Style Arc Sian Combo Top

Not that long ago Style Arc had a sale in their Etsy shop so I bought a couple of patterns. First up is the Sian Combo Top. A quick search reveals very few (like 3) reviews and/or images of this top. But two out of the three reviews were quite positive and the third simply felt like it wasn’t right for her.

I was drawn to this pattern as I am constantly on the lookout for tops in simple shapes where great fabric can be showcased so that multiple versions do not look too similar. And of course, offer the opportunity for colour and/or fabric blocking. Style Arc describes it as;

This great wardrobe staple features a flattering dropped shoulder and a comfortable silhouette. Create your own style using different textures or colours; knit or woven fabric. The combinations are endless. Optional contrast side panels.

So here’s my version.

Style Arc Sian Combo Top

Style Arc Sian Combo Top

I made a size 18 with no alterations in a scrap of cheap rayon and some very gorgeous Japanese spun cotton. A quick internet search reveals not much but according to Ask.com, spun cotton is;

Ring-spun cotton are cotton fiber strands that are continually twisted and thinned until a fine rope of cotton fibers remains. This process makes the short hairs of cotton stand out from the rope, which makes it stronger and softer as a result.

I presume that ring-spun and just spun are the same but if anyone can shed any more light on this, I’d appreciate it.

This fabric feels divine. Because it is spun it is very soft and very light and this version has a slight sheen but not enough to call it shiney. Unfortunately, it seems to be intended as men’s shirting which means a very limited colour palette and no prints.  So I just bought some of all the blues available and some black. Which means that I bought every colour they had except for white and ivory because they are not colours that I can wear.

But back to the top. You can’t see it in this picture but I changed the back neck gathers into an inverted pleat. I am just not a gather type person. This was particularly easy to do as there is a pattern piece for a back neck guide. This is intended to ensure that the size and shape of the back neck are correct after gathering but also made changing it to a pleat very simple.

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I used French seams throughout and I think this may have made it a tad smaller than it should be. Because Style Arc use 1cm seam allowances (generally speaking) those French seams need to be very accurate and I think I was a little off. Having said that I need to go up a size anyway. I cut this out weeks ago so can’t remember the details but I thought that the finished garment sizes indicated that the size 18 would be ok but it isn’t, as you can see from this very bad photo.

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As you can see, there is significant pulling at the bust and the side seams are pulled forward. What you can only just see is that I didn’t do a forward shoulder adjustment and it definitely needs that. Check out that shoulder seam position. Next time I will also lengthen it, although less than it looks like it needs since if it fits properly it won’t be pulling up in the front as it is now.

I am looking forward to using this pattern again as I think it could turn into a real wardrobe staple and offers the opportunity to use lots of those not quite big enough but too big to throw out scraps.

So have you made the Sian Combo Top? Or have you used spun cotton?

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Sutton and Flo UPDATED

UPDATED 13/2/15 Because I really shouldn’t have rushed it quite so much and left out a couple of things that I want to include.

Well that turned into a longer break than I expected. I have been doing lots of not very interesting sewing, including lots of alterations, which are most definitely not my favourite thing to do. I’ll come back to some of the not so interesting things in another post since I do want to remind myself of my thoughts on them.

But I finally made something worth a look. This is the True Bias Sutton Blouse teamed with another pair of Style Arc Flat Bottomed Flo.

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And yes that is the best pic I managed to get of the front. This was the second attempt to photograph these and I’m not doing a third so this is what we have.

But back to the clothes. Thanks to Lara’s post, among others, I knew that the Sutton blouse ran large. Which is a good thing since my bust measurement is 3 cm bigger than the largest size. Of course this had to be a bit of a guess since I couldn’t find finished garment measurements anywhere. This is my pet peeve with patterns.

So I effectively went down one size and I added 3 inches since I am taller than the 5’5″ the pattern is drafted for. And I don’t know that either were the right choice.

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I could definitely go smaller. Although I don’t know that I would want to go an entire size smaller in the hips. Which would then mean that I would be going from a 16 out to an 18 at the hips. Which would be weird because generally I go down a hip size compared to my bust.

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And with the 3 inches added to the length, I made a deeper hem, 1 inch turned twice, instead of the recommended 5/8″ (if I remember correctly). Anyway I probably could have made it the length as drafted and it would have been fine.

I followed the instructions during construction except for two points. I used store bought bias binding instead of making my own. This was purely as I now have enough fabric left for another top so I was just being miserly with my fabric. Which I forgot to mention is rayon bought for the princely sum of just over one dollar a metre from a pop-up fabric sale. The yoke is local black cotton which is why the sleeves stand out a little.

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UPDATE I thought I should include a better view if the fabric and my nearly pattern matched centre front seam. I didn’t attempt to pattern match – I don’t know why because it wouldn’t really have been that difficult.

One change I did make was to also use French seams on the side seams. The pattern has French seams everywhere else but then a ‘normal’ seam with the finish of your choice on the side seams. I presume this is because French seams are slightly more complicated with the side slits. But this pattern is listed as Intermediate so I do think they should have included French seams everywhere. It just seemed such a pity to have zigzagged side seams but I would probably feel differently if I had an overlocker.

Anyway, I used this excellent tutorial from Handmade By Carolyn. I thought I remembered that she had done this with French seams but the only one I could find  was for Flat felled seams with slits. But the principle is the same and it works well.

I know I don’t sound overly enthusiastic but I do like this. It’s exceedingly comfortable and looks good with jeans and shorts. There will be more once I ponder the sizing some more. Which brings me nicely to my jeans.

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I made another pair of jeans from the Flat Bottomed Flo pattern. Not that you can see anything of them in these pictures.

This time I used black denim which is a little less stretchy than my first pair. This is a good thing. They fit really firmly when first on but soon relax and fit fabulously. The blue denim pair tend to get a little large after a couple of wears, while these hold up better. Mind you that does mean that I’ll be able to wear the blue denim pair for longer as that bit of room makes them much cooler

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UPDATED A close up of the pockets and yoke topstitching. I used grey cotton thread which isn’t quite topstitching thread but works well. The pockets are smaller than my first pair but now I think they are too busy. And don’t mind the dodgy bartacks, I am going to add rivets to the top corners when I get some the right colour.

I don’t really have much to say about this pattern that I didn’t say the first time. I love it. There will be more. I am going to move the side seam back to well … the side. But only so that every pair of pants I wear don’t have this same design feature. I have more of both the blue and black denim so I’m planning on capri length or shorts depending on how much fabric I have. Then I have some bottomweight black cotton/spandex that will make a slightly dressier pair. I also thought I might use the crotch curve and flat bottom draft from the Flos on the Style Arc Barb pattern for some less fitting shorts. Again more room for air means cooler once the temps top 40 degrees.

Sorry this post is a bit of a ramble but I just need to get this posted.

So please chime in with your thoughts re the sizing on the Sutton blouse.

Flat bottomed Flos

Like many others I was very excited to see Style Arc release this pattern and I am very pleased to say that it has lived up to expectation.

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First I made a pair of shorts in the same blackish denim that I used for my Barb jeans. After wearing these for a while I decided that the only change needed was to take 1.5cm from the centre front down to nothing at the side seams. (Or what would be the side seams if they weren’t moved forward as they are on the Flos.) This is not because the front crotch length is too long (that fit was great from the start) but because I am very short waisted and the waistband was creasing and folding over.

As a a comparison here are the Barbs next to the Flos so that you can see just how much less fabric there is under the bum.

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I then made a full length pair of in navy cotton spandex. And they were a complete FAIL. No photos because I can hardly get them on. Completely my fault due to poor fabric choice. I thought that the navy was the same as the red cotton spandex that I used for my first Barb shorts. But it wasn’t. It was much lighter weight and with considerably less stretch. But I did not let that defeat me.

I bought some lovely very dark indigo stretch denim. It is great fabric. Really soft and black on the wrong side so that you don’t get that light look when the denim is stretched.

IMGP3442_Fotor_Fotor_CollageAnd let me just say that I love these Flo jeans. They are hands down the most comfortable jeans I’ve had in years. i think I may have said that about the Barb jeans but these are even better. My husband was like “Wow, they fit you better in the bum than other pants you’ve ever had”. Actually he said that when I first made the shorts and it was completely unprompted. It seems he is paying more attention than I perhaps give him credit for 🙂

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I used gold topstitching thread on the yoke,waist seam, pockets and side seams.

Some of the topstitching on the pockets is a little dodgy. Largely because I added the pockets to the already sewn up jeans, which is not a good idea. I was so eager to confirm that these would fit that I forgot that I intended to baste the side seams and then undo the side seams and add the pockets. After realising that they fit really well I went straight to finishing the side seams. I won’t make that mistake again.

 

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But really I know that the whole point of the pattern is the back view.

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I’ve had to really overexpose these so that you can see at least some detail. On the next pairs (there will be several more) I will make the pockets smaller.

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UPDATE: I’ve changed the photos to some slightly better ones. Apologies for the all round terrible photos. I’ve got a bit of a cold and wasn’t in the mood to muck around for more than 2 minutes (as you can see from my expressions in the front view). But you will be seeing these again with the new tops I’m making to go with my fab new jeans. And then you’ll be seeing the next versions of these. I have some great black denim up next and I’m planning some capri length and next summer there’ll be more shorts.

So if you’re flat bottomed I can’t recommend this enough.

Is this your fitting issue? Have you tried the Flos yet or do you plan to?