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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Style Arc Marie Jacket

I finally am reviewing a pattern from Style Arc.  I see their patterns reviewed quite often on SPR, but just hadn't taken the plunge until recently.  I just loved the lines of this jacket as I was figuring out what pattern to purchase.

Fashionable knit jacket with zip closureSee what I mean?  The soft neckline and zipper is very cool and hip.  I had to have it.  It also called for a ponte knit and I had this python print in my stash and was waiting for the perfect pattern to use it with.
This pattern is marked as challenging.  I didn't find it challenging as far as construction is at all.  :)  

Pattern Description from the pattern:
Marie Jacket--up to the minute jacket with interesting design lines and off-center front zip which can be worn closed or left open allowing it to fall into a wonderful front drape.

Fabric Suggestions are light ponte or merino knit or any knit that is stable enough to hold a zip.
You also need a 43 cm or 17" zipper.  Everything for this pattern was from my stash.  I love it when I don't have to make a trip to my local Joann's.

Here is my finished garment picture:


Let's talk about the directions.  They are minimal, what I mean by that is there is only one photo to detail the construction and the remainder is step-by-step written directions.  For a visual learner, it wasn't challenging but I did have to reread a few of the steps.  There aren't a lot of markings on the pattern, nor is ease listed or finished measurements.  Either measure a lot of make a muslin--neither of which I did, which happens to be one of my sewing resolutions for the year.  I am still pleased with the fit and I'll tell you my alterations below.

You can either put the center back seam on the fold or cut out as I did.  There is really no reason for me to have cut out the seam since my print is busy and you can't see the lines.  I did top stitch from the seam which would look nice if you could actually see it.  The yoke is shaped in the back, can you sort of see the curve at my shoulders?  I thought I had cut incorrectly, but no, it wasn't a mistake.

When I was inserting the zipper into the seam on the left side, I was confused by the illustration.  Remember when I said there weren't many marks on the pattern?  Well I needed a mark that says something rather obvious such as zipper ends here.  The illustration shows the zipper stopping at the hemline so that's where it stopped.  When it came time to hem the entire thing I realized my mistake.  I had to rip out only one side of the zipper and reinsert.  Actually, it worked out great as I didn't like where the top portion of the zipper hit on that side as it didn't allow much drape of the neckline.  This new placement was much better.
 Also, like other reviewers mentioned the side front seams are very slanted and start at about the waistline and end about mid-bust, nothing like the line drawing.
Here is what I changed: 

  • Based on photos from other reviewers, I knew I'd need more than my standard 1/2" swayback adjustment and made a 3/4" one.  Yes, I should have taken an entire inch.  If there is a next time with this pattern, I will.  
  • I sewed the sleeves in flat before stitching the side seam.  No way am I going to ease in a knitted sleeve.  They fit perfectly stitched in flat, so it was a good and easy solution.  
  • I taped the entire shoulder area and back neckline with 1/4" clear elastic.  The directions suggested just the shoulder but with the way the neckline is stitched by pivoting and then clipping to the seam, I wanted the extra security of the elastic.  And speaking of the pivoting, I went ahead and stay stitched the corners of the back neckline prior to stitching together, just because I am old school and didn't want the stress of the garment to rip anything out.  
  • My stash zipper was 24" and I needed 17" so I marked where I needed it to stop, grabbed some needle-nose pliers and pulled out 10 of the separating teeth from each mark into the area that wasn't necessary.  Then I clipped off the extra fabric and inserted as normal.  
  • I also used my cover-stitch machine to hem the sleeves and lower edge that wasn't encased in the front facing.
  • I took the waistline at least 2 inches.  I should have taken it in another inch or two.  
  • I pinned the facing edge to the jacket front at the corresponding seam line and stitched in the ditch to secure it from the right front hem line, around both front edges and down to the left front hem line. 

I do like my finished jacket and I had a lot of compliments on it when I wore it to church today.  I was a little disappointed that the lines of the finished jacket aren't exactly like the pattern envelope.  I do think the pattern needs more markings and having the finished garment measurements on the tissue or pattern back would be very helpful in choosing your size.  I purchased a size 16 based on my bust.   The pattern took over two weeks to arrive from Australia but it was fun to experiment with a pattern from somewhere other than the big four.  Before I give this company a glowing endorsement, I'd like to try another Style Arc and see what I think after that garment is finished.

In case you're wondering what happened to my uber curly hair, I had it chemically relaxed.  I am still trying to used to it, but it's fun to have straight hair for once!

Thanks so much for reading this lengthy review!


  1. Ahem- this is lovely and it is animal print- want to join the Jungle Cruise?
    I'm getting my first stylearc patterns this week- your jacket has me really excited to start!

    1. Thanks prttynpnk! I so love animal prints! I'll watch for your Stylearc review!