Meet my mom!
She is Sallie’s favorite person in the world.
I love the look Sallie is giving in this photo – she’s totally saying “my parents are so embarrassing!” (BTW can you believe these two kids have been married 56 years?)
Neither the Style Arc Stevie (note: affiliate link) nor the Style Arc Jema (note: affiliate link) are something I would make for myself, as I usually go for sleek, tailored, and somewhat formal. (That’s why I’ve been sewing more Burda and Marfy patterns lately.) In addition to sewing something I wouldn’t wear myself, it was a novelty cutting out a pattern and just laying it on the fabric without doing a bunch of alterations first! My mom is almost a perfect Style Arc size 14. Despite her 5’8″ height I didn’t have to make any changes to the length, which surprised me. There are a couple of fitting issues – I just realized she has a high shoulder and could probably also use a sloped shoulder alteration – but overall I think the fit is pretty good out of the envelope.
I’m going to start with the Stevie jacket, which is the more complicated garment.
Stevie Jean Jacket
“Can’t you take all the photos like this?”
There’s almost 20 pieces to this pattern, and tons of topstitching. Seriously – every seam on this jacket is topstitched. Even the side seams.
I love the details this jacket has though, and if I made the Style Arc Stacie jacket again I would definitely borrow some of them.
As I mentioned in my description the pockets at the bust are fully functional.
The tabs on the bottom band are functional as well, though I don’t think most people will move them beyond the first button.
The sleeves have a split so that you can roll up the cuffs.
The welt pockets open up to full size pocket bags.
The Style Arc Stevie (note: affiliate link) definitely taps into the oversized jean jacket trend, which I’m just starting to see pop up on Net-A-Porter.
For this jacket I used a bright red cotton poplin from Gorgeous Fabrics. I originally planned on using it for a dress, but in addition to the weight being too heavy for my intended pattern the color was a little too warm for my personal taste. For size 14 I needed almost 3.5 yards of this 45″ fabric.
For the buttons I used the oak leaf antique brass jean buttons from Cleaner’s Supply. The topstitching was done with white Gutermann Mara 70 thread, also from Cleaner’s Supply.
As I mentioned in my first paragraph, I got away without having to do any alterations to this pattern. The description of being “oversized but not too big” is completely accurate.
The welt pockets gave me some trouble. I had never sewn a single welt pocket before (though I was vaguely familiar with the general process) and was thrown off by the fold marking on the pattern piece, along with Style Arc’s instructions to fold the welt in half before sewing it to the jacket.
I decided I would finish the rest of the jacket and come back to them later. At that point I experimented on some fabric scraps. Even so, I struggled through construction and am a little disappointed by the quality of the finished pockets. Part of the reason is that I should have made more samples before proceeding to the jacket, but I also suspect that the welt pattern piece could use an extra 3/8″ added to the width. (The measurement, without seam allowances, is 5 1/8″ by 1 3/8″.) Since this is the first time I’ve made single welt pockets I don’t know if it is a drafting error or just me. Next time I will reference How to sew a single welt pocket tutorial from Fashion Incubator. (I love Kathleen’s tutorials – I have yet to experience anything but fantastic results using her tutorials.)
The pattern piece for the cuffs did not include buttonhole markings. Easy enough to manually mark off, but I felt like they should have been included.
Also, I think the buttonhole marking for the tab that attaches to the hem band is in the wrong spot. IMO it should be placed by the fold, not by the raw edge. (I ended up placing it by the fold.)
Jema Panel Dress
The neckline is finished with bias binding, which is then turned to the wrong side and topstitched in place.
You can do a hook and eye instead of button and loop, but I prefer the look of the button and loop.
The Style Arc Jema (note: affiliate link) is a loosely fitted woven dress with rectangular panels, slightly flared 3/4 length sleeves, and a back closure consisting of a button and loop. Darts at the bust provide some shaping. I found that while the line drawing does a good job of portraying the fit, it is slightly inaccurate when it comes to depicting the panel proportions. The left middle panel is not as tall and the lower left panel not as short as the line drawing indicates.
My mom liked the Jema for the creativity aspect. While I chose a rather sedate look consisting of frayed chambray, you can mix and match any kind of lightweight wovens to create a unique look.
I believe the inspiration for this dress is this $470 Victoria, Victoria Beckham denim patchwork dress.
The fabric I used is a lightweight chambray purchased a year ago from Fabric Mart. I thought the bright red Stevie jacket needed to be paired with something more neutral. As you can see from my photos the horizontal seams frayed to navy, and the vertical seam frayed to white.
Though I didn’t alter the pattern for height, I also ended up not chopping off the skirt hem allowance. When she tried it on she said the ease felt appropriate. It is obviously a loosely fitted dress, but it isn’t overwhelming her with fabric. Another thing I should mention is that she was able to get it on and off without having to undo the button at the back of the neckline.
As you can see I chose to do the frayed look, which is basically a lapped seam. If you choose to do this look you will make your life much easier by using a ruler and the Clover Pen Style Chaco Liner to mark the fabric first.
- For the panel that will be frayed, chalk in a line 3/8″ away from the raw edge on the right side of the fabric. This is your stitching line.
- For the panel that will be under the frayed section, mark a line 3/4″ away from the raw edge. This will be where you line up the raw edge of the section that will be frayed.
- Per the instructions, make sure before you sew the two panels together that you finish the raw edge of the panel marked with the 3/4″ line, or else your dress might disintegrate in the wash! 🙂
- Sew the two panels together, placing the fray panel on top. After I stitched along the marked stitching line (which is 3/8″ away from the raw edge), I did another line of stitching about 1/2″ away from the raw edge. Instead of marking this with chalk I switched to my stitch in the ditch foot, moved my needle all the way to the left, and used the previous stitching line as a guide.
After stitching I carefully frayed the fabric. I think this was the most time-consuming part of making the dress. Even so, I was able to cut out the dress and have it completely finished in one night.