Simple make with lots of scope.

A review of Style Arc Hope Woven Dress

Reviewed by hsalthouse on 19th August, 2022

<span;>This is the most comfortable dress ever. I nearly went to bed wearing it….I made size 20, judging that to have the best ease for my large bust – although I would have liked a sizing guide rather than just the finished measurements.

<span;>I think it’s a good fit, and the neckline sits nicely rather than being too big – usually I have to do a FBA and I would recommend making a toile if this is you.  The back fastening isn’t needed but I enjoyed sewing it.

<span;>The instructions were adequate, although I didn’t appreciate having to cut them from the single pattern sheet. For the best part of 20 quid I want my instructions in a booklet.

<span;>I would also prefer to have varying seam allowances listed in the instructions rather than a dotted line printed on the pattern: the intro states that seams are either 3/8 or 1/4 inch but doesn’t say which bits are which. I used 1/4″ for the neck facing. I also used a generous 5/8″ for the waistband, as no way would 3/8 hide the gathering stitches. I also had to unpick some stay-stitching that was showing at the neck. The instructions don’t mention stay stitching but I always do it – next time it will have to be consistently narrow, with that 1/4″ neck seam.

<span;>The construction is very simple and would be beginner friendly were it not for the neck fastening and the unusual pocket/sleeve elastic methods.  I’ve seen someone comment that the Style Arc in-seam pocket method gives good results, but I was in too much of a hurry – I’ll give it a go next time, as I enjoy trying new things. I did get a bit confused and flat stitched the pocket edge before joining front and back, which made for a slightly awkward side seam. But this somehow makes the pockets easy to find – and they’re absolutely in the perfect place! Wonderful pockets!

<span;>The method for inserting the sleeve elastic – joining it first and then adding it to the channel *as you sew it* was a bit alarming, but it appealed to me as I’d had enough of pressing hems etc. I overlocked the sleeve opening first, and discovered that the best way is to pull the sleeve through the ring of elastic and fit them both round the sleeve bit on the machine. Then fold and sew the channel around the elastic, stretching as you pull the fabric through. You need three hands to start with, but the second sleeve went well. Doesn’t make for the neatest finish on the outside, but it’s not really visible.

<span;>I pattern blocked using two different fabrics.  The raglan sleeves and the skirt use a lot and I couldn’t get both from 2m, hence the contrast band on the skirt. Both fabrics were 2m and I didn’t have a lot left.

<span;>I will definitely make this again.  I found the estimate for the elastic was pretty accurate but I prefer a looser opening so I will either lengthen it or gather into a band with a placket if needed.  <span;>The pattern piece for the rouleau loop was a bit superfluous. <span;>Other than that, I can’t see any changes that need to be made. Fabulous pattern!