Sunday, July 24, 2016

Style Arc Blaire Shirt Dress

It seems these days that Meg : Style Arc patterns as everyone else : Pokémon. I gotta catch 'em all!


This is my take on the Style Arc Blaire shirt dress. Blaire is a modern, boxy shirt dress with cut-on sleeves, cuffs and some funky pockets.


I loved how Style Arc's drawings and sample played with stripes on the separate bodice and skirt. I blatantly copied them and used stripes for mine, orienting them vertically on the bodice and horizontally on the skirt. Cuffs and button placket were cut on the bias and I went vertical for the pocket detail, although you only see a peek of it at the bottom side.


Speaking of pockets, this is one of the design details I really love about the Blaire. The pockets, which are basically in seam pockets that also serve as a design detail at the side seams, are quite clever and unusual. After puzzling through them, though, I am thinking I'd like play with the construction just a bit next time to eliminate some of the unfinished fabric edges inside the pockets. Also, the pocket bag itself is quite low- so if you put your phone in your pocket, it would rest at the hem of the dress! I may sew a line across the pocket to make them a little bit more shallow:


I also love the cuffs. Rather than a long rectangle, they are cleverly sort of oblong-shaped so that they are narrower at the underarm, which eliminates some of the underarm bulk and helps with comfort.


My fabric is a painted striped Japanese chambray-esque lawn (chambray in the sense that the threads are white in one direction, black in the other to make the grey you see) that I bought at my favorite store here in Bangkok. You might remember I used a different colorway of this fabric for a McCall's 6044 shirt for Tim last year. The fabric is perhaps a little bit lightweight for the dress- the skirt part feels a little bit insubstantial, although it's a great weight for the top portion.


Size-wise, I went with a size 14. I am still experimenting with my ideal size in Style Arc patterns. My measurements put me between a 14 and 16 at the bust and between a 16 and 18 at the hip. I figured this pattern has so much ease that I could go for the smaller size, but am thinking perhaps I should have done a 16 at the hip. It's tough because the PDFs I buy from the Style Arc Etsy shop don't come nested and I span 2 of the size range groupings they offer (their groupings are 10-12-14 and 16-18-20... although I just noticed that you can message them and ask for a different grouping. doh, wish I had noticed this earlier!).


Style Arc's directions, as usual, can be a bit perplexing in some spots. The instructions referred to sewing on a "tab," which sent me on a frantic search for a pattern piece I must have missed. Nope, turns out the tab they were referencing is the button placket (?)!  I definitely wouldn't make this pattern as your first button-up.


I used the Four Square Walls technique for the collar and collar stand, although things got a little bit dicey at points (har har) because of the tiny seam allowance used by Style Arc for these pieces: only 1/4"! The seam allowance for the rest of the dress is 3/8". But it turned out ok in the end.


The hem is also super narrow- only 3/8". Ultimately I decided to serge and turn it because I couldn't bear to double-turn that tiny curved hem. It might be nice to have a deeper hem, though. Maybe I would draft a hem facing next time?


I added some topstitching to the dress- on the horizontal seam between bodice and skirt, across the shoulders, on the button plackets.


For the buttons, I tried the dress on, found my bust apex to set the first button, then marked the other buttonholes from there with my buttonhole gauge thingy, which looks like a medieval torture device, but is really useful. I didn't bother with buttons or buttonholes above the bust apex because I rarely button them anyway.

A photo posted by Meg (@megret79) on


So what's my verdict on Blaire? I think I like it! It's a bit outside of my normal style zone, but only just so. It's certainly boxy, and it's certainly comfy. I don't know if it's doing me any favors in the hot bod department, but I'm kinda over really caring about that.


I do have the creeping feeling, however, that this particular Blaire, with its grey color and boxy shoulders, has a bit of a late-'80s, early-'90s feel to it. And with my pink glasses, there is a distinctly Sally Jessy Raphael look happening. 

Ha, ha, below, my face is saying, "Wait, what? I look like Sally Jessy Raphael??!":

36 comments:

  1. I like it, I will have to try this when summer comes. Yes message them if you want a different size combination, they have always listed different combinations for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kate! Ha ha, I wish I had known you could create your own size bundle- shame on me for not reading the fine print! Now if only we could get them to do nested PDFs...

      Delete
  2. I've had my eye on this one - lots of interesting details. Yours turned out great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Katie!! I could definitely see you in this dress!

      Delete
  3. I like it too and I think the fit is really lovely on you. I know you're not a solids gal but a solid black linen would very chic and not at all SJR!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!! Black linen would be lovely... I also have a super soft deep blue chambray/denim that I was thinking would be nice.

      Delete
  4. First up- I love your glasses! But back to the dress... I would also much rather chase Style Arc patterns than Pokemon and I have been eyeing this pattern off lately too. Lots of little details that are a bit different and I think makes for an awesome dress. A lovely dress, Meg!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rebecca! Ha ha, I would rather chase Style Arc than Pokemon, too. I agree- this pattern has some fun details that make it unique. And you can't beat how comfy it is!!

      Delete
  5. I think the way you played with the stripes is stunning. Makes the dress very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Annie! I love playing with stripes- I used to dread it, but now I find it exhilarating!

      Delete
  6. I love this! It's so cute on you! I didn't think 80s at all. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phew, ok. I think there's something about the blog photo editing process that makes you question everything... like looking at photos of yourself over and over makes you think you look like an '80s talk show host.

      Delete
  7. Oh my goodness, I'm laughing so hard at the Sally Jesse reference. You look nothing like her. I was thinking the whole time that it's very modern and edgy, and must feel sooooo incredibly breezy in the heat. That fabric is perfect (I'm still deciding what to do with mine - it's in my fabric cupboard and I take it out and fondle it quite often). This pattern is really cool and I love all the interesting details. I love it Meg!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok, glad you don't think it's too SJR! I think it's toeing the line, but I was hoping it fell on the modern side of the line!

      The dress and fabric are lovely in the heat! I can't wait to see what you do with your stripes, Heather!!

      Delete
  8. Love it! Definitely "fashion". Probably would look terrible on me but looks fab on you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, glad I achieved "fashion" and not '80s talk show host!!

      Aw, you could totally pull it off. But I admit, you have to lean into the box look, it takes some getting used to.

      Delete
  9. This is so gorgeous on you, Meg! You always pull off the coolest silhouettes. It makes me want go outside my safety zone, as well. Also, that bias cut placket looks cute AF. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mary! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, too. Damn, I love playing with stripes and trying new silhouettes!

      Delete
  10. Looks great! Love the vertical/horizontal/bias cut stripes!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Danielle! I love playing with stripes!

      Delete
  11. Cool work with the stripes, and the pockets are really unusual. I love it when patterns think through details like that vs. hey, it's a dress, let's tack on some random pockets because that's better than dresses without pockets. Style Arc really seems to have a finger on the pulse of RTW in that respect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! The pockets are really interesting- never seen anything like them! I really do appreciate the fun details that Style Arc includes in what would otherwise be a very basic pattern.

      Delete
  12. This is so lovely and would really suit the climate here. I'm liking the shirt too. Think I'll have to buy this one (along with some others of course!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lizzie! Blaire would look great on you!

      Delete
  13. I love it! It looks so easy to wear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Super easy and comfy!!

      Delete
  14. This looks great! I'm waiting until Monday when the new free patterns come out to buy this pattern. I bought my chambray today. Found one with tencel. I'm debating what size to buy as I'm usually a 16 in tops and a 18 in bottoms...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! This will look fabulous in chambray- good choice! I can say that the pattern is quite oversized. I went with a straight 14 even though my bottom is more like an 18.

      Delete
  15. I really, really like this! What I'd also like you to tell us about are your sandals. Love them!
    Kathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kat! My sandals are Taos brand and I think they're called Carousel. I bought a pair on a whim when they were half price and I've since bought 2 more pairs because they are so comfortable!

      Delete
  16. Love all of your stripe detail...even to the hem/sides....I believe the stripe made this pattern far more interesting.....well thought out indeed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Laura! I love playing with stripes... so much fun!

      Delete
  17. Oh goodness! I came across your blog on Pinterest and love your dress! Your narrative is helpful and friendly, like we could probably chat for hours about all sorts of things. I'm getting back into sewing after a long hiatus with family and work priorities and it feels like coming home. This dress will certainly be on my To Make list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha, thanks! Glad you liked my post! Welcome back to sewing and good luck with your sewing!

      Delete
  18. I just stumbled on your dress while checking out this pattern for potential summer sewing. Your dress looks so good!! I really like it and I think I am convinced now :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anya! It's a cute pattern- quite oversized! But fun details and a modern shape!

      Delete