Not too long ago a friend from ASG sent out an email about a free downloadable pattern from Marfy Patterns. I had never heard of them before so I thought I would check them out, who doesn’t like something that is free. Right? On the website there were three free patterns, a top, skirt and jacket. I felt like I had hit the mother load. LOL I downloaded all three of them and decided to make the cute top. In this article I will show you the steps in how to tape the downloaded pattern together, because there definitely were some challenges that I will explain. I will show you the solutions I came up with, and the link to the free patterns, if they are still available when you read this.
What I have learned about Marfy from their website is that they are an Italian pattern making company. They hand make each pattern and are known for their workmanship, styles and precision. Find out more about them here. I personally can’t wait to try one of their actual patterns (not a downloadable one). Their styles are fabulous!!!
Here are the pictures of the free downloadable Marfy Top, Skirt and Jacket.
Click here for the Marfy website, scroll down to Our Patterns, and click Free Sewing Patterns. Make sure you look at all the beautiful styles and catalogues they have available for us to make.
The first step after downloading the pattern is to print the first page only or read #1.
“#1 Says Print the file in size A4. Before start printing remember to select 100% as scale of the page, otherwise pattern will be altered.”
What this means is – A4 pattern is an international paper size it measures 8.27″ wide by 11.69″ long. In the USA our standard letter size paper is 8.5″ wide by 11″ long, so when printing in the USA our printers will adjust what you tell it to print to “fit the page”. In printing out patterns you don’t want it to “fit the page” because they won’t be the correct measurements, and you want it to be the actual size.
To correct this on the printer you do as the Marfy instructions says “select 100% as scale of page”.
I have an HP printer, this picture shows what comes up when I want to print. See where is says Scale to fit? That is what the printer automatically does. Notice “Scale” that is not selected? It shows that this would actually print out at 86% of the size we want.
So make sure that you select “Scale” and type in 100%, then print the pattern out.
I printed out a “normal” pattern piece to show you an example of the difference between just hitting “print” and scaling it for 100%.
You can see what a mess you would have if not printed out properly, there is a big difference in the size. The top wouldn’t have fit, you would have had a wadder, (a top you wad up and throw away because you don’t like it), and you would never give the pattern company another chance because of Operator Error.
Here is what comes in your download packet.
Instructions on how to print and tape your pattern together, all the pattern pieces, a pattern layout sheet, and NO sewing instructions. Sewing instructions are for you to figure out, so for a beginner I do not suggest these patterns, but for anyone else go for it. How many of us that have been sewing for a while actually use the written instructions anyways?
Now, because we are printing on standard letter size paper and not A4, do not do step 2 on their instructions all at once. (“#2 Trim right and lower edge of pattern pieces…”).
Each pattern page is numbered 1 – 12 and it has a V, what they call an arrowhead, at the edge of each piece that you position together. When the pattern pages are aligned properly they will form an X. With A4 paper you align the arrowheads and the lines of the patterns together in a contiguous order. With standard letter size paper it is a little bit more difficult, because on some of the pattern pages the V arrowheads are already printed together and on other pattern pages there are none. Here is how I figured out the proper placement for the V.
I found one of the pattern pieces that had the full X together. I took a clear ruler and centered it over the full X, I took painter’s tape, and made a square around it, making sure to not cover up the little tips of X on the ends.
This now makes a template to use for accurate placement. As you can see it is a little over 1″ tall, but that little 1/16″ – 1/8″ can make a difference in accuracy of the pattern.
Now that I have my template I could start taping my pattern pieces together.
I used several rulers along with my template to make sure I had all the lines aligned properly.
The ruler on the left is along a long printed line, that is used to keep things straight, the ruler in the middle is my template, the ruler on the right is matching up another long printed line, and the end of the small horizontal ruler is making sure the actual pattern seam line is matched up. (Notice I said seam line and not cutting line, explanation at the end.) The long printed lines are the lines in step 2 that may need to be cut off, this is why I didn’t cut them all off at once in the beginning, they can be used for referencing the correct alignment and on some of the pieces you actually need the blank paper to tape to, this you will see later on.
Here is another view of how you need the template to create the accurate spacing. On one page you have more of the V, and on the other page less of the V is printed out. Now I am glad I didn’t cut the excess paper off according to #2 in the instructions.
This view shows a more difficult V to try to align. On pattern page 5 there is no V marking at all and just a tip of a V on page 9. I couldn’t put 5 to 9 without any references so I put page 5, 6, 7, and 8 together first, then 9, 10, 11, and 12 together. Now I have two long strips of pages together, some of which have better V markings. I made my alignments with the better markings and then page 5 and 9 went together easier.
Here is a closeup of two pages that need to go together, but do not have much of a V showing.
Here are two pages that need to be put together and they both have almost a full X, now is when you would want to cut off at one of the lines, #2 in the instructions, before making your alignments.
Once your pattern pages are taped together you want to make your truing lines, continuing your seam lines.
Here I am using a french curve to true up a curved line.
Here is the whole pattern taped together.
Another one, this time she thinks she is getting ready to take a nap.
Once the pattern is taped together, DO NOT cut it up, put tracing paper over top of it and trace your size off of it. Now you have a pattern.
OKAY, NOW for a mistake I made and why I said “seam line” earlier in the article, I did not read everything on the website about sewing with these patterns, and this information was NOT on the pattern or written anywhere in the download package. I traced my size and sewed it up. What I didn’t realize until I was putting on the collar band is THERE IS NO SEAM ALLOWANCE ON THE PATTERN, you are supposed to add your own. Not a problem, If I had known that before I cut the material. LOL Therefore, when you trace your size off of the taped together pattern make sure to ADD SEAM ALLOWANCE. This is true for all their patterns, including the ones you purchase.
I made the top out of a stretch sparkly lycra that I had in my fabric stash. When I looked at the pattern it didn’t show any type of opening down the back in order to get it over your head, it just showed snaps on the neck piece, so that is why I decided on a stretchy fabric. But since I didn’t have any seam allowances to work with due to Operator Error LOL, it became a little tight to pull over my head, but I could still do it. When I make it again, I will put a small slit down the back and add some decorative buttons to the slit, or make a little curved decorative opening like a keyhole. The top is really cute and it looks great under a jacket or sweater that lays open.
That is my experience with the Free Marfy Top. When I get some of these other projects that I have in my mind sewn up, I will purchase a Marfy pattern and make something fabulous. These designs truly are my style and I can’t wait to present an article on one of them sewn up.
Go download your pattern and have fun!
I love printing patterns! You do have a great and fool proof way of getting all those pages lined up.
pdf patterns are a good thing to get good at printing and taping. I know that its a pain, but it allows you to impulse sew when the stores are closed, and when you are cutting single layer you can always trace two.
I think pdf patterns are a terrific advancement. They will never replace those cute little Marfy patterns that are cut and marked to size, but they are really convenient once you get used to them
Ahh, thanks for the marfy post! I’ve been eyeing up this company for a while, but wasn’t ready to throw my money at them. Maybe I’ll give them a shot now that I’ve seen a few successful blog posts about them.
Printing out patterns is something I have always been skeptical of…even with marfys assistance, it sounds like a pain! Glad to see it worked out so well. 🙂 the top is super cute!
Thank you and good luck with your creation.
I did download the 3 patterns but I hadn’t try any yet.