Monday, 30 November 2015

Style Arc Mia Dress

Deviating from my last post about the very form fitting Marita Knit Dress, I have tried a new looser fitting design...the Style Arc Mia DressI liked the look of this design but I couldn't find very many versions of this pattern made up during my internet research so I wasn't sure how good the pattern would be.


Style Arc describe this pattern as "Simple but sophisticated, this dress has an elasticised waist for easy wear, extended shoulders and a fashionable front skirt over lay which falls beautifully. As an option the front skirt overlay can be deleted if a plain front dress is preferred, so easy make it in an afternoon."


Style Arc Mia Dress

This is another polyester spandex knit purchased from Spotlight during my recent fabric shopping trip. It has a lovely silky feel, and is very drapey...perfect for this style. I made the version with the front over lay which drapes beautifully. 


Husbands can be handy blog photographers, but they are not so good at being personal stylists. I asked several times if the dress was sitting properly etc, and in every photo the belt is not sitting on the waistline. Oh well...you get the general idea.

I do like the looser style, and it is comfortable and easy to wear. This is quite an easy pattern to sew but I managed to make it quite difficult due to some silly mistakes.


The front overlay is cleverly sandwiched in the side seam between the front and back skirt pieces (except when you sew up the wrong side seam first). This was such an annoying mistake, but I was not going to unpick an overlocked seam. I overcame this problem by pinning the overlay over the finished side seam and stitching in the ditch. This was painstakingly fiddly but it worked and it's not noticeable.


The front crossover bodice neckline has a facing and this produces a lovely clean finish. Although, I did have some trouble with the facing wanting to flip out despite under stitching. This may be due to the weighty drape of the fabric and I may go back and secure it down with some Bondaweb (iron on adhesive). The pattern does suggest adding a press stud at the centre front to reduce any gaping, as this is quite a loose fit. I chose to wear a cami under it instead. The back neckline is finished with a binding.


The shoulder seams are sewn together and then gathered by applying elastic to the seam allowance. I did use this method but I found it very fiddly and resulted in a messy finish on the inside. I think I might prefer the traditional method of using a gathering stitch. I did not use the sleeve bands, but turned the sleeve hems under and secured with a twin needle.


After joining the bodice to the skirt at the waistline, you overlock 6mm elastic to the seam allowance to gather the waist line. The narrowest elastic I had on hand was 12mm wide and after I overlocked it to the seam allowance I tried the dress on. It was huge! The elastic had stretched out terribly and the waistline hung on my hips. There was way too much fabric at the side seam between the armhole and the waistline. I thought it was ruined and it was nearly discarded in disgust. (Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a photo at this stage.) 


But, I loved the fabric and I was determined to make it work. I carefully cut off the elastic at the waist (no way was I attempting to unpick the overlocking) leaving a seam allowance of about 3mm. Luckily there was plenty of length so I could afford to sacrifice a little when attaching the new elastic. I cut a new piece of elastic, this time 20mm wide and much stronger to hold the weight of the skirt, and overlocked it on. Much better result this time. Then I took in the side seams by 3cm at the base of the armhole and tapered to nothing at the waistline. This did the trick...a huge improvement to the fit. As you can see there is still plenty of fabric in the bodice.


So, despite my silly mistakes and fitting issues...I am quite happy with my new Style Arc Mia. It all turned out well in the end.

Happy Sewing.

22 comments:

  1. Such a pretty dress! Glad you persisted, isnt it good when you have enough experince to find solutions where past me would have given up in frustration. And I hear you about husband photogrphers, willing but tend not to notice stray threads and think 3 photos are plenty! ☺

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    1. You made me laugh, your husband sounds just like mine. Thanks for your lovely comment Barbara.

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  2. I get my 15 year old daughter to take
    my blog photos as the males of the house have short attention spans when it comes to blog photography.
    Definitely worth the effort to save this lovely fabric from wadded ignominy

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    1. Thanks Paola, I'm glad this dress didn't end up a wadder. I think I will get a lot of wear out of it over the summer.

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  3. This is really pretty and flattering. It also looks beautifully made, despite you saying otherwise. I bet the next one will come together perfectly in no time!

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    1. Thanks so much Megan, and yes, only I am aware of the mistakes. At least the next one should be a lot easier.

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  4. It has turned out beautifully - and looks so gorgeous in your garden setting. I agree, sometimes it is better to use methods that one is familiar with - they usually work.

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    1. Thank you Sarah Liz. It was nice to take advantage of the pretty garden setting (although not mine).

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  5. The dress is so pretty, and there's no evidence of the elastic difficulties! I;m glad you saved it.

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    1. Thank you Karen. The wider elastic was much more successful and I'm glad I saved it too.

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  6. This is a lovely dress, the fabric is so pretty. I'm glad you were able work through your hiccups and save your dress from wadder world.

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    1. I'm really happy with the finished dress Kathy, although a little annoyed with myself for making those silly mistakes. Glad I was able to save it and I think the fabric is very pretty too. Thanks.

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  7. You sure have been busy recently - all very successful garments that suit you (and your husband -the shirt) so well.

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    1. Thank you Ruth. I usually have something on the go most of the time, but I am a bit irregular with my blogging.

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  8. Glad you were able to work through the issues as you have a lovely looking dress for summer.

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    1. Thanks Sharon...it does pay off to persevere rather than throw in the towel.

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  9. Another pretty dress! Happy for you that you can fix the elastic issue :) Love the print as well.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Hana. I love the print too and it was well worth saving.

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  10. Phew ! Glad you saved the dress because it looks gorgeous - both the fabric snd the style.

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    1. Thank you Janine. I have been thinking about trying a colour blocked version when I find the right fabric.

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  11. Nice save! It looks very comfortable :)

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  12. Thanks Carolyn. I'm planning to wear this on Christmas Day as there is plenty of expansion room.

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