Friday, 17 April 2015

Style Arc Jessica Dress

I know I should be over twist tops and dresses by now, but I still find them kind of fascinating and since I tend to live in jersey dresses in the summer, decided to give this one a whirl.

This fabric is a little thinner than I would normally wear for dresses, but for some reason I have a lot of it and there's only so many tops you can have from the same fabric.  It is about the same weight as the swatch that Style Arc provides with the pattern though and it feels divine - like silk jersey although I'm sure it isn't.

As usual for Style Arc the instructions are brief, but perfectly adequate for anyone with a bit of sewing experience and there is a diagram for the twisty bit.

I made a straight size 10, but I did need to add some stitching at the centre front neckline to keep it closed although now I see it in photos I think I will take it a bit lower.  With a less slippery fabric I think the twist would hold everything in place and it wouldn't need stitching at all.  I also think I am very short in the neck to chest department, necklines are often too low for me.

This is a bit longer than I usually wear my hemlines, but I'm trying this length out first, I can always shorten it in the future.  It goes together pretty quickly and I'd like to make another in a solid - when that will happen I don't know, I'm a bit of a magpie when I go fabric shopping and can't stay away from prints!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Jalie 3245

I knew it wouldn't be long before I tried out the sleeved version of this pattern as a casual top instead of workout gear.

This is view A in a very soft printed cotton jersey from the stash.  High fashion this is not, but it is an immensely practical and comfy wardrobe item (that makes me sound very old I know!).

Cutting out my sort of uneven striped fabric and focussing on pattern matching I stupidly cut two fronts by mistake and then didn't have enough to match the sleeves, it's not what I originally planned but it's OK.

Again I made a straight size V, but I raised the neckline at the centre front by about an inch tapering to nothing at the shoulders.  I also did a different, and to me, more conventional binding treatment on the neckline than the sporty look per the pattern instructions.  I simply finished one long edge of the binding on my serger and stitched it right sides together to the neckline.  Then I folded it to the inside and stitched it down with a twin needle - very easy to do and it lies nice and flat.

I'll say again this is a great pattern and it's also reminded me that I have a few more Jalie top patterns in my stash which will probably work for both casual and workout wear too.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Style Arc Madeleine top

This was the March freebie and I liked it enough to finally get around to ordering a few Style Arc dresses I have wanted for a while.  One of the drawbacks of not being very inspired by Burda's recent magazines is that it seems I still need to get a pattern fix from somewhere!

The pattern is designed for ponte knits and for this test version I used some leftover knit from my stash that is a slightly lighter weight and with more stretch than a ponte which I think affected how this top turned out.  You really do need something quite non drapy for that front band to work properly.  Still, I like it enough to make another in either a ponte or stretch woven.  I think it would also make a great sheath dress by simply extending the lower bodice pieces.

My favourite part of this pattern is how the front wraps over the shoulders to form the sleeve, although I spent a bit of time thinking I must have thrown the sleeve pattern piece away before I realised how it worked!  Doh!

Construction is much more straightforward than I assumed.  The front band is applied separately to the bodice, covering the waist seam and caught in the side seams.  I needed to tighten the band up a bit to make it stay in place (my fabric choice is a big factor here though) and as suggested in the instructions also tacked it in a few places.  I need to take some width out of the lower centre front too, you can see there is too much fabric there now that I have mucked around with the side seams / band placement.

Next time I will make the front band as a tube rather than just folding in the edges, I can't see that ever staying in place so on this version I went back and stitched the fold down to the waist seam allowance.  Lastly I found I didn't need to use a zip so you could in theory eliminate the centre back seam depending on the stretch of your fabric although it may be useful to add some shaping.

Finally, Clothing Engineer, who makes a lot of Style Arc patterns also just posted this top (also in navy!) and has great tips in case you need to adjust for gaping armholes and neckline.  I didn't find this to be an issue at all for me, funnily enough it's the one place the top fits well!  For reference I used a size 10.