Pass the Pattern

1 issy pattern envelope

1 issy badMaking StyleArc Issy a couple of months ago turned out to be my biggest flop in a while.  This top swamped me.  But the fault was mine, not the pattern’s.  I’d made the cardinal mistake of not checking the sizing and picked the most lugubrious fabric!  Feeling Issy deserved more, I offered the pattern to whoever felt up to the challenge of making a better job of it.

Lesley in Australia said yes!

I can’t wait to see what she’s made of it!  She’s hinted that it’s good.  The big reveal, on Lesley’s blog Sew Nip Tuck, is imminent!

pASS THE ISSYLesley suggested we keep Issy in circulation – an admirable idea – and she’s going to pick the next recipient from those who leave a comment on her post, so do go down under and sign up!  Issy is not a particularly difficult make and the instructions (for StyleArc anyway) are sufficient.  Also, this company’s pattern paper is the proper white stuff, not tissue, so it’s likely to survive going round the blogosphere a few times.

 Lesley and Kate, at Kate's

October 2015: Lesley and Kate, at Kate’s

Another feature of Pass the Pattern challenge is that whoever wins Issy will post a reciprocal ‘mystery’ pattern to the person who sent it: something from your stash you guess might suit them.  This was also Lesley’s suggestion so when she told me something was on the way, I had a sense of anticipation.  After all, her blog and comments on my posts always reveal good judgement.  Besides,  the two of us have met in real life.  It’s like she knows me!!

When the parcel arrived, the stamps on it were so pretty the Blogstalker sat down on it with determined, possessive fury….

1 Blogstalker and the furry Antipodean cousin

Eventually I tore out this:

Vogue 1285

1 vogue 1285 pattern envelope

1 v1285 cover pattern envelope

1 Lea Wrap Dress by Stylearc PatternsImmediate thought: this looks like my Style Arc Lea (a favourite of 2015).  The ghost of my concerned grandmother began to whisper: “But Marijana, do you really need another dress?!”   Vogue 1285 by Tracy Reese, has a kind of Studio-54-Bianca-Jagger vibe and may be familiar to you as the pattern with the “inverted darts”.  They’re kind of controversial, flapping about and in the shape of fish lips.  In fact, most sewists who’ve reviewed this pattern have tended not to make them.1 fishie

1 Hobbs NW3 Denim DressAnd yet, look at this Hobbs dress in the shops a few years ago, where similar waist darts had been topstitched down on the outside.  It looks great with the rough-hewn denim look: it’s certainly an idea worth copying.  Also, a notched collar similar to the one on the V1285 recently caught my eye on this beautiful velvet coat (alas, it’s  £199!).  I cut this out from some catalogue meaning to copy that too!

1 inspiration with notched collar

So do I need another dress?  Well yeah, like, OBVIOUSLY!

Thank you Lesley!  🙂

And good luck to those playing Pass the Pattern.

But Lose the Issy

1 Stylearc Issy

Sophisticated figure-hugging folds redolent of a classical statue, or a dog’s dinner?

Yeah…  1 issy pattern envelope

About that….

I’d had this Stylearc Issy Knit Top on the top of my to-do list for so long that I forgot it was given to me.  This meant that I made the mistake of assuming it was a size 8 like the other Stylearc patterns that I’ve bought (for those uninitiated to this company, the pattern comes in the one size you order).  In fact, it’s a 12.  Even so, and despite my taking it in at all seams, this is huge and the ruching which pools below the waist bears little resemblance to the drawing on the envelope.

A previous review warned that the asymmetric neckline (i.e. the diagonal slant at centre front) is difficult to finish and the underneath tends to flip to the right side.  To prevent this, I decided to trace the top section of the pattern to the bust and make a facing.  This worked fine.  I also found it easy to construct the ‘clever’ and ‘distinctive’ neckline formed by folding back the inner wings of the pattern towards the shoulders.  It’s certainly a style unlike any I’ve tried before and the instructions were thorough.1 issy front pattern1 mournful shroudBut the result is this cowled look which I’ve been seeing on womenswear for a few years now.  At first it seemed an elegant alternative to the simple jersey top but I’ve come to the party too late and it’s all a bit hackneyed.

I’d be happy to post this pattern to anyone up for the challenge of making a better job.  You need to be a UK size 12-14, though there might be less ease if your jersey is tight or thicker than my drapey viscose.  Leave me a message and if there’s more than one ‘applicant’, I’ll do a draw.  The paper is only in an OK condition: it has the inevitable pin marks plus a rip and a scratch where Blogstalker loyally savaged the pattern on my behalf!

Stylearc Issy: Back View with diagonal hem

Stylearc Issy: Back View with diagonal hem