StyleArc’s Faith Woven Top is graded as medium in difficulty. This means that those same features that make it a great project for a beginner wishing to learn new tricks might prove the undoing of the more experienced sewist looking to do a fine job – maybe even show off a little – by trying out couture techniques or testing fitting skills!
The pattern has five pin-tucks at each side of the centre front, though there’s also the option of gathers. The back is gathered at the neckline, below the simple mandarin collar.
I’ve noticed StyleArc often provide pattern pieces to be used as guides for checking the finished width of gathers or pin-tucks: something I’ve not noticed with other pattern companies and I nearly forgot to use them but they’re useful for spotting discrepancies before attaching the collar.
The raglan sleeves are easy to sew too, fitted to the shoulder by, in my view, over-simplistic darts. There are no closures; instead there’s a centre front split as well as side seam splits below the waist.
My frustrations, which tended to be slight, came from the simplicity of the pattern. Take the splits: I like to use French Seams for a clean finish but I haven’t worked out how to do so neatly where the seam breaks into a split (or a pocket, for that matter). Similarly, the raglan sleeves and the flat, upturned collar: the result is somewhat lacking in sophistication. I might have avoided the peasant look by using a light, silky fabric with drape instead of lawn; it would have ensured the fabric skims the figure like on the pattern envelope drawing. But I doubt then the pintucks would have been easy.
As with previous StyleArc projects, the ease was spot on. If you require a reference, I bought size 8 and it fits perfectly my 34”/86cm bust and 10”/25cm upper arm. Though it’s a bit long for my height.
Changes made to the pattern
– Interfaced the sleeve tabs lightly.
– Shortened the sleeves and the hem by 2 cm.
– After an SPR Reviewer suggested this pattern suffers from a lack of shaping, I trimmed off 1cm from the waist, i.e. the waist is reduced by 4cm all round. Not sure it helped.
Must try harder
I kind of like this: it brings nostalgic memories of mummies at the school gates in the early 1980s… who were probably dressed like this ’cause they were pregnant. But it needs to be done better. Next time I’ll:
- Use silk (I paid a visit to Simply Fabric last week looking for more Umbrellas in the Rain, but there was no sign of it and the stock was so low so that for the first time I left without buying anything.)
- Sew 8 narrow pin-tucks on each side, rather than 5 wide ones. I’ll need to stabilise the fabric somehow so please let me know if you have any recommendations.
- Put in 4-5 small covered buttons at one side of the centre front split with loops on the other
- Make the sleeves fuller and gathered into cuffs
My current project is another Stylearc top. On the evidence of several PR reviews I’ve seen, no one appears to have made a decent job of it. Gulp.
Previous StyleArc Projects
Lea Jersey Wrap Dress
Mara Shirt Dress