A finished Ziggi..... and some Marfy goodness!
Finally!!! and I did actually wear this today just like this...60 degrees was the perfect temp, but it turns out its really really hard to photograph in any detail.
It took longer than it should of as I had some annoying issues with the collar. You know those garments where you can see something is not quite right but are unable to figure out exactly what it is?
I ended up closing the door on my sewing room for a few days and taking a break. Staring at it was not helping...and It finally occurred to me that because one of my shoulders is higher than the other, the entire collar end on the left needed to be sewn half an inch lower...effectively compensating for the higher shoulder and leaving both sides of the collar lining up correctly.
So anyway..the Ziggi...overall I really like this pattern, it has some gorgeous design lines and is super flattering, and for anyone who has made a jacket or two before, not that hard to put together (the instructions are not very helpful again though!)
Size wise, I ordered the 10 and found it to be quite big, there seems to be a lot of ease built into this jacket...I had made a muslin before I started, but with the amount of padding I included in the actual jacket it was hard to know just how to alter it before I started...so I kind of graded and fitted as I went along...
I've been hoarding a couple ofbeautiful Valentino silk and cotton fabric's for a few years, that I originally bought for a dress and a peplum. I'd never seen anything like it before or since, so I wanted to make sure this was used for the right project.
Unfortunately, I only had one yard of each design, so I had to plan the placement really well.
Susan tells me that this fabric is called a Fil coupe...the cut out is done by a machine which removes certain areas and then a under layer of organza is attached for support.
Its very soft and pliable, and feels a lot more silk than cotton...its so so beautiful.
Unfortunately, its not ideal for a jacket..... and it basically just ended up coming along for the ride but it looks mighty pretty!
I spent a few days trying to decide before I left for Baltimore what I would use for the padding. It finally foccurred to me that my tailoring felt would work well...its thin, very lightweight and flexible, the only issue was that I only had grey.
Thankfully, one of the lovely women in Baltimore had a cotton sheet that matched the Valentino colours perfectly (thanks Diane!!) so I was able to use this as a lining...
So my jacket has a total of four layers, the Fil coupe/raised design, a white organza underlining, the cream sheeting and the felt.
and while the felt gave it the look I wanted..... sewing it was not easy, I had to change needles every three seams or so, as the layers kept making the needles dull.
The quilting was fun though! although I was scared to death of marking the fabric....so there was a lot of trial and error with invisible pens :-)
The winner was the cheapest little pen from Jo-Annes, it disappeared with the smallest amount of water instantly.
Once I began the quilting, it became obvious really quickly that the fabric depth meant all the quilting lines were just sinking into the fabric and disappearing. Susan thankfully suggested running two threads into the needle, something I had not done before and it worked beautifully.
It made each line pop amazingly and really gave it the look I was after.
I also learnt a new way to add a facing to the pocket so that all the seaming could be hidden, while Style Arc had included a small tab, Susan suggested treating it more as a bound button to give the inside a neat clean finish and enclose the seams completely... I got a tutorial which was awesome..
Marking the side panel pocket placement...
Marking and sewing the lines..
Then I joined the side panel to the side front panel and pick stitched the zipper in, before sewing the pockets to the inside.
The sleeves were a real test in patience, the sleeve heads were four layers thick, joining the armseye (four layers thick) and they all needed to be basted for fitting and then sewn.
There was no way to use a sewing machine as there was just to much fabric to manipulate so the whole thing had to be sewn by hand...
I tried for an hour, and got half way around the first sleeve but I admit my fingers were not up to the task...I had to keep stopping to clean up the blood spots!
So I was incredibly grateful when Susan took pity on me, and used her iron fingers to get that needle around both sleeves in a perfect back stitch... and as they have been sewn on like a LFJ they fit perfectly. I swear they are beautiful!
You might have seen on Instagram that I ended up having to make the collar from scraps, I kind of knew that might happen so I had been saving every piece I trimmed.
and of course as none of it was in big enough sections I had to split the upper collar into three, and then join them together...luckily all the applique I sewed on kept the seams from showing.
The under collar was split in two and cut on bias, then lined with felt so it appeared as padded as the jacket.
Collar on finally...
So, once that was sewn and my fit issues resolved it was on to lining.....and I had a good one for this!
Its on my small dress form, as my real "me" one is broken, so its not looking its best, but I think the colours go so well with the outside fabric...as well as my magnolia tree! Its some stash charmeus Cavalli that I bought from Mood LA a few years ago. The print is huge and better suited to linings I've decided.
In summary - The ease in this pattern is generous and it definitely needs some fine tuning so you wear it so it does not wear you.
I left the back middle and side panels untouched but removed approx a inch off each side of the SF, middle front and front panels, I also added some shaping to the center front panels.
Because of the nature of my fabric I also found I needed to shorten the yoke by almost two inches. In a soft pliable fabric the yoke would curve nicely over the shoulder but mine was to stiff and thick. It sat on the top of my shoulder and pulled the front and back bodice away from my body.
Overall, its a really great jacket and I have worn it a few times already ....I'm also happy to share that there seems to be some kind of repellent on the very light cream fabric as it remains as pristine as the day it walked out of Mendel Goldberg!
MARFY FREE PATTERN SEW ALONG PICS :-)
I'm a little behind on sharing these, they would have got lost in the last two posts so I held off but am very happy to share them today!
Silvia had started making this skirt when she came across my blog and decided to incorporate some of the suggestions from the sew along into her garment...thank you! :-)
She tells me she does not sew for herself, so she really enjoyed this and thought it was a fun project.
and that she usually drafts all her own patterns for her husband and kids (wow!) This was her first commercial pattern and she agrees that Marfy are very intuitive and easy to work with..yey!
Her lovely fabric is a stash jersey, and I just love it, its got a beautiful Spring feel to it, so bright and cheerful...and the fit is incredibly flattering.
Anne tells me she used a fabric bought from Metro textiles for her blouse, and says this was a practice run for the pattern, but I honestly don't think this could be called a wearable muslin in any context.
She mentioned that she used Sullivans stabilizer to help control the fabric while sewing, which is new to me and says it worked really well and was easily removed.
Anne says "she used a pick stitch to sew the inside collar and the dart for the back opening, another great technique, although I did a catch stitch on raw edges as they seemed like they would fray a bit with this fabric. I also used a catch stitch for the bias bindings on the arms, another great tip. No elastic at the bottom. And french seams for all the seams. This is a wonderful pattern for future projects! "
Its gorgeous and that fabric print is amazing!
Thank you both again!
I'll keep this as short as possible! as this is already such a long post but I did want to mention that when Marfy released their new catalog earlier this year, I recieved a lot of emails regarding their reduced sizing availablility.... we all kind of had a pity party about the decision....
Most patterns are now only available in a 42, 46 and 50...which for a perfect size 44 like me is frustrating, to have to grade a pattern when you are already spending $$ and having them shipped from Italy is a lot to ask.
and so I did reach out to Alessia at Marfy a few weeks ago, because I wanted to order more patterns but was concerned about altering them properly. Their drafting is very concise and in some cases complicated, and my pattern skills are strictly amatuer at best.
She was, as always, incredibly helpful and assured me that it can be done and easily....they do include a guide in their catalogs to help with this, but for all those who do not have a catalog, she has also kindly sent it to me in PDF form to share.
Unfortunately Typepad, my blog platform does not support pdf files ( I know!) so I am including most of the pages below...I will also add them to the Marfy info section in the menu bar for future reference.
(If you would like a copy of this pdf, leave me a comment or send me a email and I'll get one over to you)
and based on this, I did buy lots of new patterns, some in a 42, some in a 44 and some in 46. I thought I would try their guide as the year progresses and see how I get on, (it looks simple which makes me wonder if their fantastic drafting helps simplify the process?).......but I'm always looking to improve my skills so we shall see if it works!.....and I will get pics up in the Projects section this week of all the new patterns I bought, its a good selection.
Wishing everyone a lovely week!
I'll be back Monday with sew along supplies, dates etc.