THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

July 2, 2008

Do U Speak Marfy?

Filed under: Els,Fabric,Georgene,Marfy,Patterns,sewing — georgene @ 6:04 pm

Diva Emerita Mary Beth over at The Stitchery had this question for us when she got her new Marfy catalog:

What is “smeared fabric”????

Spring-Summer 2008 Collection – Mod. 1752
1752Mod. 1752
Mt. 2,80 alt. 1,40. Available in sizes 42, 44, 46, 48.
This short, somewhat form-fitting trench coat closes on the diagonal with double crossover thatbecomes single-breasted. It has a yoke at the shoulders, large strips at the cuffs and pockets inset into cuts. Suggested fabric: gabardine, smeared fabric, leather.

Georgene: Coated? Bad translation?

Els: Hi ladies, I looked at the french page at Marfy, and then my textile translation book:

Mod. 1752
Mt. 2,80 alt. 1,40. Disponible en taille 42, 44, 46, 48.
Court trench semi-moulé avec fermeture double endiagonale qui devient simple, empiècement sir les épaules, larges brides aux poignets et poches intérieures insérées dans les coupes. Réalisable en gabardine, tissu ciré, cuir.

Tissu ciré is waxed fabric like the Barbour coats from the UK but also use laminated fabric which is the translation from the Marfy French text

Georgene: Waxed, yeah. Or coated which would be ‘enduit’ in French. But waterproofed or water resistant., which is a good thing for a trench coat

There is a special article at on the Festival at Glastonbury with lots of waxed Barbour coats in the photos. Very hot item! funny you picked up on that.

Els: Read more information about the Barbour coat

Els: Water repellent or waterproof fabric for outerwear like this Marfy raincoat can be found at online stores like Seattlefabrics.

Els: I read all the descriptions and found some weird translations, like:

Mod. 1721
Occ. mt. 3,00 alt. 1,40. Available in sizes 42, 46, 48, 50, 54.
This form-fitting dress is made of four panels which are cut on bias at the bottom. It has a V-shaped empire cut with hooded collar and drawstring gathers at the shoulders. Suggested fabric: jersey, silk jacquard, or satin.
“cowl neck”

Mod. 1625
Occ. mt. 1,40 alt. 1,40. Available in sizes 42, 44, 46, 48.
This single-breasted form-fitting jacket has inserted belt, patch pockets set on the basque and ¾ sleeves. Suggested fabric: jacquard, piquet or microfiber with satin or patent leather trim.
Basque should be “peplum”

Mod. 1603
Mt. 1,60 alt. 1,40. Available in sizes 42, 44, 46, 50, 54.
This single-breasted, somewhat form-fitting jacket has an original double neckline with gathers, 3/4 sleeves and opens with a single lapel. Suggested fabric: cady, satin or shantung.

Mod. 1619
Mt. 1,60 alt. 1,40. Available in sizes 42, 44, 46, 48, 50.
This form-fitting skirt is loosened at the bottom and is made of five panels with full hips
~has “gathers at the waistband”

Mod. 1637
Mt. 1,50 alt. 1,40. Available in sizes 42, 44, 46, 48.
This form-fitting jacket is reminiscent of the 1960’s. It has a broad, rounded shawl neckline and turned up collar, an inserted belt and oblique flaps on the rounded yoke. The 3/4 sleeves have slits at the cuffs. Suggested fabric: faille, piquet, microfiber.

Mod. 1661
Mt. 1,40 alt. 1,40. Available in sizes 42, 44, 46.
This straight, form-fitting dress has a neckline that is square at the front and V-shaped at the back. It has double darts that converge at the center and inset pockets. Suggested fabric: denim, linen, piquet.
“This shaped slim fitted dress”,

Mod. 1663
Mt. 1,60 alt. 1,40. Available in sizes 42, 44, 46, 48.
This straight, somewhat form-fitting shirt-waist dress opens at the front. It has a belted waist, short drop sleeves softened by gathers, a shirt neckline, oblique darts and side slits. Suggested fabric: cotton batiste, taffeta, light denim.
“Slanted darts”

Mod. 1706
Mt. 1,50 alt. 1,40. Available in sizes 42, 46, 50, 54, 58.
This tight-fitting blouse has a torchon motif at the neckline that creates draping and 3/4 shirt sleeves. Suggested fabric: jersey, cotton muslin, satin.
“A twisted center front neckline”

Mod. 1714
Mt. 2,10 alt. 1,40. Available in sizes 42, 44, 46, 48.
This dress has a bodice with soft draping at the neckline secured with a jewel fastener.The flared skirt has wedges inserted at the bottom. Suggested fabric: jersey or satin.
“Inset godets”

Mod. 1725
Mt. 2,80 alt. 1,40. Available in sizes 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 54.
This form-fitting dress has panels which are flared at the bottom. It has a low-cut empire waist bodice and overlaid panels which are knotted and draped to create a shrug effect. Suggested fabric: cady with panel and flared sleeves in chiffon.

Mod. 1774
Mt. 2,30 alt. 1,40. Available in sizes 42, 44, 46, 50, 54, 58.
This elegant tunic has a cowl collar and handkerchief sleeves made of two superimposed layers. The bottom of the panels is rounded and crossed. Suggested fabric: crêpe de chine, chiffon or muslin.
“Two overlapped layers”

Mod. 1792
Mt. 2,80 alt. 1,40. Available in sizes 42, 44, 46.
This American-style slip dress has torchon shoulder straps knotted behind the collar, a wide embroidered or lace waistband and long flared skirt. Suggested fabric: chiffon, voile, jersey, satin.

October 20, 2007

Silk Organza Saves the Day

I fell hard for the EmmaOneSock silk tweed with all-over embroidery from Nanette Lepore. It was ruinously expensive – so much so, that I have blocked out the price in my mind. Since I had once managed to make a jacket in 1 ½ yards of fabric, that’s what I bought, with no real idea of what I would make.

The fabric worked on my mind, and I decided that what I really wanted to make was a jeans style jacket, but with an hourglass shape. This fitted denim silhouette was popular some years ago, made best by Jean Paul Gaultier, who has perfected the corset silhouette over many different types of garments, from ball gowns, to bustiers, to jackets.

The thought of drafting such a pattern from scratch was daunting though, as fitting such an item on oneself is no picnic. I set out to find a pattern I could adapt to my needs, something that had a good structure to begin with. I had never worked with a Marfy pattern before, but from all reports it was a good place to begin. Every other jeans style jacket I had looked at was too boxy, or worse, a wedge shape that was narrower at the bottom. Definitely not MY shape!

Marfy F9468

I found the Marfy pattern after much digging, it is an older pattern and not easy to find on the Vogue website. I am not sure if it is still in print. I bought it in March of 07, I believe it is from Fall 06. As it comes out of the envelope it is a shirt, but it has a shaped side seam, and the all important 3 panel front with a shoulder yoke..

Here are the changes I made to the pattern to get to my jacket:
>Make a straight hem instead of a curve hem, added to the sleeve length for full length sleeve.
>Cut the center front straight up to the neck, with a 1/2″ extension for buttons instead of a curved placket open neck shirt collar.
> No pockets used for this fabric.
>Reduce the collar point to be less of a Boeing 747 spread.
>Change from a set-on placket to fold back facing. I did this only because I had the nightmare silk tweed fabric to deal with. I couldn’t imagine trying to make a straight narrow placket in this fabric, especially with the thickness of the fabric with the embroidery. In fact, it was still tough to wrestle with the yoke seam and the turn back, but since my button fell below the yoke seam and the turn back of the lapel with the collar open was OK, I got off easy. For other fabrics I will make a set-on placket as you usually find on this type of jacket.

Let me just say that the fitting alterations were minimal. I was amazed at how well the pattern went together and fit me right out of the envelope. I did pinch out a bit more bust dart shape in the side panel, which effectively lowered my armhole, but I was able to re-draw it with minimal hassle back on the table after the fitting.



The amount of seaming and topstitching required in this jacket made me choose to underline my fabric with silk organza. This kind of tweed just sort of falls apart when you look at it, it ravels away at the slightest excuse. By adding the layer of silk organza, I was able to do all of the seaming and topstitching without worrying. I had a denim jacket to refer to, to see how the seaming was done. This helped a lot, as Marfy provides no seam allowances and no instuctions. I had traced off their pattern, and then made a muslin to test the fit before I cut into my [ridiculously expensive] EOS fabric… no second chance with this!

Of course, with 1 ½ yards of fabric, I had to squeeze the pattern pieces into the layout. I needed to cut the undercollar, a hem and cuff facing from another fabric, as there was no way to fit it in. Actually this was a good thing, since my silk/wool blend was much smoother, thinner, and easier to work with than the silk tweed. It did cut down on the bulk.

All of my pieces were underlined. I basted my silk organza from Thai Silks to the fashion fabric, and basted at the seam line as well. I sewed the body seams front and back, then serged the seam allowances together (something I learned from my denim jacket that I followed.) Once the panels were together, I did my double needle topstitch. (Used heavy topstitch thread – nothing else showed up). I applied the yoke and seamed the same way. I had to use a 1/4″ grosgrain ribbon at the inside back neck, as it was impossible ot turn the seam allowance and topstitch. This eliminated a whole bunch of thickness, and gave a nice clean finish.


For the side seams, the armholes and sleeves, the seams were serged separately before sewing the seams together, as there is no double needle on these seams.


I confess, I took the jacket to a tailor for the buttonholes – my machine, and my nerves were not up to it.

I just want to say that this is now a TNT pattern, and I will be using it again and again, probably for the rest of my life. It’s a classic and stands the test of time.


September 3, 2007

Marfy #9865 – Finished

Filed under: Marfy,Pattern Reviews — phyllisc @ 2:20 pm

I’m happy with the way this shirt jacket turned out – even though Marfy is pretty much an Outward Bound sewing experience, the patterns are expertly cut and they fit together beautifully.   When I do tailored shirts like this, I turn into the Template Queen.  Years ago I learned the hard way that the only way I can really replicate the crisp look of RTW shirt details is to use templates.   I just can’t rely soley on my eyes and hands for neat and tidy details. 


There are a few design details on this shirt that really stand out:  the topstitched bellows pockets with flaps, and the epaulettes.  The beauty of a template is that each detail will look exactly the same – sure you do need to make them, but a piece of thin cardboard or a manila folder works fine and cutting them out takes just a few minutes of extra time.   Here are the templates I made for this project:

 The cardboard for these came from the back of  a legal pad  The big payoff with a template is nice crisp pressed edge for details such as patch pockets.   The only other tools you need are a piece of silk organza to use as a press cloth and some spray adhesive to hold the template to the wrong side of the fabric (spray the template, not the fabric.)  The template/fabric sandwich is placed right side down on a big piece of silk organza.  Grab the silk organaza and use it to pull the fabric over the edge of the template as you press down the edge with a hot iron and lots of steam.  Let the pressed piece cool completely and remove the template.

An Interesting Challenge

I must admit to being perplexed when I first saw the collar pieces.  The fact that there were two of them made sense – there is an upper and lower collar, and they are different sizes as you can see – but the stand incorporated into the collar really had me stratching my head.  The fashion illustration really looks like there is a separate collar stand, and in the end I decided that must be the case and seprated the two pieces (the photos below show them before they were cut apart.)

Another thing I do with a collar stand is to mark the stitching line all along the curve of the stand at center front – it’s just impossible to rely solely on my seam guide and still get a perfectly curved edge.  If I mark the seam line there’s no guesswork.


This is a 46 and when I orderd the pattern I used a Burda WOF size table to help me decide, and I erred on the small side.  Still, after I did a muslin it was clear I had to narrow the shoulders a full 1/2 inch on each side – I do have narrow shoulders but over all the shoulder and back width seems large to me: 16 1/2 inches across the shoulders.  I also shortend the waist a solid 2 inches and the sleeves 3/4 of an inch. The back was let out 2 inches below the hips and no adjustments had to be made for the front hip area.  The patch pockets were moved down a bit so they don’t hit me right at the waist.  The fabric is a Rayon Poly Stretch twill from Gorgeous Fabrics

So – on to another Marfy! My Fall/Winter 2007-08 catalog just arrived, and inspiration abounds.

August 17, 2007

Taking The Marfy plunge – #9865

Filed under: Marfy,Patterns — phyllisc @ 7:09 am

I’ve been hanging around the edges of Marfy for a while  now, and since most of the recent stuff from the Big 4 just bores me to tears I might as well go for something new.  All of those floaty, drapey, funky, peasent-y styles aren’t for me (even if I was a lithe 20-something it still wouldn’t be me.)  Whatever happened to sportswear and tailored clothing? But that’s a rant for another time.  Clearly I need a challenge so Marfy it is!  My first project is 9865, a sporty jacket-like shirt:

Marfy Tunic

My patterns  arrived yesterday; both were in this 5 x 7 inch envelope, neatly folded, each identified with a large sticker:

 Marfy envelope

Much to my surprise, and a big change from what I’ve read, is that Marfy evidently now provides a little more info than just simple notches.  The pattern pieces are rubber stamped with simple notations in four languages, and the center front piece even has button hole placement!  Notice though the pattern peices themselves are not identified, and the pattern number doesn’t appear either – I’ll have to add that info.  There are also lettered match points on the seams, much like the Bruda WOF numbering system:

A few pieces laid out

Marfy pattern notations 

Marfy has also thoughtfully noted fold lines for the pleat on the sleeve and pockets, and these are marked by hand in pencil.  The epalet looks at little strange, I might separate that piece.  Based on the pattern pieces, I’d say this is an upper intermediate pattern for difficulty (there is a stand collar.)  The fabric I’ll be using is this dark brown rayon poly twill from Gorgeous Fabrics, with umber colored topstitching and tortoise buttons.

This is a size 46, and I will definitely need to do adjustments, so I think I’ll do a machine thread traced muslin with extra wide seams and then use the altered muslin as the pattern for the fashion fabric.

Stay tuned!

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