Style Arc’s Cher dress was offered as a freebie a couple of months ago. I hesitated, because I generally don’t like high tight necklines, but threw caution to the wind and gave it a go anyway.
I like it! I like it a great deal! The key to getting this dress to work is mostly about fabric choice. It has to be a knit, and needs to have four-way stretch (stretches in both directions) because of the dropped shoulder and fitted sleeves. It also needs to be in something nice and drapey. I chose a striped viscose/spandex knit from GJs, and it was perfect. Matching fabric to the pattern is SO important! A cotton/spandex knit just wouldn’t fall and fold as well.
From the Style Arc website: Avant-garde pull over dress featuring a funnel neck and cocoon shaped body. A designer dress that is easy to sew and wear. Fabric suggestion: Jersey, pane, sweater knit or any stretch fabric.
This dress is incredibly easy to sew. The front and back pattern pieces are the same – actually, there are only three pattern pieces in total! Upper front/back, lower front/back, and the sleeves. The funnel neck is self-faced and actually feels quite comfortable in this fabric.
As well as demonstrating my double chin and forward head, this photo shows you how nicely the funnel neck folds and drapes, and also shows off my stripe matching! Woo hoo!
In my view, the secret of stripe matching is in the preparation. You HAVE to pay attention when cutting out. I cut this out one piece at a time so that I could lay the front onto the fabric with the stripes lined up properly to cut out the back. I also match stripes at key points. I generally focus on the underarm seamline, then other edges to make sure that everything will work when I go to sew it.
Then when it comes to sewing, I think it depends a little bit on your machines. The pressure foot on my sewing machine doesn’t press down too hard, and I don’t find that the top and bottom fabrics feed through at different speeds. A few pins at strategic points is usually enough to keep the stripes aligned for me. Others find that they need to hand or machine baste before the final sewing. I actually sewed this on my overlocker without basting first. A few pins were enough to keep everything where it should be – and yes, I did remember to remove the pins before they met up with the overlocker blade!
I sewed size 12 without alteration. This is a dress that works well on my shape – you know I don’t like waist definition! As it turns out, my lovely sister-in-law Jeanette has recently started sewing and is also a little addicted to Style Arc patterns – she’s sewn the Cher dress as well, in size 10. It looks fabulous on her! She doesn’t have a blog, but you can find her on Instagram as @jeanettedamen26b