Saturday, December 20, 2014

Trying Out Style Arc

I have a new crush on Style Arc patterns. I picked up four (one was free) over the Summer, and finally dug into them the past couple of weeks. In my pursuit for more comfortable work clothes, I cut into the Peta pants pattern first, and made two pairs. The first was a wearable muslin in a stretch navy jersey, and then a second pair in black ponte. Both sewed up really well, but the pockets were too shallow in the muslin, so I sewed them up, and skipped it on the ponte. (I have a master pocket pattern I downloaded for free from one of the BurdaStyle patterns, and use it for whenever I want a an inserted pocket.) This basic elastic pant pattern can be made into sweats, dressy-casual, and even pajama pants. I didn't take any photos, but here is the pattern. I made mine without the drawstring ankles. There's not a lot of ease, so keep that in mind if you want something loose. I recommend stretch fabrics always. Hips are narrow, which I love, but maybe not so good comfy for others.

After getting my fill of the Peta pants, I started on the muslin for the Carly Jumpsuit. This would be my second jumpsuit. (The first was made from a McCall's pattern out of bright striped terry cloth, and turned into shorts for a swimsuit cover-up. It ended up being too big all over and unflattering. I'm looking for someone to gift that jumpsuit to.)

Crazy me...but I decided to use some crushed velvet I picked up on sale at Harts Fabrics. Crazy because I've never sewn with velvet before. I decided that it wasn't that bad...BUT...I really needed to adjust the ease in the pattern, meaning, I needed to make it slightly bigger to allow for thicker fabric. Notice the welt pockets? I skipped those in velvet, but might attempt it on the next version which will be in rayon. I might get really ambitious and draft up some sleeves too.

Here is my muslin pinned to my dressform. I can't fit pants on the form. I could not get a really good photo, and no matter what angle, the velvet looks like colors from dachshund. But it's really a nice dark chocolate. Without the added ease, it feels and looks a bit small. Sigh. But wearable I guess. Someone a size smaller than me would love this jumpsuit. The suggested fabric for this pattern is a light, drapey rayon or the like.

My favorite thing about Style Arc Patterns is the paper. No weak tissue! Instead, sturdy white paper that's easy to read and stable for cutting. What makes the patterns really unique is how they are designed for industrial sewing like ready-to-wear and not necessarily home sewing. I got one size and not multiple sizes into one pattern. I was disappointed at first, but given that cutting and sewing is now more precise, I really don't mind the trade off. All the elastic casing, bias binding strips, and other little pieces just fit. No frills, no stress. Love it. 

Digging into a complex designer pattern requires some long Zen hours. My brain can't wrap itself around those projects often (my last being that linen bubble dress which caused me lots of undue stress). When I was in school, the design philosophy was "keep it simple." The simpler the design, the simpler the pattern, the simpler the pattern the faster the cutting and sewing, and more profits. Style Arc patterns (so far) seem well-executed for my sewing personality.  

With Christmas in less than a week, things are getting pretty nuts around my house. I have the week off (YAH!), but only to give me more time to knit and sew...but my big cut off is this Sunday afternoon when I pick up my eldest son from the airport.  

Until we sew again...Happy Holidays everyone!