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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Have you seen a Marfy pattern?

About a week ago, the two Marfy patterns that I ordered arrived, and I couldn't help myself.  Even though I have chosen 1776

for my formal dress, I whipped up 2608
in about 4 days.  I didn't even make a muslin, which I probably should have.  I've had success with Marfy pattern drafting in the past, though, so I went for it, and it turned out great with only minor adjustments along the way.  More to come about that dress after I get photos on me today, but for now, here are quick hanger shots.

The real purpose of this post is to show you what a Marfy pattern looks like.  You may have read the description on the website, which includes in large type

"Alert! These patterns are for experienced sewers only. Expert level sewing skills are recommended for those interested in sewing with Marfy sewing patterns.

• Do not have cutting layouts
• Do not have seam allowances
• Do not have hem allowances
• Do not have instructions for assembly"

I have to say that I think my sewing skills have progressed into "Advanced" territory, but I wouldn't consider myself an expert.  There are still so many things I don't know how to do, or have read about but haven't tried, but I am telling you, Marfy patterns aren't that hard!  Each online pattern description gives you a rough idea of yardage requirements and suitable fabrics, and the only other obstacle is no instructions.  You just need to have enough experience sewing to know the general order of construction.  Past that, you can use books and other patterns to help you, if needed.

Ok, on to the photos.  This is the other pattern I ordered, 1776.  Only the bodice is included in this pattern.  You would need to use a separate skirt pattern.  The pattern arrives folded in a nice little rectagle, bottom left.  That's all you get.  :-)  I store each of my Marfys in a Ziploc bag with a printout of the drawing from the website, so I can remember what they look like.

I had already opened this pattern before taking these photos, so I refolded the pieces.  It gives you a general idea of what you'd see.  If you have any individual pattern pieces large enough, a big one will be used as the "envelope."  For instance, in my Marfy 2608, shown above, the "envelope" was one of the skirt pieces.  For this bodice, no pieces are large enough,  so the "envelope" is just a rectangle of paper.

Here are all of the pattern pieces unfolded.

I've zoomed in on one piece to show you all of the markings.  They don't tell you what this piece is.  All they give you is some letters to match up between pieces and a few cryptic instructions in four languages.  The bottom and top instructions say (in English, on the third line) "fold inside" with a line.
 To help myself visually see where everything goes, I fold along the lines per the instructions.  Once seam allowances are added and sewn together, you can see this will actually be a tube.
 I always lay out my Marfys to see what's going on.  This helps me know how to cut everything out and what kind of seam allowances to add.  By the way, the instruction "whole half-front on the grain" means "cut on the fold."  "Whole" in this instruction is a verb.  You are supposed to "make whole" this pattern piece which is "half of a front."  Clear as mud?

Here are all of the pattern pieces laid out, letters matched.  The piece I folded above is laid on top of everything so you can see all of the pieces...
 ... but it actually goes here, forming the lovely little bust shelf.  Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's not really the right term.
The point of this is to show you that Marfy patterns aren't that different from what you're used to.  They just don't have instructions and you have to add your own seam allowances.  I love Marfys for their interesting patterns, and the challenge they can present.  Go on - check them out.  They are more expensive than $4 Vogues at JoAnn (which I love as much as the next seamstress!) but I think it's worth it for some variety. 

Just in case you're wondering, this isn't any kind of ad to get you to try Marfy.  I don't get anything for you checking them out.  Marfy has no clue who I am.  :-)


Clearwater Creations said...

Wow, I'd never seen those before. I followed your link and looked at some of them. They look 'interesting' and challenging. But since they require a bunch of measurements, they might fit (me) better than some of the other brands. I always end up altering them like crazy.


Rachel said...

Thank you so much for showing this. I have always been scared of Marfy because of having no instructions, but actually seeing one takes some of the fear away.

Emily said...

I would love to try a marfy...but I'm never sure where to start! Thanks for the post!

Lois Evensen said...

My goodness, Marfy patterns do just about everything they can to keep people from using them!

kaydee11 said...

Hi Jenny,
That's going to be a beautiful dress! I have a couple of questions about your pattern. It only has the bodice pieces, so where will you get the skirt pattern pieces? Did you know the skirt pieces were not included when you ordered it?
I appreciate your information on the Marfy's because I have wondered about them. Thanks.