Monday, May 9, 2016

Style Arc Charlie Skirt in Olive


This is the new Charlie skirt from Style Arc, a slim jeans-style pencil skirt with a front split and an elastic, pull on waistband. Comfy and a bit sexy? Yes, please.


The skirt has faux front pockets and faux fly, with lots of jeans-style topstitching. Lots. I just used regular thread, rather than topstitching thread for this Charlie Skirt, but I added a couple extra bar tacks at the faux fly to make it look a bit less faux.


The elastic waist is interesting, too: there is a casing in the back, but it's meant to be invisible in the front, sewn to the inside of the wide waistband. Totally forgot to take photos of the waistband, but you can see how it is meant to look in Lara's close-up photos, here and here.


I had a lot of difficulty with the instructions. Style Arc instructions are known for being quite brief, which is fine, but the Charlie instructions were both brief and a bit strange. The way I understood it (and I consulted with Lara of Thornberry, who happened to be making the Charlie at the same time as me), if I followed the construction order as described in the instructions, I would have ended up with the elastic waistband caught up in the side seams. I didn't like that; I thought it would be bulky and bothersome. 


So, after some fiddling around, I deviated from the instructions and changed the order of construction significantly to avoid that. I basically ended up sewing the side seams first and then sewing a casing all the way around the skirt, then inserting the elastic. You can see a line of straight stitches on the front side of the front waistband, but I don't care because it's never going to show since I'll likely have a shirt covering it all the time.


Size-wise, I went with a size 16, but I am thinking perhaps I should have gone with an 18. It's a bit snug... like painted on snug. Not unbearably so, but obviously there are drag lines across the hips and belly, especially. When I've sewn Style Arc bottoms in the past (Barb and Ebony), I sewed a size 18, but that size felt just slightly big. Perhaps I shouldn't have experimented with size for a slim-fitting garment like a pencil skirt! Oops! Eh, maybe it'll stretch out a bit over time?


I'm a little bit unsure about the back pocket size and placement. I went with the markings as the pattern dictated.


Next time I might put them a bit lower on my butt. And closer to the center? And bigger? What say you, sewing friends? I'm going to compare them to the pockets on my Birkin flares because I like how my butt looks in those.


The fabric is some nice olive stretch twill I picked up during the Boxing Day sale at Tessuti, making this a very Aussie skirt. Nice stuff, easy to sew. I've been wanting some olive or army green pair or pants or skirt for a while, but I found it strangely difficult to find the right fabric. That is, until I found this stuff and shoved it into my suitcase...


I do like the Charlie skirt a lot! Very easy to wear. Once I get the fitting adjustments figured out, I'd like to make one in stretch denim with contrasting yellow/gold topstitching. I think that would be a wardrobe workhorse! 

34 comments:

  1. Love it, just my style, too! Really suits you. Do you think it would be possible/relatively easy to add in front pockets too? I just can't be doing without them! Jen

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! Hmmm- I think it wouldn't be too difficult to add front pockets. You'd just have to draft the two pocket pieces and perhaps lengthen the pocket piece that shows in the front.

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  2. I think the fit is fab and very va va voom but you gotta be comfortable. Perhaps adding a whiff extra to the side seams might make you happier? Or just next fabric more stretch? I love it tho and a stretch pencil skirt should be snug!

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    1. Because ps didn't they market it with bengaline which has about 20% stretch? Don't size up, just up the elastane content next time! :)

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    2. Thanks!! Yeah, a little on the side seams at the hip would help. They do advertise it for bengaline, but also stretch denim and stretch woven generally. It would probably be helpful if they had a suggested stretch content or percentage. But not the end of the world!

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  3. It is a very Aussie skirts. I'm with you, the pockets need to be bigger, closer together & a touch lower. But really, that's just being picky. This is a great skirt.

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    1. Yep I agree slightly bigger pockets, closer together. But overall I love the look of this skirt: style and love the colour. I just think I wouldn't enjoy sewing style arc no matter how great the designs...I think the lack of coherent instructions would frustrate me.

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    2. Thanks, ladies! Glad to have you confirm my pocket situation!!

      Manju, I think Style Arc's simple instructions are totally fine for an experiences sewer. I haven't really sewn any of their more complicated patterns, yet, though, which is where those instructions might be really frustrating.

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  4. I think it looks great on you!!! Seriously, great! I would fiddle with the pockets like you suggested, because when you feel your butt looks great in something, you are much more likely to wear it! Copy the Birkin flairs for sure! Well done, I love it! And that color is phenom.

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    1. Thanks, Jessica! Definitely going to consult my Birkins for pocket placement advice ;-)

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  5. Looks great Meg and very comfy. I'm guessing the fabric has good recovery - it doesn't stretch out a little for you during the day? I feel like a whole size up might be a little too big - maybe a slightly smaller seam allowance through the bum area instead? And I totally agree about the pockets - closer together and lower would be good.

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    1. Thanks, Masha! I agree- I'm thinking just a little more room in the hip area is the way to go. And the pocket adjustments for the next one (too lazy to unpick this pair!!).

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  6. Love the olive green. A white denim jeans-style skirt has been on my to-do radar forEVER but I haven't found the perfect fabric yet, so I totally understand. How hard is it to find white denim?? I digress. I agree with others that a whole size up might be too much. And also with you about the pockets. I always set mine closer together because I think it visually narrows what is (on me) a wide area. And I size pockets so that they have similar proportions to pockets on smaller arses. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Debbie! Oooh, a white denim jeans skirt would be awesome!

      I agree about the pocket sizing/placement and adding a little room in the hips. I'll definitely do that if/when I make a denim version!

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  7. So cute! Too bad it's a bit small - but, yes DO THE DENIM - that would be even more amazing :)

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    1. Thanks, Sherri! Yes to a denim version!!

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  8. I love this! I love the olive green, and I love the fit of your skirt. I've never sewn with Style Arc before, but I'm tempted now.

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    1. Thanks, Candice! Style Arc has lots of lovely designs- definitely have a look!

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  9. This is lovely on you! Love this olive green and the styling is perfect!

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    1. Thanks, Delia! I am in love with this color, too!

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  10. I bet it WILL stretch with wear, clothes tend to do that! I love the style and the color, and I'm intrigued by this pattern! Elastic waists are the bomb!

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    1. I think it'll stretch a bit, too, Inder, which may solve the problem. If not, I can always add more to the hip side seams like folks suggest!

      Elastic waists are the best!

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  11. This looks AMAZING Meg! Even if it's a bit snug. It certainly looks comfy.

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    1. Thanks!! It is comfy. A little stretch goes a long way ;-)

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  12. Pockets bigger and lower as you suggest, but it does look like a comfortable skirt

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    1. Thanks!! Yes to those pocket changes!

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  13. Love this! I might have just been convinced to buy the pattern...

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    1. Thanks, Caity! I thin it's a cute pattern with lots of potential!

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  14. Ah, a denim pencil skirt is solid wardrobe gold. I agree about bigger, lower, closer to the center. I'd be tempted to flare out the sides of the pockets too so they have a little more V shape and less squareness to the sides. I'm shocked that this is a faux fly--it looks very much like a real one!

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    1. Yes, denim is definitely next on the list!

      I will definitely fiddle with the pockets on the next Charlie!

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  15. I really like it! I think the colour is fabulous! I would move the pockets slightly closer together, and I like the idea of bigger pockets - maybe just use the Birkin pattern piece. I look forward to seeing the denim one!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! Denim with altered pockets, coming soon!

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  16. I googled this skirt to look for reviews and found your blog. This skirt looks fabulous on you. Now I definitely have to get this pattern. It will be a wardrobe workhorse. (Katrina)

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