This pattern was a pure impulse buy. I was reading a discussion about Drape dress from Great British Sewing Bee and its similarities to Hedy Designer Dress from Style Arc, and in the process of research ended up buying the latter. Let’s just say that I’ve been wanting a loose fitting knit dress for a long time already and this seemed like a good candidate.
I haven’t used Style Arc patterns before, and a big part of that might be not seeing them made up that much. I tend to google quite a lot before deciding what to make and I usually want to see someone similarly built wearing the garnment before I buy. With this dress I just went with the line drawing and two sample photos. Ever since I’ve seen three people in their finished dresses, and neither close to my bodytype, so this was in a way a shot in the dark for me. Also I kept having a nagging feeling that something was way off with this dress. Like the finished dresses didn’t look right, and that made me doubt getting 2 meters of fabric for it. For some reason I did when the right fabric came along.
The fabric is cotton jersey (with some elastic) from Nosh Organics. I’ve used their jerseys for Kielo last year, and the quality is pretty amazing to be honest. It basically looks new after several washes. I went to check what they had at the moment -it varies- and found this white noise thing which has a clear direction but doesn’t require stripe matching. So not too much pressure to cut a dress with only curved and tilted seams.
And then I began to cut out the pattern. In case you didn’t know, Style Arc paper patterns are one size, and I’m not sure I like that very much. I’m three sizes at once in some more fitted clothes, so while this system worked with this pattern, I’m not sure I’d want to adjust anything with waist definition. But anyway, back to cutting the pattern: I had the line drawing on the floor next to the side back piece, and at that point I realized what it was that had been bothering me.
The pattern piece has an armhole, not a 3/4 sleeve. I went back to check all three dresses and the sample, and yeah, they were all basically sleeveless while the line drawing clearly shows a sleeve reaching below elbows. Gah, the disappointment! This is really not the first impression I had been expecting, and I’m still pretty annoyed by a pattern company selling the pattern with the drawing that won’t match the finished product. Because let’s face it, sample photos seem to be a mere sidenote for Style Arc. What the hell happened here?
Because at that point I was determined to get a new dress and adding sleeves didn’t seem too difficult I simply added length to the stumps, finished shortening the pattern pieces to fit me and cut some extra fabric around sleeve hems to finish the adjustment before hemming. I ended up with additional 7 cm, but could have added 10 more. This is still not a winter office dress that could be used without a cardigan, so I’ll have remember that if I make another one. The shortening went well despite the curved seams:
When it comes to sewing, this went together super fast on a serger with some help from the sewing machine. I have to say I found some instructions a bit weird, like stay stitching the neckline in a knit (didn’t do it) and using fusible interfacing to stabilize the pockets and the neckline facing. I mean, doens’t rtw usually use clear elastic or some other kind of tape for this? For some reason I did the fusing this time, but it feels odd in an otherwise relaxed dress. Anyway, I really liked sewing this, and ended up with a super nice dress. The cocoon shape is really cute, and I feel like a flying squirrel in this when I lift my arms. To be clear, that’s a good thing, and if you want to understand you should google flying squirrel.