The Fiona Top is a new pattern, and I loved it the minute I saw it. It is very simple to construct, goes together really well and feels really good on. I used a two way stretch crepe from my stash, which is really soft to touch, slinky to wear and a right madam to sew!!! Slippery, black and with a life of its own, I wrestled the curves together and pressing was a waste of time – it just bounced back. I don’t regret using the fabric for the top, it has delivered the look and feel I wanted (a bit posher than a tee shirt to go over smart pants for a casual dinner). Apart from a small amount of frilling around the curves around the hemline, I am really happy with this one, it feels awesome on. The pattern doesn’t call for interfacing, in hindsight I think it would have gone better on the curves with a light weight knit interfacing on the facing. Probably more about fabric choice than the pattern. I usually have to make a few alterations, however the style of this top released me from the burden of that to some extent. I did add 2″ to the hips and 1/2″ to the sleeve width. I always use a size 14 for StyleArc tops (based on my high bust) and do an FBA. Given this is a dolman with plenty of room, I omitted the FBA and it fits fine. I did forget to check the length and would probably take 1 1/2 inches or so off the length next time, not obviously too long when I wear it with black pants, but proportionally for me would be better shorter.
The Susan tee is one I have made many times, my adjustments to this version were to shorten the length, shorten the sleeves to elbow length (to go under the Fiona top), I did an FBA and I bound the neckline in the same fabric that Fiona is made from. I used a knit that I bought a couple of years ago in Brisbane that I fell in love with. It is a wet look knit with lots of stretch. I had in mind to make a dress with it, but I really don’t wear dresses anymore now that I am a country girl :). I have enough of it that making a tee won’t prevent me making a dress if I change my mind.
This is my second pair of Jilly jeans, although this pair aren’t really jeans. I loved the out of the packet fit of my first pair, so I wanted to try making a pair using Cotton Sateen, much lighter than the denim and significantly more stretch. I didn’t embellish them as jeans, I went for more of a ‘chino’ finish. I omitted the back pockets, and all the topstitching with the exception of the inner leg seam (for extra strength). I used a scrap of satin for the pocket linings and I added back about an inch of leg width and a half inch of leg length this time. I am happy with the way they have turned out, and will make the pattern again. I will however, use the pattern as intended for jeans, and use pant patterns for pants. I have a few lined up to try :).
I always have good outcomes with StyleArc patterns, they are well drafted and go together as they should. The construction instructions are not comprehensive like many other brands, a beginner could struggle with some of the more advanced patterns. StyleArc do have some good tutorials on their web site, and the patterns have clear drawings of the key construction stages which are useful. I typically don’t use the instructions, although I always review the drawings before I start sewing. I will certainly make Fiona again, I have already begun another Jilly and Susan, well Susan is a TNT staple. Happy sewing