Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Marfy Flounce Blouse #1251

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I finished the Marfy blouse I was altering the pattern for in my last post. I think the alterations were about right, although I had to take in the front from the waist down. This fabric also has a slight tendency to grow a bit, as it's so very loosely woven. It's a silk gauze with a "flocked" paisley design. It's from FabricMart, and I've had it quite a while. When it came, it was much darker than I'd thought it would be, and so although I still liked it and wanted to use it, it wasn't right for what I'd had in mind. I thought it fit the boho feel of this blouse, however, and it was very nice to work with.

The actual construction took me just a week, but the cutting out seemed to go very slowly for some reason. I used a loden silk organza for the interfacing, and I'm pretty pleased about how it doesn't really change the color of the fabric. Wherever there's interfacing however, there's also a facing or double layer of some kind, and so that changes the color anyway.

The sleeve "cuffs" gave me some trouble in deciding just how to do them. They are not a real opening cuff, they simply are a narrow band above the sleeve flounce, which has a buttonhole through a doubled spot, which is then buttoned to the cuff a little further on. I've seen this before, I think in Roberta Carr's Couture book, but I've never actually made one.

Although I like this blouse, I don't think it's my best style. I have never felt comfortable in ruffles, and although these flounces don't bother me, and are better than actual ruffles, I'm really the more tailored type. I know that, and I should just stick with it. I like tailored things anyway. I plan to make this blouse again, but with the lapel on both sides and plain sleeves. I'll also skip the V in the hem.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Pattern Alterations

I'm altering a pattern for a blouse from Marfy #1251, which as you can see has a lapel on one side, and a flounce on the other. So, they give you both a left and a right front piece. I altered the side with the lapel, and will cut both sides from it, and cut off the lapel for the flounce side. You can see my FBA below, next to the unaltered flounce-side front piece.  

Since I bought the pattern in a size for my shoulders, besides altering from a 44 at the shoulders to a 48 for the bust, I also altered the sleeve, which was both too narrow and too short. The bottom edge seamline is the original length, as you attach a band and then a flounce, and I didn't want to have to redraft the flounce, which is of course, a spiral.
I'm beginning to cut this in a deep green silk gauze, which will be sort of a test, as if it fits well, I'd like to try it in a plaid or stripe, which will show the changing grainline on the flounces.

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Waterlilies & Terriers


I was so thrilled to find 2 waterlilies blooming at the same time in the small waterfall pond that I had to take a photo. I just put the yellow flag iris in with them this spring also, so they must be getting along well. The water seems to be extra clear and nice, which is what lots of plants is supposed to do for you, so it seems to be working.


The little dog checking out another pond is a new neighbor. His name is Fox, and he and his brother are now living next door. They're very friendly, extremely sweet, and almost completely silent. Their escape-proof gates are supposed to be here this weekend, but for now, they come visit now and then. We quite enjoy having them, and I put Fox in the back this morning, as he seemed determined to roam the neighborhood, and we are on a very busy street. He was happy here, and his family could open the gate and take him home when it was safe. He's a terrier although I'm not sure exactly what kind. Wire-haired perhaps. His hair is pretty wiry.

I've also been playing with a borrowed Roomba. It's a little round robot vacuum cleaner, and it's quite fun. The cat is not so thrilled however. I'm not sure if I'll get one, but maybe if there's a good sale sometime, I could justify it.
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Monday, May 14, 2007

I Have a Wagon!


I am the proud owner of a lovely wagon! This is the wagon my mother has used for quite a few years as a substitute for a wheelbarrow in the garden. I always hoped to find one like it, but for the time being, a wheelbarrow was working fine for me. With my shoulder injury last year, the wheelbarrow became difficult if not impossible to handle, and when my mother offered me her wagon, I jumped at it.

It's fairly large, as you can see, and not new, but very well made and pretty well cared for. It's been painted numerous times, and is a deep blue at the moment. It even has a piece of carpeting cut to fit the bed. The cat found it to be the perfect napping spot in very short order.

And since it's Mother's Day today, here's my Mom.
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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Second Marfy Tank 9829

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I cut out another Marfy Tank after I finished the first one, and it was just as quick and easy, and I think, successful. This is a very, very thin knit with almost a crepey feel to it. Sheer if you hold it up, but it doesn't look sheer at all on the body. It was also a $1/yard knit from Wal-Mart. It's not what I usually would choose, but I really like it for this. I did the Twisted Binding again, and I think it was even more successful in a thinner fabric. I can hardly wait to try it in a sheer woven on something.

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I cut the binding strips sort of on the bias this time, following the stripes in the fabric, as I wanted mostly pink to show. I also did a straight hem, adding about 2 1/2" to the length, and then ruched the sides just a bit with elastic.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Twisted Binding

I thought I'd just tell you how to do the twisted binding. I saw it at a seminar, as I said.

  • Make binding strips, and mark across the strip on the wrong side every inch (or so; test to see what you like).

  • Stitch the binding to garment, RST.

  • Turn the binding to the inside, and instead of matching the markings evenly, match the end of one mark to the beginning of the next, so each mark is shifted ahead one inch, or one mark.

  • You may want to baste this before stitching in the ditch from the front.

This will make the binding twist in a decorative way. This is especially cute with a contrast binding. I think you also get a better effect with a fairly thin binding fabric.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Silly Pink Tank Top

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I finished a quickie project last night. It's Marfy #9829, one of the free patterns from the Spring 2006 catalog, a tank top or shell to be made in either a knit or a woven, for which you add a side zipper. This was just a prototype, and I like it quite a bit. I hadn't thought about it before, but I guess I don't think of shells as being made from knits, otherwise that's what I would call this. I like the shaped hem too, which I wasn't sure I would. I used a twisted binding technique for the neckline and armscyes. This was demonstrated at the Lyla Messinger seminar I attended, and was one of the things I knew immediately I would be trying. I think it would be even more interesting on a plain fabric, using a patterned sheer for the binding. Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with this. It can use a little tweaking, but this is going to be fun to wear this summer.

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Here's a side view.

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