couture sewing

Marfy Top Chiffon Version

chiffon topOne more version of the free Marfy top pattern before I retire it for awhile. I needed a simple black top for under suits and this seemed to fit the bill. The flocked silk chiffon is from B&J Fabrics in NYC ( ). Using this fabric without lining was out of the question. I’m not into that see-through of a chiffon
I tried a layer of flesh tone china silk but wanted a softer effect.
chiffon and nude
Tried a black lining but that muted the dotted pattern too much. It looks much darker than the photo shows.
over black
Finally the right combination was to underline the dotted chiffon with a layer of plain black silk chiffon and use the nude chink silk as a lining.
three layers
I also chose to extend the shoulder about an inch for less of a cutaway armhole.
extended shoulder
I basted the two layers of chiffon together and seamed them using French seams. The lining was also stitched at the shoulders and sides with French seams. Baste all layers together before finishing the armhole, back opening and collar. I used silk tulle to create armhole facings. If you’ve never worked with silk tulle before it truly is a magic fabric. I use it to underline laces, stabilize seams and do loads of other finishes where you don’t want any added bulk. It is PRICEY and few shops carry it. It is available in black and off white but dyes easily if you need a special color. Expect to pay $125 to $160 per yard but I save every scrap as it can be used for so many things.
The tulle will stretch more in one direction than the other, (no need to cut it on the bias) so cut two pieces (one for each armhole) two inches wide and longer than the length of the armhole seam. Fold it in half and press. armhole shape tracing
I use a scrap of muslin and trace the armhole shape (no seams) onto the muslin with a waterproof fine point sharpie. You don’t want water soluble ink coming off when you steam. Then shape the tulle to match the traced edge. The folded side goes towards what will be the inside of the garment.
shaping silk tulle
Now you have a perfectly shaped strip to use as the armhole facing. Sew, understitch and press. Tack it to the lining being careful not to catch the face fabric.
facing basted
Inside of the finished top showing edge finishes.
tull binding
The back opening is a slit finished the same way with a narrow strip of silk tulle cut on the straight grain.
back opening
I completed the top with a velvet neckband, buttons and handworked thread loops. The fabric layers are joined together at the side seams with French tacks.
inside french tack
And the back view.
back view

6 thoughts on “Marfy Top Chiffon Version”

  1. I just found your website. What a beautiful top! Your clothing are FANtastic! I also want to let you know that C&J textiles in NYC has very high quality silk and carries silk tulle. Mood also has some silk tulle and is considerably cheaper than $150 per yard. Now I’ll go stash some…

    1. I will check out C&J on my next trip to the city. I’ve also found silk tulle at Mood and was lucky enough to snap up a quantity of nude silk tulle which had a few small snags throughout the piece and they offered it to me at a substantial discount. The snags made it unusable for bridal veiling but great for what it needed. I also have a wholesale supplier in the UK but you need to buy larger quantities. I once mail ordered from Mood and was assured they were sending silk tulle but got a silk knit mesh, so ask for swatches before ordering. I have also been shown “silk tulle” in shops but found it was nylon.
      Thanks for the compliments and I’m glad you enjoy my blog. Please continue to comment on the things you find interesting.

  2. Hello from Germany,
    I’m just a beginner – hence lightyears away from sewing like you. I’ve just begun to sew a kind of shirt blouse for me. But I want to thank you for your blog and your helpful hints and tips you give, not only for the advanced sewers. I want to learn sewing correctly from the beginning (well, at least I’ll try to). If you start by doing some details or techniques wrong, it will be hard later on to change your habit you’re used to. That’s why I love seeing you sew: there are so many small hints even a beginner can try out!
    thanks for the work you are putting into posting here,

    1. I’m so happy that my blog appeals to novice sewers. I know many of the techniques I explore are not the quick and easy way to do things. One thing I’ve learned is that couture techniques exist, not to make unnecessary work, but because ultimitely they produce the best results. Please keep sewing and ask questions if unsure.

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