Ooh that’s a catchy title. But these two garments are my new favourite lockdown loungewear combo for cooler days.
You may have seen on Instagram the initial fit of the Style Arc Como Pants. It was so grim I took the post right back down once I’d had some lovely, and very helpful, feedback. Nobody needed that closeup in their feed!
I had cut these in a size 18. A few years ago I attended a pattern fitting workshop so I used that pattern to reshape the front and back crotch. I thought that would give me a fighting chance of getting somewhere near for this wearable muslin.
Foolishly, I second guessed myself about the size and added half an inch to each side seam to give me room for manoeuvre if the toile turned out too small.
I should have left well alone. The size chart said these would fit. It was right. The extra 2 inches of fabric that distorted the fit, not the shape of the crotch. Once I resewed the side seams following the seam line on the pattern, the front crotch only needed the tiniest smidge of a reshaping to finalise the fit.
I may take 1/4” off the rise next time. But that’s all.
And, boy do these fit well. They are supremely comfortable for these stay-at-home-lock-down times. But, when we can go out again, they are smart enough for public viewing.
I’ve never had trousers that fit this well but are also the perfect style for me. Even Dave, who much prefers me to wear a dress, said that these were fabulous and I should make more! Praise indeed.
And the pockets! Style Arc pockets are the best. I have one of those ridiculous full size iPhones and it fits with room to spare! They are the best pockets I’ve ever encountered in a sewing pattern.
The fabric is a deep stash Ponte De Roma that Dave bought me years ago from the Fabric Godmother. I’ve sewn with Ponte before, but that was a cheaper fabric and nowhere near as lovely to sew with as this. Also, it doesn’t bag out during wearing as much, and is sooooooo soft and cosy against the skin.
Oh….and one final thing. These are the only pair of trousers I own that don’t slide down whilst I’m wearing them. I’m a convert to elastic waists! And this pattern and fabric. These go on the TNT list!
The Elliot Sweater is the perfect pairing for these trousers. A cosy raglan sleeved sweater with a soft cowl neck. I have held off purchasing this pattern for a while because I am an inverted triangle shape and carry all my weight at my front. Raglan shoulders normally aren’t that flattering for me. But….I needed a cosy sweater and I’ve had great success with Helen’s Blackwood cardigan, so I thought I’d risk it.
Also, this fabric has been in the stash for years and I wanted it sewn, so I was happy to throw it to the wolves as a toile.
I graded between the 18D at the shoulders and the 20D at the waist and hips and I’m thrilled with the result. It fits almost perfectly. If I was being super picky I could go down a size and add a tiny FBA to fix the small drag lines coming from the bust. But to be honest, they are less noticeable in real life than in the photos.
The drape lines from the shoulders again are less noticeable in real life and are purely the result of me trying to get the stripes to match. They’d obviously shifted in cutting and I forced the issue.
None of these quibbles are enough to spoil this and taking from “using up statsh fabric to make a toile” to “hanging in the wardrobe for the next cool enough day”. Which at the moment is every day. The day before these photos were taken, we’d spent the whole day in the garden drinking wine and enjoying a gloriously sunny and hot day. The day of the photos was more than chilly enough for this to perfectly appropriate. Hence the indoor photos!
So next time I’ll try a size smaller with an FBA and no stripes and it’ll be perfect. This will then also be added to my stable of TNT patterns. I love it.
It’s cosy and the right length in the body that I can wear with trousers, or shorts, or leggings (without scaring the horses!).
I’m delighted with both these patterns. I love Helen’s Closet for simple shapes but thoughtfully drafted patterns that work for my body. Her instructions are comprehensive and easy to follow. The Blackwood and the Elliot are timeless pieces that fit easily into my wardrobe and will be sewn again and again.
This was my first outing with Style Arc and I’m really surprised at the result. To have trousers fitting so well with such a small amount of adjustment (I didn’t even need to lengthen the leg!) was marvellous.
The instructions are considerably sparser than Helen’s Closet, but are not impenetrable as, for example, most Burda magazine instructions. You just have to actually read them, which is no bad thing.
All in all these turned out so much better than I anticipated. That’s rather thrilling.
I have two other Style Arc trouser patterns that I want to try. Both are for woven fabric, one a wide leg and the other a slim leg. Once they are fitted, most of my trouser pattern requirements will be sorted. I have fabric in the stash to sew both patterns so will get to them during the lockdown.
I don’t know about you but the lockdown has got me finally doing what I’ve said I’d do for years and actually sewing my stash. Both of these fabrics have been in stash for about 4 years. And I’ve used most of the remaining Ponte to make a jacket for Summer.
I purchased some linen before the virus hit. I think these pieces will make lightweight dresses and trousers, perfect for a summer at home.
With any luck, I’ll finally clear most of my fabric stash this year. But in the meantime I’ll get some pictures of Summer in her jacket and be back soon to share with you.
Until then, stay home if you can, and keep safe.