Style Arc Fern

Thanks for your comments on the last post, really interesting to read about how everyone else got into sewing!

Style Arc Fern

So, I’m proud of myself here: I made a top when I had ample fabric to make a dress instead. I’ve mentioned before that I have a weird tendency to feel like I need to make a dress when I have enough fabric to do so, so it’s a real internal struggle to ever make ‘just a top’ from a 2m length of fabric. SILLY. Anyway.

Style Arc Fern

This is a Style Arc Fern top, which came to me because Amy got it as her order freebie and kindly sent it on to me. It’s a rather cool kimono-sleeved top with a double-layered front which end in mitred corners. A bit of an update on the Elizabeth that I’ve sewn a couple of times already. The fabric’s a cheap polyester crepe from eBay, which is why I didn’t mind sacrificing it to a top instead of making a frock.

It’s been said before about Style Arc: the styles and drafting are amazing; the instructions are diametrically terrible. Now I don’t mind minimal instructions but Style Arc ones seem to be written purely to fox you, with terminology frequently mixed up or flat-out wrong (‘stay stitch’ is used interchangeably with understitch and baste in this case) and pointers to refer to diagrams that really don’t make things any clearer.

Style Arc Fern

This top has a few interesting details which meant I was puzzling over the construction quite a bit. There’s the mitred seam at the centre fronts, which took a few minutes of head-scratching to figure out but turned out to be quite a neat method to get a sharp corner.

Style Arc Fern

The front neckline is finished by sewing the overlapping fronts RS to WS and flipping over, while the back neck is finished with a facing. To get a clean finish at the neck edge you sew the outer front layer’s shoulder to the back shoulder RS together, then continue to sew the inner front shoulder to the back facing. Makes sense NOW but very much didn’t at the time. Also if your fabric looks similar on the back like mine does, mark which is the front or you might sew the shoulder inside out first try. Ahem.

Style Arc Fern

There’s supposed to be a little keyhole split at the top of the back neck: I had a valiant stab at it but had to give up and sew it shut as I simply couldn’t get it looking right by following the directions. After that I gave up with the instructions entirely and made the rest up as best I could.

Style Arc Fern

Can’t argue with the fit though, which is perfect right off the pattern. The shoulders of SA patterns seem to fit particularly nicely on me and the length, darts, neckline etc are all just so. It’s a really useful, wearable top, great for work with skinny jeans. I suppose I’ll just have to muddle through and make another one some time!

34 thoughts on “Style Arc Fern

  1. Miriana

    I’m putting off starting a pair of style arc trousers as the instructions for the pockets make no sense at all. I’m hoping that the Liesl and co skirt Everyday skirt instructions (the other end of the instruction clarity scale) will help.

  2. Meg

    Despite your frustration with the directions, you ended up with a lovely top- those mitered corners are perfect! I downloaded a few StyleArc patterns recently but haven’t tried them yet… A bit nervous now!

  3. Amy Gallagher

    This is a gorgeous top and you’ve done a great job with it. I think it’s a great fit on you too. I’d love to make one but I am really not tempted by the thought of confusing instructions! I’ve only made 8 things so far so clear instructions are still essential for me :)

    1. Katie Post author

      Well as I said the drafting and fit are really great, so if have a bit of experience you can usually muddle through the instructions with a bit of common sense. I’m not put off because I love their styles.

  4. Andrea

    I am the same! My tee collection is dismal because of my refusal to cut into large pieces of fabric.

    Great top! I know Style Arc patterns are raved about but I am yet to find one that I consider great, I have had some relative successes.

  5. Fiona

    Lovely Katie! I’m after making some interesting tops to wear with jeans now the weather is picking up. I might have to give this one a try when I’ve got the time and patience to deal with the instructions!

  6. Sara

    Beautiful top! The bold fabric really complements the shape of the top, so you clearly made the right decision cutting into it. I’m the same way: if I have enough fabric to make a dress, I find it difficult to make “only” a top, because it feels like I’m not using the material to its full potential, somehow. But you’re right, it’s another one of those instances where it can be a good thing to work against our instincts.

    1. Katie Post author

      Thanks! Yeah, I thought this bold pattern might be too much all over on a dress anyway so I’m happy with my decision.

  7. Sam

    Lovely! I got this pattern as a freebie, must make it up now the weather is getting nicer. I’m pleased I’m not the only one who has trouble just making a top if I have enough fabric for a dress. Seems like there are quite a few of us out there.

  8. Amy

    OOoh yay! This is super on you! I totally hear you on the dress vs top issue. I just can’t summon up the willpower to overcome the dress guilt though. I bet this would look cool in loads of prints. I made my Posh top and pretty much just flung the instructions aside hahah.

  9. Caroline

    I really like the wrap-over at the front of the top and the black and white print of the fabric. I have the same problem in that I end up making a dress and cannot justify making a top with 2 metres of fabric. I don’t make enough tops and need to rectify this.

  10. Sheree

    I have exactly the same mind-set as you, regarding the need to make a dress if I have bought a couple of metres. It is a bit crazy though. Dresses are definitely not my first choice to put on. They can sometimes feel a bit trying too hard and formal (depending on the style). Whereas a top can gets tons of wear.

    1. Katie Post author

      I know what you mean, but I do wear casual dresses at least 50% of the time so it doesn’t feel too frivolous to make a lot :)

  11. Ginger

    Oooh! This is mega cute! I need to make more tops… I only have a few and most of them are looking worse for the wear! I have a Style Arc pants pattern sitting out and I’m trying to work up the nerve to sort it out… the first step doesn’t make any sense at all to me, and every time I decide to take another stab at it I just lose my ambition and set it aside again! Their instructions always make me feel like a moron!

    1. Katie Post author

      In this case I think we can safely blame the instructions, not our comprehension. Hope you get them made some day!

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