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?!


  1. I love that top!!! It does pair beautifully with your scarf and that jacket!

  2. MMMM. Chocolate, yum!! I like the style of the blouse.

  3. The international museum of folk art in Santa Fe, NM, had an exhibition about Chocolate Culture last year. That is my kind of museum show. I especially liked the video showing chocolate production. I wonder if they posted it on YouTube?

  4. Nice work - so happy to have found your blog. You make lovely things and seem to have a very interesting life!

  5. I like the top especially with your new Chanel-type jacket!

  6. Lovely top, cool scarf and mmm... chocolate!