Monday, 28 January 2013

Style Arc Melissa and Linda - my new work besties

I'm all aboard the Style Arc train - frankly, I think you all should be too!

The Melissa shirt was an attempt to simplify - I love my Vogue princess seam shirt, but I also love the streamlined look of 'menswear' shirts. It's cotton-linen, which is perfect for summer. I spent a lot of time shrinking and ironing this, so I think it will be fine. As per the suggestion from clothingengineer, I took off about 1.5" from the cuff length. It looks about right to me now.

I used the Fit For Real People method to add 4" across the bust, and I rotated some of the (now) massive dart into a second armhole dart. This is the first time I've successfully used this method to alter a pattern, and frankly I should have added another inch and lowered the bust point a bit more. I could also have rotated the fabric into a vertical dart... but this would not suit the style I wanted this shirt to have.

Look, no sway back!
I also added an inch in width across the bicep, and this seems to be right for me. I have big arms though, so be sure to tissue-fit your pattern.

This shirt is not a perfect fit, but as with Vogue 8747, it's 'good enough'. I feel like I now have two shirt patterns I can rely on!

It's taken me a month from finishing my first (of three, so far) Linda pants and blogging about them. They just felt like old faithfuls from day one - didn't seem to need a post. But here you are.

They fit exactly as the measurements indicate. I used a stretch bengaline, which is easily available from Spotlight (albeit at $16/m). My size uses about 1.8m of fabric. Stretch bengaline is a heavy-weight polyester woven, with a lot of stretch and perfect recovery. These pants will last FOREVER. And I'm now down to sewing these in 90 minutes, including seam finishes and with no overlocker.

Basically, these are the perfect work pants. They also have AN ELASTIC WAIST. Now, I would never buy elastic waist pants in a store. Especially not to wear to work. But through some kind of incredible sorcery, these look like regular dress pants when worn under a sufficiently long shirt.

The length is fine for flats or low heels (with my 5'6" stature). They'd work fine in a ponte as well, or fleece to make lounge/pyjama pants.


  1. I've been catching that train lately too with my versions of the Linda Pants and Cate top. Love your pants and shirt. Great adjustments. Looks good on you. It is great to have a working wardrobe that you can sew yourself.

    1. Those Linda pants are addictive! I can't believe I've been working so long and never had shirts that fit properly - I'm glad you think they look good too :-)

  2. I would never have guessed those puppies to have an elasticated waist! I'm now 6 months into operations (read: wearing jeans to work) and I'm craving some slacks. There's a serious wardrobe gap there because my office uniform is pencil skirts to the max! I'm not liking having my medium-good jeans worn to work all the time... makes me feel like a dag.
    I've been eyeing off quite a few style-arc patterns recently - the only thing stopping me is the 7 garments already on my sewing to-do list! This shirt is another winner - definitely think you've got the sleeve length spot on for your arm length, too.

    1. I'm about 6 years into my work-jeans-wearing! Funny that something I would have killed for in high school is now something I'm sick of...

      Style Arc have heaps of pants patterns, which all seem to have good reviews. Lots of them are more formal than these, but in the right fabric these are more than good enough for site work. In fact, I think they might be better than jeans because the amount of stretch is better for climbing on batters and structures!

  3. Looks pretty good to me. Wow you are so talented.

    1. Thanks Suzy! I don't have any particular talent for sewing, just persistance and following instructions :-)

    2. It's a good approach. :)


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