Saturday, November 19, 2011

StyleArc - Adele Top

First, thanks to all of you for your enthusiastic feedback on the Tablecloth Skirt. Marec (on Pattern Review) suggested a sew-along. I've never even participated in a sew along, but I'll consider running one in the new year if there is enough interest.

I have very little time to sew in the next couple of weeks, between work, kids, cooking, and visitors. In fact, I'm busy tomorrow (Sunday), so I decided that today I needed a quick project I could complete in one day. But which easy project to choose?

Several weeks ago I decided that I wanted to make a Style Arc pattern I had purchased last June, the Seaside Sue top.

Seaside Sue Top

I was planning to make some changes, namely to raise the neckline and to add sleeves. When I pulled the pattern out to work on it, I saw that they had accidentally sent me the wrong size, it was a size 10 rather than an 18. I emailed Style Arc about the error, asking for the correct size. In my email, I told them I was planning to add sleeves to "winterize" it. (I've teased Chloe in the past, asking her, what have you got against sleeves? Since then, she has been releasing more sleeved top patterns.)

They quickly responded to my email and told me that the free November pattern was a sleeved version of Seaside Sue and that they would send it to me in another week when it was available, if I preferred. You betcha!

Adele Top

(It's not the first time I've asked them for something that was already in the works. Get out of my head, Chloe!)


  • Green print rayon lycra jersey from Fabrix.
  • Black viscose spandex "Annabelle" jersey for contrasting neckband from Vogue Fabrics.
  • Twill tape to stabilize shoulder seams.
  • 1/2" Steam-a-Seam Lite 2 to stabilize hems.

Alterations and Modifications:

  • The finished bust measurement of the size 18 is approx 44". My bust is closer to 50" but this is a stretchy fabric. I held 22" of the fabric against my bust and decided that I didn't need to add width. This top is more flattering if it gently hugs the bust anyway, so I decided that the negative ease worked for me. But I didn't want the top to "ride up" in front, so I sliced the pattern at the bustline (front only) and added 1" horizontally. I did not alter the back because I just eased the extra 1" in at the side seam.
  • The sleeve was a bit narrow, so I widened it by approx 1-1/4".
  • The sleeve is too long - I shortened it by 1-1/2".
  • The pattern instructs you to interface the neckline. The contrast neckband is optional. If you left that off, you would need to interface/stabilize the neckline somehow. I left it off and used the contrast fabric, which functions as a ribbing.
  • I hemmed the top and the sleeves using Steam-a-Seam Lite 2.
  • I did NOT have to narrow the shoulders!!! What the heck??? I *always* have to narrow the shoulders! Always! On the "Big 4" I often narrow the shoulders a full 2", but even on Style Arc I have to generally narrow them 3/4"-1".
  • I did not modify the neckline. If you notice, it's higher than is shown on the drawing. Thanks to Sigrid for asking this question. :)

Wow, do I LOVE this top!!! I LOVE the easy FBA! In fact, I think I want to revisit the funnel-neck tee and try this FBA instead of the other FBA I used.

I can easily see straightening the side seams and chopping the hem, making it a standard horizontal hem, to make this my go-to standard tee. It fits that well. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

More pictures

Closeup of side slit


  1. I was thinking that I just "might" have to buy another StyleARC pattern to get this freebie - it looks so wonderful on you that I'm convinced to head over to their website as soon as I finish commenting! Love your FBA technique too. And love the tablecloth skirt from your last post - I have some gingham (!!!) crying out to become one. A sewalong would be great.

  2. Okay, I haven't succumbed to StyleArc yet, but this is the breaking point. I love this top (and so many other SA garments you've made). By the way, green is definitely your color, Shams.

  3. What a winner! Great color and great pattern! Brava, Shams!

  4. This is fantastic - color, style, fit! The works!

  5. No narrowing the shoulders?! Sign me up, I want one! Love the fabric on you and the style. Great top.

  6. I'm with Janis. I may have just crossed over the breaking point. And I think I already blew my November sewing budget. Dang.

    Love this top!

  7. I love those colors - great top of you! So, if I tell you what I want in a top, you can tell Chloe and then we'll be set, right? ;-)

  8. I can see why you love it, looks fab on you! Although I like the original just as much too... And adore that tablecloth skirt, You are going to look bee-a-you-tiful for thanksgiving!
    Re your question; I bought the shot cotton from purlsoho, and I put a link to the store in that post where I mentioned the fabric...

  9. What can I say, another Style Arc winner! Love it! Thanks for mentioning the length of the shoulders. I'll be sure to double check my pattern before cutting.

  10. P.S. Glad you mentioned to Chloe about sleeves as I don't do sleeveless. :)

  11. I love that paisley print. Gorgeous. That's a great top for leggins or a long straight skirt. As always, it is "you".

  12. I'm envious of your ability to choose fabric that results in such gorgeous garments! Do you have a method/pointers you could share?

  13. Great print, great top. Looks terrific on you. I have the pattern waiting, as my free pattern when I ordered from SA. Finished my Jenny blouse today, hope to sew this one in the next few weeks.
    Just wondering: you did not change the neckline? It seems higher on you than on the drawing.

  14. Thanks for asking that, Sigrid! I meant to mention this and forgot!! No, I did not alter the neckline in any way. I was surprised how high it was.

  15. Shams, you have too much fun sewing and blogging!

    We not only have sewing in common, but I think we share birthdays.. 9th July 1958??? my DD is nineteen and DS is sixteen.

  16. Close, Cherylanne. My birth year is 1959. :)

  17. After seeing this top in person today, I'm about to go off & place a November order - it looks every bit as good, if not better, in 3D real life! And already narrower shoulder? SOLD!

  18. What a great looking top! Love the fabric you chose; the print is tres chic. And the asymmetric hem and side slit are way cool. A great look for you!

  19. Thanks for answering my question about the neckline, very helpful, as I'd like it a bit lower. Now I will check the pattern on the neckline and probably alter it if it's the same in mine.

  20. Haven't tried a StyleArc pattern yet - better get my act together after seeing this result.
    Put my name down for the 'Tablecloth' sew-a-long - think you will be putting your name to your own pattern company soon!!!

  21. This blouse looks so well on you. Love the fabric. The neckline is fabulous! That hem is perfect for you. You've mentioned Fabrix a few times. Is that the one in SF? I love going shopping there.

  22. Yes, Kuby, it's the one in SF. It' a real hit or miss type of store, with inconsistent stock, but I've gotten some nice things there. Other times, I leave empty handed. I enjoy the challenge of the hunt, I guess. :)

  23. What a wonderful top! I think I need one of those myself!

  24. You are the Arc ambassador aren't you? Great top and I love the fabric.

  25. Oh yes - I have that pattern - this is a great top - and that fabric is delish!!

  26. I wish I had your eye for fabrics, Shams! Love the top!

  27. Would you mind a question? After you lengthen the front how do you approach sewing the side seams? Do you ease the extra inch in around the bust line or all along the seam?

    Sorry to be so dense but I'm new at sewing knits and need that FBA adjustment!