About me

My photo
I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


Follow by Email

Follow me on Instagram


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Style Arc Tops installment one: Adele top

I have had a great week in Tennessee with much to report.

Let's start with my Style Arc tops.

I really have a huge backlog of Patternreviews to do but first of all I want to just show you how these patterns are working out on me.

I think it would be helpful to know more about the body shape I am sewing with so you can put the fit into perspective. I really have no shame:

  • I am 5'9". Some of the tops I have lengthened, but realizing how long this patterns already are I have cut off that amount in many cases and will tell you if I have made the out of the envelope version or not.
  • I am about 20 pounds heavier than I was 10 years ago, and I am 58 now. How do you spell menopause?  What I am saying is that I am carrying excess on the middle. Consider that. My photographer has been well-trained to say "you look slimmer in that" even before he really looks at what I have made.
  • I have a D cup and usually do a FBA. I didn't do that in most of my tops but will have to do it again in one, you will see that in the next couple of days as I work my way through these.
The Adele top: 


Nice rayon knit from Fabricmart. I am kicking myself for not bringing more of my stash with me. The print is a little loud but I think the diagonal lines are slimming.

Pattern alterations: None except for 2" added on that I wouldn't do again - these patterns are already pretty long. Note I did not do a FBA and am pleased with the fit, fitted through the chest (I made a size 12) but full enough through the bust. I suspect Style Arc grades more intelligently than some other pattern makers. Note the narrow sleeves, not an issue for me since I have a weak upper body but might be for you.

Construction notes: 

OK did as suggested but scrapped the overly complex, in my view, instructions for stabilizing the neckline. Why do this? I have a head.

Instead I measured the neck opening, cut a 3" wide piece with the stretch knit as long as 3/4 the opening and used my now favourite method of applying neck binding:
  1. Stitch the short ends of the neckband together making a ring.
  2. Fold the band, wrong sides together and lightly press. This will give you a double layer neck ring of fabric.
  3. Pin the neckband to the wrong side of the top, which will then be the folded neckband right sides up against the wrong side of the top.
  4. Stitch using a tiny zig zag for stretch (I left my serger at home).
  5. Flip the neckband to the right side and stitch close to the folded edge to secure.
With a light knit this gives a good clean neck binding that is nice on both sides. I also use the same treatment for woven bands and will take some pictures of that up close.

I will definitely make this top again. Five stars.


Unknown said...

very nice, I have this pattern, but have yet to try it. Your notes will be helpful when I do get around to it. Your neckband treatment sounds like something I would like to do. Thanks for posting...Anna

Jodie said...

As another Canadian (I'm in Edmonton area), can you give me an idea of the cost of the patterns plus shipping? Be general - $50 - $100 Cdn dollars, etc. I'd love a pair of pants and seeing all the Peta and Linda pants showing up on the interweb is tempting me. Plus that new Abby cardigan....
Your top looks great (and the pants before). Hope you enjoyed your travels
Thanks for posting - good to hear from you again.

Mary said...

That top is dynamite on you-it is so elegant. Fun post Barbara, I loved your comment about your photographer being well trained.

shams said...

I love this on you!

I made the Adele and I love it. I'm 5'5" and these patterns are quite long for me. Those Aussies must be tall. ;)

Karen in VA said...

I have a few of the Style Arc patterns...will definitely have to try them..this top looks great on you!

Nat said...

This is my favourite version of this top! I love the print - very nice :)

Sharon said...

Loving your top on you, the temptation to purchase is increasing.

velosewer said...

Love this style on you.

Bunny said...

Very flattering!

gwensews said...

Your top looks terrific. Those diagonals are perfect.

Calypso Flowers said...

That suits you so well and I agree the diagonals are perfect. Schedule making more BEFORE you get to the Christmas 1993 stuff !
Being of a similar age to you, and having given up colouring my hair (thus having to deal with a whole new complexion), I've decided to go for asymmetrical and solid, interesting colours in a big way. Might have to get that pattern !