This is my first try at a Style ARC pattern and in the end, I’d say it was a success. This dress was another item that I made for my vacation to Puerto Rico this spring just as the pandemic was starting. I am trying to resist the urge to buy more Style ARC patterns. They are so cute but for most things I can just modify or pull a pattern that I already have. Looking at you Ziggi jacket!
I’m not a big dress person but they have their place. This makes three now hanging in my closet! I find them difficult to style in the winter because I always need to wear a sweater or jacket over them. In the summer they are too cold for air-conditioning (freezing legs) and too ‘dressy’ for home use – so that leaves me with tropical vacation wear for which the Blaire was perfect. (I’m showing my age but I distinctly remember wearing pantyhose in the hot Atlanta summer back in the mid-80’s. Ick.)
The dress view has a very loose fit, cut-on short sleeves with a turned back cuff, two-piece shirt collar, button down placket, and a shirt-tail hem. The pocket bags are loose and hang down below the hem at the side which makes for some interesting design opportunities like color blocking.
[Second runner up was the Kalle dress from Closet Core. The two designs are very similar but I went for the Blaire because of the interesting pocket detail and the horizontal seam below the bust.]
This pattern also includes a top which looks like a lot of fun with the right fabric.
I actually followed the instructions(!), which by the way are written in a teeny tiny font with no spaces between the steps. Style ARC’s graphics and diagrams are lovely, but they dropped the ball when it comes to the text which is crammed into a half a page. Aside from that my only complaint is the technique used to install the collar. I think that there are better ways to do this that give one a neater finish.
I cut a size 10 according to my bust size but should have gone one size down because I was swimming in it. This was a fairly crisp fabric so may have worked better with something that had more drape. I tried it on once the pockets and cuffs were in but before the collar and front placket were installed and determined that I needed to take 4” out of the circumference at the bust. I took 2” out of the back by creating a center back seam in the bodice. I didn’t need to take anything out of the lower back so unpicked part of the horizontal seam and eased the skirt in by 2”. I took 2” off the center front edge and then recut the neckline to its original size before adding the collar. Good save Meg! Not sure a muslin would have helped me with this one since the muslin fabric has such a different hand than the linen.
Aside from fitting, I made a couple of design changes. I eliminated the collar and increased the height of the collar stand by roughly 1”. I also shortened the length by 3 ½”. The original was just below the knee which feels frumpy on me so I raised it to the top of the knee.
This is a washed yarn-dyed linen in a small stripe, and I have no idea where I bought it. I know it wasn’t Emma One Sock, so possibly a sewing guild yard sale? If so, I would have paid $3 for it! I had fun with the stripe orientation in order to show off some of the pattern details. It’s important to note here that the stripe is railroaded. In this case the stripes on the lower portion of the dress run up and down which means it’s on the cross-grain and so isn’t draping as much as it would if it was on the lengthwise grain. I knew this going in.
Need to remember to use the “Bishop Method” when installing shirt collars. Same as _____________. David Page Coffin also has some nice techniques for collars and cuffs using a glue stick of all things.