My go-to outfit is jeans and a top, so I’m always on the lookout for interesting tops. Lately I’ve discovered Style Arc’s pdf patterns on Etsy, and three designs caught my eye. I couldn’t decide between the three, so I just bought them all, as you do. Luckily this was just before the EU referendum (I refuse to use the term Brexit, on principle), so they were a good £1 each cheaper than they are just now. I do have my eye on a few other patterns so I thought these relatively simple tops would be a good way into a new-to-me pattern company. I’ve read that Style Arc’s instructions are along the Burda magazine lines – well, they definitely are. At least these three are anyway.
My first top is the Ada knit top. I was drawn to this for its pockets, to be honest. I love a good pocket, even more so if it’s in an interesting place or unusually constructed.
The pattern has a side panel, with the pocket being constructed when you sew the panel to the front and back. There’s then a sort of square armhole, which gives the sleeves their grown on, almost kimono-ish look.
You can just see the side panel here. I made this up in some delicious bamboo jersey, from Edinburgh Fabrics. I love this fabric – it’s incredibly soft with a buttery feel, good stretch and recovery, and it comes in any number of my favourite blues and greens. Unfortunately though, last time I bought some the owner told me that he’s unable to get this in again as the factory that makes it has closed. Sad news. I resisted the temptation to go and buy up his entire remaining stock though, which I felt was very restrained of me!
The resulting top is dead comfy, easy to wear and is just that little bit more interesting than a plain knit top. It also took about 2 hours from start to finish – including 20 minutes trying to work out how the square armhole worked. I’ve already cut out another version of this – I made a size 12, and no fit adjustments – in a lilac linen knit I got ages ago from Les Coupons de Saint Pierre. I think there’ll be others.
My second top is actually very similar, but in a woven fabric, it’s the Kaye tunic.
It has the same side panel and square armhole with pockets, but with an interesting design detail of pointy side hems.
It was interesting that the instructions for the construction of the square armholes was different to the Ada top – it has you do things in a slightly different order. I ignored these instructions and just did the same as the Ada top – it was a lot easier for finishing the seams with my overlocker.
I do love those pockets. This amazing flamingo print viscose is just right for the muggy weather we’ve got at the moment – it’s very lightweight and floaty. I bought it from Fabricland in Bournemouth a couple of years ago so it can’t have been expensive either.
I like this tunic so much I’m contemplating lengthening the pattern and making it up so that I can wear it as a dress over leggings – or even in a winter weight fabric for wearing with cosy tights.
My final top is the Daphne tunic. This was one of the new patterns for June, and I bought it in a bundle with the Daphne trousers – these look really interesting, being designed for a stretch woven waistband rather than elastic or a knit. Anyway, the top is again a fairly simple design but with an interesting element in the tucks at front and back.
I was a bit worried when I finished this one – laid out flat it looked like an enormous shapeless blob – but the tucks do their job and it does actually have quite a nice, cocoon-type shape.
The fabric is a Japanese seersucker cotton lawn, from Miss Matatabi last year. I’ve been hoarding this for a while, trying to find the perfect pattern. It’s fairly narrow and I only had 1.5m so I knew it would need to be a top, but generally I go for quite drapey fabrics and most of my top patterns are better with those. I thought this pattern might work quite well with a bit more structure though, and I’m pleased with how it turned out.
I like the shape of the back with those two tucks and the grown on sleeves. It’s a good length for me too, and again it’s nice and light and floaty.
I made no attempt to pattern match – life is too short and due to the tucks the front and back are actually very different shapes flat, with shoulder and side seams being on very different angles relative to the grainline.
I’m really pleased with my little foray into Style Arc patterns. Some interesting designs with quirky features, and three very wearable tops. I realised when we took the photos of these that I’ve been on a bit of a blue kick! I have another blue make photographed as well, I think I might have to have an amnesty on blue fabric for a while…..