In an earlier post I mentioned that Marfy had three free patterns that one could download. While the Sew Along that prompted me to download these patterns indicated that they did not have a significant amount of ease, I was quite surprised when I found I had to take 4″ off the side seams of the blouse: and I didn’t even add any seam allowance as advised since the pattern does not incorporate said allowance.
Now to be fair, I had never used a european sized pattern before, so I figured I measured wrong. So, I decided to give the skirt pattern a try. I measured me once, I measured me twice, I reviewed that pattern several times and clearly marked the size I needed. This time, since I felt I had chosen the proper size; I decided to follow the instructions and add my 5/8″ seam allowance. You know what? I STILL had to chop off 4″ from the side seams of the skirt! UGH! Either I am doing something terribly wrong, or the patterns have a LOT more ease than the Sew Along lady indicated.
I also did NOT add any length to the pattern for hemming (thank goodness!) as it turned out – I turned up 2″ for the hem so the skirt hits me just above the knee. NOTE: Pattern description indicates that the skirt should hit above the knee, so I was surprised at the amount I had to turn up. Maybe the european ladies are significantly taller than my 5’6″ body. That said, I am “short waisted” and have very long legs, so I actually expected the length to work out great.
All in all – and with all honesty – I have been disappointed with my experiences with the Marfy patterns. Their style really isn’t anything out of this world and different from what I can obtain through the “big 4” pattern companies; they are more expensive (when you don’t find a free download); a bit of a pain in the behind to tape together from pages and pages of printouts from one’s home printer. If I am going to put that much time and effort into a pattern, I think I would prefer to give my own pattern drafting and altering/combining different patterns that I already own together. 🙂
So, here is the skirt – I used “pleather” (can this be considered a wearable muslin for a leather garment? – Maybe so…) that I had picked up from the remnant bin at my local Joann’s fabric store. All in all, after taking the skirt in several times to get the fit right, I am actually happy with the finished product. Although I am considering adjusting the side seams a bit more around the hips, as it feels like the shape/cut doesn’t follow my body form quite right.
I couldn’t tell where the zip was supposed to be (as the Marfy pattern has NO constuction instructions), so upon looking at the pics, it appeared that the zip was on the side. So, when I cut out the pattern, I cut it on the fold for both the back and front pieces (all while thinking – this is going to be such an easy sew! NOT). So late in the evening of sering I tore out the side zip that wasn’t working well at all and decided to just cut the back piece down the middle to make a back seam with invisible zip, and went to bed for the night
TIP: Never cut your garment pieces when it is late and you are tired! I got up the next day I got up and looked at what I had done, only to discover I cut the FRONT piece down the middle! Oh well, I said to myself, my skirt will now have 4 pieces, seam in front and seam w/zip in back. This actually was helpful, because, well as noted above the skirt was too big anyway, so taking a 5/8″ seam in the front turned into a “godsend”, if you know what I mean. 🙂
To add some “professional” detail to the skirt, I top stitched the front and back seams (I left the side seams alone so I could use those to take the skirt in as needed – I am also concerned the pleather will stretch out and will need to be taking this skirt in again in the future). I understitched the waist seam to the waist facing, and then decided to also topstitch the waist to keep evening in place. A good decision and I like the end result.
Now for the pleats on the side, After all the fitting issues I just decided to go with an easy open seam on each side, nothing fancy. Top stitched around them to keep the seam allowances down, measured, sewed down the hem with a top stitch as well, and then cut the excess pleather off the hem.
The third pattern I downloaded from Marfy is a jacket. After looking at the jacket, I decided I would not be making this garment. It looks way to boxy for me, and am sure I would not only be disappointed with the end garment, but would be totally frustrated trying to construct the darn thing.
Final thoughts – as much as I would love to support the independent pattern makers around the world, well, my frugality and current experiences dictate, and I highly doubt I will be venturing down this path much in the future. It will have to be a really really really fab pattern where I cannot find a similar one from the Big 4. (sorry folks!)