My first Marfy pattern – and there really is no excuse for not finishing this a long time ago. Despite the silk chiffon, this is one easy and well-designed pattern. One UFO done! (And I’m already looking at other chiffon and georgette in my stash for another version of this pattern.)
This pattern is a free trial from Marfy – though you have to register to get to the pattern and description. From the Marfy website:
- Fabric required: about mt. 0.80 wide 1.40.
- Free sewing patterns to download available in sizes 42 to 58.
- This soft top has a blousy hemline with drawstring and inset armholes, the ring collar holds a light gathering. Suggested fabric: Jersey, crêpe de chine, chiffon or satin.
- It can be combined with the jacket 1756 and the skirt 0757.
- Style Tips
The top is a passepartout that is great for day and evening occasions, depending on fabric chosen. In the description we suggested jersey, crêpe de chine, satin or chiffon…this last one would fit perfectly with the tailleur, single color or in fantasy just like the jacket lining.
The chiffon fabric has the ideal lightness and hand for this top, it falls great without “swelling” at gathering and, due to the fact that the pattern covers neck and decolleté, it’s nice and slightly sexy to have a transparency on them.
Some tips about Marfy: they don’t have pictures, line drawings or directions with the download. I recommend printing one or two of the views from the website for reference. Marfy patterns don’t come with seam allowances, facings, etc, so plan for that. Marfy basically allows you to use your knowledge of sewing to come up with your own sewing plan. That having been said, the pattern is well marked, and if you read the pattern well, everything is there to put this together successfully.
So what did I do? I used a vintage-y looking dusty black floral silk chiffon from Emma One Sock in 2015. I first talked about it here in January 2016. I cut a size 44 (I wear a 12 usually in Vogue). And because this was silk chiffon, I was terrified. After all, silk chiffon has a notorious reputation. At the time, I felt that I had to stitch this thing BY HAND to control the fabric. I did the back slit opening, shoulders and collar this way before setting this aside. When I came back to it this week, I finished with the machine (though not completely).
Silk Chiffon? Not so scary. Three issues:
- The grain is shifty. I found this mostly to be a problem with laying out and cutting, and less so during construction. The grain shifted some in my collar, so I’ll have to do better next time. Sewing by machine on the straight grain (with the narrow hole presser foot) was a breeze.
- It snags easily – a very delicate fabric. This version won’t last long, and I’ve snagged it in many places. It’s not easy to see, but I know it’s there. New pins, new needles (size 8 sharp for the machine needle) and watch those finger nails and scissors.
- It frays to look at it. No really, it does. I didn’t try fray block or anything else, but would entertain other sewers suggestions here.
Sewing choices I made:
- I used french seams for the shoulders (by hand) and side seams (by machine and very narrow).
- I decided against the drawstring/elastic casing at the waist, preferring a narrow, machine stitch hem. A hand-rolled hem probably would look better. I am considering the casing for a future version, as it is very chic (in the idealized drawing).
- I used the bound slit tutorial from Frabjous Couture for the neckline slit, and adapted it to bind the armholes. Both were done by hand. Unfortunately, she did not move her tutorials to her new blog – and she doesn’t seem to be blogging anymore. I’m considering using silk charmeuse to bind the armholes, slit, and hem on a future version.
- I used small black snaps to close the collar, though on a firmer fabric (or more interfacing), a button/button hole combination would be nice.
- I interfaced the collar with black silk organza. With the chiffon, perhaps two layers would be better.
- I used three rows of hand-done running stitches for the gathering (using silk thread). I can never get gathers perfectly even. These are better than my usual, but I still need more practice.
Order of construction:
- The bound slit in the back.
- Attach front/back at shoulders.
- Gathers to the front.
- Construct the collar and attach to the neckline (be sure to leave the tabs on either side).
- Stitch front to back at side seams.
- Narrow hem.
- Bind the arm holes.
- Snaps on the neckline tabs.
Fit: I did a muslin for this (but can’t find it and it was 18 months ago), but fit issues always come up in the fashion fabric as well. I had hoped to tuck this in, but it is a little short to do so. I usually add length to the torso with the Big 4; I’ll do so in the next version. The armscye is a bit tight, and it’s a tad too fitted through the upper chest and back – I could go up a 1/2 size. I have a small neck – anyone with a larger neck will want to take this into account.
Overall: I like this pattern! The chiffon is very light and comfortable. Yes, it’s sheer, but with the dark fabric it’s not as obvious. It’s relatively easy – a basic to be sure, dressed up or down by the print or fabric.