Sunday, August 17, 2014

Marfy 2155 - Colorblocked Blouse

Recently, I finished making a nice lightweight color-blocked blouse for summer, Marfy 2155.  I chose some cotton poplin I had in my stash.  I initially was drawn to this pattern by the interesting twist-knot sleeves.

I had seen a couple of reviews of this pattern on PatternReview:  One by Re Becca and another by clothing engineer.  Their versions were really cute.  However, I thought the sleeves looked like short puffy cap sleeves that were not flattering on my arms.  I also found that the sleeves felt uncomfortable since they restricted movement. Unfortunately, I did not have any extra fabric in my stash to cut out regular set-in sleeves.  What to do? Luckily, I saw a sketch somewhere (sorry, don't remember where) of a 1930's dress that had sleeves split in the center of the sleeve.  I decided to do the same and I am glad I did!  The pattern sleeve as drafted comes in two parts.  I simply sewed the sleeves down the center and stopped about 4 inches from the end.  Instead of tying the two sections, I just let them hang.  The bottom part of the armhole was finished with bias tape created from the navy fabric.

The neckline "scoop" was drafted to show a little bit of cleavage but that is just not something I wanted to do so I raised it by 1 1/2 inches.  I decided that putting a dark color, such as navy, on the sides panels would be slimming while putting the brighter color in the center draws the eye in instead of out to the sides.  
As you can see in the pattern sketch above, the pattern also had a stand up collar.  To me, the blouse has a fun feminine vibe but I associate stand up collars with tailored blouses so I decided to omit the stand up collar.  I ended up with a neckline resembling a horseshoe.

I understitched all around the neckline but it was impossible to understitch by machine around the horseshoe shape.  I therefore decided to do a pick stitch which worked rather well.  The "horseshoe" lays flat on my chest and the facing does not slip out.

I used these fun buttons I had in my stash:  

The card they came on said they were enamel and 24K gold plated!  Even though the card said they were machine washable, I decided I did not want to subject them to the washing machine or dry cleaners and I most definitely do not want to remove and re-sew them on.  I decided to attach them with button pins. You can find button pins online at JoAnn's: Button Pins or at your local fabric store.  When the time comes for me to wash this blouse, all I have to do is unpin the buttons!  Yay!
Since the fabric is lightweight, I did not want the serged seams to show on either side of the fabric.  The way I resolved this was to sew with the lower looper in navy and the upper looper and needle in pink.  

I topstitched the hem but decided I did not want pink topstitching on the navy fabric nor navy on the pink fabric so I topstitched each section in its color.  It was a pain to stop and change the threads but I do like the overall effect.

As for fit alternations, I did a full bust adjustment, sloping shoulder adjustment and protruding shoulder adjustment.

I think the blouse is a little odd with the horseshoe neckline and the unusual sleeves but it is one-of-a-kind and very comfortable! 


  1. Love the shirt! what an interesting take on the sleeves, much more streamlined.

  2. WOW, what a lot of detail work!
    I love how you used different colored threads in your serger--I will have to remember that if I ever do light/dark colorblocking. Also love that you switched the thread color for topstitching.
    Also I had never heard of button pins before, l learned something new there!
    Those buttons match your shirt perfectly.
    Great job!

  3. p.s. I don't like puffy sleeves on me either.