Wednesday, October 2, 2013

All Shopping, All the Time

Don't you love it when stress-shopping aligns with things you really want need? I know, what a lovely confluence. As long as you don't look at your Visa bill, it's all good!

At any rate, my next few posts will be about things I've recently purchased: patterns, books, yarn, more yarn - probably fabric (it's looming - ha!). Didn't I say something about only using stash yarn for the foreseeable future?

Ahem.

Let me start with the patterns...

I think it's safe to say that, while I've staunchly resisted for years now, I'm completely won over by Style Arc patterns. My resistance, of course, was based on some very high shipping costs, but I've heard only good about the quality of the drafting and design. And I have to say the silhouettes are very modern and fashionable.

I decided to test out the brand on these two patterns:

Harper Jacket (firm knit)

Janet Jacket (tailored woven)
The first jacket, the Harper, is a cross between a cardi and deconstructed blazer. It's a style I've worn before with lots of success. Of course, when making this, fabric drape will be key - and I may need to modify the proportions (of the lapel, for example). This would also look terrific on my fitting friend S., so I figure it's that much more of a sensible purchase. Ironically - since these patterns come in one size per envelope (sorry those of you who like to go between sizes) - I got the 10 because it's the size we're both closest to. Sure, S is much taller and slenderer than me, but my shoulders are narrower. She modifies to make things smaller, everywhere but in the shoulders and I modify things to make them bigger in the bust.

One thing that really won me over is that Style Arc sends a fabric swatch with every pattern to assist you in determining the properties of the optimal fabric. I love fabric, and experimenting with it, and I have lots of books to assist me. But sometimes it's helpful to have a tangible example of the hand and drape that the designer intended.

The second jacket, the Janet, has a fantastic line for a woman with boobs. The princess line should make things rather adjustable along numerous seams, the waist is fitted, the closure is much better for fitting over breasts than buttons. And I love the neck line! Really, I'm not averse to collars. I can get with turn of cloth and I'm not one of those peeps who hates that part of the tailoring process. But man, this is going to cut a bunch of steps out of the equation... I am, on balance, not happy with the peplum jacket I made in the spring. I'm never going to make it again. So this gives me an alternative that isn't frumpy like the bulk of jacket patterns that I see, and one that shouldn't be a nightmare to alter.

However, what really sealed the deal is that Style Arc sends you an extra pattern - the pattern of the month - whenever you order something. Um, hello? Who loves free things more than me?? So, I was also sent this pattern:

Gail Top (knit)
I would not likely have purchased this pattern, given the many others that have caught my eye, but it will probably flatter me and provide me with an interesting new look that conforms well to my body shape.

Finally, here's a pattern that S suggested I should get next time I order:

Ashley Dress
I do think this would make a very flattering finished garment.

Having said all this, I don't like to leave out knitting when it comes to pattern purchasing. Seems mean to do so, no?

Next up, some knits-to-be. (And a totally fun story!)

Today's questions: Do you buy from Style Arc and, if yes, what has your experience been? Have you made any of the patterns shown above? Which is your favourite? Let's talk...

31 comments:

  1. I've been eyeing StyleArc for a while now and haven't ordered only because of the shipping costs.. I hope they do think about paper patterns at some point as I bet there are many more like me.

    I'm curious about they basic Tshirt pattern and how it differs from other Tshirt patterns. The reviews I've read so far have nothing but good things about the draft.

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    1. Once you factor in the free pattern (so order when you like the free pattern - which they show you on the site but which I totally didn't notice) the shipping price declines considerably.

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  2. Style Arc patterns are fabulous. They are current styles, well designed and go together beautifully. I wish they came in multi sizes, though. Before I ordered my first couple I traded emails with Chloe to decide which size to order (also fantastic customer service). They took about 3 weeks to get to me. I've been losing some weight and by the time the patterns got here and I got to making them the size was too big. :(

    Next order I went down 2 sizes for pants and 1 for the top. The pants fit great when I made them, but now they are bordering on too big - not much longevity for that expensive pattern.

    There are lots that I would love to get, including some of your selections. But the combination of the long lead time for the patterns to get to me and my changing size are causing me to hold off right now.

    Lois K

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    1. Lois: You're always one step ahead of me :-) Thanks for sharing your experience. And I'm sure, once you stabilize in size and shape, you'll be in a better position to order more patterns.

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    2. Lois, maybe you could sell your used patterns?

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    3. Ha! Do I sense you might be a potential purchaser? :-)

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  3. I've been curious about Style Arc but have yet to order. My waist and hips are always 1 to 2 sizes bigger than my bust size so to use these patterns I would have to grade up the lower half of the garment. Usually I use multi size patterns so grading is easy.

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    1. Jennifer: Apparently, the designer (Chloe) is very good to chat with. She might be able to advise if there are a couple of patterns that would be suited well to your proportions.

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  4. i've only heard good things about StyleArc, though i have yet to order any. i really like the harper jacket, may have to add that one to the list...

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    1. You should def add it to the list - it's great for a busy mum who always stays chic.

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  5. ooooh i'm excited to hear what you think of these. i just went for a ralph pink pattern, totally new to me. it's kind of thrilling, no?

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    1. Holy cow, Oooooona?!? I can't believe I've never heard of this company. I love that shit!

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  6. Style Arc is one of my favorites! I've already made two knit dresses (Jessica and Danni Dolman) and both of them get quite a lot of wear. The third Layla Dress is sitting in the box with other unused patterns but this is just the question of time :)

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  7. Made plenty of StyleArcs, including the Janet. Good fit in the shoulders, needed a FBA and other minor tweaks -- probably more details somewhere on the blog. Still haven't found closures I really like though. :(
    Shipping does add a lot to the price, and for someone whose size is changing, or who doesn't like to sew a pattern more than once, I can understand the reluctance. For me though, they are well worth the extra cost -- and as previously mentioned -- excellent customer support.

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    1. Karen: I looked at yours when I was considering the Janet - it looks lovely.

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  8. I have heard nothing but high praise about Style Arc, but the two things holding me back are the single sizes and the shipping costs. I like pretty much every one of their pants, and would likely own them all if it weren't for the sizing/shipping "issues". The freebie pattern this month is really cute too--I'll bet it looks stunning on you (not to mention easy to fit!!)

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    1. I hope the freebie works! It could be a good addition to the wardrobe. Thanks!

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  9. Check out Clothing Engineer, she may have already or is planning to make these three. She pretty much exclusively sews their patterns.

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    1. Thanks for that link! Have to do some reading :-)

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  10. I have never used Style Arc for the same reasons others have given (shipping, sizing) but I do love the looks of most of their patterns. I made the same jacket last spring and I won't be making it again, either. It has turned out as more of a very time consuming muslin for me. While I liked the peplum at first, I think it looks funny on me now. I'm looking forward to the continuing shopping for yarn, etc.

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    1. That peplum, while it worked fabulously for Clio, is just not right on me. Too boxy.

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  11. Count me as a Style Arc fan! I've made a few of their patterns (never blogged). Aside from the one-size-only issue, I just love their fit. And the instructions are quite short and text-only but I like the industry style construction. I've had one of their blazers on my must-sew list for awhile but you know how blazers go... always getting pushed back for simpler sewing.

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    1. Oh, you have to show us the patterns you've used! I've heard that the instructions are quite minimal - but not in a bad way.

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  12. Nothing to say about the sewing, but oh, I'm with you on the particular pleasure of when shopping is actually mandated. . . .

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    1. Ha! I can convince myself that shopping is a necessity any old time. It's like a superhero power :-)

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  13. I love that Harper Jacket and the Ashley dress. And fabric swatch? Too cool. I also read that Style Arc also generates a croquis of your figure and sends you the patterns fit to measure.

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    1. I really love the fabric swatch idea too. And I've heard a bit about Lekala patterns but I haven't researched them in any depth. Perhaps I should also have a look at that site...

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  14. Oh, I lie (not on purpose). It is actually Lekala patterns that sends you the croquis and custom fit pattern sizing.

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  15. Thanks for the tip about StyleArc. I've never used these but will certainly try them out. The single-sizing is a drawback but not a dealbreaker. The Gail top -- incredible cuteness.
    kathy

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