I had a WONDERFUL afternoon and evening last Saturday. I got to visit Style Arc in person, and to attend Melbourne Summer Frocktails!
There were a couple of shopping days organised as part of the Melbourne Frocktails weekend. I wasn’t able to join the group on Friday or Saturday morning, but nothing was keeping me away from visiting Style Arc on Saturday afternoon!
Carly, Lyn and Liz graciously welcomed us into their place of creativity and answered our million questions about Style Arc. Questions about its history, their work histories, their design process, their printing process, you name it, I think that we asked it!
They also had some pre-printed patterns there at a discounted price for our group. They were incredibly generous. I had already placed an online order (or two) so was able to collect that on the day. It was pretty funny watching people ferreting through the boxes trying to decide which patterns they wanted! Style Arc has a considerable inventory nowadays.
I’ve been sewing Style Arc patterns for quite a while now, so as some of the other group members said, for me it was like visiting my spiritual home. I got to see samples in real life as well! So much fun.
These are three incredibly talented women. Between them they have extensive fashion industry experience, as well as fashion industry qualifications, and it’s no wonder that their patterns are so well drafted and are such current styles. I cannot believe that they can do everything themselves – but somehow, they do! They’re a terrific example of how a business can start small and then grow and evolve, taking things one step at a time. And on top of that, they’re so NICE!
So yes, I’m definitely a fangirl. I think that maybe I already was. And I’m definitely taking you up on that offer of coming back for a coffee with Chloe one day!
Right, this post was meant to be about the Marilyn dress – because that’s what I wore to Frocktails!
Style Arc describe this dress as follows: MARILYN DRESS: The ¾ length sleeve with its fashionable split opening and tie closure makes this simple, slightly “A” line, “V” neck dress something special. The pattern allows the choice of two different neck drops, traditional and a little lower if you dare. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Silk, Rayon, Crepe
I sewed straight size 12, eliminating the centre back neckline opening. I chose the lower of the two neckline options. I took a very deep hem of around 4 inches by folding up 2 inches then another two before hand stitching it in place. On the day of Frocktails, of course….
The fabric is printed viscose from Spotlight, bought a couple of years ago. I bet that there are a few of you who have this in your stash! It was the perfect weight and drape for this dress; a mid-weight that just hung as swayed as it should. Fortuitously there was some silk/cotton in stash that matched it beautifully, and I used it to line the sleeves.
Not only did the silk/cotton feel beautiful against my skin, it provided peeks of lovely contrast. The sleeves weren’t difficult to construct – there are handy diagrams that made the entire dress construction quite straightforward. Actually, this really isn’t a difficult style to sew. There are fitting opportunities with the centre back seam too.
I made certain to under stitch the neckline facing to prevent it from rolling out, but forgot to stabilise the V-neckline before sewing. As a result it stretched out a teensy amount. Please, if you are sewing this, make sure that you stabilise the neckline with either stay-stitching or a fusible tape!
I felt fabulous in my dress – even more so because Melbourne was being unseasonably cool and so could wear the animal/bird print coat that I’d made for Frocktails a year or two ago! As always, there were many fabulous dresses. I’ll leave you with a few snaps from the night. Most were taken indoors in very dim light on my phone so the quality isn’t perfect, but they certainly give you an idea of how many fabulous sewers there are in Melbourne!
A great deal of work goes into organising events like Frocktails – so many thanks to Kat, Libby and Renay and the rest of the team for their hard work. Special thanks go to Jane for organising the visit to Style Arc! Woo hoo! You can find more Frocktails photos using the hashtag #melbournefrocktails on Instagram.