A diary of all my mad projects.

I am glad that you stopped by - welcome to my world. Its a little mad and hectic as I sew, knit, embroider and generally craft my way through life. My newest resolution is to spend more time sewing - less time dreaming about it. I love to read comments so I am looking forward to hearing from you all.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Style Arc Billie Top

I was looking for something simple and quick to make and it seemed that this top ticked all the boxes. One pattern piece quickly sewn together and Voila! a chic top to bridge the change of seasons.  A teacher friend at a school I work in wears lots of this sort of thing and looks sensational and I forgot for a moment that sometimes this does not translate well.

I have a few pieces of statement fabric that would look better if the pattern was not broken up by seams and so I made up a trial in a heavy but nice feeling rayon knit from Bernina Tauranga's remnant bin.  

First I checked around the net to see what the verdict was on this pattern and other than the facings which seemed to get the thumbs down there was not much else said.  I wanted my top to be more a tunic and the ones on the net looked shorter than I wanted so I began by going down a size (to a 20) and adding 220mm to the length. The result was at first a disaster!  The neckline dragged down to my belly button - the armholes gaped and I looked a little like a young girl trying on her mothers dresses.  Not the look I was going for!

So firstly I stabilised the neckline and put a Tshirt Neckband on it which has solved that problem, however to pull it in has resulted in a slight gathered look which IMHO does not look tooo bad? The same treatment was applied to the left armhole which has made it a little better on the matter of gaping. Now it looks more like a lagenlook dress perhaps or maybe art teacher chic?

Anyone for a toga party??
 My next thought was to download and printout the Size 18 to see if that would look better in this knit.  And a night was spent assembling with the cat helping by anchoring the next piece each time!

The thought was to pull it apart and recut to the smaller size but now I am not so sure, time to sew is in short supply at present and when I folded it up to a tunic hem length suddenly it did not look so bad ... well may not so bad. It still looks larger than the pattern drawing but I do like the look of the fabric pattern at this length.

It is still too long off the shoulders and perhaps stablising the shoulder seams for this weight knit would have been a good idea.  In addition the pleat does not fall accross the body as it looks like it does on the pattern - rather it slips off the bust and disappears under the armhole.

I am still reconsidering recutting it a size smaller what do you think?


  1. I do like the shorter length and think it has potential. I think it would be worthwhile to cut it at least one size smaller. Can you pin out the excess down the middle of the front and back just to get an idea before you commit to another sewathon? I'm surprised as I don't usually find Style Arc oversized, the patterns I've made have been fairly true to the picture, but I haven't tried this one. You said the shoulders bother you - maybe grading down an extra size just in the shoulders/ above bust area would help that? Good luck, I hope you enjoy wearing it when it's done.

    1. Thanks Lyndle - I think some of the problem is the weight of the knit - rayon and while medium thickness this one feels very weighty. It drags everything down.

    2. Yes I find rayon quite heavy too. I like to wear it but have to remember to stabilise necklines if I don't want to be displaying everything by mid afternoon :-)

  2. I like seeing the whole pattern of the fabric in the longer length so if you recut a smaller size (maybe even two sizes smaller?) I think it would look great but as the shorter length the sizing isn't so bad, agree with Lyndle, maybe adjusting the shoulders would be enough and save on some sewing/unpicking time :)

    1. Yes I loved the fabric pattern and have unpicked the lot. The smaller size is not much more different so am thinking that my shape is not really suitable for this style.