Style Arc Olivia1

Another recent-ish addition to my summer wardrobe, this is a Style Arc Olivia dress I made a month or so ago. It’s about the simplest project you could imagine with its kimono sleeves, elastic waist and gently flared skirt. I always feel a bit lazy buying patterns like this, but the unfussiness means they actually get used more often than more unique or complex designs, so it’s definitely an economical purchase. It’s also a great canvas for pretty fabrics and ripe for a few design hacks.

Style Arc Olivia5

The proportions overall are really nice: I like how the slightly longer bodice blouses over the elastic waist, and the skirt’s the perfect fullness and flare – it’s another cycle-friendly gal. As Meg noted when she made her Olivia, the neckline as drafted is really quite wide and scoopy. I’ve actually got the facings safety-pinned to my bra straps to anchor it in place! Next time I’ll alter the flat pattern to make it a little snugger.

Style Arc Olivia6

A little design alteration I made was to do a deep baseball-style scoop at the hemline. I still haven’t actually hemmed the skirt – it’s just overlocked – because I’m a bit stuck on how to do it neatly with a fabric that likes to ripple and won’t take a nice press. I have a rolled hem foot which would be ideal but I’ve never got the hang of it; ditto a serged rolled hem. I’ll deal with it sometime. Or just wear it unhemmed forever…

Style Arc Olivia3

It was the perfect pattern to use my treasured self-designed French crepe fabric, printed by Contrado. Like all springy poly crepes it didn’t like to take a press very well, but it was mercifully non-shifty for cutting and sewing and feels great to wear. I wouldn’t hesitate to get more of their crepes printed with other designs.

Style Arc Olivia1

Considering how fast and simple this was to make, it got INSANE praise when I wore it to work today. I think every girl in the office commented on it, along with gaining boyfriend seal of approval. I’d better get designing more fabric and making it into more Olivias!

32 thoughts on “Olivia

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      It literally would not press successfully enough to make good bias tape, but maybe pre-bought bias (or made with a more pressing-amenble fabric) is the solution.

  1. AvatarLayla

    I always use bias tape to finish shirt hems as it really helps getting round those curvy bits. Maybe try that? Lush dress!

  2. Avatarshivani

    it’s lovely! I’ve been umming over this pattern for ages – I love the simplicity of it, but hadn’t seen many made up, so wasn’t sure whether to commit. Think I might have to now!

  3. AvatarSam

    I’m not surprised you got so many compliments on this, it’s perfect! I love everything about it, fabric, pattern, the addition of the scooped hem.

  4. AvatarTeri

    Your dress looks cute on you. I love the simplicity of the pattern. The fabric looks comfortable as well. Good job. – hobbiescraftsandmore.com

  5. AvatarSophie

    Katie this is gorrrgeous. I can’t believe you designed the print as well! Well, I can because it’s awesome. Can’t get much more self-made than that!

  6. AvatarJess

    I really love the fabric and pattern together. Geometric designs seem to do really well with simple cuts. It’s lovely. I wish I had the same one!!

  7. AvatarJoanne

    You could do a double rolled hem without your foot. Rolled hem feet are hard to use on a curve. To do one you turn over a tiny hem (wrong side to wrong side) and sew as close to the edge as you can get. Trim off the tiny excess (Without snipping your dress!) then fold again and stitch on top of the first row. It is a technique used on wedding dress linings for hems. Nice Dress. Jo x

  8. AvatarRosie

    I love this dress Katie! Absolutely love the fabric and the hemline. I think you could just unpick the side seams at the bottom a little, finish both the front and the back with a custom binding (also made in soft fabric) which you sew to the outside then flip to the inside so it’s hidden. Then sew up the side seams again. But raw/overlocked is good too! Brilliant project : ) xx

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