You’re like that weird kid at school who wears weird clothes and no one knows why until finally they say “I made this!!”. Or: Lessons in piss-poor fabric choice.

All right, so here we have a photo of me wearing what looks approximately like a blanket. Or a pelt. The pelt of a navy blue animal.

StyleArc Violet - 4 StyleArc Violet - 1 StyleArc Violet - 2

What it doesn’t look like is the interestingly-seamed Violet knit jacket from Style Arc.

VIOLET-JACKET

Because I let my blind love for this chunky, napped sweater knit from Fabric Mart (procured maybe two years ago, so won’t be available) get in the way of properly answering questions such as: “But what would eight layers of that napped knit look like when it comes together at that inverted armhole corner?”. Or: “Can my walking foot overcome the nap of that fabric?”.

So. It’s not a disaster, since I’ve been wearing it around the house when my yoga sweatshirt is in the wash. But I was advised not to leave the house wearing it.

With mistake firmly established, the least I can do is contribute a teeny tiny bit to our collective knowledge by offering a review of this pattern. What follows is some sarcastic whinging, so let me say at the top: I have an extensive collection of Style Arc patterns because I’m really attracted to their designs. I get that the designing and drafting is their priority. And I don’t know that I would exchange better instructions for fewer/lesser designs.

Okay, proceed:

:: In keeping with Style Arc custom, the directions are laughably confusing, and basically a middle finger to any beginner sewist who expects to be able to open up the packet, cut out their pieces and proceed step by step to “!!!! I HAZ FINISHED CLOTHING TO WEAR!!!!” Handholding this ain’t. [pattern is listed as medium to challenging, but i swear that’s all due to your ability to interpret their directions]

:: There is a diagram that accompanies the instructions, which is helpful, but not without requiring trial and error. Look, it drives me a little mental that Style Arc isn’t even consistent in how they refer to the same pattern pieces in the same garment. I feel like if they’d just chucked labels on each of the pieces (#1, #2, #3) and used them consistently on the pattern pieces, the directions, and the diagrams, I’d recommend this to anyone. As it stands they use descriptive labels like “low mid back” and “mid back” in some places, but call the same piece different things in others. Come the eff on already.

:: Drafting is spot on though!! The notches line up perfectly, the arm cuffs work well (or, would have if I’d selected a fabric whose thickness didn’t force them to roll under). The notches ARE labeled with ‘A, B, C, D’ on the pattern pieces, diagram and instructions. Without those notch labels, I don’t think I could have put the jacket together.

:: If you make this, definitely make the optional pockets. I left them out on my version, but my stupid hands are constantly searching for a pocket to hide in, in the exact spot that was marked for the optional pocket. See?StyleArc Violet - 3

Jury’s still out on whether it will live on, or should get cut up into pieces for always-planned, never-started scraps quilt.

Post headline brought to you by spousal commentary.

7 Comments

  1. Maybe it’s difficult to get a sense in the photos of how it actually looks ‘in real life’, but it doesn’t look that bad to me – definitely a cosy about the house number at the very least. Thanks enormously for contributing to the collective knowledge – I’ve bought that pattern and been thinking about attempting it in a non-stretch fabric (thinking it might look a bit boxy and cool japanese-ish perhaps), and I’ve been madly googling to see what others experience of the pattern has been. My fabric is thickish though, and as soon as you said ‘8 layers of fabric’ at the ‘inverted armhole corner’, I’m like ‘nooooo’ – that fabric I’ve just put on to pre-wash is not going to work here…. How do you think it would look with a thinnish wool-blend suiting?

    1. I think it would be good with a thinnish wool-blend suiting, so long as there’s some drape! It’s so oversized that the knit isn’t really a factor in terms of fit, of course.

      I think it looks a bit nicer in the pictures than in real life. The nap attracts every bit of dust and thread so it constantly looks dirty, and the arms roll under in a weird way.

      But yes, it’s def good for keeping warm in the house!

      Good luck and show yours off when you finish!

    1. Thanks!!! I did try to go to a friends house with it on tonight and got masssssive stink eye. I don’t think the photos do justice to how out of control the fabric is. But, you know, maybe I’ll get brave. At least I won’t kill it just yet.

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