I’m going to start by saying that I like both these pieces, but I don’t love them together. I didn’t actually sew them with the plan of wearing them together, I just threw them on to get photos. So don’t be distracted by the styling; focus on them as individual pieces rather than as the outfit (not that it’s all that bad).
I might start at the bottom, with the Tessa pant. Although this pattern has been in my collection for a while, it’s the first time that I’ve sewn it. From the Style Arc website: The pants have an elastic waist with little fullness to allow them to sit flat when on the body. Optional pockets are set into the side seam. The leg has a lovely new shape that is not too slim and not too wide just perfect!! FABRIC SUGGESTION Linen, crepe or silk.
I made my usual Style Arc pant pattern alteration before I cut into the fabric, shortening it in two places above and below the knee. However, this wasn’t enough – I folded over and restitched the hem another inch before I took these photos.
They’re still a bit too long, and although I really like the leg width and shape, I’d like a higher rise. The pants currently sit right across one of my belly rolls at the front instead of encasing it. I like my belly to be covered – it’s more comfortable for me.
You can see that at the back as well – the rise just isn’t all that high. Now it might sit differently on someone else, because our shapes obviously interact with where things fall on our bodies. I need enough length to cover my tummy curve. If you have a flatter tummy, the waist would probably be higher on you.
I sewed them in linen, in size 12. The inseam pockets are straightforward, and overall they’re an easy pant to sew. The elastic is overlocked to the top of the waistband, then it’s turned to the inside and stitched to secure. I probably won’t make these again – I have other Style Arc pants that I prefer. So, on to the Martha overshirt.
First off – I really, really like this shirt! I think that I got the pattern as a freebie with a recent order. And it’s such a great pattern! From the Style Arc website: Instantly update your wardrobe with this designer swing shaped over shirt with an extended shoulder which creates a small sleeve. The back has a sharp angled design line and box pleat to create a fabulous full back. The neat little collar balances this shirt beautifully. FABRIC SUGGESTION Poplin, silk, rayon.
I paired this with fabric I’d bought on my first trip to Thailand. I’m not sure what fibre it is – probably cotton. It presses well and feels nice against the skin. I sewed size 12 without alteration.
That back detail really is lovely! It’s not hard to sew, but gives beautiful swing and flare to the back. I topstitched it both as a detail and to give more stability as the fabric is a fairly open weave. And I just realised – I folded the box pleat to the inside rather than to the outside as per the pattern illustration! It still looks good, but it’s not how it’s intended to be!
I don’t often sew shirts with collars, but I do like this one. It’s a small collar that is well proportioned. The front button bands are cut on and just turned to the inside twice. I had no issues with sewing the collar – 6mm seam allowances make all the difference! I did hand-sew the stand facing to the inside of the shirt before topstitching around it. I sewed the buttons on by machine after using double sided tape to stick them in place. Why hadn’t I done that before! It made sewing on buttons twice as fast!
Because the sleeves are cut on, and are simply hemmed, this is a shirt that actually comes together rather quickly. I was surprised at how fast it was to sew – and believe me, I wasn’t rushing things. I have definitely slowed down the pace a bit this year! I need to try it on with a few other wardrobe items to really figure out the way that I best like to wear it, but overall it’s a win. Recommended!