Apologies in advance for being wordy, but you have to order these Style Arc patterns from AUSTRALIA, and they are never available for $1.99, and you have to order a SPECIFIC SIZE, so if you're like me, you may want a decent level of comfort before hitting the "buy" button. They always include a bonus free pattern, which is extremely nice.
First of all, here's me in my dress:
|Never ask your husband to take your picture after cocktails with an iphone.|
Here is the pattern drawing:
It has an ever so slight A line silhouette, good coverage and three tiny pleats at the waist for "camouflauge". The pattern calls for a tuck at the wrist, which I eliminated. It also has the belt tie in the back. I cut the belt much longer so it would wrap all the way around and tie in the front.
Style Arc patterns contain only one size, so it's important to view their sizing page and check your measurements with theirs. I ordered a size 8 because it was the closest to my measurements. I also ordered the Willow pants pattern, but got a 10 because of my hip measurement.
I used a Parisian Microfiber from Marcy Tilton. I can't say enough about this material. It is absolutely lovely, refuses to wrinkle and is really the perfect choice for this pattern.
The instructions included with the pattern are simple and straightforward. I was not familiar with the term "vilene" which, it turns out, is simply tear away stablilizer for the neck and bodice edges. This is genius, and necessary, and highly effective. Instead of a facing, the pattern calls for swimsuit elastic to be stitched (I serged it) to the wrong side of the stablilized neck edge, then turned and top stitched. I carried on with the serging all the way down the front edges of the dress,turned in a hem, and used steam a seam to hold them in place for the final top stitching.
There are distinct right and left front pattern pieces because only one is pleated. You could easily make two of the un-pleated pieces if you prefer.
The instructions have you set the sleeves in after sewing the side and sleeve seams. I attached the sleeves first and then sewed the sleeve & side seams. I don't see where this caused any problem with the fit or appearance of the finished dress.
The sleeves fit my arms perfectly- not too tight, not too loose.
With the exception of the stabilizing and top stitching, I made this dress entirely on my serger. I took my time and tried it on ALOT, but now that I'm comfortable with it, this is a two hour dress. I'm going to need another closet!!
Here's a shot of the back: I usually have to adjust most patterns at the center back because I am narrow,and frequently have to take in the size seams, but not on Kate!
Not my best angle, keeping it real here.
I can't think of a single criticism of this pattern, and can't wait to try my next Style Arc pattern, Willow.
Shipping was $12.50 for the three patterns I ordered- Kate, Willow and the freebie of the month, Brenda, and delivery took about two weeks. Go for it!