Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Style Arc Olivia Dress

According to the Style Arc website: "A great every day dress to have in your wardrobe that is very easy to sew. The flattering extended shoulder line along with the elastic waist makes this dress suitable for different occasions. Dress it up with your favourite designer belt or use the belt pattern to create your own look in a contrast fabric.

Style Arc Olivia Dress

This pattern has been around for quite a while and there are many lovely versions out there in blogland. It has taken me a while to finally purchase the pattern and try it out and I have not been disappointed.

I used this pretty tear drop printed rayon from Spotlight, but it was a nightmare to get those stripes lined up before cutting. Even though I spent quite a lot of time pinning the fabric to ensure the stripes matched, it still managed to shift and not be as perfectly aligned as I had hoped for. Next time I will steer clear of any striped patterns, especially in shifty rayon.

The only alteration I made to the pattern was to add an extra 1.5cm to the bottom edge of the bodice and the top edge of the skirt. I wanted to make sure there was plenty of fabric to be able to overlock the raw edges of the elastic casing with ease. This worked out very well. Some people have commented that the arm holes are too low and their bra is exposed, but I did not have this issue.

The bodice is maybe a little too blousey at the back, and could benefit from a little shortening. This may be due to the extra length I added to accommodate the finishing of the casing. I will need to think on this before I make another one.

I didn't make the belt included with the pattern. This narrow gold belt worked quite well with it. The neckline facing was top stitched down so there are no issues with it flipping out at all. The dress turned out very long and I ended up turning up a 5cm hem twice to achieve this length. This gave a nice weight to the hemline too. These photos were snapped in a hurry on Christmas Eve morning as we were about to head to the shops for our last bit of Christmas grocery shopping. It was cool and comfortable in the rayon and I would recommend this pattern as a nice simple wardrobe staple. Many different looks could be achieved depending on fabric choice and I think this would work well in a knit fabric too.

Happy Sewing

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Style Arc Kate Dress in Leopard Print

Style Arc Kate Dress
This is my third Style Arc Kate Dress. You might say I like this style. A classic wrap dress is flattering on most figures and they always makes me feel all feminine and girly when I wear my Kate dresses. You can see the others here and here.

Style Arc Kate Dress
I did simplify the pattern a little, by eliminating the tucks in the front by cutting the side without the tucks as a pair. I found in my first version that sewing the tucks was tricky in a slippery poly knit and they were not really necessary.

I added 3 cm of length to the bodice area to lower the waistline and kept the length (including the extra 3 cm). The waist ties were lengthened so that they would be long enough to go right around my waist and tie at the front.

I was planning to have short sleeves but after cutting them out I realised that they were a little too close fitting for short sleeves. I will try short sleeves next time, adding some extra width to the pattern before cutting out. I kinda like how these "just above the elbow" length sleeves turned out anyway, and they are fine for my cold air conditioned office at work.

The fabric is a poly/spandex knit in a leopard print, from Spotlight in Queanbeyan and they still have some available, or they did last Friday when I called in. (I love it when I have to drive to Canberra for a work meeting, and the route goes right past Spotlight in Queanbeyan. I usually take full advantage.)

The neckline was finished off with some self fabric binding turned to the inside and secured with a twin needle. I used Bondaweb on all the hems which eliminated skipped stitches and tunnelling when I sewed them with a twin needle. It makes such a difference when working with these slinky poly knits. 

I'm pretty happy with my new dress and I have worn it to work twice already.

Happy Sewing

Friday, 2 December 2016

Style Arc Hazel Dress

Style Arc Hazel Dress

This Style Arc Hazel Dress was actually made way back in May. You may have seen a sneak peep during Me Made May. I think I only got to wear it once before the weather turned cold, so it has taken until now to get some descent photos for the blog.

Style Arc Hazel Combo
From the Style Arc website: "This cocoon-type dress is Style Arc’s take on the exciting new oversized shape of this season. We’ve provided so many options for you with this pattern. Make it with or without sleeves. Make it with or without hidden pockets. You can even choose to make it as a top!"

I chose to make the dress with the sleeves and I also included the pockets. The fabric came from Spotlight. It was some sort of knit, not as heavy as a ponte, had a nice drape and not too much stretch. The two tones are actually the right and wrong sides of the fabric. I decided to use both sides of the fabric to add interest and highlight the design lines of the dress.

The neckline, hemline and sleeves are finished off with a facing. I initially tried to hand stitch the hem facings, but they looked terrible in this fabric, so I resorted to using the twin needle which gave a much better result.

The sleeves are very "bat wing" shaped. This is a bit of an issue if you need to raise your arms above your head as the whole dress lifts up and you can reveal far more than is socially acceptable. The shape of the sleeves also restricts what you can wear over it. I have no cardigans or jackets that would work with this style. I found that the dress tends to slip back off my shoulders, when sitting and the front neckline rides up and chokes me. This may be due to my forward sloping shoulders? but is quite annoying.

I like the look of this dress, but I do find it annoying to wear due to the reasons mentioned above. Not sure if I would make it again.

Happy Sewing