My sparkly StyleArc Marie jacket

Right – where were we? I mean, I know I’ve been away so my brain is fuzzy and perhaps a little jet-lagged… Right! Easter weekend sewing! I had a four day weekend and most of it was spent in my sewing cave, so I’ve got an awful lot to show you, starting with my Stye Arc Marie jacket, which I made in that gorgeous black and silver heavy jersey from Minerva. It’s hard to tell from the description, but this is a little heavier than a ponte, with good stretch and recovery, and a slight rib to it. The exterior have little silver lurex threads running through it, and the reverse is a simple grey and black stripe (and, as you recall, Minerva kindly sent this to me as a gift).

I was really surprised with the shape of the pattern pieces when I opened it up – it’s not obvious from the tech drawings but this has a shawl collar and the centre fronts also double as the facing pieces, meaning you get a lovely turn on that cowl neckline, too, but the shoulder is kept nice and fitted. Genius drafting from Style Arc again!

I took the opportunity to use some different locations for photoshoots while we were away, so these were taken at my cousin’s house in Baltimore. Down there, it’s really popular to build a deck over the roof of your house, but it does mean you get the wind as well as the views!

I wasn’t really in a wind tunnel, but it certainly felt like it that evening!

I really like that this is a perfect spring-weight, unlined knit jacket which can be worn open or closed. With this fabric, I wore it over jeans during the day, and then again over dresses at night, too. The only downside to this pattern is that there are no pockets (nor really anywhere to add your own), which I really kinda need in a jacket.

Most knits I’d construct on my serger/overlocker and coverstitch, but my sewing machine got a lot of use here, considering all the topstitching, the zipper, and the inset corner. I’d say in total this was constructed about 50/50 with serger and sewing machine (and I guess the last few hems on the coverstitch take a small percentage from that!). It wasn’t quite as fast as your average teeshirt or knit dress, but certainly faster than your average woven jacket!

I really liked the topstitching on the seams – often I leave topstitching out but these make the seams nice and flat, which is ideal for thicker jerseys like mine. It also helps to pull out the fantastic seaming on this pattern, too, and the diagonal seams on the side front panel. I also love the afore-mentioned shawl collar, which means the shoulder fits me really nicely and gives you a lot of collar to wrap round your neck. There’s also a curved shoulder yoke in the back, too.

But there were some fit surprises – this is boxier throughout the waist than I was expecting, and also longer, too, ending right down around my hips. But the fit throughout the chest and arms and everywhere is spot-on, with enough ease to get a teeshirt on underneath, easily, and maybe something heavier besides. I made a size 14 again after my Marita dress fit me so nicely (if you recall, I’m a Burda size 42 usually). So I think the boxiness and length are really just a style decision rather than a fitting oversight, and it’s not really a bad thing – just an observation!

I bought a 45cm/18” separating zipper (one inch longer than called for) and it fit between the marks perfectly, without having to shorten it. The inside flap is held in place with a ring snap so it stays in place without bunching up.

A few improvements on the instructions, though:
Step 4 – I found it much easier to baste the zipper to the front first, then overlock the entire seam in one go, rather than trying to serge half the seam, then fit the zipper in, then do the other half
Step 5 – It’s not said, but you want the zipper facing down, with the teeth away from the seam. I had to think about this.
Step 11 – I’d suggest waiting to stitch the facing closed until after you’ve inserted the snaps so that you can use ring snaps with a pliers or snap setter (instead of hand sewing!) and have the back concealed inside

I love the way the stripes change direction with the folds of the fabric at the centre back, due to the changing grainline and the shawl collar!

I wore this pretty much every day we were in the States, and my Aunt loved it so much she commissioned me to make one for her, in the exact same fabric and size, with only a bit of alteration to broaden the back and increase the bicep girth (she’s a Habitat for Humanity builder – hefting lumber works those guns!). So umm, please don’t buy up all this fabric before I have a chance to restock!

PS: The doggie’s name is Leuven and he’s a total sweetheart!
PPS: Details on my trip next week – I’m still sorting through photos!

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