I’ve resolved to complete one major skill-building sewing project each month in 2018. Full disclosure: I’ve been planning on making this one for a while. But it’s daunting, and I haven’t gotten further than the drawing board yet. So it seemed fair to make this Marfy blouse my January project.
Hopefully it will expand my skills in shirt construction generally, fitting complicated patterns and improving my buttonhole execution.
I’ve been lurking around the Marfy online catalog for a while. Every link to Marfy seems to come with a big, bold warning: FOR EXPERTS ONLY. Am I the only one who sees that as a dare?
Marfy does not make things easy. They provide only the most basic information about their designs. For my pattern, there are only two images of the blouse – both kind of weird illustrations. Add to that this description and you have the complete set of instructions.
This blouse has cap sleeves cut kimono style at the back and raglan at the front with gathers, baby collar, pockets with turned up flaps.
Approximate fabric required: 1.00 meters (1.40 meters wide)
Oh, and the pattern costs $16.00.
Why am I doing this? Other than the dare factor, I have a blouse that I really want to duplicate. I don’t know where it came from. It’s old. It’s wearing out. But that blouse fits so well, is so comfortable, and is so flattering that I think it might be magic. I have never seen another one like it. But this pattern comes really close. I’m hoping I can capture some of that magic and then make one in every color.
So, the game is on.
I ordered the pattern in October through the Butterick patterns website. It took a while to arrive, but one day in November I got a tiny envelope from Italy.
As advertised, the Marfy pattern was pre-cut and single size. It has no seam allowance and no instructions.
I’ve heard stories about people who can take a pattern with no seam allowance and cut their fabric pieces with the right allowance by eye. I am not one of those people. So the first thing I did was prepare a new pattern with allowances.
I could have added any seam allowance I liked. Since I knew I would probably need to make fitting adjustments, I went with a relatively wide 5/8.” The task was make much easier with my new pattern drafter ruler. It’s specifically designed to add seam allowances. I like it so much I got one in the 3/8″ size as well.
I traced my new pattern onto Swedish tracing paper using different colors for the cutting lines, seam lines, and markings.
When I was all done, I set up an envelope to keep everything together. I used just a regular 9×12 clasp envelope. I made the label by printing the pattern illustration onto a peel and stick shipping label.
Now that I have all of my ducks in a row, I can’t wait to dig in.
Clockwise from upper left:
- The folded wax paper envelope from Marfy that contained the pre-cut pattern pieces. The Marfy envelope is on top of the 9×12 envelope I put together to store the pattern.
- The pattern pieces as they came from Marfy, after ironing. Grainlines, notches, and general construction information is written on each piece.
- My neon yellow pattern drafter ruler is on top of two pattern pieces I made from the Marfy pattern. The collar has different pieces, very slightly different in size, for the top and under-collar. This is going to be interesting!
Next time: Making a toile.