Style Arc Adeline Dress


I really enjoy sewing a pattern for the first time! With so many Closet Case Charlie Caftans in my closet, I’ve been looking for something different for a summer shift. Enter the Style Arc Adeline Dress. I ordered the PDF version on the Style Arc Etsy site, because shipping cost and delays for a printed version challenge my pocket book and patience ūüôā

line art

It’s such a nice design: Cocoon shape, big pockets, lovely V-neckline, and easy dolman sleeves. Plus it has an intriguing high-low hem that is finished with facing bands. All in all, lots of elements for an interesting project.

side 1
Dropped hemline
Dolman sleeves
Great pockets

A few sewing notes:

  • I sewed size 10 based on my measurements (I’m 5’7″, 33-29-38.5). And a great surprise – the length is perfect!
  • I used cotton shirting that is only 43″ wide, so I had to trim a couple inches off the sleeves. That wasn’t an issue for me, since I did not plan to use a cuff (my iron is strictly for sewing, not for pressing cuffs).
  • As on my Charlie Caftan, I changed to pitch of the shoulder/upper sleeve, and eased the underarm curve to prevent bunching.
sleeve 1
Trimmed sleeve and redrawn cutting lines
sleeve 2
Finished underarm seam and 1 1/4″ sleeve hem

Thoughts on the pattern: it’s rated as Medium difficulty/sewing skill level, and I think that’s about right. If it had anything really helpful in the way of instructions, I’d rate it as Easy. A few tips that might help if you’re on the fence:

  • All the pattern pieces fit together perfectly, which means the curved hem facings are easy to sew.
  • Be sure to staystitch the neckline before construction – sewing up the front edges, from the point to the shoulder, on both sides to combat the natural stretch of the fabric bias. If your fabric is shifty, you might want to staystitch the neckline edge of the facings as well.
  • Facing the V-neckline… Here’s a link to an excellent tutorial by Fashion Incubator – it covers both one-piece and two-piece facings (the Adeline has the latter) and includes instructions on the direction of the stitching and management of the turn of the facing to the inside.
neck 2
Turned facing
  • Stay sane! Mark the neckline topstitching line with a soluble pen or marker. I used a Roxanne Quilters Choice chalk pencil that just brushes off. Roxanne markers are great – I have both the white and the silver pencils and usually pick them up at JoAnns. BTW, I love Frixion pens for marking inside seam allowancess and so on, but I’m wary of using them in an exposed area of a garment.

neck 1

  • And don’t forget to finish those pocket edges before making them, to avoid raveling on the inside when they’re used.


  • Fabric yardage requirements are provided for 58″ wide fabric only. I used 3 yards of this 43″ wide shirting. Also – I like the weight of the cotton, it maintains the shape of the dress and sleeves really nicely. I doubt I’ll ever sew it in anything lighter, such as the suggested silk or crepe.


Well, I enjoyed this and have a piece of calico waiting for a second version. Before I sew it, I’m going to wear this dress a few times to address those burning questions: do I really like the dipped hemline, is the dress actually catching on my flat booty, is the bottom width (only 41″) too constricting for an easy stride.

Meanwhile, it’s Friday! I hope everyone enjoys a safe and peaceful weekend.

For now – Coco

Bits, bobs, and busts…


A little catch-up on things I’ve been making, but haven’t blogged. Some are repeats and some¬†are just the normal flow of muslins and messes!

The first one, above, is a second version of Vogue 1297, the Sandra Betzina Lagenlook knit dress (first one here). I love this. The fabric is from Girl Charlee¬†– it’s a lightweight (7 oz) cotton/rayon/lycra blend. And it has all my favorite places to visit! The ladies at JoAnn’s were very complimentary and put my ‘business card’ on their bulletin board. I was so surprised – that really felt good.

Another repeat, this time of the StyleArc Toni Designer Dress. As with my first version, I used rayon crepe from Fabric Mart. The only change is a slight extension of the sleeve, to hide a bit more of my ancient upper arms… Great pattern.


Turning to follow-ups on recent adventures, the Weird Science pants (Vogue 1453) really did make nice PJ bottoms, once I removed the ankle pleats. I added a topper based on the Wiksten tank. Both are in a very lightweight rayon/spandex French terry from Рperfect for cool weather.


I continued to work on my Lagenlook cardigan, my attempt to copy McCalls 6168. Here’s my first version…


And I think I ruined it! I raised the center front and back a couple inches, which deepened the side detail. But I like my original much better, and plan to make another in ponte di roma (have you seen the beautiful and affordable new pontes at Cali Fabrics?).


Not everything is a repeat. I also tried out a new pattern, the Frankie Dress from Tessuti Fabrics. It looks so cute in their version¬†– fresh and easy to wear. It’s also very similar to about 4 other patterns I already have, but it’s fun to sew something new. This time I knew I would get a hand-drawn pattern, because it’s my 3rd Tessuti acquisition. Yes, the clumsy line art below is a precursor of¬†the pattern.


I used a grey and brown¬†cotton/rayon/poly jersey from Girl Charlee, a nice weight at 7 oz. I don’t like the color combo very much, so it was a good choice for a muslin. The only change I made (kind of major, really) was redraft the entire bodice and sleeve using a pattern that fits me well. Tessuti’s armscyes are small, and the sleeves are narrow. And I don’t care for the high boat neck in the pattern. So I guess I used the skirt!

Scary pic follows. Well, it scares me. This is the ‘long’ length from the pattern.


Just awful. Out of curiosity I pinned the front up to the knee, and it’s much much better. But¬†I wasn’t in love.


So I cut it! It was a great opportunity to further my Lagenlook-drafting skills. I have absolutely no bottoms that match this top, so black it is. I was actually a little happier than I look in this pic.


Parting shot: Ms. Crab Spider has been busy in the guava tree again, this time after some very strong storms that really cleaned out the trees. Her web was so pretty with the late afternoon sun shining through her home.


It’s almost the weekend – I hope it’s safe and peaceful for all. I’ll be finishing a quilt project, I’ve been cold in this chilly Florida weather. Such a wuss…

Bye for now! Coco

StyleArc Toni Designer Dress – start, stop, start again…

Another StyleArc journey – my love affair with them has been intermittent at best! Their wishful line art and drawings are right up there with Hot Patterns. What you see is not always what you get.

I’m a forewarned and an experienced warrior.

However – I’ve been looking for alternatives to my ‘usual’ maxi dresses. I get bored! And this dress has intrigued me. I read as many reviews as I could find. And explored images online. I finally took the plunge, bought it (PDF version), and spent a morning with tape and scissors.

I knew going in that I would not do the collar. I don’t like collars – not on me and not on most people. Oops – that’s a lot of sewists. But it’s a personal hang-up. My father insisted that I wear pointed collar shirts in a time when all my friends were wearing peter pan collars. It was painful, and the feelings apparently linger.

Anyway – on to this dress. Fortunately it has a lovely v-neck opportunity without the collar.

I also had to think about fabric. StyleArc suggests ‘silk, crepe, rayon, suitable knit’. Since they don’t provide examples, I looked at what others had done, and decided that the defining factor was drape. So I decided to try a rayon crepe – read that as drape with a burst of color!

I love how colors vibrate on rayon fabrics. Much more than on cottons, linens, and wool.

Working with this large print – the vertical repeat is a whopping 34″ – I decided to cut both the front and the back on the fold. I just didn’t want to break up those definitive blossoms.

The fabric is from Fabric Mart, one of their pre-cut buyout offerings. This one was 4 yards for $16. Incredible.

A few sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size 10. I’m 5’7, with a full bust of 35.5″ ¬†– 36″. The hip measurement on this pattern is not a defining factor, as there is lots of fabric in that area.
  • But I did add 2″ to the length, using the pattern’s lengthen/shorten lines.
  • The biggest change I made was to the line of the side drape. And I have to credit Ruth at CoreCouture for this one – I followed her lead and changed the pattern at the sides, removing some of the outward ‘poke’, as below.


  • Several sewists suggested that the pattern is a little narrow at the hemline and might benefit from a back slit for walking ease. So I extended the hem outwards by 1″, all side seams (as above in my draft), adding a total of 4″. And the result works great. It’s comfortable in all situations.
  • I also drafted all my pattern pieces with a 1/2″ seam allowance. StyleArc uses 3/8″ for seams and 1/4″ for necklines and collars. Their reasoning is beyond me, but because I use the PDF versions of their patterns, I can suit myself.
  • I used the facing from the pattern, but did it in cotton lawn, interfaced with knit tricot fusible. I really wanted to stabilize the neckline, something a self-fabric facing would not have done.
Lots of clipping and basting to turn the facing at the bottom of the v-neck…
About the fabric. I sew with rayon challis a lot, and love it. I enjoy sewing it, and I enjoy wearing it even more. I was curious about rayon crepe, new to me, and I found that it sews pretty much the same as challis. It slips around, moves on any bias, ravels a little more than challis, and has a mind of its own!
I don’t write tutorials myself – I get very irritated by the raft of sewist who do, with poor technique and, often, worse sewing examples. (BTW – I ‘unfollow’ any blogs that start doing tutorials – I’m that irritated!) But I do try to find good sources and information that I can share. Here’s a link to an article, on Sew4Home, that is a nice discussion of fabrics like rayon crepe:
Time for a pic:

The start, stop, and start again…I tossed this dress in the bin twice while I was working on it. It was decidely awful before I got the side seams done and got a good look at it ūüôā


But I really like it! and I plan more. It’s delightful to wear, fun and a little off-beat.


Ciao! Coco