Burda 04/2016 #122 Dress

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In a previous post about Burda 04/2016 #122 I mentioned that the lining pattern could easily be used to create a simple sheath dress. That’s what I’ve done here.

The fabric I used is a stretchy viscose/lycra crepe I bought from Sawyer Brook last June. It is a mid-weight suiting with a very luxurious drape, not unlike 4-ply silk crepe. If you do a Google image search for “milly paint splatter” you can see the skirt and crop top the designer used it for.

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I stabilized the armholes and neckline with Design Plus straight stay tape, and the center back where the zipper is sewn with Design Plus superfine straight tape. The neck/armhole facing was interfaced with lightweight Pro-Tricot Deluxe from Fashion Sewing Supply. The back vent was stabilized with the lightweight Pro-Sheer Elegance, also from Fashion Sewing Supply. I was going to line this with a stretch silk, but during fitting I found that it wasn’t necessary.

When I traced the pattern for this I omitted the swayback alteration I did last time – I suspect I don’t need it with Burda patterns, though it is hard to tell with this print! Since I omitted the swayback alteration I also removed the 1/2″ of extra length I added at the center back hem.

At first I added a back vent, with a 1 5/8″ hem. Then after I tried it on I realized that I had forgotten to deepen the hem allowance on the pattern – oops! I ended up undoing the 1 5/8″ blind hem in favor of a 1/2″ stitched hem. Since I mitered the hem at the vent I had to piece in a scrap of fabric at the center back. Fortunately this fabric is so busy that the small pieced-in section is practically invisible. Since the new hem was much narrower than the original one I also ended up omitting the center back vent completely. This fabric is so stretchy that it turns out I didn’t need it at all.

Marfy Pattern FAQs

It seems like lately I’ve been getting emails about Marfy patterns, so I thought that rather than reply the same questions over and over again I would just publish it in a post. This is meant to piggy-back off of my Marfy primer post. If you have any other questions, please post them as a comment and I’ll respond there. I just feel it is more helpful and efficient for everyone this way!

I see a Marfy pattern I like, but it isn’t listed on their website. How do I get it?

Use the contact form on Marfy’s website. In your message tell them “I would like to buy the following pattern(s)” and indicate the pattern number(s) and size(s) you want. Also include your full mailing address (including country), your preferred shipping method, and your email address. Marfy will calculate the total and send a Paypal money request (in Euros) to the email address you provide.

If you are in the United States you can also order them through Nancy Erickson. Nancy offers shipping specials about once a quarter, so if you want to order a bunch of patterns (and aren’t in a rush) this will help you save on shipping. (Karen just informed me in the comments that Nancy is now retired, and will no longer be shipping Marfy patterns.)

Why should I buy the catalog?

Marfy is primarily a paper-based pattern company. They publish only a small selection of patterns online. If you want to view the entire collection you need to buy the catalog. The catalog gives you big, beautiful pattern illustrations with lots of detail. Since Marfy patterns do not include instructions (or a pattern envelope) you will need this illustration to help you figure out construction.

The catalog includes free patterns in multiple sizes. If you are new to Marfy, buying the catalog will allow you to experiment with sizing (and find out what kinds of alterations you may need) before you commit to buying patterns.

How do I get a Marfy catalog?

Marfy publishes an annual Spring/Fall catalog which usually ships out in January. I’m not sure what the publishing schedule is for the bridal catalogs, but those are updated on a far less frequent basis (I’m guessing around once a decade). You can get the catalogs from Vogue or directly from Marfy.

Marfy allows you to pre-order the newest catalog sometime in December. The advantage to pre-ordering is that they usually offer a limited time reduced shipping rate.

I am a size XYZ in the Big Four/RTW. What size Marfy pattern should I buy?

Refer to the Marfy size chart. Keep in mind that Marfy is a lot like Burda and Style Arc in that the ease is slim, so for the best accuracy I recommend taking your measurements in centimeters instead of inches. To give you an idea of how the Italian sizes match up to other brands I am a dress size 42 in Marfy, 38 in Burda and Ottobre, and 8 in Style Arc.

If you are the less adventurous type then definitely order one of their catalogs and experiment with the free patterns first. Many of their styles have design lines that can make alterations very tricky, so again, it is very important to use the free patterns to find out what kinds of alterations you may need before you start buying patterns.

Something else to keep in mind is that not all Marfy patterns come in all sizes. (I suspect it has something to do with the fact that they are a small company and produce a catalog with about 200 new styles a year.) I’m extremely fortunate in that as a size 42, just about every Marfy pattern comes in my size. I think 46 is the other most common size.

Fall 2016 Wrap Dresses: Burda 09/2006 #114

This post is mostly to document some recent projects I’ve made using my much-beloved Burda 09/2006 #114 wrap dress pattern. I now have a total of eight in my wardrobe! Since this dress requires a minimum of three yards of 60″ fabric I’ve also freed up some stash storage space.

Previous versions: gray silk jersey, complete with shoulder epaulettes and pocket flaps and black silk jersey floral print.

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For most of the dresses I skipped the flaps and epaulettes (along with the sleeve tabs). I feel like they are more timeless with just a collar. I used the medium Pro-Sheer Elegance interfacing for the upper collar and lightweight Pro-Sheer Elegance for the under collar and neck facing. For the silk jersey and matte viscose jersey dresses I sewed in hanging loops made from 3/16″ cotton twill tape to the underarms. (ITY doesn’t wrinkle so I didn’t bother for either of those dresses.)

I found that construction went faster and I seemed less tired after they were done when I went about things like an assembly line vs completing one dress at a time start to finish. I cut out the dresses over the span of two days (cutting takes about 30 minutes per dress). Then I spent another day doing the fusing and serger work, which takes around 20-30 minutes and consistes of finishing the edge of the neck facings and sewing/pressing the long edges of the tie belt pieces. I then focused on sewing the rest of the dress (around two hours and 15 minutes per dress), excluding hemming. I then set up my coverstitch machine and hemmed all the sleeves and skirt hems over the span of the next few days. Between pressing up the hems and actually sewing them on the coverstitch machine takes around 15 minutes.

This eggplant dress was made from a silk jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics. I bought it four years ago! Wide width silk jerseys that are both reasonably priced and in colors I like can be difficult to find, so when I come across one I like I buy it and stash it.

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This red dress was made from a crimson ITY knit from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Ann’s description of it being a “rich deep color that will look great against so many skin tones” is so accurate! I dislike buying red fabrics online because so many of them have overly warm or orange undertones, which look hideous against my cool toned complexion. This one is one of the most neutral red fabrics I’ve come across. As you might have noticed in the photo I like to wear it with lots of gold toned jewelry.

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The black dress is also an ITY from Gorgeous Fabrics.

It is just like the crimson ITY in both weight and behavior (great drape without being clingy and presses well). This is my go-to little black dress. (And yes, I always wear it with those heels!)

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I am not the biggest fan in the world of polyester, but I wanted to add some dresses in my wardrobe that I could just throw into the washing machine and put on in the morning without having to worry about pressing. This ITY knits have the advantage of being more durable, resistant to shrinkage, and colorfast than silk jersey. I’m really impressed with them – they have a nice, heavy drape and don’t seem to be as bad with static cling as other ITYs I’ve come across. Highly recommend!

This navy dress was made from a matte viscose jersey, also from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Like my ITY fabrics it was a more recent purchase. I’m not entirely thrilled with how this one came out. I machine washed and dried it, and somehow it grew after cutting. Just before I hemmed it I washed it on hot and machine dried it on high, and it seemed like it helped shrink it down a little, but it is still a little too big. Not sure if I’m going to keep this one or not…

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This black dress was made from a wool sweater knit I purchased from Fabric Mart’s “Julie’s Picks” swatch club more than four years ago. For this one I included the front pocket flaps and shoulder epaulettes. I also made the sleeves full length.

 

It is a medium weight sweater knit. I would describe the weight as being comparable to a thick cotton interlock.

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I made this dress sometime last winter but just got around to photographing it now. I’m mostly including it in this post so you can see how the dress looks when made up in a fabric like this. Unfortunately it is too warm to wear to work (my current office is 72—77°F most days during the winter). In addition to the drape being rather meh (which I anticipated) the fabric also attracts pet hair like a magnet! Always good to have a warm semi-casual dress at hand though, so I’m going to keep it just in case.