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.