19 February, 2014

Pattern alteration 1: from dress slacks to yoga pants

I don't know about you all, but, when it comes to making new stuff, I always prefer to attempt a rework of a pattern I already have.  A pattern you love, you ask? well, let's say, "....one I know well enough to use repeatedly".  Trousers aka pants or slacks in North America, are one of the items for which I'm not keen on rediscovering the wheel.  In the years since I've started sewing, I've relied on three trouser patterns:

Burda 8283, an envelope pattern (in fact, it's one of my first pattern purchases)
The much-loved by many Jalie jeans
Jalie semi-fitted slacks.

That is not to say that I don't have a whole bunch of other trouser patterns in my envelope collection, not mentioning Burda magazine ones, of course.  I just haven't cracked them open.  Are you rolling your eyes? If not, you're probably being kind. That's OK, really.  Yet, I see so much grief out there in the sewing blogosphere over attempts to make this or that new trouser pattern fit one's below the waist figure.  I figure (insert titter), for reliable results, might as well stick with what works.

Most of my office trousers are based on the Burda envelope.  I've worked this one into waistlines high and low, leg wide and narrow, even one-seam.

Recently, I felt the need for some simple slacks to replace a couple I spattered with paint, so, instead of looking for an appropriate pattern, of course decided to revise my old Burda standby for stretchy stuff such as fleece or the bottom weight techno-knit I grabbed when our local store carried a couple of months ago.  I've long ago adjusted the crotch curve a little by making it more L-shaped, so there was little need for alterations to the backside fit.

The Burda 8283 pattern is a semi-fitted trouser with front zipper, waistband, and a front and back dart on each side.  It has front pockets, but since I wear jackets, I feel no need for pants pockets, and have been omitting them from the get-go.  Call me lazy.

So, to make these knits fit me a little more closely than a no-stretch woven, and have them sit on my hipbones, not waist, here's what I did:

1. narrowed front and back inseam by 1" for a narrower leg
2. shortened the bottom front crotch by 1/2" - basically just cut away a little wedge at the top of the inseam
3. narrowed the front by 3/4" - that took care of the darts - I took that out of CF, not side
4. lowered the waistline by 3/4"
5. cut a waistband 90% of the needed width (with horizontal stretch), 4" wide.  The stretchiness of the fabric means that the waistband easily eases into the trouser top without pleats for a perfectly smooth fit.
6. cut the elastic 1" shorter than waistband, and closed the loop with 1" overlap (ie, elastic band is 2" shorter than waistband).  I might note here that I sew the elastic loop closed first, then wrap the waistband around it, and sew that into the trouser top.  It's faster than insertion of the elastic into a sewn waistband.
7. shortened leg length for flat shoes

That's it, folks!

Pretty simple, eh?  Notice I didn't touch the side seam at all, nor the back.  These slacks skim but do not bind, and are totally unnoticeable in wearing.  Perfect for at home wear, exercise, anything at all....

Best of all, they're super quick to make.  Above, three recent versions: heavy olive fleece for shoveling the snow at minus 20 deg C; black poly techno-knit; and lightweight navy fleece. I made these in a two-day run a short while ago.

Here's the original Burda pattern:

Not rocket science, is it?

Which brings me to one of the best nerdy mugs in my home, my fave:

Just what part of..... don't you understand?

....it's only rocket science:

Ah, NASA... say what you may, I'm a fan of its many successes.  I watched the very first footprint being stomped into the Moon, in all its speckly, grainy, black and white glory.  And camped across from Kennedy Space Center on a winter break trip with a bunch of university buddies... then showed the very same rockets and lunar rover to my youngest, in recent years.

Last year in Kabul, I volunteered with the Afghan scouting movement.  We held a Space Derby day for the kids at our base; along with the kids, I made a little elastic-band propelled rocket, and raced it with them (they won).
Afghan girl scouts making their propeller rockets. The dude at top left was my translator.
I also created a presentation for the scouts on the exploration of the solar system.  My translator worked very hard, and the kids' eyes just glittered.  And they paid attention!  One of them asked, if there's no air on the moon, how did the astronauts survive there?  An Aha! moment if ever I heard one.

Two rockets racing on fishing line.  Note the trophies at right for fastest rocket ships.

15 February, 2014

Silk blouses: I'm on a streak!

With three Marfy 1913 tops completed and the second Burda 10-2011-128 now in progress, I'm continuing my blouse-making streak. Very useful, to be sure, as my newest three jackets desperately need coordinates. However, the pleasure of this run is starting to ebb a tad, and I'm hearing something a little different whispering at my subconscious with increasing insistence.  But whoa, I'm getting ahead of myself. To wit, the blouses:

I picked this pattern because it comes with a sewn-on scarf.  Tremendous!  I adore scarves, so this pattern is ideal for me.  

Here it is with the scarf ends tied up.  I shortened the scarf from 140 cm to about 110, because I couldn't see myself with a big bouffant bow under my chin.  No way.  Ever.  

Other than that, I cut a straight 38, raised the centre opening about 3 cm or so, shortened the sleeves ~4 cm to bracelet length, and tamed the slouchy look by shortening the shoulder line by 4 cm plus raising the armscye by 2 cm.   This blouse is unfitted, and could be made more so with the addition of bust darts and a bit of side shaping (it has none whatsoever), but the silk is lightweight and, though this isn't visible in a photo, swirls round the body nicely.  This fabric is the bit of silk jacquard I dyed recently.  It's heaven to touch and even more so to sew, not least because the jacquard weave gives it wonderful resistance to fraying.  Happy me, I have a bit more of it, and am likely to dye it a dark burgundy for another blouse. 

I also love the fact that the front slit finish is created by wide facings that also finish the front neckline and are caught in the shoulder seam.  My current effort of this pattern (once is good, twice is better, right?) is a dark, semi-transparent stretch silk chiffon, and these front facings will add some modesty assurance exactly where it's needed.  

On the Marfy 1913, third time's the charm.  I widened the neckline a touch and lowered the armscyes back to original design, and it fits just exactly as it should. 

The fabric is a whisper-light, smooth silk habotai, which is the plainest weave there is, in a neat abstract that seems to hint at florals without being flowery, in midnight blue and white. Sewing this one was a challenge:  I've been fighting static cling in it far more than any of the others - with the very cold weather, there's no moisture in the air to carry away the charge built up by handling - methinks I should refrain from sewing such light silk unless it's +35C with 90% humidity?! 

Or, how about sewing in the sauna?!


11 February, 2014

Brown blue cashmere suit: stashbusting really works!

As hard as it may be to believe it, this three piece outfit, completed at last, marks the end of a four year saga.  It began in New York in Jan of 2010, when I got tempted by a dark brown, shot with blue and golden brown threads, cashmere wool woven.

The pic above gives the best sense of the fabric: very soft, very dark brown and yet not only brown; the bright blue and golden highlights are very clear in close-up. In the pic, the jacket is paired with the brown silk jaquard top I just made. Unquestionably this cashmere is the most expensive piece of fabric I ever sprang for. Lightweight, soft as down, springy, yum!  I think it came from Beckenstein's - I recall my sister in law took me for a long day's trawl through the fashion district and this was one of our last stops, a fabric store dominated by menswear cloths of the highest quality.  Sound familiar?  I believe it should.

I got the fabric with only a jacket in mind, but the cut was so wonderfully generous (2.2 meters) that after the collarless V7975 jacket was cut, the remainder yielded a sleeveless two piece dress made up of a princess-seamed top (Go 4001) and simple pegged skirt (Burda 9-2008-120). I finished the top fairly promptly, then continued apace with the jacket.  All of a sudden, with everything cut and mostly sewed together, the project got stalled by this, that and t'other.  Mostly two snags:  I resisted the idea of cutting buttonholes into this scrumptious fabric but wasn't sure how to proceed; and I was't entirely at all thrilled with the shape of the skirt.

Still, we all  know the UFO refrain:  unfinished is unstarted, and merely cut out is money thrown out.  I finally tackled the bull cashmere billy goat by the horns and, tadaaa! at last can call the top, jacket and skirt, and therefore the entire three piece outfit, completed at last.  At very long last, indeed!

So, without further ado: all on the dress form, because, well, Baby, It's Cold Outside.

Jacket:  Vogue 7975, size 10 straight up, lined with chocolate brown silk jacquard (the Marfy 1913 chocolate brown top I made last week was eked out of the last little remnant of the very same silk).  It's a closer, better fit than the red boucle jacket, which was a size 12.

Instead of buttonholes, I sewed on three snaps and covered the right side ones with deep blue "tweedy" buttons.
I stabilized the fabric - all 2.2 meters of it - with lightweight fusible knit.  I can hardly believe I had the patience to do that, but yes, to my amazement.... The jacket is further padded with a chest and upper back shield, sleeve heads, and shoulder pads.  I was going to forego the pads, but realized late in the finishing that lack of them would give the jacket unsightly drag lines between armscye and waist, so in they went.

The top is based on the bodice to hip line Go 4001 sleeveless dress. I love its strong side princess line, it's perfect for anyone with nice sized assets on top. I made the dress back in 2009; for those of you not party to Sewing Review, the pictorial set starts here.

 This top is also lined with the same brown silk jacquard. Easy peasy. Nothing more to add.

The Awful Skirt:  Burda 9-2008-120 simple pegged aka "tulip shape" skirt. IMO this skirt has a very strange shape, with a really strong pooch line at the hip, I suspect mainly due to the tulip shape, though some of that may be the fault of my drawing the pattern to match the dimensions of my generous derriere/small waist figure.  I tried to slim it down but it seemed to me I was only making matters worse, worser, and worsest, so finally gave up on alterations, returned to the pattern's original truly weird line, and decided to finish it with much more ease in the hips than I would ordinarily. Lined with a heavy 80% bemberg/20% polyester blend lining in very dark navy, it works, but is far from ideal. Embarrassed, much?  Oh yeah, very. C'mon, how hard can it be to get a simple no waistband skirt to look decent, for pity's sake?  It hangs off my hips just fine, but then goes all "I wanna be a jodhpur" a few inches further down.

What's really funny is that a gal showed up in just such trousers to this week's group photocall of 2014 Oscar nominees:
Dressed to impress: Gravity's Sandra Bullock and American Hustle's Amy Adams posed with director/writer Alfonso Cuarón, singer Karen O and actor Leonardo DiCaprio among others in the line-up (Daily Mail credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2556576/OSCARS-2014-NOMINEES-Full-line-pose-group-shot-pre-awards-luncheon.html#ixzz2t45RHkzs )
Though it's now finished, I still aim to sneak up on it with a bit of needle and thread to oh so gently, millimeter by millimeter, tamp down some of this skirt's dressage ambitions. Sheesh. The bottom line (pun intended!) is that my hip line would do better with a different pattern.  I'll most emphatically never, not ever but ever, use this pattern again.  Basta!

But wait, perhaps NOT Basta!  With a little research under my belt today, I discovered that there really is a trick to making a good looking pencil skirt.  Take a look at the detailed skirt sloper workup, nicely demo'd for the rest of us by the Overflowing Stash. This is almost tempting me to rip the skirt apart again, and re-sew it a third time.  Maybe. It'd be a pity to let an otherwise nice outfit, and such a luxurious one at that,  languish unloved in the closet.  Especially as I'd been a busy little bee making, and continuing to make, go-with tops:

Both the cashmere top and the brown silk jacquard top coordinate beautifully with these two scarves:

The green python blouse also works with the brown; its deep blues and oranges play well with the blue and golden threads of the jacket: 

And I have three more potential playmates in the pipeline:  two nice polys and a silk crinkle chiffon.  Just draped onto the form, and feeling hopeful about them:

Poly satin

Lightweight poly crepe

Crinkle silk chiffon
As a concluding remark, I'm happy to say that the stashbusting challenge prompted me to finally buckle down and finish this set, already.  I'm thrilled to bits - the jacket is scrumptious, and a good excuse for some fun and easy blouse-making time.  But, how do I count this set for stashbusting?  The sleeveless top was completed some time ago, but without its partners, it would never have been worn. In fact, though already finished, it was still languishing in the sewing pile along with the rest of its set, an abandoned orphan if ever I saw one. So, 2.2 meters of fabric, 1.8 meters of silk?  Done!

06 February, 2014

Chocolate love: full version of Marfy 1913

For my second, full-on version of this pattern, I used a remnant of a very dark chocolate brown silk jacquard.

The fabric is beautiful, with a fine zigzag giving it texture and a lovely glow: 
I fiddled with the colour to render it as close to its true shade as I could. 
 The fabric was too narrow to lay the pattern pieces side by side, but there was just enough to lay out them down in opposite directions, possible here as the fabric has a non-directional pattern.
I added a tiny bit of width at the neckline to increase the pleating fullness there. Just because. 
The back opening is faced and finished with a thread chain loop and self-covered button:
I'm surprised by how much the back opening seems to gape open.  The neck band isn't tight.  
I used this opportunity to apply two basic techniques I haven't yet had the opportunity to use:  a self-faced opening treatment (this top has no CB seam), and the self-covered button (yawn, right?).  To make the facing, I made a long skinny rectangle, and sewed it to right side of CB as a long skinny dart, turned to the inside and topstitched.  

Inside view.  Nice, no raw edges finish.
Looking at the outside, I learn a lesson: in order to avoid those corner impressions at the bottom of the opening, give the self facing strip a smoothly rounded curve down there.  Next time, for sure.

Very imperfect:  I'm glad this top is very dark - those facing bumps at the bottom of the openings are invisible in the wearing. 
Based on the floral blue top, I raised the armscye by 1 cm, and it came out a touch tight. Still wearable and not uncomfortable, but noticeable. I attribute this to differences in the fabric:  the crepe is flexible and springy, and I may have stretched the armscye a bit during binding.  On the other hand, this jacquard has all the stretch of a stone bench. Seriously.  It's so rock-solid stable that even bias has only minimal stretch.  I'll have to take fabric characteristics into account more thoughtfully in future.    

I do like this top's high neckline, it works well with my long neck and will suit both collared and collarless jackets.  Though I won't wear it with the rainbow jacket (the colours don't agree), the style, in navy or purple or even red, will be good. 

I love how blue and brown go together.  My mostly-blue keyhole scarf will marry this brown top with the blue jacket:

Now a bit about chocolate, or xocolatl:

In this Mayan painting, the girl at left is holding a hot chocolate drink.
Did you know the cacao bean has been cultivated for about three thousand years?  Hot chocolate is as old as the Mayan civilization. The Maya also sprinkled it on their food like a condiment (think ground parmesan cheese).  Mayan people of Central America still use the traditional methods in demonstrations of the ancient process:

The cacao pod is at lower left; the woman is using a basalt metate (mortar and pestles) to grind the cacao beans (nibs). 
Can you believe the size of the cacao pod!  The cacao beans grow within a fleshy matrix inside. 

Cacao pods feature prominently in Mayan and Aztec art: 

Cacao pods as garment. 
 The Aztecs made their chocolate drink spicy with chili peppers. Yikes!

Hot chocolate appeared in England around 1640:  more than 350 years ago!

Chocolate is not only very good for us, but it also makes snails smarter.  Who knew?!

04 February, 2014

Stashbusting summary: 2014 and 2015

So as to keep my stashbusting progress all in one place, I'm just going to update this post, originally created in February 2014, with my 2015 fabric usage.  If you scroll down you'll find my intro to the subject followed by a detailed blow by blow of my 2014 usage. 

Total in 2014:  32.2 m used, 3.2 m bought.

2015 running total: 7.7 m used, 3.8 m bought.

Used:  2.25 m wool matelasse,  2.7 m silk charmeuse, 0.75 m rayon lining, for black skirt suit with silk lining and matching blouse.  
Bought:  2 m lightweight poly knit.

Used:  2 m lightweight poly knit 
Bought: 0.9 m each yarn dyed poly knit and metallic lace knit. 

In the latter part of January 2014, I joined the Stashbusting Sewalong.  My "stashbusting lite" commitment pledge says:  I commit to sewing from my stash first, and if fabric purchase is unavoidable in order to complete a project, to using at least two lengths of fabric from stash for every length I purchase.   Linings, underlinings, notions etcetera are of course not included: elastics and interfacings are necessities not guilty pleasures. I wouldn't buy them if I didn't have to. They don't count.

Note that I didn't actually commit not to buy any fashion fabric - just to sew twice as fast as I buy, so that by year's end I really ought to have less fabric than right now. 

Why am I doing this?  Because my stash is ridiculous.  Utterly head-shaking ridiculous.  In every other way I'm not a shopaholic, but buying fabric is just too easy.  For a start, there are two fabric stores right at my doorstep. Then, who hasn't impulse-clicked on that BUY button on a late Sunday night! Yep, big guilty face here. Too many internet stores!  It's all their fault!!! Enough, already.  I'm putting a stop to all that.  I view the Stashbusting Sewalong as my very own version of shopaholics anonymous.

What's even more ridiculous is that some of these very nice fabrics I've had for years are languishing because I haven't sufficient any experience in sewing them (for example, silk chiffon) and thus haven't dared cut into them.  A self-perpetuating condition if ever I met one!  So in confronting my stash I'll also be forced to confront my technical limitations, and, one hopes, expand my abilities?  Fearless sewing, here I come!  What's the worst that can happen? 1. a wadder; 2. a wearable but less than perfect garment that might not pass the X foot rule ("if a sewing flaw is not noticeable to the observer at X feet distance, it doesn't exist").  I'll be the first to admit that many of my garments are imperfect, but all that I've completed have been wearable.  So it's time to face the wadder possibility head on, right? 

Another reason is that, yes, I love making jackets and I'd love to make nothing BUT jackets, but one can't show up at work in nothing but a jacket ;)    I must discipline myself to create tops and bottoms to coordinate with said jackets.  I don't make enough of the go-with garments, and not nearly enough skirts or dresses.  Jackets with slacks, with an invisible, usually black, top under the jacket and a scarf to camouflage it, sum up my lazy fallback position. This is my year to try and get some of those dress weight fabrics, knits and wovens, out of their boxes and onto me, as dresses and tops that might want to be seen.  

That's about the extent of it.  Could this be my new year's resolution?  Why not.  For 2014, I resolve.... to love the fabrics I loved enough to buy, and to now love them enough to use.  To create a comprehensive wardrobe, all you need is love....

I'm aiming to keep this page updated with my progress since I took the above pledge, to keep me honest reflect how I'm doing. More for my own edification than anyone else's - I'm simply curious how it'll play out in the course of the year.  I'm also hoping that by keeping track of amounts used I'll gain a better sense of how much I need to make x, y, zed (yes up here in the Great White North we say zed not zee :))) if and when I ever fall off the wagon and (gasp!) buy some fashion fabric again, in the very, very distant future, that is. 

So here goes:

2014 total:  used = 32.2 m               bought = 3.2 m

February: used = 11.5 m                         bought = 0

Royal blue velour lounge suit for DD (2.3 m, 1.5 m wide)
Brown multi stretch silk georgette long sleeved blouse (Burda 10-2011-128) 1.8 meters (1.3 m wide)
Sapphire blue silk jacquard long sleeved blouse (Burda 10-2011-128) 1.5 meters (1.14 m wide)
Navy-white silk habotai sleeveless blouse         1.0 meters (1.14 m wide)
Brown cashmere three-piece suit (top, skirt, jacket) 2.2 meters (1.73 m / 68" wide) 
Brown silk jacquard lining for above top and jacket  1.8 meters (1 m wide)
Chocolate brown silk jacquard sleeveless blouse 1.3 m (1 m wide)
Green-blue python print silk crepe long sleeved blouse and matching scarf 1.9 m (1.14 m wide)

January: used = 6.7 m                           bought = 0
Yummy Pyjammy:  navy lightweight fleece trousers   1.5 m
                               and long sleeved top  1.3 m
Olive thick fleece warmup trousers   1.5 m
Black poly techno-knit at-home trousers  1.5 m
Scarf to top sleeveless blouse  (1 square yard)  0.9 m 

August:  used = 3.6 m                             bought = 0

Green and tan silk paisley cocktail (mother of the bride) dress and matching head scarf.

November:  used = 5.2 m                         bought = 1 m
Grey wool boucle jacket, skirt, and colour-blocked top, plus matching silk blouse:  2.6 m of the wool boucle and 2.6 m of silk twill for jacket lining, trim, and blouse. 
I bought 1 m of black ponte for the colour-blocked top. 

December:  used = 5.2 m                          bought = 2.2 m
Lace overlay jacket with silk jacquard lining and matching skirt with rayon bemberg lining. 2.7 m of the lace overlay, 2.5 m of the silk. 
I bought 2.2 m of a wool blend matelasse for a project currently underway.  

03 February, 2014

Burda 12-2008-113 python print blouse

I'd used the 12-2008-113 pattern back when it was new, and made four tops out of silk charmeuse.  They wear beautifully and still look great, in fact are terrific except for the fact that they show wrinkles more than I like. I loathe ironing my clothes (ironing during sewing doesn't count).   As a working person, my morning time is limited, and what little of it I have is preferentially devoted to talking to plants and squirrels or running. So it's not surprising that I shifted my silk allegiance from charmeuse (always fabulous as lining) to types less likely to wrinkle, such as crepe and jacquard.

I got this beefy silk crepe at the beginning of the year (before my Stashbusting pledge) from Emma One Sock. It doesn't wrinkle at all.  And the pattern and colour scheme are fab.  

The pattern repeat is even from selvedge to selvedge. It looks uneven only because a bit of the fabric is folded over along the left edge. 
So gorgeous, in fact, that willy-nilly pattern placement wasn't going to happen.  Since I was aiming to make this top to go along with my recently made blue jacket, I wanted to emphasize the blue pattern details, so I placed the python zigzag at CF and CB.

This is a raglan-sleeved pattern, and the sleeve is made of two pattern pieces: a back and a front.  As I was laying those on the fabric, it occurred to me that I could emphasize the zigzag on the sleeves as well by combining the two pieces into one piece with a curved dart at the top. 

One-piece raglan sleeve keeps pattern details intact.
I lengthened the princess sleeve to full length.
The sleeve hems are lightly shirred with 3 mm elastic.
 That little tweak worked very well.  Fortuitously, the width of the garment is such that the zigzag is also repeated at the side seams, though imperfectly of course, as the above pic shows.  That's what the pattern would likely have looked like on the sleeve if I'd blindly stuck to the two-piece sleeve pattern.  

How do I like the top?  Well enough for not having verified my prior thoughts on it.  The upper back is a little tight when I hunch forward, so I'll try to cure this problem in a future version with either a CB box pleat or widening the outer sleeve a little, or both.  And I ought to have remembered Burda's penchant for low necklines: a bit more of my bony sternum is visible than I care to show. It can and will be camouflaged with a necklace of some sort, but still. The next version's neckline will be 1" higher.  Maybe 1.5" higher. 

Spot the lady cardinal on the birdfeeder over the left shoulder?
Fortunately, I had laid out the pattern pieces carefully and had enough yardage to leave a nice wide strip of selvedge-to-selvedge fabric.  I sewed this into a 45" long tube and now have the perfect ascot to cover up my excessive frontage.  Together, it all looks great under the jacket.

The blue jacket is now nearly wearable, but all my bottoms are in shades of black or grey.  Navy, or something with navy, would be a good idea for a well coordinated outfit.  

Last words?  I'm learning to be more patient with my sewing. I did quite a bit of basting as I went along, and french-seamed the whole lot, even those curved darts at the top of the sleeves, enjoying both the process and the result. Yea! 

Now I need more silk crepe. Did I really say that?! Oops, the wagon is wobbling already!  I-must-resist--I-must-resist... 

01 February, 2014

From scarf to garment: the one-yard top, and pattern comparison

On one of my visits to Montreal, I was tempted by a couple of silk crepe scarves crumpled up in a "going for a song" sale basket of an Indian clothing store.  Not because I wanted scarves that particular day, but because the silk was a wonderful springy crepe with lovely print designs, and I thought they could easily be converted to simple sleeveless tops.

This time, I used the downloadable Marfy 1913 sleeveless blouse pattern. Rather than using the standing collar pattern, I simply bound the neckline and armscyes with bias strips.  Since I don't care for the fashion faux pas of peeking undergarments, I didn't pleat as much of the neckline as suggested on the pattern piece.  Per pattern design, I did insert the elastic in the hem; in the pic above, the hem is pulled down to make the shirring visible.

The print is is so beautiful:  are these lilies?  irises?  not according to the leaf, which I don't recognize at all. Any guesses? And, though at first glance it all appears to be monochromatic in tones of cornflower blue, close examination shows that there are green and brown tonalities as well, clearly visible in the leaves.

The scarf had a rolled edge that I unpicked before testing the layout. Laid out flat, it's a perfect 36 inch square:  since India is a metric country, as is Canada, it was clearly made for the American market! As it turned out, the two main pattern pieces fit perfectly in the square:

I cut size 42, with wide side seam allowances.
The orange pin heads mark the shoulder corner of the back piece moved from upper left to lower right.
The front, at lower left in the upper photo and lower centre in the lower one, was cut on a fold, while the back (at upper left in the upper photo and lower right in the lower one) was cut with a center seam.  The remaining fabric at upper right provided more than enough 1.5" (4cm) bias strips for the arm and neck edges.

Since the neckline is high in this pattern and a back opening is necessary, having a centre back seam was functionally useful. I made a thread chain loop and found a blue button that's a surprisingly good match to this fabric.  A self-covered button would also be great. 

 Here's the finished top again, this time with the elastic hem loosened upwards, giving a short blouson effect.

Silk crepe is my favourite of all fabrics for sleeveless tops. It wears like iron, feels like butterfly's wing on the skin, is warm to the touch without burning, breathes beautifully, and has a springiness that's superbly comfortable.  Some years ago I drafted a simple sleeveless top pattern, and have used that ever since as the basis for variations not just in silk but also linen and poly.

Silk crepe tops:  self-drafted pattern with pleated neckline, early 2013 at left, early 2011 at right.  
So how does the Marfy pattern compare with mine? My pattern has a scooped out neckline both front and back, making any additional opening redundant. The Marfy neckline is high, so even without the standing collar it needs a neck opening.  Note that though it's originally placed at CB in the pattern, this opening can easily be made into a design element  in the front, either angled towards the sleeve or at centre front, perhaps with skinny bias tubes to tie into a pretty bow instead of a button or hook.

Though not readily visible in the finished garments, there are other minor differences between my pattern and the Marfy. My pattern has shaped side seams for a closer fit in the waist, a higher armscye, and its outer shoulder is less cut in towards the neck, for more secure coverage of these pesky undergarment straps.

Self drafted pattern, box pleat variations:  at left, patterned red silk crepe scarf with short hem and two hem pleats; silk-cotton blend at right.
So, will I make the Marfy 1913 top again?  Of course, and at least once with the standing collar!  it's great to have another top variation.