Style Arc Barb Pants

It’s always gratifying to conquer a fear! Other than leggings, I’ve avoided taking on slim pants. There are so many considerations and fitting points – bum, thighs, rise – and challenge of finding just the right fabric.

I always enjoy the variety of patterns offered by Style Arc and their availabity in PDF format. While cruising patterns on Pinterest, the Barb pants caught my eye. Research disclosed that I’m way behind the times – this pattern was among the ‘best of 2015’ on Pattern Review! Curiously, I found I actually had this pattern languishing on my computer. I apparently received it at no cost when I signed up for the Style Arc newsletter. And this promotion is still active on their Facebook page!

Style Arc recommends stretch bengaline, a fabric with which I was unfamiliar. It was a bit difficult to source, but I found it at FabricGenie in a wide range of colors. It’s really nice! AKA faille (which I’ve sewn in a cotton blend with much wider ribs), it has minimal vertical stretch. Style Arc makes a point of reminding the sewist of the latter, so that a pattern is cut with the stretch in the needed direction.

Sewing notes:

  • My primary change was to raise the waistband to my natural waist. I just don’t like elastic waistbands in low rise pants. It was as easy as adding 1 1/4″ to the front and back rise using the convenient lengthen/shorten line on the pattern.
  • Reduced the curve in the crotch. The latter accomodates my flat-ish fantail and prevents wrinkles across the back side of the pants.
  • Lifted the waistline at center front by 3/8″.
  • Based on the width of my upper thigh, mid-thigh, and calves, I also added 1/2″ to the front and back side seams.

What a great fit! and so comfortable. I have more of this fabric, and I know exactly where it will go. Black slacks and blue jeans – my favorites.

Jacket, V6144 Kathryn Brenne, post here

Parting note, my camera is fading away on me 😦  It’s about 10 years old, is not fancy, and has been used in heat and humidity. Annoying, so it’s time for a new one.

I hope you are well, bye for now, Coco

Holiday ramble

Happy holidays!

Busy much? I love this time of year, so much to do, family, services, and general good will. Even grocery shopping is more enjoyable πŸ™‚

After my marathon costume making for the Christmas pageant, I’m slowly getting back in the mood to so some sewing and posting (yes, Christmas gifts included stash-making dollars from my dear children). Meanwhile, random pics from the last couple weeks…

From the Christmas Pageant – the children were adorable and so excited. Thirty children took part, including a choir of little angels. Beautiful.
A wonky gift to Preston (everyone loved it)! I ordered the ants about a week before Christmas, and they arrived on Christmas Eve, just in time. I searched online everywhere for this ant farm, and I found it at Barnes and Noble.

My tree service guys just arrived, after a full week of rain delays. They are removing all the ancient shrubs from the front of the house, and they’re giving the tangerine tree the haircut of its lifetime. Trimming, wind-proofing, and balancing. The tree is beautiful and very old. I don’t want to lose it to a hurricane.

Yesterday was an online marathon, as I took full advantage of holiday discounts on 4 Indie patterns that have been calling my name.

Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse
Style Arc Cameron dress
Style Arch Armidale dress
Helen’s Closet York Pinafore

I’ve even ordered fabric, and the first delivery is tomorrow. Now I’m excited!!

Hoping everyone is finding joy and peace in this beautiful time of year,

Coco

Sewing! Ready to Sew Justine Skirt

Actually, I’ve been sewing like crazy. It’s a great way to release tension and get off to never never land πŸ™‚

Check out this delightful skirt from Ready to Sew and, at the moment, it’s free. Grab it… Features: a layered PDF and half sizes, total 21 sizes. Remarkable!

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size 38, and it was perfect, including the width of the waistband.
  • My fabric is Kaufman Essex linen from Hancocks of Paducah. It’s a longtime favorite fabric for pants, jumpsuits, and skirts. It has just enough body with a relaxed drape – I wouldn’t do this skirt in anything really drapey, e.g., rayon challis, or too heavy, e.g., bottomweight twill.
  • Loves – the pockets. The decorative flap is so cute, and they are truly deep.
  • Be sure to catch the flap in the corner triangle. Got to keep it turned and flat…
  • The skirt has a one-button closure, but I was very wary of using a button closing. Have you ever had a button pull and pull, maybe tear the fabric to which it was sewn? I opted for two things: I added an additional piece of woven interfacing under the closure area,
  • and I used a waistband fastener for closure, with a non-functioning button on top!

About that top – it’s a Style Arc Elsie blouse, sleeveless, sewn in Kaufman Royal Cotton Oxford, from Fabric.com. What a delightful blouse fabric.

I love this and plan to wear it over and over as I search for a new house in Orlando. Easy dressing πŸ™‚ Coco

Style Arc Elsie camp shirt variation

Well, I never imagined I would like this play on a revere neckline, but I was so wrong! A thank you and shout-out to Karen (@intostitches) for the inspiration to try this pattern! It’s actually really interesting to sew and to wear.

From Style Arc, the real name of this cutie is the Elsie Oversized Shirt:

But with a few changes, it becomes a nifty semi-fitted shirt.

Basics:

  • Redrew the front and back hemlines and drafted a shirt-tail hem. My center back finishes at 25″, a favorite length.
  • Drafted a short-sleeve option.
  • Drafted the back with pleat or no-pleat options.

Other notes:

  • Sewed the size 10, and it’s a perfect fit.
  • Drafted my pattern with 1/2″ seam allowances, everywhere. The pattern includes 3/8″ and 1/4″ SAs, treacherous with woven fabrics!
  • Shortened the bust darts by an inch. For some reason they are drawn out past the bust apex mark. Weird.
  • Annoying (1) the pattern has full-width back and yoke pieces. I had to print the associated pages to get the goodies, but what a lot of wasted paper and ink, since both can be cut on the fold.
  • Annoying (2) it has a single-layer yoke! It’s easy enough to cut the facing, but what an oversight.

Bits and pieces:

I used cotton poplin shirting and Pellon sew-in interfacing, both from Fabric.com. And, yes, I washed and dried the interfacing before using it to avoid shrinkage when the entire garment is washed.

I like to attach pockets before things get going, whenever it’s practical.

The facing is sewn into the neckline and hand-stitched at the shoulders and bottom of the yoke.

It’s easy to reduce the bulk in a double-fold hem! My seams are serged together, stopping at a clip at the fold line. I open the remaining seam allowance, and it’s easy to make those folds.

I love rounded buttonholes on blouses πŸ™‚

A couple close-ups, worn out:

One is never enough – I’m starting a long-sleeve version tomorrow πŸ™‚

Ciao – Coco

Patricia Rose dress playtime

ff1

More fun in the loft πŸ™‚ Having finished my draft of the Patricia Rose dress, and having sewn a muslin, it’s time to enjoy.

My muslin went to a new home. The color is all wrong for me, and I was really annoyed by my print placement. It happens!

close front

But I learned so much from this version. On to the next one, this time in a beautiful Ralph Lauren white/black stripe from Fabric Mart. It’s cotton/poly/elastane, described as suiting, but it’s very light, with just a bit of stretch both ways. It’s also opaque, and I have no issues with ‘see through’.

bb1

Sewing notes:

  • As before, I sewed the size 8, and I increased the neckline seam allowances from 1/4″ to 1/2″.
  • I also used my back and skirt variation, which has a fold to match the front fold (lots of info on the folds and skirt on my original post). I took these two pics outside, before our temp reached 91F. At which point I went inside!

IMG_1549 10.54.06 AM

IMG_1564 10.54.06 AM

  • My bananas print fabric was 46″ wide, this one is 53″ wide. I used 3 yards of both.
  • Playtime! I used an oversized pocket, centered on the side seam. The unfinished pocket is 11″ x 11 1/2″. After the top fold of 1 1/4″, Β it’s a bit wider than it is long.

pocket

  • Something I left out of my first post, I’m really happy with the seldom-seen armscye darts on the front bodice. I was afraid they would be pokey, but they’re perfect. Also shown, the solid white cotton/poly broadcloth facing, which prevents print shadows on the right side.

stripe bodice

Cute! I’m not done with this pattern πŸ™‚ It’s a wonderful palette for solids, stripes, large or abstract prints, and many substrates. I’m sewing summer now, and I cannot wear wool, but I think this would be beautiful- elegant – in a black wool woven or dupioni silk.

Or French terry – that middle ground between a woven and a knit.

ff2

Ciao! Coco

Style Arc Patricia Rose dress variation

front

This project has been in thinking mode for a long time! When it first came out, I bought the Patricia Rose dress because I had pinned a really pretty dress with a front and back bodice fold. The Rose seemed a possible starting point for something similar.

top 2

My stash is pretty thin right now, but I did have a cute linen/cotton/rayon shirting I picked up on a whim from Fabric Mart. It’s called Traveling Bananas, by the mysterious Better Hawaiian Dress Manufacturer. Does anyone know who this is? Tori Richards maybe? Anyway, it’s a beautiful fabric, a pleasure to sew and wear.

back 2

My drafting process.

Of course I wanted my back bodice fold to match up with the front fold. So I used the front to draft the back.

back

bottom 1

Next, the skirt. I’m not fond of inverted pleats in skirts – they just don’t wear well. So I took some width out of the front skirt, leaving just enough width for soft gathers. Since the bottom widths of my front and back bodice are the same, I used the same draft for the back skirt!

skirt mods

A few more sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size 8, based on my bust measurement plus some ease.
  • The pattern has 1/2″ seam allowances everywhere except the neckline and facings, which are 1/4″. That is totally contra-intuitive given the risk of stretch and ravel on the neckline bias curves. I drew my tissue with 1/2″ SA everywhere, so much safer.

facing

  • I added 1″ to the length of the bodice, just above the area of the fold.
  • And added an additional 1 1/2″ to the length of the skirt.
  • My short sleeves are based on the original sleeve.
  • I used 1 3/4″ hem allowances on the sleeves and skirt, just to echo the bodice fold.
  • BTW, my fabric was 44″ wide by 3 yards. I had enough to cut pockets and long sleeves.

Pics!

I happened to take a snap of the front before I folded the bodice. It’s actually rather nice.

before fold

Closeups of those pretty folds:

close front

close back

close side

This project was so much fun that I was sorry to see it finished! Not really the end…I have a piece of striped fabric that has me back in the thinking mode.

Parting shot: David and Preston are in Beaver Creek, Colorado, for ski week. Preston is almost 10 and has been skiing for 3 years. Amazing, my little athlete, he actually does the expert slopes (moguls this year?) with his dad!

preston co

Bye for now – Coco

Style Arc Adeline Dress – Final Thoughts

line artAs I hinted in my post about the Style Arc Adeline Dress, I do have some lingering thoughts on the drafting and design –Β stride, and so on. Well, here we go.

Before I start, to all you Adeline lovers out there, please remember that this is my experience, and it’s totally based on me!

f0

I really did like my first version (post here) – but, this particular combo of greens is really becoming for me. I should use it more often.

My second version is in a lovely fabric by Tim Coffey, from his Poppy collection. I love poppies! so I was really happy to find this fabric at JoAnns.

My dress…

Not so much love. Take a look.

But it’s not for me. Not in the house, not to the grocery, just not anywhere.

Not to stray, and addressing my initial concerns, I did modify the pattern to add a little width at the bottom – the stride was a little tight. I added 1/2″ at the hemline seam, front and back, trued up to somewhere below the hip. This comes to a total addition of 2″ at the hem. And it is very helpful in walking and sitting. Of course I had to modify the hem facing bands as well. If you do this, I suggest drawing your new hem bands directly off your fabric. There are some bodacious curves and angles at play…

v4

So – I think I’ve laid this pattern to rest for myself, aside from perhaps raiding the neckline and hemline when I get rambunctious.

My fabric – green and blue – will be reused! I love them both.

Ciao! Coco