I fell in love with the design of the Style Arc “Marita” dress as soon as it was released, and I bought it right away. But that was back in our summer, and I thought the long sleeves would be better suited towards cooler weather, so I let it hibernate a bit in my pattern stash before adding it into my Fall/Winter 2012 Sewing Shortlist.
I bought some wonderful some brick orange (or “rust”) viscose-lycra jersey from Tissu and knew it’d have the perfect drapiness and recovery for this design. Coincidentally, it’s also the same fabric I made the Donna Karan skirt set in – I just love this stuff and you cannot beat the price (£3.50/m)!
The pattern front claims you can make it in one hour, and it really is ridiculously fast to sew! I don’t feel right showing the pattern pieces as I feel that’s giving away their design, and I really think this is ingenious. The finished dress looks really complicated, but in reality it’s just a basic knit dress with one dart and one tuck. That’s it.
It actually reminds me quite a bit of the Rick Owens top we tried to replicate a while back.
Style Arc patterns have a devoted following on the net, and I can see why. This is my first pattern of theirs, and they’ve got up-to-the-minute designs, a very RTW fit, and each patterns is traced off in your size when you order, so the patterns feel a bit like Marfy in that respect (I also like that the seam and cut lines are marked).
I absolutely love the fit of this! I also really like the high back neck, which brings the cowl in and doesn’t risk it slipping off your shoulders or down too far.
The only thing I didn’t like about this pattern is that the diagram for the shoulder seem was needlessly complicated. What they were trying to say is to fold the facing back around over the back at the shoulder seam, so that when you flip it right side out, the seam is encased, but if I wasn’t familiar with this technique already, I would’ve found their diagram totally baffling. Funny, but I actually did a post with step-by-step photos of this exact finish a while back!
The other issue is that with such a thin fabric and a fabulously close fit, this dress does show every little lump and bump – so you either need Spanx or some nicely smoothing tights (I’m wearing Flame tights by Wolford, btw, but no longer current season.).
Here you can see either side of the drape:
Anyway, I’m a big, big fan of Style Arc now just from this one pattern, and I totally want to sew this again, maybe in short sleeves and maybe shortened as a top!