Sunday, January 19, 2014

StyleArc: Monica Pants and Jess Polo Top

Jess Polo Top

I've had the fabric and pattern for this sitting around for nearly a year and finally sewed it up.
I cut a sz20 with a 1.5" upper arm adjustment but otherwise the fit is out of the envelope. I'm not really happy with it I have to admit, I'm counting this as a muslin as it doesn't fit quite right - I can see the pulling at the bust, its too short and it needs a forward shoulder adjustment as it keeps tugging itself backwards. I will sew it again, the StyleArc patterns are a bit too expensive to only sew up once and I really do need a couple of nice fitting polo tops!
Fabric is a waffle knit from The Fabric Store and the buttons are shell ones.

So the good: I think the sizing is pretty good, it fits just like a sz20 RTW polo does and it doesn't worry me that I need to do a couple of adjustments before I'm really happy with the fit.

The bad: The placket instructions are awful, I know they are always a bit sparse but this pattern has some illustrated ones as well. I've sewn a few plackets now (3 or 4 of the Banskia Top MN 2102) and even though the StyleArc instructions were different I thought I'd go with them. At the bottom of the placket where you sew through all layers to finish it off there are 9 layers of fabric to sew through and it just doesn't look neat.

I highly recommend the Banksia top placket instructions, there is a lot less layers and a lot nicer finish to it compared to the StyleArc instructions (and I'll be using it instead next time!)
I'm not really happy with the finish of the collar stand either but I haven't sewn enough shirts to know any tricks to finishing it neatly (it has you topstitch it down and my stitching looks really wonky, maybe I should have hand stitched it down instead to make it neater?).

Monica Pants

 I have to admit I don't like sewing exercise clothes. I struggle to find the right type of fabric locally and I tend to either add way too much ease or not enough. However, I am so picky about fit now and after trying on that many pairs of RTW leggings looking for a decent fit I had to give in and make some!

This is the Monica pant by StyleArc. Its a sz20 graded in at the waist by a couple of inches. Fabric is leftover grey Supplex and the purple is dance lycra from Lincraft.

They went together pretty easily, I did do a bit of head scratching over the gusset though. I actually emailed StyleArc to check if I had sewn it in right and I have!

I found a couple of mistakes on the pattern, the gusset says to cut 2 but the instructions say to cut 1 - you are meant to only cut one. Plus the notches are back to front on the knee and lower leg piece. Otherwise they went together fine.


  1. I'm waiting on my first StyleARC order to make it across the pond. Thanks for your thorough review. I'd been hearing that the fit is usually very good, much better than most big 4 patterns, but nice to know ahead of time the the instructions are so-so. Overall they look great! Looking forward to trying my patterns soon!

  2. What a pretty shirt and I'm so glad you made your own exercise Monica pants. Thanks for the review, it's good to know about the gusset.

  3. I like your shirt, and those Monica pants are awesome! I run 2-3 times a week, and plan to sew my own activewear soon. I am just now hearing about StyleArc, and will keep them on my radar for the future.

  4. Thank you for this review on the Moncia pants, as I am was going to purchase the pattern. Still am going to purchase it, but am thankful for your review. The polo top is great, and nice color on you!

  5. Thanks for the tip on where to find a great placket tutorial. Top looks nice on you and that whole exercise get up is great. I know you said you don't like sewing them but it makes it worthwhile when you get a nice outfit like that.

  6. Check Nancy Zieman's books for a clever bulk-free collar stand.

  7. PPPAAAAAAANNNTTTTTSSSSSSSSS. HOW ARE YOU SO GOOD AT THEM. Even exercise pants. *shakes head in wonder* Those really do look awesome. They look like you bought them at some high-end exercise gear shop for some ridiculous amount of money. Nice colour choices, and I love that band bit across the back of your knees!

    And the top is just showing off. :D Looks awesome.

  8. You're doing so well. I love what you've done. These are so accurate (says she who struggles with following a straight line).