adult's clothing · sewing


Goodness, I just realised that I haven’t written a blog post for just over two weeks!  I have still been sewing, there is plenty waiting to be blogged, and maybe this week I will find (make!) the time.  We’re currently in Kingscliff on the northern NSW coast for a week’s holiday (with a house/dog sitter at home of course).  Surely I’ll have some time in the evenings to catch up a little bit on blogging!  Instead of blogging some of those sewn ages ago garments, I’m going to show you one that I sewed in the last week, in time for our holiday.

Style Arc Ethel top and pants in Merchant and Mills linen from Stitch 56

This is the Style Arc Ethel top and pant combination. Shall I start with the top?  From the Style Arc website:

ETHEL DESIGNER TOP: This gorgeous boxy shaped top with angled design lines gives your wardrobe a new and fashionable look.
The wide facings give this top structure and style.
This pattern has been cleverly drafted to cover the top of the arms whilst not losing any of the design elements.

FABRIC SUGGESTION: Linen, Crepe, Silk, light wool

I used white Merchant and Mills linen from Stitch 56 for the top.  It was absolutely divine to sew.  This is a rather roomy top.  I sewed size 12, which is my usual Style Arc size, and it’s quite a bit larger than the Skye top that I made recently.  I like the sizing though – it works nicely in this style; it’s not meant to be fitted and the ease works beautifully with linen.  The angled front and back seams add a lovely design line, and are also great for colour blocking the top if that is something you want to do (it’s something that I did do with my first as yet unblogged version).  The wide stitched facings also look very stylish and are especially effective on the white linen.

Style Arc Ethel top and pants in Merchant and Mills linen from Stitch 56

The only thing that could trip you up in this top is in the application of the armhole facing. The key is to NOT do what are used to doing and stitch the short ends of the facings together. The short ends actually end up sitting beside one another. Take a good look at the line drawings and illustrations and do some pinning and basting if you need to get your head around it.

Style Arc Ethel top and pants in Merchant and Mills linen from Stitch 56

I also suggest that you take a little more care than I did when sewing those diagonal seams to ensure that you don’t stretch them out as you join them.  Bias seams!  I used the overlocker for construction, and did the topstitching on the sewing machine.  Nothing new there!  So, to the pants.

ETHEL DESIGNER PANT: As well as being a designer pant this is most comfortable pant you will ever wear! The tucked elastic waist and dropped crotch along with the slight balloon shaped leg gives this designer pant an edgy look. 
The leg narrows off at the cropped hemline therefore can be worn rolled up if preferred.

FABRIC SUGGESTION: Linen, Crepe, Silk, Fine Wool

Style Arc Ethel top and pants in Merchant and Mills linen from Stitch 56

I sewed these in Merchant and Mills linen from Stitch 56 as well. I just adore that colour! It’s called Boston Fall and I wish that I had a whole bolt.  These are such comfortable pants.  As the description says, they have an elastic waist – always a winner in my books – and a slightly dropped crotch and ballooned legs.  My first thought when I made them was MC Hammer crossed with clown pants – but as soon as I put them on I could appreciate the shaping from the front tucks and narrowed and ankles, and the crotch didn’t feel all that low in wearing.  The hems can also be rolled up a bit.  I sewed size 10, my usual Style Arc pants size, and shortened them by taking a fold out of the pattern at about knee height.

Style Arc Ethel top and pants in Merchant and Mills linen from Stitch 56

I really, really, really like this outfit!  As regular readers of my blog know, loose and comfortable is right up my alley.  Fingers crossed that it will be a nice enough day to wear this tomorrow on our trip to Movie World…


31 thoughts on “Ethel

  1. Love the pants color, I can see why one would want a whole bolt. As for the top, it is just so pretty. The sleeves offer more coverage than the picture appears – for me that is a good thing! And I’m with you…comfort is the way to go.

  2. I adore this outfit on you! I have the Ethel top pattern and it became my very favorite summer top, I made 7, all in cotton lycra knit, it became the perfect t shirt alternative. I for see many more in my future!

  3. I love this outfit, it looks great on you. I was so curious about the Ethel top and pants pattern and could find nothing on the internet about it. You have proven it is a very stylish winner! Thank you for your insight.

  4. Love the outfit! I have the ethel top and pants in my list of patterns to tackle these school hols and it’s great to see such a good example of it made up. Did you shorten the pants at all? Have a great time up North – I grew up not far from there and we spent a lot of time at Fingal/Kingscliff/Cabarita/Pottsville – back when they were very sleepy little villages 🙂

  5. I love that outfit too Lara, you look great and the whole lot look great love the detail of the top and the pants , just love those pants, loose and cool for a Brisbane girl.
    Have a great holiday Lara, terrific destination Kingscliff, so relaxing enjoy, everyone will be asking where did you buy that outfit or in your case ‘outfits’, you are a super sewer Lara, thanks for your constant inspiration.

  6. Both of your Elle outfits are wonderful, and I am particularly smitten with the color of the pants linen. Think I need to get some and make some Elle pants! Loose and comfortable, but still stylish – works for me.

  7. Oh I do like this top! I haven’t bought any style arc patterns before but I think you may have just pushed me over the edge. Such an excellent style, and it looks fabulous in white!

  8. The Ethel top turned out really well! I am part way through mine, but as you mentioned, am COMPLETELY stuck on the arm holes. I attached the facing, but when I am then instructed to sew up the sides, and part of the sides is already in the seam of the facing…..argh….will have to write to style arc I think. Nice job!

  9. Lara I love your outfit. I made the top recently in a 14 and it is too big so I am now wondering about the other patterns I bought. I mostly wear size 12 but the measurements had me a 12-14 top and 14-16 bottom. How do you find the pattern sizes compare to bought clothing?

  10. Hi Lara
    Have been wanting sew the Ethel for some time. Have now done it. I made a size 12 my usual. You are right it very roomy. Too much for me I think. My measurements are similar to yours except for the bust area(partial mastectomy complicates the issue). The lower hem is at least 20cm too large. Will have to go back and revisit. Good thing I didn’t use my good linen. Thanks for you review. I appreciate your thoughts. Cheers.

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