adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Toni Designer Dress

This is one of those styles that I knew I wanted to make the moment I saw it.  Style Arc released the pattern for the Toni Designer Dress last month, and it wasn’t long before I had a copy.  And then it wasn’t long before I was cutting it out.  And then sewing it up!

Style Arc Toni Designer dress in Thai cotton double gauze

I sewed this in Thai cotton double gauze, part of my Chiang Mai haul. This fabric is absolutely NOT the recommended fabric for this dress. It really should be made in silk, crepe, rayon, or a soft drapey knit if you want to maximise the effect of the side drapes as per the pattern illustration and original design.

Nevertheless, the dress still works well in my fabric of choice.  It just makes the side drapes much more architectural and triangular in appearance.  This dress isn’t actually all that hard to sew.  I think that perhaps Style Arc have overrated it a bit with a “challenging” rating.  You do need to be careful to get the collar points meeting nicely at the centre front seam, but otherwise it is a rather straightforward garment to sew.  Even easier if you leave out the side pockets like I did!

Style Arc Toni Designer dress in Thai cotton double gauze

I did have to pay attention to line up the squares, both when I was cutting out and when I was sewing. The unpicker was required more than once!

Style Arc Toni designer dress in Thai cotton double gauze

(The above photo was taken at night in artificial light – the fabric colour is more accurate in the other outdoor photos).  The collar can be worn up or folded back.  The rest of my family liked it down. I like it best up.

Style Arc Toni Designer dress in Thai cotton double gauze

There is a centre back seam that contributes to the shaping of the dress. The sleeves are cut on and are just turned to the inside and narrow hemmed. The dress hem is a narrow machine stitched hem as well. Simple.

Style Arc Toni Designer dress in Thai cotton double gauze

Style Arc describe this pattern as follows: The simplicity of this pattern is the key to this designer dress. The wide side drape falls softly into the narrow hemline. You will love the flattering collar that sits high on the neck and continues into the front “V” insert panel. This is such a comfortable, easy dress to wear with a designer look.
If you would like to shorten this dress, please see this tutorial – Shortening Designer Toni Dress“.

Now, I did follow the tutorial and I did shorten the dress. I sewed size 12, but took a total of four inches from the length by folding two inches out at each of the shorten/lengthen lines. I am 158cm tall. That was the only alteration I made.

Style Arc Toni Designer dress in Thai cotton double gauze

This is incredibly soft fabric. It took me some time to decide which side to use as the “right” side, as the square colour way is reversed on the other. I also tossed up using both sides of the fabric in different parts of the dress, but eventually decided to keep things simple and in one colourway.  I am definitely going to make this dress again.  The fabric – a rusty orange crepe knit – has already been chosen!

Style Arc Toni Designer dress in Thai cotton double gauze

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30 thoughts on “Style Arc Toni Designer Dress

  1. I actually really love the effect created by making this up in a fabric with less drape- so dramatic! And I love that the collar can be worn up or down, they each make for quite different looks, don’t they?

  2. It looks great! And I’m glad to see it made up – I bought the pattern immediately but I haven’t had time to get to it (am in the middle of vogue 1234, another drapy sacky dress, and don’t have a lot of sewing time available). It’s great to see how it looks in a less drapy fabric – I’m still torn which way I want to go with it, but I’m sure I’ll love it either way (I’m a fan of collar up too – that was one of the things I really liked about the pattern).

  3. I too bought the pattern as soon as I saw it, so it’s great to see yours made up. As we’re still in the grips of cold weather in the UK it will be a while before I need mine I think!

  4. Nice one! I’ve made it twice [practically on the day it came out!] One as a wearable toile ina thickish jerey, the second in a very drapey jersey. I put the images onto the Style Arc FB page, and I think, onto Pattern Review. I lobve the style, especially the collar…but those drapes just don’t sit as I would like. I even tried their suggestion of putting weights into the corners…no joy. It does make it architectural on thicker fabrics, but on their recommended weights, it just sort of flops to ther outside, rather than forming the right folds. Vogue 1410 does the draping better in my opinion [and I LOVE Style Arc] The collar is amazing though, very stylish. I will be franken-patterning the 2 together very soon….

    1. Mine does have weights in the corners actually – must add that information to my blog post! It does alter the way that they sit a little, but not a huge amount. Vogue 1410 is on my to-sew list.

  5. Amazing! I looked at this pattern but when I thought about how it would look I decided against it. But now seeing yours I am going to do some sewing to get this one done. You look so pretty and stylish and this style really looks good on you. Waiting to see the next one.

  6. Really loving Style Arc today! I just saw a post of the Lani Tunic and now I am seeing the Toni Dress made up. Reminds me of lagenlook clothing with less bulk. The fabric is a great match for the style. Love the color .

  7. Love, love, love the dress Lara, it suits you, great job and for me the collar up for sure, I like the fabric too I get about drape for the sides but still looks lovely, enjoy your new dress, I made the new Gabby dress this week and wore it out last night, very easy to wear thanks for the entry about it, I would love to do the new dress you have just blogged about, yummy.
    Lyn

  8. I love the fabric and it is perfect for that style. The collar is a really nice interesting feature and looks good either up or down. This type of dress really suits you and would look equally good with a pair of wedge heels for a formal occasion. A multipurpose dress is my kind of dress!

  9. I just bought this pattern, I’m a little put off by the “Challenging” designation although I have been sewing for almost 30 years. I like things to turn out really well so I try not to get in over my head. Just a question, I am 5’6, how tall are you? I see that you shortened your dress. Thanks!

    1. I am actually wearing this very dress today! It’s one of my favourites. It’s not all that challenging in my opinion. I am 5’2″, which is why I shortened my dress (I shorten most things that I make). With that extra four inches, you can probably just go for it! I plan to make another one of these dresses soon, probably in a viscose knit next time for a different look.

      1. I’m one of those people who never sews with knits but this dress really calls for it. I think I’ll put on my big girl pants and give it a whirl … after I get a walking foot and ball point needle. Thanks!

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