To Italy and Back- Challenges that Forge Friendships & a Pair of Pants

I thought I might share a pant and fabric review and a story of my long vacation to Italy I took with a fellow fashionista, Becki. 
This vacation is what lead me to want to do something on my YouTube channel that would bring all the memories back like a flood. I wanted to do a "VLog" of my vacation.  Lately, I have been in the need for a good walk down memory lane.  I know there are other places in the world that cause the feelings a trip to Italy can bring.  But, we will just start with Italy for now.  Particularly, the Province of Ferrara, Italy. 

Why was this particular place so important to me?  Becki, asked me to go with here, but I had no clue how this trip would affect me..I didn't ask questions.  She nearly had to plan the whole trip for me, because I was so sidetracked. Her mention of going to the Marfy Fashion Studio and Pattern Design Studio.  Marfy Patterns!!!!  That, you did NOT have to ask me twice.  ITALY!!!  You did not have to ask me twice.  LOL  OMG!!!! 
That was the best time of my adult life...well not really, but almost.  We had the greatest time, and I am now ready to share the whole trip with you.  However, it will have to be a multi-part process, because there is just so much to share.  Becki kept asking, just how much room I had on my camera.  LOL.  I told her, "just know, I"  I had more SD Cards and backup drives and flash drives than you could "shake a stick at".  LOL  

This trip and all that it was, from trying to speak Italian, to laughter and train rides, is what brought the two of us together for the current challenge we are running on my channel.  We became a match made in Italy.  (Well after a few bumps and hormonal outburst, we got our grove and we were unstoppable after that.)  A friendship forged by the very fire that created our beautiful Italian Glassware! 

The handle I'm holding on the stairs from the picture below is glass, and half the entire glass factory in Venice was glass.  Forged by artisans that amazed us every where we turned.
This story we will be sharing via the Monthly Marfy Challenge, will captivate you as well as draw you into a challenge between the two us, that will take us back to the first moment we stepped off the plane to Ferrara.  

I wanted to write a combined vacation and pattern review blog post as well as film a video for you, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it at that time. (November 2017.) So I decided to just hint at the vacation in my video review of the pants, on my Video Vlog on YouTube.  For some reason, I wasn't ready to give you the full details of my trip to Italy...the trip was so beautiful, that I was still reliving it and wasn't yet ready to let go of the experience to the world.  It's really difficult for me to let go of such a lovely experience...It almost feels like I'm giving away that which holds my inner peace and happiness.  It's like a song inside that no-one can take away.  After that vacation, I needed to hear every song that was planted in me during that time in my life.

Now, I know why it was so important for me to wait for the right time...the feeling had to be right, the stars and all that is right had to line up perfectly for Becki and I to come back together and go back to Italy in a different way.  That had to come to fruition and now we both share this with you via our Monthly Marfy Sewing Pattern Challenge.  Check out the rules and how you can stay involved, here.
You must watch on the first Saturday of each month to see the fun. 
As for me personally, I will share the trip from my eyes, through my camera lense, and my bullet journal.  I write everything down.  You may fear me, how much I write.  One thing I DONOT write is the negative things that happen.  I write the best, the most memorable and the most fun times.  That is how I keep my song inside.  So, as I share via my video series, you will periodically get the trip of a lifetime through my eyes, and a fun pattern sewing challenge through both Becki's and my eyes.
As for the pattern review I you go!  Hope you don't find this post two exhausting.  It is a testament to just how much I have to share.  Stay tuned and ready your tea.  It's going to be a good time.  Enjoy!

The fabric is a Ponte knit from Sew Much Fabric.  I paired the fabric with a cute pant pattern, so I could wear them over and over again for the 14 days I was in Italy.  The fabric did not fail me when I paired it with the Burda 6636 pattern. I was so happy I made these pants the night before I left for the airport!!  (Of course I wore a couple jeans as fillers.) But all-in-all, the burgundy and black pants were the backbone of my looks for this trip.
I literally matched all my tops and scarves, shoes and coats to these pants.

Fitting Alterations:

No one wants to be on a train, plane or bus and have wedgies and camel toe...LOL  Okay, seriously, here are the alterations I made using my perfect pant pattern block (TNT) as a base.  Of course I could have drafted a pant pattern!  BUT, really why would I do that?  I have a perfectly fitting block (TNT), I can pick up any pattern and just check a few match points and be on my way.  Am I right?  Anyway, on to the fun stuff.  
To make my adjustments to this pattern, I used my pant block/TNT to fit all the main points.  I literally took my sloper and overlaid it onto the Burda pattern to get an idea what changes I needed to make. 
  • I shortened the legs at the knees by 2 inches, as well as at the hem by 1 inch. It seems Burda pants run very long.
  • I narrowed the legs so they would fit me the way another RTW (ready to wear) pants fit...I just measured the legs of the RTW leg opening and matched those numbers. To do this I made sure to use the front and back leg measurements separately to ensure the fit would be correct.  Basically, the back leg is smaller than the front at the knee for some reason, but those RTW pants fit just like this, with that nice curve at the WIN, WIN!! 
  • In the front I shortened the crotch based on my sloper pattern two whole inches.  
  • I had to graduate up to the side seam and into the back. 
  • I added an additional inch at the center back to go over the caboose.

Final Remarks:

- I would encourage you to join in the #sewtofitmarfychallenge and tag us on instagram whenever you sew a Marfy Pattern.  
- I also encourage you to work hard to create a perfect sloper and then you can quickly fit any pants pattern.  I strive to do my best to help people in my pattern fitting classes to be able to do what I do with my pant block.  There is no better feeling than to hustle up a pair of pants as quickly as I can, knowing that my block is at the ready.

Until next time, see you on the other side of the internet!!!


  1. Thanks for reading everyone. I look forward to sharing more with you.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. It brought back so many memories for me. Forty years from now, it will still be a song inside that no-one can take away. When I am still (out of the busy busy mode), I can still hear my song. No one can ever take it away from you and you are most certainly NOT giving away that which holds you inner peace and happiness. It will always be a part of YOU. Mary_in_AZ

    1. I collect thimbles from every place I visit because I know my sewing will always be something I go to for relaxation. This place, my sewing space, is wear I hope to relive these memories 40years from now. Thanks for sharing Mary.

  3. This is beautiful and I'm excited to read more about the Marfy Challenge and your trip. It's rare and wonderful when the stars align and you have an experience like that, and I understand not wanting to give any of it up. You may even find that words aren't even adequate in some cases. I still have trouble explaining to people about a trip to Europe that was absolutely life-changing. But I agree with Mary in AZ, that you will always keep it with you.

    1. Thank you Katrina. I think that the reason I haven’t written or did any sharing is mainly, as you say, it is really hard to put this trip into words. Although I have traveled many places,for some reason this one went deeper in my heart then any of the others.


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