Category Archives: Style Arc

Style Arc Simone cardigan with White Tree fabric

Style Arc Simone cardgian

I’m very behind on photographing and sharing finished projects again (the old work effect, sigh), so this snuggly cardi is no longer very seasonally appropriate thanks to the lovely London sun we’ve been having lately. But it’s still a handy wardrobe builder and great for throwing over a dress or cami when the temperature dips. It’s a Style Arc Simone cardigan in Warm Jersey, which was kindly sent to me by White Tree Fabrics.

Style Arc Simone cardgian

I was going to make another Julia initially but decided to try the Simone, mostly because pockets. I’m – eh – moderately happy with the pattern. I agree mostly with this Pattern Review post that the drape is not like how I expected from the diagram. It hangs very heavily and rather sticks out around the hips, one place where I really don’t need any extra weight! The pockets are made by sewing a large dart in the front then folding it to the side seam, so you have six layers folded up in the hem which obviously makes it quite bulky. A lighter knit that the one I used is recommended, so maybe that would help. The instructions are typically brief but easy enough. There’s one error to be aware of: you need to cut two neck binding bands and seam them at the CB (the instructions have you cut only one which obviously isn’t long enough).

Style Arc Simone cardgian
Style Arc Simone cardgian

Chunky pockets aside, the fit it pretty good. It’s a bit longer than I expected, ending below the bum on me when I was hoping for mid-hip. You can’t shorten it from the hem because of the pockets, so next time I would take a couple of inches length out from around the waistline.

Style Arc Simone cardgian

The Warm Jersey fabric is a finely-knitted poly/elastane mix with a heathered effect from different coloured strands. Isn’t the colour just gorgeous? It matches both my living room and my blog! It comes in more scrummy muted colours too – red, brown, grey, blue (and Erin just used the richer aubergine purple for a hoodie). As the name suggests, it’s very soft and cosy and has a beautiful drape. I definitely snuggled in it like a blanket while deciding what to make it into. It was also great to work with – my overlocker and sewing machine both loved it. Despite being a proper knitted-looking knit it doesn’t fray or get fluff everywhere and it’s sturdy enough to not stretch all over the place when being cut and stitched.

Style Arc Simone cardgian

Style Arc Simone cardgian
The fabric behaved beautifully for the neck binding and I love how polished it looks – almost like a slim blazer lapel. There’s clear elastic in the shoulder seam to support the weight. One more change I would make next time is to hem the main cardigan before adding the neckband with the short edges pre-finished, because it feels a bit odd to me to have the hem going right over the band.

Style Arc Simone cardgian

I think it looks best on me with the pockets shoved to the back, not hanging around the front in its slightly weird trapezium-shaped way. It will definitely get plenty of wear this summer and beyond, and I might make it again with the fitting tweaks I mentioned as I do like the style. Obviously, the grey warm jersey is calling my name for next time.

whitetree

Oh, and I almost forgot! White Tree Fabrics also gave me a 20% discount code and free shipping offer for everyone, just enter code WHATKATIESEWS at the check out. Happy shopping – I’m eyeing up lace and broderie for my next project…

Thank you to White Tree Fabrics for supplying the fabric; views as ever my own.

Coming up roses: stretch denim jeans

Style Arc Sandra jeans

Here’s that second draft of Style Arc’s Sandra jeans I mentioned. They still aren’t perfect fit-wise but they are much closer and much better constructed. I’ve been wearing these pretty solidly since I finished them, especially since I shrunk my favourite RTW Gap pair in the wash recently.

Style Arc Sandra jeans

For this pair I used a stretch denim in a pretty abstract rose print from Rolls & Rems. It was £5.50 per metre and it’s quite thin with a generous amount of two-way stretch. I started with my already-adjusted Style Arc Sandra pattern, but bearing in mind my fit issues from last time and also that I was using a stretch this time I made a few further adjustments.

Style Arc Sandra jeans

The fit came out completely different to the first pair – it just shows how much effect the stretch factor has. I was able to taper the legs way in for a skinnier silhouette, and I added a bit more hip ease to compensate for the first pair being too tight around there. They’re way more comfortable, almost with legging-type ease of movement. I cut the leg length right on the ankle for a nice springlike look with flats.

Style Arc Sandra jeans

They came together pretty smoothly. I didn’t have any additional trouble from using a stretch denim. I used a universal needle for most of it, a stretch twin needle for topstitching, and a denim needle for the many layers of the waistband. I used regular thread again, not topstitching, mostly because I was too lazy to go and buy some and have to change thread all the time. I do think a contrast pale blue would have been cute on this pair.

Style Arc Sandra jeans
Style Arc Sandra jeans

No gasping strain lines this time! The waistband, however, was an extra challenge to get right in stretch denim. I had a *massive* gape at the centre back, probably due to adding the hip ease and needing to pinch it back out towards the waist. After about 5 or 6 failures, I ended up drafting a four-piece band instead of the continuous one of the pattern, in order to ease out the excess through angling the seams. I also interfaced the inner waistband to prevent it from bagging out over time, although it actually has stretched out a bit anyway and they’re a bit too big now. It’s also got quite creased as you can see – I think I might hunt out some special waistband interfacing for the next pair.

Style Arc Sandra jeans
Style Arc Sandra jeans

The guts are much neater than my first pair. After cutting all the pieces I spent a really boring hour finishing every single raw edge on the overlocker so it was out of the way when I came to sew. I reduced the size of the fly shield as it was originally kind of bulky compared to my RTW jeans. I also bias-bound and hand-slipstitched down the inner waistband. Tidy.

Style Arc Sandra jeans

I really love these jeans! I’ve worn them loads since I finished them, and they have the same ease of wearing as RTW jeans. Do you know what I mean, that you sometimes feel a bit self-conscious in self-mades in case there’s a construction fault or they look a bit homemade in a bad way? None of that with these. Not that I look to emulate RTW clothing when I sew, but you definitely don’t want craftsy looking jeans. Now I’m not sure whether to keep tweaking and improving this pattern (I want a polka dot pair next!) or to try a new one. I like the look of this Burda pair from the newest issue…

Style Arc Sandra jeans

Pictures were taken by Josh by the way instead of my usual self-timer + tripod, and in case you’re wondering why I look like I’m trying not to laugh in every one is because he insisted on playing this as were were photographing. I really need to fix the tripod…

Style Arc Elizabeth top

Style Arc Elizabeth

After my month-long dalliance with knits, I swung backs to wovens at the weekend. I find each one makes me appreciate the strengths of the other: the speed of fluid knits vs the accuracy of sturdy wovens. Both good fun in their own ways.

Style Arc Elizabeth

Talking of fabrics first, this gorgeous crepe de chine was kindly sent to me by Sam via the Stash Diet swapping group on Flickr. What a great idea, eh? I’ve sent out several bits of fabric and yarn (I have some left, check the group!) and received back this lovely stuff and some new-to-me patterns. Thank you Sam and I hope you approve of what I did with it!

Style Arc Elizabeth

The pattern I used is the Elizabeth top from Style Arc, an Australian company who also sell their patterns to big retail stores like Asos. In general I’d say that they are geared toward the more advanced sewist, as the instructions for both patterns I bought are somewhat scarce. Very little guidance is given on things like seam finishes and construction methods, so a bit of prior knowledge and common sense is a must. But the trade-off is you get extremely good drafting, great style lines, and a very RTW type look to their garments. And for this pattern anyway, it was easy enough to figure out the construction steps without much help.

Style Arc Elizabeth

My aim was to create something similar to my silk tulip-front Scout, which is definitely my most-worn woven top. I think this ticks a lot of the same boxes: graphic print in muted colours, luxe yet easy to wear (and sew) fabric, comfortable shape while still looking like I’ve made a bit more of an effort that just wearing a plain tee. Mission accomplished, I think.

Style Arc Elizabeth

As I said, the drafting and the fit of this pattern are great. I made no fitting modifications besides lowering the neckline quite a bit. I especially like the slim ‘longer-than-short’ sleeves and the subtle asymmetry at the hem. The under layer covers pretty much the whole torso so there’s no risk of it flying open.

Style Arc Elizabeth

There’s a little keyhole at the back neck, which I finished with a comedy giant button. The rest of the neckline is finished with self-fabric bias, and I used a twin needle throughout on the hems. This pattern works in a knit or woven, so I think I’ll be making up more versions sometime – check out Sally’s sweet striped jersey one!