Monday, November 30, 2015

Style Arc Fern Review: A pullover top with asymmetrical front wrap

I sewed this Style Arc Fern when winter was coming to an end last year. I recall at the time it was too cold to wear it without a jacket or cardi over it, and as summer came and went I found I only wore it twice.

That's no fault of the design though as I'm really liking Style Arc patterns.  It just doesn't fit quite right. It's a bit large in the neckline/shoulder area and I find myself constantly adjusting it through out the day.  I made this was when I was still trying to figure out the size I needed to sew for Style Arcs. I've since realized it is better for me to begin a size smaller and do an FBA .

The pullover top is designed for woven fabrics and has a full asymmetrical front wrap. No worries if the wind catches a corner as you're still covered!  There are small side darts and the slight drop shoulder sleeves are cut in one. I eliminated the keyhole opening in the  back as I found the neckline is wide enough to pull over my head without the additional opening.
Per usual Style Arc, the pattern is drafted beautifully, but the instructions are a bit sparse.  I liked the extra notch on the front pattern piece with produces those front mitered corners very easily.

The fabric I used was purchased locally from SR Harris Fabric Warehouse about a year ago. It's a woven with a small amount of stretch.  I loved the floral pattern on the black background and thought it would work nicely on this top.

As mentioned, the front has two complete front pieces. I went back and forth as to which part of the design I wanted to show, finally deciding on one floral with multiple stems.
The instructions for the neck and back facing can be a bit confusing but it does produce a nice polished finish.

While I don't find that I wear this one as often as I thought I would I do plan on sewing this again now that I know what adjustments to make for a better fit.

Another winner from Style Arc! 

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Style Arc Courtney Top in Rayon Challis

The Style Arc Courtney top is a pullover top with princess seams in the front and a back gathered into a yoke in the back.  The sleeves are cut in one with the side front, back and back yoke.  Recommended fabrics are jersey knit, slinky knit, linen, crepe and silk.

For this Courtney top, I used a rayon print remnant that I had picked up when a local fabric store closed about two years ago. It was just enough for that center front panel.  I purchased black rayon challis locally from Hancock Fabrics to complete the top.


Sewing instructions with Style Arc patterns are minimal, but there are also a few illustrations to help guide you. Construction on this top was straight forward.

Stitch the front princess seams, gather the center of the lower back and stitch to the back yoke, stitch the shoulder seams, stitch the neck band, stitch the side seams, stitch the armbands, and hem.   I also choose to topstitch the neck band in place. 

As far as sizing goes, I've sewn so many Big 4 patterns that I know exactly what size I need to use.  For Style Arcs I wasn't sure as my measurements fall in between sizes. I contacted the company once for advice on which size to use and they recommended the larger of the two. However, as I've been sewing more and more of their designs I've discovered that starting with the smaller size and adjusting larger as needed works best for me. Especially when the pattern is designed with fair amount of ease, as is this one.

The only pattern alteration I made was a small FBA (full bust adjustment).  If I had sewn this in a knit, that would not have been needed.  If I sew this in another woven I'll make that FBA a bit larger. 

In my opinion another winner from Style Arc.  The simple design lines allow for multiple variations based on fabric choices, pattern pieces went together nicely, and I like the fit. 


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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Simplicity 1333 - Child's Tunic with Contast Fabric Front

I have a great-niece starting kindergarten this year.  Her birthday falls in August so in addition to gifting her with a toy, I sewed her four going-to-school tunics using Simplicity 1333.

Number one: Black knit sleeves, back and bodice with contract floral voile front with pink ric-rac trim.
Number two: Mustard knit sleeves and back with a cotton print front. The size 8 I sewed was just a bit too long to cut the front piece completely from the fat quarter so I added a narrow contrast fabric band along the lower edge.
Number three; Cranberry knit sleeves, back and yoke with a gold/red cotton print front. I added a purchased white lace jabot to the front also.
Number four: White knit front and sleeves with lace trim and cotton print back. The print was supposed to be in the front but I didn't realize until I had finished the neck binding that I had mixed up the front and back pieces.  Sheesh, after all these years I'm still making silly sewing mistakes.  I added three rows of white lace to the front because it was so blah.

Let me tell you, I was on a roll!  Each one took just under one hour to cut and sew.

Normally I wouldn't spend a gorgeous summer weekend day sitting inside sewing. But I'm still wearing a surgical shoe from my recent foot surgery and sewing sounded better than watching television. And I was having fun sewing for little ones.

Sooooo, once I finished the four tunics for my great-niece, I stitched up one more for a friend's daughter who is wild about giraffes. The front is a silk giraffe print (prewashed so mama doesn't have to hand wash the tunic) combined with a white cotton knit.
The pattern, Simplicity 1333, includes the tunic and leggings for Misses'(S to XL) and an 18"doll
It's a great basic top/tunic pattern that I anticipate I will sew again for the two girls.

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Sunday, July 05, 2015

I like it! Vogue 9112 aka the Marcy Tilton Cirque Dress

Let me start out by saying that I loved the design of this dress but did not expect it to work on my body type. Thank goodness that didn't stop me from sewing it as I was pleasantly surprised by how much I like this dress!
The dress pattern is  Vogue 9112, a Marci Tilton design known in the sewing blog world as the Cirque dress. 

I passed on the pattern when it was first released. And then I saw Mary's review.

Since I still wasn't completely convinced this would work for me, I choose to use a linen-blend from my fabric stash rather than invest money in new fabric. The fabric was purchased about 1-1/2 years ago from Fabric Mart Fabrics.  The fabric is somewhat stiff - and it has been prewashed - but it works. 
The dress was so much fun to sew!  Thank goodness the pattern comes with instructions as it would have taken me some time to figure it out on my own.
I found the armholes low in front, but that could have been due to not making a large enough of an FBA (full bust adjustment) alteration to the pattern.
I sewed a small in the shoulder/neck and tapered to a medium for the rest of the dress. I'll share a separate post on how I did my FBA for this pattern. I didn't add much, but I'm really glad I added what I did.

The length of the dress works perfect for me. Not too short, not too long.

The dress has side seam pockets.

I'm also glad I took time to layout the front bodice piece so that the darker portion of the fabric ended up along the bustline.
Most of the seam details are lost in the busyness of this print.  But I like that it just makes the print look that much more random.
I love the collar!  Isn't it cool? Amazing was a couple tiny tucks can do.

I added a little sizing tags. That way if I ended up giving it away the new owner would have an idea of the size.
I found these at Tuesday Morning in the sewing/crafting section.  A set of 24 woven labels for $0.99.  They were intended for children's wear, but you can't tell once the tag is folded in half .
So back to the dress: Love. Fun. Easy.

That pretty much sums it up.

Here's my little sewing buddy again.  You'll probably see lots of pics of this one as she's getting old, has some health issues, and we are spoiling her terribly for as long as possible.

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Friday, July 03, 2015

Red, White and Lace: Simplicity 1199 Pullover Knit Top

This Simplicity 1199 knit top is modeled by my lovely daughter, who agreed to be photographed wearing the top only if I did not show her face. I get it, while I think she looks beautiful 24/7 (and trust me she does!)  she said she was having a  bad hair/bad makeup day.
This top is a double layer top which worked out perfectly for the red striped fabric I used. The stripes are actually semi-sheer. Cool, huh?  I bought the red fabric at my favorite local fabric warehouse -- SR Harris -- without knowing exactly what I would sew. You never do that, right?
The pattern, Simplicity 1199, has multiple views and is designed for knits. I found it to very loose-fitting. In fact, I originally cut and sewed this top for myself, but when my daughter stopped by and expressed how much she liked it I gave it her. Honestly, it fits (and looks) much better on her than it did on me. If you sew this, think about how much ease you want and choose your size accordingly.
I sewed View D, but eliminated the crossover back.  I simply cut the back piece on the fold of the fabric and straightened the hemline.
The lace was an afterthought.  Once I had the top almost complete I though it needed just a bit more.
I've seen so much lace on tops in local boutiques that it made sense to trim with a flat lace.  Which was also purchased from my favorite fabric warehouse store. Notice that little orange dot? That's how you mark the price and yardage since you cut most items yourself at that place. LOVE that!
The tops is two separate knit tops joined together at the shoulders, neck and armholes.  I managed to misplace the instruction sheet while I was in the process of sewing this (must have been that day when I cleaned up my sewing space - that'll teach me!  so I can't speak exactly on the order of construction but I do recall it was simple to sew.

I started View B and decided I didn't like my color combo. Luckily my daughter tried the top on and decided it works for her.   Another blog post on this pattern will be coming soon.


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