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explain Marfy patterns to me

fabricholic | Posted in Patterns on

Hi Everybody,

I love the look of Marfy patterns, but my level of sewing is not experienced. If Marfy patterns do not have seam allow., hem allow., cutting layouts, or instruction assembly, what does it have in the envelope?


Edited 10/17/2006 11:42 am ET by fabricholic


  1. littlejs | | #1

    Great question!  I haven't heard of this type of pattern.  Where did you hear about them.  Kate of littlejs

    1. fabricholic | | #2

      Hi Littlejs,Go to http://www.voguepatterns.com and you will see Marfy. They are Italian Designs. I love all the details, but I probably couldn't sew them if they don't having any instructions. I don't understand what they do have.Marcy

      1. littlejs | | #4

        Hi, I checked out the site.  It appears to me that they create your pattern when ordered after you choose a size or they already have several made in a few sizes.  You would need to check out their sizing chart to see what size to order as it is in the metric system versus US.  If you have sewn a long time, you should be able to create a lovely garment without too much trouble.  The only question I would have is that they have eliminated the "straight of grain" line.  If you could line a similar US pattern up with one of theirs, it would help tremendously.  Think of it as though you were making a pattern off a garment that you own.  You wouldn't have seam allowances, darts, or instructions available.  The manner of construction is in your head.  I would purchase a little extra fabric than is recommended in US patterns of similar design.  It might be fun to try! Kate

  2. sherryv | | #3

    Hi Marcy,

    What you get in a Marfy pattern is just that - the pattern.  This is common with European patterns.  Some people like it because they find it easier to make their pattern adjustments without the SA's.  You have to add them yourself before you cut out the garment pieces.  If you are minimally experienced, though, Marfy is NOT a good place to start.  Go with patterns that can give you more help (consider them sewing lessons :) until you feel confident enough to go it alone.  For example, say you want to make a Marfy blouse.  You might choose a Vogue pattern that has similar features and make a few to get the assembly order and skills down (e.g., how different fabrics handle, collars, darts, cuffs, buttonholes, interfacing.)  Then, when you move on to the Marfy, you'll know just what to do! ;)


  3. HeartFire2 | | #5

    You can see all the Marfy patterns at their web site
    I made one of their wedding gowns, all you get is a white tissue paper pattern, yes they have the master patterns made up and when you order one it is traced in pencil (the same way patterns are copied when doing pattern drafting. there are notches and other comments on the pattern pieces, but very minimal, 'place on fold' and a few other comments like that, but the translation into english leaves a bit to be desired.

    there are no instructions and no photos (you get that from the web site)
    the pattern was quite a puzzle to put together, and then yes, you have to know what you are doing to sew it up.

    Edited 10/18/2006 1:06 am ET by HeartFire2

    1. jatman | | #6

      HeartFire2 - what a beautiful job you did!  Thank you for posting that for all to see.  I love it when people post their work.  It inspires me.  Thank you!


    2. fabricholic | | #7

      Hello HeartFire2,Thank you for explaining this to me. So, they have some instructions on the website? I really do love the little details on the pattern. The wedding dress is gorgeous and obviously, you have the experience to sew these. I really do appreciate the pictures. Marcy

      1. HeartFire2 | | #9

        No, there are NO instructions anywhere. not on the website, not in the catalogue (I have several - they are gorgeous picture books, and show the lines of the design well for knocking off and not buying the pattern. The catalogues do list what type of fabric would be nice, but that's itIf you want to challenge yourself, buy a simple style, most garments go together the same way, so you could reference other pattern directions. but its a great opportunity to use your brain, think things through, figure out the best way to do it and put your sewing skills to use.You could do this with any commercial pattern really - just toss out the instructions.When I sew I never use seam allowances - I use the sewing line and baste it so I like patterns without seam allowances - On commercial patterns I draw in the sewing line and then use that . A long time ago (but I think many of us on this list are about the same age - late 40's early 50's) patterns used to come in single sizes with the sewing lines marked and they had arrows (or pictures of presser feet) showing what direction to sew in! Anyone else remember that?

        1. elan | | #10

          Actually, I remember when a good Simplicity patter cost about 39 cents.


          1. User avater
            Becky-book | | #20

            I have some of my Mom's old patterns marked $.25.  And yes, some of my older patterns have sewing lines and arrows or 'presser feet' to show direction.  I used to learn sewing techniques just by reading my patterns!


        2. fabricholic | | #11

          Hi HeartFire2,
          So, you would baste on the cutting line and the edge of the material could be any length from the cutting line, it wouldn't matter, right? I do love looking at their pictures. They know just what details to add to make the outfit look fabulous. I sew by looking at the pictures (diaghram), actually, so I would need a simple pattern. What I would also, have to be careful of is serging the edges at the right time, so that they would lay correctly when I finished. I should try one, because I find my brain on auto pilot too much. Thanks.

          1. HeartFire2 | | #12

            yes, thats what I do

          2. ctirish | | #13

            The wedding dress is beautiful.  Even if you sew with a pattern a good garment construction book is a wonderful reference. I have several books about sewing and garment construction.  When I read a pattern and the instructions look like a foreign language I try to find an article or piece in a book on what I am doing.  Sometimes just reading  a different way to accomplish the same thing is very helpful.  

            Some of the recommendations from this site have been; Sewing 101, Readers Digest, and Vogue. I have an old one from my mothers era and then I have the Sandra Betzina - Power Sewing book.  I just checked Amazon and they have several including one called the Complete book of Sewing that has some good reviews. You might even try your library and see what they have for books.  Then if you want to add some couture touches I have a book called High Fashion Sewing Secrets from the Best Designers  written by Claire Schaeffer. This book tells you what details designers use to distinguish their clothes from someone else's designs.  It is little things like the way they do a pocket or the way they do a placket. It is certainly an interesting book to read anyway.   I just saw one on Amazon I might like to get, it is called, Pins and Needles, an Intermediate sewing Book.

          3. fabricholic | | #14

            Hi,I do have the Claire Schaeffer book, but I have to be in the mood because it is ####little technical. Lazy brain, again. I also have the Power Sewing book somewhere, (can't find it in my clutter). I do love to read about sewing. I also like Anna Zapp's Coulture Method. She models the clothes and they look so cute on her. She has great instructions, I think.

          4. ctirish | | #16

            Your  place sounds like my place.  I want to get the Anna Zapp book, but I can't fit another needle in my sewing/guest/office room. I am waiting for a man to come build me shelves in my basement so I can store material down there until I use it.  It is not what I really want to do, but it is the best choice I have right now.

            It sounds to me like you are a better seamstress than you think you are. If you keep a couple of sewing books near where you sew, you will discover that you open them when you get stuck or want to do something a different way.  It really works to have them close by when you sew.

        3. ctirish | | #15

          HeartFire2,  I do remember the single size patterns, the printed seam line and the cute little foot that showed which way to sew. I did like the little foot that showed the sewing direction, but    I always had a problem with the one size pattern, my top was one size and the bottom another size.  Back then we didn't have sewing classes or videos or anything to help you do fittings adjustments.  I have been watching my Cynthia Guffey videos over again, and I keeping learning things I missed the first time I watched them.

          I do have a question, though, you said you baste in the sewing line - isn't that the same thing as a seam allowance. I used to sew on the inside line of the seam allowance? I don't even think about the seam allowances anymore. I check the top of the directions to see if they want you to make 1/2 or 5/8 seams (usually) and then just sew according to the line on my sewing machine.  RTW always uses a 1/2 inch sewing allowance and I use that if the pattern seems to have a lot of curves.

        4. Josefly | | #17

          Yes! Not only did the pattern show the presser feet, but the cutting line showed scissors and the direction of cutting!

          1. fabricholic | | #21

            Oh, I remember that now. It was a little picture of scissors pointed where to cut.Marcy

        5. thehat | | #18

          yes and then they deceided to make it so the whole family could have an outfit does`nt that sound sorta  wird or do they think that we  are going to get  to be so happy with that pattern that we don`t need another one .

          1. user-217677 | | #19

            I bought a Marfy catalog a couple years ago from their website.  It was a leap of faith, because the website was in Italian.  I entered my credit card info, crossed my fingers and the catalog came.

            Just do a Google search on Marfy patterns.

            They included a free pattern of a nice basic outfit, with multiple sizes marked (like our US patterns look).  I would try that out before I tackle anything more complicated.

            I learned to sew from my mother who never used to read the instructions.  She would figure it out mentally, then do it.  I used to feel like I was cheating if I read the instructions!  So I learned early on to think everything through and ignore the instructions if they don't make sense.  I'll look at a good sewing book if I feel uncertain.

            Now, many years later, my Mom tells me thinks she probably had dyslexia, but they didn't know about things like that back then.

            She is a wonderful seamstress.  And yes, I remember getting patterns for one size only, and the cute little pictures of where to sew and where to cut.

    3. flossie | | #8

      What a lovely wedding dress -well done!!!!

    4. Cherrypops | | #23

      I know it has taken me a very long while to find this gem of yours.

      It is gorgeous! How long have you been creating gowns?



      1. HeartFire2 | | #24

        Hi Cherrypops,
        I've been doing this sort of stuff only for the last 4 or 5 yrs, and not really a lot of it (I'm out hiking too much!)

    5. billsgirl | | #25

      Heartfire2,   Your dress is really gorgeous. and your sewing superb.  I was a sample maker for many years.  In the garment industry the SA or mostly the same, 1/2" and 1/4".  Some designers used their own specs but those were the standard.  Also we used clips for the notches.  I always thought of them as a map.  You could go to work for a different company and start right in with very little instructions.  As for patterns. I'm 68 yrs. old and have every pattern I have ever bought and a few of my Mothers.  Who would have thought that patterns would go from 39cents to $20.?......sharon

  4. Cherrypops | | #22

    Thanks for asking this question. I, too was looking at Marfy, but after reading these posts I will steer clear for a while. I am having enough fun with my original unprinted tissue patterns from the 30's, 40's, 50's and some 60's. At least these came with instruction sheets, but the pattern pieces just have 'cut out circular holes'. Which are for darts, place on fold and shorten/lengthen. I wouldn't recommended these types of patterns for beginners.

    I researched these patterns before I bought from Ebay so I knew what I was getting myself into sewing wise. The ebay seller did not state they were unprinted, and did have a few unhappy buyers.



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