For this top I used two coordinating colours of Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen Fabric. The pattern requires woven fabric, I.e. one which does not stretch and a linen blend is absolutely perfect.
I used both the denim colour and nautical. This is an amazing fabric, made from a linen and cotton blend fabric so it is very well behaved, easy to sew and easy to wear. This fabric becomes softer and softer with each wash. I have been wearing it this week in the very hot weather and found it to be cool and comfortable. It doesn't crease much during wear and Is suitable for dresses and trousers as well as tops.
I had heard of Style Arc Patterns but have never used one before. Some comments I have heard were that there are little more than no instructions, but I found this not to be the case.
I used the Dixie Top Sewing Pattern. There are instructions, very clear instructions but they are not accompanied by a picture at each stage as we have learned to expect with a pattern. I did not find this a problem at all.
The pattern is also printed on high quality paper and not the usual tissue paper. There are photographs for the parts which need clarification.
Sizing is a bit of guesswork because the measurements are only given for size 10 with the comment that there is a 2” grade in circumference between the sizes. Also the seam allowances are much less than normal at 1cm or ?” instead of the normal ?” - some seams have only ¼” eg the neck, so do be aware of this.
The trick with this pattern I found was to transfer every single pattern marking onto the fabric. For this I used tailors chalk. It really did make putting the garment together so very easy. Marking the pattern markings in this way also serves as a reminder as to which are the right and wrong sides of the fabric.
I also found that this fabric frays and will fray even more with repeated washing so it is important to overlock every single edge.
If you do not have an overlocker then don't worry. Explore your sewing machines overedge stitch as I did on the neckline. Failing that, a small zigzag stitch will suffice.
This really is a very easy pattern to follow. The only place where you need to take extra care is when attaching the neckband because you need to ensure that you use the guide provided and ensure that the neck gap is the correct width or it will look odd and uneven.
The back is slightly lower than the front so please don't panic if the front and back look uneven by the way!
Once I had finished the neckline - the instructions are brilliant - I attached the sleeves. Then I stitched the underarm and side seams in one process taking extra care to match the seams where they intersect.
I then overlocked the side seams to prevent fraying.
To finish the bottom hem and the sleeve hem I overlocked the raw edges and pressed a narrow hem to the wrong side. Then I top stitched the edges on the right side.
And apart from a hook and eye to close the back the topmost finished. Quite honestly if you do your preparation and transfer every pattern marking onto the fabric you will be wearing this in tomorrow three hours!
I made mine yesterday and put it on today for photographs and never took it off. It has survived the day very well indeed
Please do take a look at this pattern range, I am so impressed that next month's post will be another Stylearc pattern.
I cannot enthuse about this fabric enough Robert Kaufman fabrics are terrific.you know the saying “you get what you pay for” well with this fabric that is certainly true. It is so easy to sew, so if you are a sewing newbie you won't have a problem. It lends itself to embroidery and embellishment too. It keeps its shape and gets better and better with each wash.
You can't possibly go wrong with this pattern and fabric combination so choose your favourite colours - there is plenty of choice in this range - and make yourself a beautiful top you will want to wear time and time again.
Thank you for reading this post,
Angela