StyleArc Tessa Pant

I’m always so impressed by bloggers who take pictures immediately after making each garment. I go in bursts: sew a bunch of things, take pictures in one massive photo session, and blog everything within a week. You might notice that I’m wearing sunglasses and the same gray T-shirt in this burst of blog posts. One of the benefits to this method is that I actually wear the garment a few times before blogging it and I can more accurately say whether I like it/wear it often, or whether it’s a dud. I’m sure any blogger can agree that there are some garments we *think* we love, blog immediately with gushing positives, and then find we never wear.

I can confidently say that I really love the pants in this post. They are the Tessa pant from StyleArc.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 8.34.32 AMIf I would have blogged these immediately after making them, I would have told you I wasn’t sure about the fit. I made a size 8, no alterations, and they are just a bit snug through my thighs and bum.

DSC_0809But I’ve come to love the fit. They are loose enough to be comfortable, but snug enough to be flattering and not look like I’m wearing pajama pants.

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The pockets aren’t very functional given the fit through the thigh, so I think I’ll leave them out next time. The elastic waist is sewn directly to the fabric, not in a waistband casing. I really like this method over making a casing since there is no elastic flipping during wear. When applying the elastic I evenly distributed it around the waist, using the quartering method. However, I ended up with too much fabric in the front and not enough in the back. Next time I’m going to bias the elastic placement so there is more fabric in the back.

But now they’re quite flattering on my backside! And the good thing is they are tight enough over my butt that I never get any unwanted riding up in the backside.
DSC_0812The fabric is a rayon/linen blend with a fun abstract print from FabricMart. I think they advertised it as animal print, but it looks more like coral to me. It’s a super comfortable and breathable fabric that doesn’t wrinkle terribly after wearing, and adds a bit something special to other boring navy pants.
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My pants are (obviously) not as nice or fancy as Anne’s (although I’m sure no one is surprised there, me included!), but I really love these pants and definitely have plans for making them again. I’ll need to re-print the pattern though, I have a terrible tendency of recycling patterns after making them if I don’t love the garment immediately. Especially if they’re taped together patterns – they’re just such a pain to store!

StyleArc Floral Knit Rosie Top & Pink Moss Mini

First of all, welcome to all my new followers! I had a sudden unexpected burst of new followers on BlogLovin’, which I’m assuming is due to the new Sewing category they added, a much needed and appreciated addition.

I’ve continued with my new StyleArc obsession, this time making another Rosie Top. Last time I made it in linen and in a size 10, and it turned out much too big. At the time, I altered the princess lines of the pattern and made a muslin…and of course it was now way too small. So I gave up and threw it in a corner somewhere. Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 8.33.10 AMBut given my new-found love of StyleArc, I decided to pull out the pattern again and make it in a knit fabric to account for my unintended negative ease. I used a very stable floral cotton knit from Mood, which is no longer on their website, and remnants of navy rayon jersey for the flat piping.

I finish the neckline by simply folding under and topstitching.

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The side seams/piping don’t match. This happens when you forget to remove horizontal fabric from the ‘skirt’ portion after you’ve removed fabric from the princess seams in the front and back. Whoops! I don’t think it’s all that obvious though.

I added an inch to the length of the ‘skirt’ portion. But it really didn’t look good – the proportions were way off and I removed the inch when hemming. I forgot to do a forward shoulder adjustment, but I really should have. the shoulder seams sit way too far back and contribute to the extra fabric on my back shoulders.

DSC_0797I’m wearing it in these pictures with my new Moss mini skirt. This is my third version, although I don’t know how much I like it. I used a bright pink stretch denim from Fabric Mart. The color is fine, but I don’t particularly like the stretch component. I wear my non-stretch denim version all the time and I love how it relaxes and stretches to fit my body during wear without the addition of any lycra.
DSC_0795Nice face Carrie!

DSC_0804 DSC_0806It’s a bit on the tight side, so I may have to go up a size next time.
DSC_0807I used gingham shirting remnants from a recent blouse as a nice contrast.
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And I used Lauren’s fly-front tutorial which was WONDERFUL. Very easy to follow and it turned out so great. My only word of warning, this tutorial produces a left-handed zipper. Next time, I’ll be flipping everything 180 degrees!DSC_0820Despite how busy I am, I have been sewing quite a bit and photographed a few more garments this morning, so look for a few more posts coming up soon. Most of the garments I’ve been making are really simple – it’s so nice and fulfilling to take a few hours break from writing my thesis and complete something! However, I have a more detailed project to start soon. I’m making a lace shift dress for my friend to wear at the rehearsal dinner/welcome dinner for her wedding in July. I made a muslin and was able to fit it last weekend during her Bachelorette but I can’t help but be nervous the final dress won’t fit!

I’m a StyleArc Convert!

I wasn’t not a fan of StyleArc before but I also wasn’t in love their their patterns. I had made two pair of pants (Leah Lounge Pant & unblogged Elle’s) and I really like both of them. But since I don’t make pants often, I didn’t realize how the fit differed from any other pattern.

I placed my first order prior to the free pattern offerings or Etsy downloadable PDF’s. I spent quite a bit of time debating what sizes to order since you only receive one size per pattern. Unfortunately, I chose the wrong size for all the tops. The two tops that I made in size 10 (Rosie & Issy) turned out too large so I haven’t bothered with the other size 10 blouse patterns in my stash. And because these didn’t turn out wonderfully, I hadn’t been overly eager to try more StyleArc patterns…until the Etsy shop opened up! I waited until patterns were on sale about bought a few.

I printed, pieced together and cut fabric for a May knit top, and then promptly left the project sitting on the floor for a few months. Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 5.11.30 PMA few weekends ago, I was tidying up my sewing area and decided to actually make the top. I didn’t have high hopes through construction, but when I tried it on it was magical! It fit so well!

IMG_3093Holy moly – look at that fit through the shoulders!

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It is a little low-cut so I tacked it together in front. I also shortened the neckline binding by 3-4 inches, stretching it while sewing. I’m not sure if my binding stretched out prior to sewing, but I found it was the same length as the neckline, and I wanted to make sure there was some tension to keep the V-neck close to me!

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I used a Julie’s Pick fabric from Fabric Mart for this top, described as a ‘Coral Orange Modal/Silk/Lycra Jersey Knit’.  It’s a bit thin but works well for this top because it drapes nicely in the front. If you make this top, be sure to pick your fabric appropriately, anything thicker will end up bulging too much in the front, looking too maternity. Speaking of maternity, this would make a nice early maternity shirt (I think? Never been pregnant so this is just a guess given all that gathering over the belly… :)

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Because I liked this top so much, I immediately printed out and made a Gail top.

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I used a nice lilac/gray bamboo knit from Grey’s Fabric in Boston. Unfortunately, I don’t see this particular color available on their website currently. I have a few yards in green and hope it washes up nicely without pilling, because it’s SO soft and comfortable. And it’s a nice hefty weight. I’m kinda in love with this knit.

I found the instructions to be quite confusing, more confusing that the Issy top. I read a bunch of blogs for tips, and they were helpful, but you really need to play with the fabric until you understand how it all fits together.

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As other have noted, the front seam underneath the fabric twist has curvature to it, resulting in a round belly and looks a bit odd.  It relaxed a bit after pressing but I think I need a sway-front adjustment (if that is a thing). Not sure if I’ll go through the trouble of ever making the adjustment haha. That should be my sewing motto, “Too lazy to make adjustments”.

I ended up shortening it 1.5″ while hemming and made a 1/2″ forward shoulder adjustment.
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I slipstitched the shawl collar down completely around the neckline. I wore it once prior to this and it kept flopping up during the day and I struggled to keep it folded down nicely.

The collar hugs your neck tightly and quite high, this will be a great top for the fall into winter (with a scarf to keep the front warm!). The V-neck does dip down quite low, but it’s secure and doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable.
StyleArc GailI’m so excited about these tops! They’re comfortable, fit well, and are interesting but were easy to make. I bought many more StyleArc patterns during their recent Etsy sale and am currently work on a pair of Tessa pants.

Yahoo for patterns that fit! It’s official, I’m a StyleArc convert!

Simplicity 1366, aka the ubiquitous Cynthia Rowley box top

I’m the last blogger to make this pattern!

Just kidding, I’m sure I’m not actually the last person. But after I saw back to back Simplicity 1366 posts from Blogless Anna & Thornberry, I decided to give this pattern a shot.

Don’t be distracted by the hideous skirts!!
Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 2.42.27 PMI used an embroidered silk chiffon remnant that I bought at Sewfisticated in Cambridge sometime last year. It’s a really beautiful fabric and I just love the modern details on it. Also, I love floaty chiffon fabric, but am terrified of sewing it. So I enjoyed sewing with a ‘stable’ chiffon! I’m keeping my eye on more just like it :)

I should have worn a darker cami underneath to make the embroidery ‘pop’ more…there’s a better picture below over a purple top.

DSC_0826The pattern is as simple as everyone says. It’s a big box that somehow fits better than other boxes (?). I cut out the sleeves and then decided to leave them off…the pattern on the fabric was busy enough, I didn’t need to add it in another direction in the sleeves.

I used an ivory rayon to bind the neckline and the armholes and french seams for the minimal 4 internal seams. Made sure to use a Microtex 70 needle and didn’t have any problems there!

DSC_0829So the top is a bit short. I like the length in this sleeveless version…it has the feel of an in style crop top but since I’ll always wear something underneath I don’t need to worry about showing my midriff. For an opaque sleeved version, I’ll probably lengthen it 1-2 inches.

DSC_0830I really don’t have much else to add…I really like my new top and it was so simple to make!

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Because I had the pattern out, I decided to make the camisole pattern included. It’s also incredibly simple. 3 pattern pieces: bodice (front and back are identical), facing, and strap. I used a rayon (?) peachskin (?). Clearly I don’t know what the hell this fabric is…it’s leftover from the lining of one of my minoru’s.

The pictures turned out better than I thought it looked – so that’s always a good sign! This fabric doesn’t have a ton of drape so even though the pattern is cut on the bias, it doesn’t have that slinky bias feel.
Simplicity 1366 Camisole

I made no alterations and the fit is pretty good. I would shorten the straps next time and take it in a little on the sides below the waist.

Overall, this is a highly recommended pattern to have in your quick-sew arsenal!