Style Arc Cara Top

Wow, that was an unintended blog break!  Work has become absolutely insane over the past few weeks and I am working much more than usual.  Just haven’t had the energy to blog.

But I do want to say thanks to everyone who has left me comments lately, particularly on my “musings” post a couple back.  I have been musing further on your responses and love that you make me think.  There will be more discussion on this ahead, I’m sure!

But in the meantime, I’ll show you my Style Arc Cara top.

Style Arc Cara top in rayon from Darn Cheap Fabrics (with Style Arc Ethel pants in linen)

Tops and dresses with shoulder/arm interest are everywhere at the moment. Cut out shoulders, off the shoulder, open sleeves – all those things that show off some shoulder and/or arm. So I thought I’d give it a whirl – why not!  Aren’t clothes meant to be fun?

Style Arc Cara top in rayon from Darn Cheap Fabrics (with Style Arc Ethel pants in linen)

This was really a muslin. I wasn’t expecting to actually LIKE it on me. But I do! The fabric is a rayon woven from Darn Cheap Fabrics – the scraps left over from another project. Just my colours! The next dilemma was how to style this top. I sewed size 12, and it’s a rather cropped length, especially considering that I am only 158cm tall and am short waisted. But I think that it needs to be on the short side in order to balance out the volume.

Style Arc Cara top in rayon from Darn Cheap Fabrics (with Style Arc Ethel pants in linen)

I rather like it with my Style Arc Ethel linen trousers. I think that it needs high waisted pants or skirts if you are planning to avoid showing your midriff. I am always planning to avoid showing my midriff! It passed the teen test – as soon as she saw it on me Clare said that she wanted a version of my outfit in her size! Now that’s a compliment!

Style Arc Cara top in rayon from Darn Cheap Fabrics (with Style Arc Ethel pants in linen)

I probably need to pull the elastic in the back of this top a little tighter – the flat front band isn’t sitting flat against my body. However, it’s very comfortable to wear. The only downside is that it requires a strapless bra (or going without – not an option I feel comfortable with) and they are never my favourite things.

From the Style Arc website: CARA TOP: This on-trend top gives a gorgeous look with its flattering, gathered, off the shoulder neckline with a floaty raglan sleeve.  The elastic at the back neck band keeps the shoulder line in shape.  Wear it with jeans or dress it up with a fabulous print to wear to a special occasion. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Silk, Crepe, Cotton, Broderie Anglaise.


Now Mum, I know that strapless/off the shoulder has never been your scene. However, I rather like it, and I’m really glad that I gave it a go. In fact, I now have plans to sew the Hot Patterns Urban Gypsy Blouse and the Style Arc Marilyn dress pattern is in the mail to me as I type.   I’ve just sewn Clare a Cold Shoulder top, and am considering one for myself. And yes, I’ve also got a Cara top cut out in teensy size for Clare….

Style Arc Cara top in rayon from Darn Cheap Fabrics (with Style Arc Ethel pants in linen)

I’m jumping on this trend before it vanishes!  Embrace those shoulders everyone! But make sure that you have plenty of sunscreen.


21 thoughts on “Style Arc Cara Top

  1. I like this top and the way you have styled it. I think I would improvise some straps to cover my bra, if I have a go. I’m not even confident enough to go strapless. You have an amazing wardrobe of shows and boots. You always have a pair to set off your outfits well.

    1. Hi there – if you do a search on my blog you’ll find that I have sewn LOADS of Style Arc patterns, so yes, I do recommend them! They don’t have incredibly detailed instructions but I usually find them more than adequate, and their drafting is terrific. There is a great range of styles and they have rapidly become one of my favourite pattern companies. Patterns are single sized, not multi-sized and nested, but once you work out what size you are that isn’t a problem at all.

  2. Your shoulder-baring top looks great on you.
    Re: Musings there are a couple of articles pertinent to your thoughts on See the Tim Gunn heading and ER II heading.

  3. Fabulous colours Lara. I have a quick question about the pants. I made a pair size 12 and they are ridiculously large. I thought I read in your blog somewhere you size down for the pants patterns. Is that right? I am about to sew a Marg pant and wondering after my Ethel disaster.

    1. Hi Barb – yes, I usually sew size 10 in Style Arc pants. It does depend a little on the type of fabric that I am using and whether there is an elasticised waist – although to be honest, I think that I always choose elasticised waists in Style Arc! My waist measures about a 16 and hips about a 12. I tend to sew a 12 in Style Arc tops/dresses.

      1. Thanks Lara that helps a great deal. I will trial the Marg pants at a 12 and I go from there. I was so disappointed in the Ethel pants and not sure if I can be bothered altering them. I am good at sewing and terrible at altering.

  4. Lara that looks great on you, colour, spot on and the top suits you and is right on trend, love those pants too, haven’t bought any Style Arc, I love those pants, a great outfit, hope work settles for you and you have more sewing time, Lyn

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