizes 42, 46 and 50.  I cut a 46 and the measurements for this size are:

Bust:  39 1/2"
Waist:  34 1/2"
Hips:  41"
Back Waist Length:  15 3/4"
Front Length, Shoulder to Bust: 10"
Sleeve width:  14"

The only fit change that I would make next time is to lower the bust dart by 1".  It is kind of high for them and it stops above my but point.  If it bugs me and I get fussy I may lower it on this dress, but I doubt it.

Marfy 3339 left side
I love this pattern so much.  You could make a perfect simple dress block by copying the left side of the pattern and extending the dart to the hem for a princess seam. You could also double the color blocked side and color block in black and white for an interesting look.

The fabric is a gorgeous 65% polyester and 35% cotton tweed from Sew Much Fabric that is 60" wide and has a nice tight weave.  The navy inset is tropical weight wool .  I lined in navy Bemberg lining.

I think this is the only garment that I own that is polyester.  I'm such a fabric snob!  I like it though.  The weave and the cotton allow it to breathe relatively well for poly.  But as you can see it does wrinkle and doesn't hold a crease as well as wool.  I love the colors and the versatility so I'm making a skirt out of it too.

The shoes you ask ?????  Well, those are fabulous L.K. Bennett's in a beautiful shimmering silver suede that I got myself for my birthday present.  They still have some available here.

Future Plans 

I have enlisted in Susan Khalje's Couture Sewing School in August and I think that I will use the right front of this pattern to make a basic dress pattern block.  I am really excited about finally taking THE class and getting to spend an entire week sewing with my fellow seamstresses and learning from the master.

Susan is the write of THE Bridal Couture sewing book that was my go-to book back in the dressmaking days.  I really look forward to meeting her and saying thank you for all the guidance and inspiration.

Marfy 3339 back
But for today, I talked myself in to entering that Pattern Review wardrobe contest again so I'm cranking out the garments!  I have the blouse and this dress done as 2 out of 5 garments.  I have 5 days to get 2 skirts and a short sleeved jacket done.  *sigh* kidding, right?  Every year I try this.  I always get some interesting things done, but never the whole wardrobe.  I guess a wardrobe catch-up post is in order.  I still haven't finished last years.  Should I have tackled that first?  Of course not!

OK, just one more picture.  Here's the back:

I'm pretty happy with the fit, I may tweak the sleeves a bit.
I don't think these little issues would've been worth making a muslin for.  There are some under-bust wrinkles that indicate tightness, but when I lose another couple of pounds I'll probably have to take it in anyway.

Once again, I'm wallowing in Marfy bliss.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

So Capital Chic!

I rocked this pattern!  I need like 27 more of these!

OK, I must give a lot of the love credit to the fabric which she still has in stock here.

Pattern Description: As per Capital Chic: "Bellini is a loose fitting, cap sleeved blouse with either a cutaway collar or a scalloped collar. This blouse is designed to be worn with the top button closed but can easily be worn with the neck open. It is a versatile basic that will add options to any wardrobe. The blouse closes with buttons at the centre front and features bias-bound armholes, a machine rolled hem and french seams throughout. Full illustrated instructions for these techniques are included." Super cute, instant gratification top which can be as dressy or as casual as you choose.

Pattern Sizing: This comes in sizes 10 through 18 which are all included in one pdf. I looked at the size chart and my measurements most closely resembled a 16 which is one size larger than I wear in big 4. Their size chart is here.  

Bellini front
Were the instructions easy to follow? I like the instructions. They are well written compared to many of the independent pattern companies. They are well illustrated and include a the finished garment measurements (which were accurate BTW). 
* Instructions included for French seams which really add to this simple blouse.
* Well written collar application instructions! It instructs to machine stitch but I chose to hand stitch while watching TV.
* I took a short cut and serged and hemmed the sleeves instead of using the recommended bias trim.

I didn't use the pattern layout because I cut on the bias, but it looked quite accurate.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Love the simplicity, especially the shoulders and lack of sleeves.

Bellini back
Fabric Used: Absolutely DEEEEVINE silk charmeuse with the cutest little Valentino V's woven into the print that I got at a great price at Sew Much Fabric. It being 60" makes it so much easier to cut on the bias than 45". I highly recommend that if you love bias cut charmeuse like me, you need to grab all the 60" that you can find and squirrel it.
I cut the collar from a white piece that I have in stash.

I know that some people don't care for pdf patterns, one thing that I really love about them is the ability to print twice. This is super handy when you are printing single layer for the matching of fabric patterns. This allows me to make the most efficient layout.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added an inch or so to the
length (I'm 6 feet tall). The only fit change that I needed to make is that the arms were too tight for my heavy biceps. next time I will extend the opening, this time I just shortened them and the hem and they fit fine. The sleeve measures about 13" and my upper arms are about 15", so you might want to check this.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Heck yes! I'm already planning more!

Conclusion: This is a great new pattern company. They don't have too many patterns out there, but they are well drafted with good instructions and great customer service. You can down load the pattern file up to 3 times and it includes a pdf for home printing (8 1/2 X 11) and a pdf that you can have printed if you don't want to print and tape at home. This also includes a pdf for instructions.

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