Style Arc Penny Cami


The Penny top from Style Arc is a spaghetti strap tank/camisole. A small tuck at the center front neckline creates a V shape.

I made this top for wearing under sheer/semi-sheer blouses, like my Nancy and Victoria. I found the sizing of this cami runs really small. I used a knit with significant 4-way stretch and it felt like it was painted on me. It feels like shapewear, and is definitely not something I would feel comfortable wearing alone.

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You can see below how when I wear it untucked you can see every single detail of the waistband of my pants. For this particular pair of Barb pants I didn’t topstitch the seam allowance down on the waistband so it sometimes bumps out a little, and you can see how the tightness of the cami really highlights it.

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The fabric I used was a 4-way stretch Dryflex knit from Fabric Mart. I used a thin matte foldover elastic for the neckline, armholes, and straps rather than self fabric straps. I did not trim away the seam allowance so the neckline is slightly higher than it should be.

When I tried this on the hemline rolled a LOT due to how tight it was.  I ended up taking some stretch lace from Sew Sassy and used that to quickly finish the hem. Besides being more attractive it has a flatter profile when tucked.

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My only fitting adjustment to my size 8 pattern was adding 2″ to the hips. For my next Penny top I will grade it up to a size 10 by adding at least 1″ to the upper bust and 2″ to the side seams from mid bust all the way down to the hem. I also want to lengthen it an additional 1″. This is a really simple and quick project so I should be able to get another one made up in the next day or so.

Besides a pair of ponte Elles this has been my only project for a week. My poor little baby bunny, Roscoe, had a freak accident last Wednesday.  He has only one eye (birth defect) so he tends to hop in his cage in one direction. Somehow due to moving in one direction all day he got hay twisted around one of his back legs to the point where it cut the circulation off. I didn’t notice this until a couple of hours after getting home from work. He couldn’t move, and it was so twisted and embedded that I had to very carefully cut it off. Within a few hours his foot swelled up like a balloon and his leg started leaking from the edema. It was a really hot day when it happened so on top of it he got dehydrated and was going into shock. I went to work that night giving him as much water as possible, massaged the foot, wrapped him in a towel to keep him warm, etc and took him to a vet that specializes in exotics the next day. After they examined him and gave him an antibiotic shot we were sent home with oral antibiotics and painkillers, a cream for his leg, an Elizabethan collar to help stop him from chewing on his leg, and a special “critical care” food meant to help rehydrate him and get his GI tract going again. (Rabbits need to eat constantly or else their GI tract shuts down and they start getting fatal blockages.) I was also told that I would have to keep him in a fly-free area and use towels as bedding to help keep the leg as clean as possible. So I moved him into my bedroom and spent a good portion of this weekend constantly checking on him and freaking out about whether he would be able to keep his leg or not. (After talking to Tom and my parents I made the decision that if the vet recommended amputation I would put him down.) To get his appetite going again and help with hydration I picked some fresh parsley and dill from the garden. As you can see in the photo below he’s a HUGE fan.

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Tom says the collar Roscoe has to wear makes him look like a flower.

Strangely enough he also LOVES his medicine. I feed it orally to him via a syringe, and as soon as he sees the syringe he hops over and starts gobbling from it. My mother swears he’s an addict and hooked on painkillers now ;).

Our followup appointment Monday went well. He got another antibiotic shot and it looks like the circulation returned. Now our biggest worry is risk of infection. So now  I have to put honey on his leg and foot*, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then soak his foot in a warm saline and iodine solution for another five minutes before patting it dry and putting on the cream.

The good news is he’s been very active the past couple of days and extremely hungry. (I almost feel like I have an infant in cloth diapers with the amount of times I have to keep changing and washing towels.) He hops madly around the living room when I put him down to exercise. We have another followup appointment tomorrow so I’m hoping there’s good news. In the meantime he’s been going to work with me every day so I can monitor him. My coworkers love to come over and dote on him, and sometimes he sits on my lap while I type.

I feel so sorry for this little guy. He’s only 2.5 months old and has had a rough life so far, with the one eye, being the runt of the litter, being picked on by his littermates, etc. And yet he is so sweet and happy.

* Yes, you read that right. I’m putting honey on his wound. Apparently honey is antibacterial and the vet said it might help with the remaining edema and help disinfect the area. I went to a local health food store and bought some manuka honey, which is supposed to be the best kind for wound care. It is produced in Australia and New Zealand.

Inside the Style Arc Issy

A reader asked me for a couple of photos of the inside of my Style Arc Issy top because she was having trouble constructing the front drape. I dug out my Issy and took a couple of quick photos to send to her. For this blog post I also annotated them.

The inside of the right front:


the inside of the left front:


Since I also struggled a little bit with envisioning how it was supposed to go together I coverstitched the neckline AFTER attaching the drape, not before, and that’s why the coverstitching doesn’t quite extend into the shoulder/armhole seams. When you make this top you should finish the edge of the front neckline BEFORE sewing the shoulder seams.

In my email response to her I noted:

The drape is attached asymmetrically. The left attaches at ONLY the shoulder seam, and the right attaches at the shoulder seam AND at the armhole seam.

Hope this helps clarify it for some of you!

Fancy Man Panties: Jalie 3242


Tom came to my house at the last minute the other night after a 12+ hour shift. He didn’t have a change of clothes on him so he soulfully requested that I make him some “man panties” so he could at least have clean underwear. I have Kwik Sew 3298 somewhere but wasn’t able to find it, so I went online to see if they had it as a download. Nope – looks to be out of print as well. So I went on Jalie’s website to check out their pattern offerings, and found out that 3242 was available as a download.


This one pattern will take care of underwear needs for the entire family! Jalie patterns always include a huge range of sizes. The kids sizes go from an 18″waist/20″ hip to a 26.5″ waist/34.5″ hip for girls and 26.5″/32.5″ hip for boys. The adult sizes go from a 27.25″ waist/35.5″ hip to 44″ waist/53″ hip for women and 27.5″ waist/33.5″ hip to 48″ waist/51″ hip for men. The children sizes include only the bikini panty for girls and brief and boxer short styles for boys because obviously the lace thong and jockstrap styles are not appropriate for children.

The pattern download is split into three sections: women/girls styles and men/boys styles, along with an instruction sheet for all of them. I’m not sure how the women’s PDF is set up, but the men’s PDF is set up so you can print only the pages your pattern is on. There appears to be no overlap as far as two styles being on one page. I chose to make view E, the boxer briefs, and I only needed to print pages 7-12.

View E has only two pieces: the pouch and trunks. You cut 1 piece on the fold of the trunk and 4 of the pouch. Like their other patterns Jalie includes instructions in both written and in technical drawing format. When it came to topstitching/hemming I used a zigzag stitch. The seams where the pouch attaches to the trunk are topstitched; I also topstitched the inseam. Zigzagging instead of a coverstitch meant less thread and not having to slow down in order to convert over to coverstitch. Plus a zigzag stitch is stronger and more elastic than a coverstitch.

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Jalie has you run a basting stitch around the upper edge of the trunk to use as a guide for when you attach the waistband elastic. Unlike the Kwik Sew pattern you don’t lay it on top of the fabric with the edge of the elastic even with the edge of the elastic, sew it in place and then trim away the excess afterward. At first I was annoyed at having to run a basting stitch but then I realized the Jalie way is quicker – plus it saves fabric and you don’t need to worry about accidentally nicking your fabric when trimming away the excess.

The fabric I used for the first few pairs was a cotton/lycra jersey from The Fabric Fairy.

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Tom is a very masculine guy (burly build, car crazy, blue collar job, into beer and meat, etc) and wouldn’t be caught dead in a pink or lavender shirt, but he also has a sense of humor and thus enjoys  wearing the most ridiculous underwear I can possibly create. He particularly favors Hawaiian,  car/machinery, and animal (esp. dog and pig) prints but anything very loud and obnoxious will do.

After I got his input on how they fit (“I can’t even feel them, so they must be good!”) I made up a few other pairs in assembly line style. Since this pattern takes just under half a yard I was able to get a second pair out of the one yard of this blue/green/white hibiscus print fabric.

Here’s the other five pairs:


The purple and green fabric is from Apple Annie Fabrics. The purple pair is cotton/lycra; I think the green pair is a bamboo/lycra. It is very soft. The automobile print cotton/lycra jersey is from the Etsy seller halfbakedbuttons.

You’ll notice I didn’t bother pattern matching. It just didn’t seem very important for this project…