Lagniappe, courtesy of Marfy

MarfyFreePatternsHere in Louisiana, Lagniappe is that little something extra.  That’s exactly what I found in my email inbox yesterday!

Marfy is offering three free pdf patterns to their newsletter subscribers.   What a fantastic way to try their patterns.

Being in the United States, shipping costs can be a bit dear when ordering.  If that has stopped you from ordering a Marfy pattern in the past, this is a great opportunity.

Marfy patterns are cut without seam allowance.  Although I learned to sew using the seam allowance as most US patterns are drafted, I recently moved towards marking the seam instead and have found it really works well.  It is becoming my favorite way of marking fabric to sew.  I love that I can leave extra fabric in the seam allowance in those problem areas.  If an adjustment is needed, I know I have that extra fabric there to play with.

Also, another note on shipping costs.  I recently ordered a catalog and three patterns from Marfy.  The shipping cost on the catalog is just as expensive as the catalog itself.  By combining the catalog and patterns, you can save on the shipping cost of the patterns.  And the catalog always includes free patterns which is pretty awesome.

So jump over to Marfy and sign up for the newsletter.  You can then take advantage of these great patterns and fall in love with Marfy yourself.

Just curious … which is your favorite pattern maker?  and why?  I have always been a Vogue girl myself, but I am falling pretty hard for Marfy.

Latest on the Little French Jacket

My grandsons have been keeping me busy this week and I haven’t been able to work on my LFJ muslin.  I’ve been trying to shop for trim and play with design instead.  There is no really good resource for trim here and I really hate to order online since trim can look so different once it is in.  This is what I have come up with so far locally.

LBJ Navy Trim Collage

The first is a light brown gimp that’s laid on a gray rickrack ribbon.  The choices on the right are two identical trim, one in silver and one in a silver/gold mix.  Of the two I’m leaning toward the silver and gold.  It appears very gold in this photo, but I think in person the mix comes thru better and picks up the two tone on the buttons.  The silver is a little bright on that navy…not bad, but it would have to be a deliberate choice.

And I’m still trying to find a good fitting muslin.  I’m cutting out the Vogue 7975, which so many are using, and another Marfy 2252.  I’m paying more attention to bust, shoulder and chest measurements and comparing to pattern pieces.

The Marfy 2252 came with the 2010 catalogue and has princess seems like the French jacket.  It does appear to be built for shoulder pads, so I will be taking that into account and altering that out.


Fitting Pattern CollageOn the left is the Marfy front.  You may be able to see my alterations.  I’ve redrawn the bust to add approximately 3/4″ and vertically sliced the pattern to the right of the grain line and added about 3/4″ there as well.

On the right is the Vogue 7975.  The bust measurements are okay which means the shoulders are going to be too large.  You can see that I have moved that shoulder line in to allow that seam to create a dart.  The double lines you are seeing are the seam line which I have marked and the patterns cut lines.  While I learned to sew using the cut line and sewed that way for decades, I have really grown to enjoy   working from the seam line instead.  I have found I have much better results with seams coming together.

I’ve taken the day off today and Monday and will be working again on those muslins.  I’m really ready to start working with the fabric.

More to come.

(Hashtag for this sew along is #LittleFrenchJacketSewAlong)

Make the Clothes that Make the Woman

I just tripped over this post at PatternVault and had to share. Love this vintage look and how the basic pattern lines are shown. Hope you enjoy, Ramona.


The slogan for McCall’s Patterns in the mid-1950s was “Make the clothes that make the woman.” The advertising campaign with this slogan shows two identical women, one dressed in McCall’s pattern pieces, the other in the finished garment. It’s a charming campaign from the Golden Age of Advertising. Here’s a selection, in roughly chronological order:

This ad from 1956 shows the model enjoying a fresh strawberry at a party. (Could it be a strawberry social?) The pattern is McCall’s 3562:

The September ad shows Dovima on a trip to Paris, before a mustachioed gendarme. The pattern is McCall’s 3785 by Givenchy:

Another travel-themed ad shows McCall’s 3790 with some whimsically stacked luggage:

This 1957 ad featuring McCall’s 3952 shows a well-dressed tug-of-war:

This Valentine’s Day-themed ad appeared in Vogue’s March 1957 issue. (The pattern is McCall’s 3967.) The model is Suzy Parker:

This spring ad shows McCall’s 4046 by…

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Second choice for French jacket…


Little French Sew Along in progress!

The fabric ordered from Mood last week finally arrived.  The lining is actually inexpensive for a silk charmeuse at $14/yard, and it is as beautiful as I had hoped it would be.  The navy boucle is listed as mid-weight, but I would consider it more of a mid-lightweight.   I’m really pleased with the combination.

Marfy 2417_01I’m working on a toile of Marfy 2417 and I am really liking the fit.  It doesn’t have princess seams to the shoulder as recommended for the French jacket, but curves into the armscye.   I want to try one more Marfy with princess seams before making a final decision.

I have read comments by other bloggers talking about the excess ease in Vogue patterns.  Since I’ve grown up sewing with Vogue I really didn’t give it a lot of thought.  Now I’m wondering if I should start with a smaller size in Vogue and fit up.  When younger I never used a size based on measurements but always used a couple sizes smaller.  I’m not ready to give up on Vogue 8804 yet.

So now I’m running a week late on the SAL.  I should have the toile complete and it is definitely still in process, and I should have the fabric thread-traced and cut.   I will have to work on it this weekend and see if I can catch up.  This is a jacket I would love to do well, so I’m not getting in a hurry.

You should check out the blog posts by Inna and Leisa.  They are listed here and are packed with some great information on preparing for this jacket.  These ladies are really doing a first class job on this sew along.

Melanie of PoppyKettle was lucky enough to spend two weeks with Susan Khalje and has quite a few blog posts about the experience.  It has been fun following along.

Sarah of GoodbyeValentino also attended a week with Susan and sewed a French jacket.  You should see it.  It is just beautiful.

I also found RedPointTailor through this sew along and have really enjoyed her blog.  So many talented people out there.

Bad thing is I have totally caught the sewing bug (for clothes) and have spent WAY TOO MUCH moolah!  The American Express card has gotten grounded and sent to a corner.

Is is fun to be excited about what you do, though.  😀

So what about you?  What are you working on and excited about?  I’d love to know.


Blogroll for LBJ:


Very little sewing unfortunately…

I haven’t sewn as much as I wanted this weekend.  I haven’t sewn as much as I wanted for weeks now!  I’m beginning to go into withdrawal.

Saturday was our modern quilt guild meeting.  Northeast Louisiana (NELA) guild met yesterday and we had a lot of fun.  After the meeting we all stayed and worked on different projects.  One was binding, one was paper piecing, another was working on cathedral window blocks and I was marking pieces from templates in preparation of hand piecing more oriental star blocks.

Marfy 2417_01My muslin for the French jacket sew along has been adapted a bit, but it is still not in final form.  And to top that, I have purchased a couple more patterns!  I’ve actually cut a muslin for Marfy 2417.  I really wanted to see how the Marfy fit compared to the Vogue 8804.  The neckline on this one is different of course from the traditional Chanel style jacket, but I’m thinking I might actually like this dropped collar neckline for my red boucle.

2013 10 Misc Collage

Now if I could only find a lining for that red boucle!  I’ve ordered samples.  And can I say Mood in New York was awesome about matching a sample I sent to them.  I worked with a lady named Lisle who was wonderful.  She was very sweet to work with and sent some fabulous fabric choices.

Most were crepe de chine and I have my heart set on Charmeuse, which is proving a problem.  Do you see the dark fabric at the top right of the photo… it appears black/chocolate brown with watercolor flowers?  It is a silk twill that is just beautiful.  I keep trying to think of something to make from it just to have the excuse to order it.

I’m narrowing the choice down to these three (not the best photo….cropped a bit too much.  The crepe de chine top left is actually a good choice for this fabric.  There is a blue thread running through the selvage that is almost periwinkle.  I would love to use the selvage in the trim and keep trying to pick up that color in the lining.

I got the purple / oyster sample (bottom left) from, and for some reason I keep going back to it.  It is a charmeuse and the price is a bit dear.  Friday they released a 20% discount which makes it easier to bear.  I just haven’t made my mind up!

I’ve actually ordered from Mood a navy boucle and a coordinating charmeuse as backup.  We’re supposed to be cutting fabric this week.  I guess it’s just as well I don’t have my muslin finished since my fabrics aren’t ready.

And this is my recent haul from Marfy.  I wanted the 2010 catalogue for the free patterns shown below.  I love the blue jacket with the simple collar and the tie blouse.

At the same time, I picked up a couple french jacket styles as well as a simple top.

The very worst thing about shopping fabrics for a specific project, is that I get sidetracked and end up buying more fabric!!  Britex had some of their wool on sale and I picked up a couple pieces for slacks that I need.  One is a worsted wool and they both have a wonderful crisp feel.  Their service and delivery was excellent!  The order shipped the same day the order placed.

While in Hancock’s Fabrics in town, I noticed they had some 100% wool pieces…on sale … and picked up a few there as well.  The top piece is lightweight with a brushed flannel feel.  Very soft hand.  The next two are a navy and brown lightweight wool with a crisp hand.

I need to sew these up before they end in my stash gathering dust!!

2013 10 Patterns CollageSo today, I finally got busy cutting muslins with plans to get some of this done.

There was a muslin for the Marfy French jacket I mentioned earlier.

This slacks pattern by Claire Shaeffer.

And a Cynthia Rowley top I’ve had in my file for a while.

My goal is to get those sewn up in the next two days.  Once I have a slacks pattern that works, I plan to sew up a few pair out of this new wool.

This feels like a long post today, and I’m leaving so much out!  I haven’t covered some of the books I’ve bought lately.  I’ll have to throw those in on another post.