adult's clothing · sewing

StyleARC Milly dress

Yet another Sewjourn make – the StyleARC Milly dress.

StyleARC Milly dress

I used the softest ever orange and bright blue striped knit for this dress – it’s so snuggly to wear. From the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 per metre table again – score! This is a simple dress to make, but takes a little patience and precision to get all those tucks on the front correct – there are fourteen in total.

StyleARC Milly dress - sewing the front pleats

You do need to do some careful marking and measuring to get them right, but the pattern does provide a piece for you to compare the front to once you have sewn the tucks to make sure that you’ve got it the correct shape and size. Luckily for me I got it right! I used Vilene Formband bias tape to stabilise the neckline and the shoulder seams, rather than cutting Vilene stays as suggested in the instructions. This is a wonderful product to use with knits – you fuse it to the shoulder seams and neckline (or wherever you want to stabilise) with the chain stitch just inside the seamline. Wonderful.

StyleARC Milly dress - taping the shoulder seams and neckline

Of course, you could just use narrow strips on interfacing that are cut on the bias as an alternative. But I find that some of these products really do help to make your sewing that little more professional and make it easier to keep your knit sewing looking good.

StyleARC Milly dress - taping the shoulder seams and neckline

The v-neckline is bound with a strip of fabric sewn right sides together, then flipped over the seam allowance and stitched in the ditch from the outside. I have to admit that I’m not completely happy with the neck binding, purely because I used a narrow stripe and it is hard to get it exactly right so that the stripe doesn’t “wobble”. It’s wearable, but not perfect. Of course, it wouldn’t be an issue in a solid or a print – but of course, I chose a stripe!

StyleARC Milly dress

Otherwise, I’m very keen on this dress. The sleeves are your usual plain long straight sleeve, and the back is rather simple as well. I made size 12 for this, but looking at the photos I wonder if I’d have been better making a size 10 through the shoulders but doing a FBA. Maybe, but maybe not. Photos can be deceptive – but they can also be quite telling!  Looks as though I need a slip underneath as well…

StyleARC Milly dress

Anyway, I really like this dress, and will possibly make another one (or even two – a 3/4 sleeve version would be good for autumn/spring). I’ve worn it a couple of times already and it works in nicely with the rest of my wardrobe.

what I wore - 22/05/2012

what I wore - 29/05/2012


12 thoughts on “StyleARC Milly dress

  1. I love this Lara, though I wish I had been out of bed to see how you marked your pleats!! How about a tutorial on that one when you don’t next time.
    It looks great, I love it with the orange cardi.

  2. I think you need a standing ovation for those pintucks. They’re so neat and uniform. Looks like a great winter dress and you’ve styled it well with the boots and tights. What a great way to pull off bright blue tights! Love it with the orange cardi.

  3. Oh I’m so happy to see this pattern made up. Your Milly dress is totally fabulous!
    You’ve obviously sewn a lot more Style Arc patterns than I have, but I made SA Lucy as a dress and I didn’t like the way it fit on my shoulders (issues with fitting around my hips are my fault!). Then I made Pleated Pia which was fine. From looking at the patterns Milly and Lucy seemed to have a similar shoulder which is why I haven’t tackled Milly yet.
    I love Formband too. Great stuff.

  4. absolutely love your dress. have the pattern and am currently trying to mark and do the pintucks, but having so much trouble. how did you mark them without the fabric moving around all over the place?????????

  5. Hi Lara, I’m just about to use the Vilene Formband to stabilise a knit neckline, and I’m a bit confused as to where the stitching goes. When you say “the chain stitch just inside the seamline” do you mean that your line of stitching is on the right of the chain, on the wider part of the tape? So the chain stitch is on the main body of the garment, not in the seam allowance?

    1. Hi there Mel,
      I think that I keep the stitching just in the seam allowance, not on the main body of the garment. Although knowing me, I bet that I’ve done it both ways! To me it makes more sense to keep the chain just in the seam allowance, right beside your actual seam.
      Regards, Lara

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