I’ve never actually made up a Style Arc pattern before this dress, yet I’ve always loved the look of their on-trend designs and had often been tempted. I eventually succumbed to temptation and decided on trying out the Style Arc Paige dress which you first saw me model in a couple of photos for the Day and Night Dress Challenge. Today, though I thought I’d show you some more pics and go into a bit more detail on how I made it.
Now, a week before choosing my pattern I’d already received a delivery of some fabulous teal cabled knit which would prove to be the perfect pairing for it. The fabric came from Higgs and Higgs, and as usual I blame Instagram and all the lovely sewers on there for my purchase….I’m always seeing fresh new sewing makes on my feed showing lovely fabrics and I saw two or three fab garments made from this cosy fabric in different colourways, so like the good little lemming that I am, I promptly went off and purchased some.
Teal is one of ‘my’ colours so it was a no-brainer to go for it and as I write this I ‘think’ it may be back in stock. When I say ‘my’ colours…I mean from the Soft Autumn colour range. You see, several years back I went for colour analysis because I struggled with finding the right palette for myself. Some colours that I used to wear made me look ill and pale (don’t you just love it when someone says “are you ok? You don’t look well”…even when you feel fine!) so as a birthday treat I booked a session. Have you ever had your colours done? I personally found it very useful and it helps me to create a cohesive wardrobe…admittedly though, now I know the right tones to wear, I do bend the rules a bit. If you would like me to go into a bit more detail sometime, do mention it in comments and maybe I could rustle up a post about it. There are many resources online though.
Getting back to my dress though…I really like the side panels and seaming detail of the Paige design and wanted to somehow highlight those seams because I didn’t want to go full on with a contrasting coloured panel. I came up with the idea of using charcoal piping and charcoal zips for the pockets. For this detail, I used some ponte knit cut in cross grain strips and folded over just like piping but without the cord in the middle.
To create further interest I thought how nice it would be to use the cabled design going horizontally in the side sections… Those side sections actually have a proper side seam going down them however I thought it would be a shame to be spoiling the lines of the horizontal cable by having a seam through them, plus, think of all that matching! So, what I did was get rid of the side seam altogether. Firstly for the lower body sections, I overlapped the seam allowances and treated it as one piece. As there is a bit of a curve in from waist to underarm, I added a dart there. For the underarm sleeve piece, I simply overlapped the pieces together and then sloped the sides of the panel in more. This involved a bit of fudging as the slope should really have been down the original underarm seam, but this knit was forgiving and it worked out fine. The main photograph at the top of this post shows the panel nice and clearly.
Once I had all of the pieces cut out I decided to do a fully-basted try on to see how it fitted so that I could be sure of putting all of the piping and those zips in the right places.
I’d cut a size 10 throughout and as the pattern is an unusual shape and maybe because I was being lazy and slightly out of character too, I didn’t really measure the pattern widths, instead I just eyeballed them, thought the sizing looked fine, and then started blithely cutting everything out….big mistake!
I hadn’t checked the square size scale guide…I discovered it was bigger than the 10cm that it should have been….consequently my dress came out massive…I mean, I could have held a party in it with two friends and still had room for a band to entertain us. Oops!
I had to re-cut the whole bloomin’ thing. It set me back half a day, but thankfully it was doable and I was soon able to get on with inserting the exposed zips prior to adding the piping. There’s a tutorial on the Style Arc website for adding inseam exposed zips which I found useful. I moved my zips over though and made them totally fit onto the front pieces rather than straddling the seam because the piping needed to go one side of the zip along the seam.
To add the piping I carefully basted it down each seam before stitching all layers together using a walking foot. The needle that I used was a 70 Jersey needle. The same piping detail goes around the neckline too. I basted the charcoal ponte around the neckline, stitched it around and then flipped it to the inside finishing off with a row of stitching catching the ponte knit in place. It finishes it off really nicely I think.
I’m not going to let myself be put off from trying Style Arc patterns again. It was obviously my fault for not checking the scale square. Though I can’t understand why it was wrong because I’ve printed PDF’s before using the same printer. Anyhoo, it was a learning experience and thankfully it all turned out fine in the end. A happy ending if you will.
Thanks so much for stopping by for a read and let me know your thoughts in the comments on pattern scaling, Style Arc patterns or colour analysis etc. I love to chat….
Catch you soon…
Pin for later!
Truly impressed here Diane. I have never even done a zip in jersey and your detailing is fantastic. Love your dress and thank goodness the ratio was bigger not smaller. I’ve my eye on some of that fabric.
Thank you, Maggie. I’m so glad you like the dress. I think the trick with sewing a zip in a jersey is to use a decent weight of the fabric and to iron interfacing down where it is to be inserted. Oh, and I hope you manage to get the fabric you’ve been eying!
Awesome! What a fantastic fabric choice! I love the effect of pipings too. Well done.
Thanks for your lovely comment Eli!
Wowsers! Your dress is amazing, and I love what you did with the side panels – adding the dart for shaping is a great idea. I also love the zip pockets.
Ohhh, thanks so much, Lynne! The side panels of the Paige are shaped from the waist up, so I think the dart really helped achieve the same effect.
Love the dress, and would love to see a post on color analysis. I have wanted to have that done for quite some time but haven’t found anyone local (NC, USA). I would like to hear your favorite online resources for color analysis as well.
Thank you, Margaret, I’m glad you like it. Oooh, right, so you’ve tried to find someone but had no luck? I think I was really lucky to have found someone so local…literally in the next town. But perhaps if you have a look at a few online resources it might help. I’ll try to put a post together all about colour and get some relevant links sorted. I think as sewists it helps us with fabric purchases when we have a feel for what colours enhance our own natural skin and hair tones. If we feel more confident that our purchases will suit us then it prevents us from having fabrics that never get made up, or making something and then not feeling quite right in it.
Whoops! Better though to cut far too big, because at least you can rectify the situation…I do love your stunning use of piping, it lifts this dress into a different realm. Yes, teal is certainly one of your colours, you shine in this. I can see why you fell in love with this fabric and had to buy it….
Thanks Sarah Liz. Oh for sure, thank god it was too big and not too small. I would have hated to have ruined the lovely fabric.
Love this Diane, the colour, piping and those metal zips! I haven’t used Style Arc, will have a look at their patterns, I don’t mind pdfs at all, once you’ve worked out the most efficient way to assemble them, they’re a breeze!
Thank you Maxine! I’m a sucker for exposed metallic zips. I just love the look of a bit of hardware. As for Pdf’s, I’ll have to get some of those speedy assembling tips off you 🙂
A lovely Page Dress, Diane. Very clever how you turned the side panels to one piece! And a super colour for you!
Thank you, Wis!Yes, I was pleased with how the side panels worked out and it cut down on an extra seam.
Very cute! Love what you did with the contrast piping and the in seam zippers are a great addition. I’ve only sewn one style arc pattern and it wasn’t a pdf, but rather a paper pattern, always my preference. This pattern is so cute on you in spite of the mishap..great save and so worth the extra work!
Thanks, Linda! Glad you like it. Yes, the extra work proved worth it in the end eh? It could so easily have all gone wrong though. By the way, I think paper patterns are mostly my preference too.
Did not mean to repeat myself. What I meant was get to the end results
without all the hassle of sizing, other obstacles. I’ve always heard that
it’s the journey, but honestly, sometimes I just want the end results. Does
that sound a bit like someone who does not necessarily enjoy the
process? Using a tried and true pattern would probably be the
solution to a day like that, huh?
Ah. yes, I see what you mean Peggy. Your previous full comment didn’t come through to me first time. Absolutely, yes! I often have to fiddle with the fit and, dare I say, I don’t always enjoy the process of some projects. It’s such a relief to make something you know already fits and is perfect as is. I think TNT patterns can be lovely as palette cleansers between the annoying difficult projects. Like a breathing space.
Sometimes don’t you simply want to get on with making the dress and
not have to fiddle with all the particulars: sizing, etc?
Sometimes don’t you just want to make the dress and not have
to fiddle with all the particulars?
Hi Peggy, do you mean not taping and printing PDF’s or adding things like piping? It’s in my nature to change up a style. I love to add my own spin on things, but the initial faffing with patterns can be a pain.
This is beautiful! Love the charcoal piping and the pocket zippers. I’ve never tried a Stylearc design as I really don’t like messing with pdf patterns. I’ve never seen one good enough to push me over the pdf hurdle, but I’ll keep looking.
Thank you, Cynthia! I’m not much of a fan of the printing and taping of PDF’s, I have to say. This is, I think, my fourth one to date, so it’s early days for me. I still kind of like a pattern in an envelope. Some companies do offer both options actually. I think Stylearc do, but they are in Australia so ordering one is out of the question.
StyleArc paper patterns are available on Amazon. I understand that Amazon ship these from the US
Thanks for that Kay, that’s really good to know. I could then get paper patterns and not worry about printer problems. Cheers!
Both the colour and the shape are so great on you! I’m always dithering about Style Arc – I almost downloaded one of their patterns but the PDFs seem to come in a format where you just pick one size, and I straddle two sizes… am I mistaken there, or would I have to buy two separate patterns?! I feel your pain on the eyeballing of the pattern pieces. I’m guilty of that too, when really I should be getting my tape measure out! Love the details you added to make this dress “you” 👍
Thanks, Helen. Yes, when you order Stylearc patterns you actually do get two sizes, but they aren’t nested so you have to print off one or the other.
I really like this on you. The style lines make it a lot more interesting than usual, and the teal knit is to die for. I’ve never had my colours done and have always wondered.
Thank you, Sue. Yes, I’m a sucker for unusual style lines. I can vouch for the fabric quality too…so fab. If you’re still coming to the UK this year, why not get your relatives over here to order some? Who me, enabling??? 😉
Your day dress is sooo cute!
Ohh, thanks, Faye!
Your dress is lovely, beautifully made. I love your styling details. So frustrating that the pattern didn’t print out to scale. I’m about to embark on my first Style Arc pattern so was interested to hear how you found it. I bought the PDF version and found it printed out OK.
Thanks Karen. Yeah it was frustrating as my printer has usually printed to scale ok. I guess I will only find out if it’s definitely a printer problem is to try something that I know printed fine before.
I love this dress – the colour, the piping, the design lines – totally amazing! Ah yes, the deceptive 10cm test square. I find that most of the time it works out fine, except on Burda pattterns, which do not print out right at all, except by some weird jiggling of printer settings.
Gosh, thanks for the dress love Nicola! So glad you like it. Yes, the pesky test square. I have to say I’ve only ever used Burda patterns from the magazines so haven’t had the pleasure of trying their PDF’s yet. I’ll bear it in mind though!