There are 2 ways of sewing clothes IMHO. One is at a great rate of knots to whip up something wearable in no time at all - quick, cheap, lovely and serviceable. The other involves a slower process taking your time and enjoying the making for it's sheer pleasure and taking delight in doing something in the best way you can, or as I call it, Sloooooooow Sewing.
I came across Stylearc patterns on Amazon. The drawings on the front of the patterns looked stylish and I thought they'd suit my shape. I risked buying one as they were reasonably priced and I'm trying as many patterns brands as I can. (no affiliations)
Below is the finished tunic.
Now, how did I get on? Details of the problems and joys are expanded on in the post about making, below but here's a quick view.
Ease of use 6/10 If you have some experience, it's fine. I would hesitate to recommend this pattern to a complete beginner as instructions are minimal and caused some anguish at times. The pattern pieces aren't numbered, and the printing is poor quality - if you run the iron over the print by accident it smudges badly.
Did the finished article look like the drawing? 8/10 Yes I guess it did but wasn't quite as full at the front as the drawing made out, but was fine. It fitted well in the size I made and I could possibly have got away with a size smaller. I was between 2 sizes according to the measurements on the packet so went for the larger....Captain Sensible.
Would I make again? 6/10 Possibly in a light summery drapey material. I would do away with the pockets which aren't necessary and don't help the hang on the front. Would I buy this brand again? I'd choose a pattern then google it to look at the images of other peoples makes. If I liked it in real life I'd tackle another!
I call this make slow sewing because I bought the fabric on the Birmingham Rag Market - linen at £2 per metre. I then dyed the fabric using Soda Ash, Salt, and a good tablespoon and a half of Procion Indigo Navy dye mix MX-2G. You can read more about my dyeing process here.
Here's my finished cloth
I started with 3 metres but was down to 2.5 by the time this had shrunk in the dye vat, and the ensuing hot soapy washes in the washing machine to rid it of excess dye.
The instructions are printed on the pattern sheets and you have to cut them out. As you can see they are minimal with no step by step illustrations which frankly would have been useful for the pockets. There were minimal images for layering the hem bands, and it wasn't clear. There were no layouts for cutting out.
There was a little note on the pocket bit which said See In Seam Tutorial, but no note as to where. I'm guessing on their blog. The layering tutorial I came across by googling. In essence you have to do some folding and pressing so you can sew through all layers together, which means the stitching shows on the front. Meh.
I was also left with a flapping hem band facing, and ended up stitching it to the hem band. It didn't show and is absolutely fine, but I couldn't find an explanation how you were supposed to deal with this.
Keep the iron off the printing or you'll end up with no pattern!
The finished top.