Style Arc Fiona Top – Uh oh…

Well, Emile has agreed to model for me, but she’s not happy about it, and it might cost me a new cami for her summer season.
I just finished the Style Arc Fiona top –  it is ABC (all but cuffs). Color me dismayed. The thing is, one has to go this far in the construction to see how it will look! The top is nothing without the band. My story:
Chapter 1 – Optimism is something you practice every day

My record with Style Arc patterns so far is not encouraging. I sewed the Rowe’s Tunic last year. And think it looks like a golf dress on me. I really need to work on it some more or re-cycle the fabric.

I also have the Elizabeth top, loving those elbow-length sleeves and interesting body lines. But in truth the sleeves are several inches short of elbow length. I stopped working with the pattern with that discovery and moved on to something else.
Chapter 2 – Hope springs eternal

I was so excited to see that Style Arc was offering the Fiona top free with any June purchase. It looks so adorable and so my style. I jumped on it really fast.

And purchased the Heidi hoodie to go with. Total cost $21.50 AUD with shipping. From my chair, the Fiona was not exactly free 🙂 but I like having a little fun.

Chapter 3 – The proof is in the pudding

I do not like it, Sam I am. To me, it looks like a bad tuxedo jacket from the late 80’s. Grant you, my fabric is not ‘drapey’. But it is a 4-way knit, as suggested by the little swatch included in the pattern envelope. This is my muslin, so I used a knit that I am willing to lose. It’s an awful color in person (thank goodness I did not touch my heathered marigold jersey). 

My little whinge list: 

  • The band ( which can be worn up or turned back to form a shawl collar) is 6 1/2″ deep at the center back. Way up in my hairline, even folded! If I had used a more drapey knit, this band would have rolled more than once, I’m sure. It is just too wide.
  • The band is still almost 5″ wide at the waist. It really is more like the line drawing and very little like the ‘model’ on the pattern envelope.
Should I have know the above when I looked at the pattern all laid out on the floor? Well, perhaps. But by then, (1) money spent, and (2) hope springs eternal.

Whinging is fun, here’s some more 🙂
  • The pattern comes with 1/4″ seam allowances and an abundance of notches to help with the fitting of that awesome curved band. A notch in a 1/4″ seam allowance. When I traced off my tissue, I increased the SA to 1/2″ to accommodate those notches. Made me work a lot!
  • I won’t talk about the fabric layout, because there isn’t one.
  • Or the suggested yardage, because I needed 1/2 yard more than was indicated for my size.
  • Sizes – Measurements are only proved for lucky size 10 – we are left to guess if these are body or finished garment measurements:

Pattern measurements based on a size 10:

There is a 5 cm or 2 in circumference grade between the sizes 

Bust = 95 cm or 37.5 in

Waist = 85 cm or 33.5 in

Sleeve length from centre back neck = 58 cm or 23 in

Centre back length = 64 cm or 25 in

I will say this – My size 12 Fiona is spot-on for at least one measurement, the center back length is a little over 25″ long. A better indicator, my Rowe’s tunic, also a size 12, fits really well through the bust, hip, and waist.

Chapter 4 – Lessons learned
None! It’s true that I could not find any reviews of the Fiona before I ventured into it. But that did not and would not deter me. 
Epilogue – Optimism is something you practice every day
And I’m sure I will make the Heidi hoodie. It’s so cute. I still want a Fiona top, but I’m going to give the Mouse House Creations Julia cardigan a go, it has the same look and more sleeve options!
From the Loft, bye for now!

20 thoughts on “Style Arc Fiona Top – Uh oh…

  1. I have the Julia (printed and several fabrics chosen) and was thinking I should have waited for the Fiona. Your review has me thinking I should be content with what I have–and save myself the international postage! I have seen several fabulous Harper jackets/cardigans so there might still be an order in my future, but I'll hold off on the Fiona!


  2. Coco, this is such good info for me! I too love this style and I'll be skipping the Style Arc version. I just made a McCalls bolero/cardi in similar lines. Off to check out MHC, a new pattern company for me.


  3. Hi Coco! I am so glad you jumped in and made this up and reviewed for us. 😉 I am about to place a SA order, and although this is not my favorite cardi on their site, it is *free*. Looks so beautifully made. Even though you don't love it, I'd love to see you model it!


  4. I wouldn't like that wide band around my neck at all, even folded down. The Mouse House pattern looks much better, at least the picture on the envelope does.


  5. What a shame. I've made the StyleArc Ziggi jacket and was really pleased with it – I'm just not that keen on most of the other styles in the stable. I have the Mindi skirt and had to take it in 3″!


  6. Great review. I love the look of the SA patterns, but so far I have only had one success. I did go down a size and purchased a few more but not sewn yet. I too liked this pattern and had thought about buying another pattern I like and getting this “freebie”. I have seen the Mouse House pattern and it looks very much like the SA Fiona and as you said it does have more sleeve options.


  7. Thanks for the Review, Coco! I see what you mean about the Fiona Top. don't think it would look good on me either.

    Looking forward to see how you do with the hoodie pattern and the Mouse house cardigan. I'm interested in both of those.


  8. Sorry to hear of your experience with this Jacket – Dolman sleeves are a no-no for me so I didn't even consider it. I have made the Heidi Cardigan lots and love it – some tips; choose the fabric carefully this pattern needs some stretch in the fabric (more than sweatshirting as I found to my displeasure) I did not like the hood lining and have never used it after making the first one – it added too much weight and would not sit right.


  9. Well, what a learning experience. I have only used one Style Arc pattern, a pants pattern, and that certainly did not work for me. I've decided I am more comfortable working with the Big 4 as I know how to alter them to suit me. A six inch turn back on your small frame would swamp you. I do hope the Julia works for you 🙂


  10. Oh what a pain to go through all that, but I consider every failed pattern a teaching moment, even if it is just to remember how to toss. 😉 I like the Mouse creation and I think a set in sleeve is always a better option.


  11. What a bummer! I have sewn Style Arc (none of the ones you've noted) and have hard pretty good luck. As a rule, I've always cut 1″ side seams for the “Just in case” factor. I would LOVE it if finished measurements for each size was on the website noted on the pattern envelope pics. I find that in most cases, they are drafted with negative to no ease which is not how I like to wear most of my clothes. That said, before I order any more from there, I must make up the ones I still have here that have not yet been cut. Fortunately for me (now that I read your review), I wasn't drawn to this pattern. I hope the hoodie works out!


  12. Hi! I think the layers of fabric, my fabric choice is probably a little thick, it's a mid-weight jersey. But my issue is really with the band width and look. I've seen a lot of the Julia's made up and think I'll like it better 🙂 It is too hot for the hoodie, it's on my list for fall!


  13. I understand your optimism, Fiona looks like a really cute pattern. (I hadn't seen it before!) However it looks a lot shorter on the 'model'. I think that and a different fabric would make a big difference. Thank you for the review.


  14. I wonder why the bottom flares out like that…I assume the layers of fabric? I really liked that pattern but think I'll hold off til I see the other one you make up. I already have the hoodie but haven't made it up yet…too hot!


  15. Thanks for this review. I have this pattern so will take care before cutting the fabric out. Yours does look lovely on Emile with the collar folded back but if you are not happy then you won't like wearing it. Good luck with the hoodie.


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