After being home all week on vacation, I’ve realized just how woefully neglected my casual wardrobe is. In addition to making some stretch bengaline Style Arc Linda and Elle pants I decided to make the Marie jacket.
The Style Arc Marie is an unlined knit jacket with an off-center front zip closure and curved hemline. The center front pieces are self faced, so you can wear it open (like the Harper) or leave it zipped closed. Size 8 is 28.5″ from back of the neck to the hem. After my 3/8″ broad back alteration mine is closer to 29″.
Here’s mine. The pants I’m wearing with it today are stretch bengaline Style Arc Elles. (I am pleased to report that they winterize nicely with the aid of these.)
I found the Marie line drawing was not completely accurate as to the location of the front design line. It is actually much more slanted. It angles upward from the waist instead of being almost horizontal to the bust. (You can sort of see it in the photo below.) The side seams start off right under the arm, but then slant toward the front the closer you get to the hemline.
The fabric I used was a royal blue ponte from Fabric Mart. It was quite hefty (probably too heavy for this to be worn open) but I think it looks good when closed. It had about 30% crosswise stretch and 40% lengthwise stretch.
Be warned: this pattern is a fabric hog! I needed 3.25 yards of my 51″ fabric.
I sewed the sleeve caps and side seams with my serger, but for everything else I used my regular machine. I found the Ponte Perfection article on Emma One Sock very helpful.
I used an 18″ #5 nylon coil separating zipper from Cleaner’s Supply. This was a good weight for my ponte, but if you are using a lighter knit think about using a #3 zip instead. Before I attached it I stabilized the edges where it is sewn with Pro-Sheer Elegance from Fashion Sewing Supply, and as a result you can see that I had no ripples. I highly, highly recommend you take the time to interface these edges.
Instead of a button or snap I used a large hook and eye to hold the inside center front piece in place. I’m not sure it was a great idea because it kept slipping open, so I had to take a hammer to the hook to make it a little bit more snug.
After reading other reviews I was a little bit surprised at just how close-fitting this jacket was, except at the waist. I would have a hard time fitting anything other than a tshirt under it. So for that reason I consider this more of a stylish sweatshirt rather than a jacket.
My flat pattern, pre-adjustment measurements for size 8 were:
- 35.5″ bust (just over 1″ ease, measured 1″ below the armhole)
- 35″ waist (7.5″ ease; I measured 16″ from the back of the neck)
- 38.25″ hip (1.75″ ease; I measured 9″ below the waist)
- 11.5″ bicep (no ease; I measured 4″ from the top of the sleeve seam)
- 13.5″ shoulder width (-1″ shoulder ease)
- 22.75″ from the top of the sleeve cap to the sleeve hem
Since the shoulders had negative ease I didn’t bother stabilizing them as suggested in the pattern.
My fitting adjustments were:
- Added 5″ to hips (some of which got taken out in the process of taking in the center back seam)
- Lengthened the sleeves 1.25″
- Widened the sleeves 3/4″
- 3/8″ narrow shoulder alteration
- I found the upper back very narrow. I ended up adding 3/4″ width to the upper back piece and recutting it. This is not a usual Style Arc adjustment for me.
- 3/8″ broad back adjustment
The center back seam is cut straight, with no shaping. This may or may not work for you depending on your figure. Due to my rather hefty fabric and non-flat butt I chose to take in the waist 4″ at the center back seam. I think I could have gotten away with a less drastic alteration if I used a lighter, softer knit.
When it came to the back neckline and shoulders I constructed them almost exactly like Lara’s Abby cardigan tutorial. I think the end result is very neat:
I like the roomier fit of the Harper for layering something like a blouse, but I definitely prefer the lower neckline of the Marie. It is also easier to shape the Marie via the center back seam. I also think the hemline is very flattering since it curves up and down instead of being straight across the hips. Since the hem swings out a little (like an A-line skirt would) I also think it helps slim the hip/thigh area for us pear shaped people.
I’m very happy with how my Marie came out. I think it is a nicer, more flattering alternative to a hoodie/sweatshirt and I will be making my next Marie out of a red wool ponte I stashed sometime last year.