The Elita top was released by Style Arc on Wednesday evening (Thursday AM for Australia?) as a PDF on Etsy. It is a jacket style top with a twisted, draped collar and wrap front. You can either use a tie or snap to secure the front. The fit is described as “comfortable.” While it calls for knit fabrics it is like Lekala 4011 in that it does not require a knit with a lot of stretch.
Recommended fabrics are boiled wool knit, ponte, and jersey. I used a cranberry red silk jersey. I bought it at least four years ago from Fabric Mart for an incredible price. Of course in the meantime I realized that red isn’t one of “my” colors, so it sat in my stash for a long time. It was time to use it up!
I actually followed the instructions for this, and unlike some of the other Style Arc patterns instructions I found them easy to understand and error-free. There’s a line drawing in addition to the written text to help you out with how to deal with that front drape. (The front pattern piece looks very weird.)
The “default” is to have raw edges, but if you don’t want that look the instructions note when to finish those edges. I finished my edges by doing a rolled hem for the front and collar, a 3/8″ double hem for the bottom, and 5/8″ hem for the sleeves.
I mostly used a straight stitch for construction. When I set in the sleeves I used a very narrow zigzag stitch because that area is under more stress and can use the extra stretch.
My fitting adjustments were:
- Added a center back seam. Even though I ended up not taking it in I wanted to at least have the option.
- 3/8″ rounded back adjustment
- 3/8″ swayback adjustment
- Lengthened the sleeves 1″
- Added 1/2″ width to the sleeves at the elbow/bicep
- 3/8″ forward shoulder adjustment
- Added 3/4″ total width to the front side seam at the bust
- Added about 2″ to the hip
What I like about this top: The unusual draping, the slightly roomy fit (perfect for my thin, clingy silk jersey), and the collar. If you are busty or have broad shoulders you may not appreciate this style, but it is great for adding volume to the upper half of a pear shape.
What I don’t like: The front wrap does not stay in place well. I suspect it is at least partially because this is drafted for a knit with more structure (and a less slippery texture) than my silk jersey, which is seemingly incapable of staying in one place for any length of time. What happens is when I open my arms out to the side or move around for a while, the center front opens up and I get a peek-a-boob effect. The photo below shows why I will not be wearing this top without a cami.
I thought about how I would fix this, if I wanted to make this top again. I suspect a combination of using a more structured fabric and pinching out a dart from that center front curve would do the trick. I’m going to wait and see if other people have the same issue before forming an opinion, because silk jersey is VERY different from the recommended ponte and boiled wool. One thing I’ve really learned in my nearly ten years of sewing is that the difference between a winner and wadder is often fabric choice.
The blue top shown below the Elita top is another Style Arc Annie cami, made sometime last month. It has been getting a lot of wear lately under my wool and cotton sweaters. For those of you not familiar with this pattern it is a pull-over woven tank top. I made this particular version out of a silk crepe de chine that I dyed myself using Dharma acid dye in Sapphire Blue. This was the first time I ever dyed silk, and a couple of mistakes (rinsing in water that was too hot and not using the Dharma Dye Fixative before rinsing) resulted in a lighter color than I intended. I still like it though
I used one of the Fashion Sewing Supply shell buttons and a self fabric loop instead of a hook and eye for the back closure.