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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


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Monday, March 12, 2012

Style Arc Tops installment two: Sacha top

Here we go, Style Arc's Sacha top. It is advertised as a sort of big shirt but to be truthful I think it is more of a long version of a fairly fitted shirt with a bust dart with perhaps some casual drop to the shoulder.

I made the size 12 right out of the envelope, no alterations at all and you can see on my 5'9" self that it is still really long - I actually added my usual 2" to length and then cut it off again.

On, this feels like a good fit but not so loose that you would say hang over the bathtub in comfort and scrub it out without feeling the pull across the back. I will definitely make this again, shorter, as a shirt I would wear to work.

The fabric was some great embroidered white cotton I got last year from Fabric.com when I was delusionally thinking I was going to make 10 white shirts, which of course I am now starting to do now the pressure of feeling I have to is off.

Which should just about tell you all you need to know about me.

The construction was straightforward and easy. I did note that the collar band was pretty slim, narrower than I am used to seeing, but probably more RTW. And I was also interested to see the dart was very angled and actually just in the right place for me. How often does that happen?

Now I want to talk to you about my current run on Style Arc patterns.

This season for some reason the pattern book offerings have left me cold.

I mean I really, really want to like them. I had a great time last spring and summer sewing up new styles (remember those great Vogue knit dresses we all made?) but this year everything I saw had deja vue all over them. There wasn't a pattern that I could not have pointed you to something similar in an earlier book.

I also did a wardrobe cull before I came away and what I threw out tended to be some of my more trendy styles that didn't get as much wear as the effort deserved. A new style as to be compatible with what suits you - not just a new trend. I learned this again for about the 49th time this lifetime.

My trips to the Garment District have also reignited my deep love of good fabric (which is always looking for a way to find itself up to the surface) and you really need reliable patterns for that.

Which brings me to an appreciation of TNT (tried and trues for those who still wonder about that term) and to me Style Arc so far is providing me with those.

Now, they are expensive I know. Hand-drawn on heavy paper, as the orders come in. Shipping to Canada is about $20 so three patterns plus shipping is over $50. Not worth it for one offs but if these are basics, like the pants I made 12 pairs of, well this is a good investment.

On the subject of pants, for those of you who are thinking about them, I want to note a difference between the Peta and Cargo. The Cargo has a wider leg (has to as it can be rolled up) but also a more shaped waistline which actually is somewhat more comfortable if you have a big butt like I do ( I have decided to forgo the delicacy in the interests of efficiency), although the Peta is very nice too. 

And when they say works best in drapey fabrics they say that for a reason. I like my poplin Peta's less than the softer chambray ones, although I wear both happily.

Now off to another day in the hotel room and walking the trails of Knoxville with Mr. R.

You would think that 4 weeks in a hotel room with a dog, a sewing machine, and Christmas knitting projects from Christmas 1993 (plus some online work from work) would get to a person.


I am absolutely flat out all day.

Tonight we are going out to a work party with my husband's team. I really like the people he works with and am looking forward to it.

BTW aren't men weird about what they don't know? If I were to ask my husband what everyone drove he could tell me, however he is unable to answer interesting questions like:

  • how long have they been going out and are they serious
  • how long have they lived here
  • how many children do they have
  • how old are the children
  • where does his wife work
  • where does her husband work
You get my drift. What does he do all day?


Colleen G said...

Your comments about your husband's knowledge about his co-workers made me smile. This weeked I was introduced to my DS's gf for the first time. We chatted over dinner, me asking questions in conversation, because my son had told me little about the young lady. He laughed at me saying "I told her you would have questions". But he learned lots of new stuff about the lady he has been dating for 6 months.

Jodie said...

Hi Barb:
Thanks for the info about cost etc. of the Style Arc patterns. Really not bad considering the cost of some of the big 4 patterns. I think I'll seriously consider purchasing a few patterns. Your shirt looks great!

a little sewing said...

Barb, your shirt looks just wonderful. I thought of you today because I was briefly in NYC and wearing my comfortable Linda pants. I bought 6 pieces of fabric and my goodness, I know what you mean about quality. I always find such good quality at reasonable prices, and lots to choose from.

And I agree with you - if I am going to sew the good stuff, I better have good patterns.

Jane M said...

I still haven't sent in my first Style Arc order but keep planning to...one of these days. And too, too funny about your husband's work team. DH gets that deer in the headlight look when I start quizzing him on the way to one of his social functions. Must just be a gene thing.

Catherine Daze said...

It's so nice to have tops that are long enough. One of the reasons I started sewing. The shirt is lovely. It's such a classic look.

Nat said...

Beautifully made shirt :) in different colors it will look like a different pattern all the time, well worth the money spent.