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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...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Bright floral shirt dress just in time for winter

I love shirt dresses.  They are comfortable.  You can make them super casual or dressy depending on your fabric choice and accessories.  I've had this fabric from quite a while.  I love the play of the brown floral print on the green.  Green is one of my favorite colors to wear. It also works well with this super comfy sweater I've had forever but still love!

The classic shirt dress featuring a fly front, pleat pockets and two piece sleeve

I have a few patterns that I really like for tunics but this time I wanted to use a pattern that was longer and had something other than a super boxy shape like the Archer or princess seams like one of my favorite McCall's patterns.  In waltzes the Mara by StyleArc.  I think all of you know how much I love using StyleArc's patterns.

I sort of feel like the pattern line drawing and the description don't match.  I think the pattern looks loose-fitting however the description is of a close-fitting garment.  Not that I minded, but what you see is not what you get.  This dress has a fly front or concealed button front which was fun to construct although the directions are confusing for this.

The pattern has fold lines marked with the numerals one through three and to construct the button fly, you make a series of folds that create this cool fly feature. My advice is to mark the lines carefully, practice folding but for goodness sake! Don't over think the process but look at the drawings for what it needs to look like when you are done.

Also, there aren't any directions on what to do with the raw edge of the fly.  There ended up being about 1/4" that I folded under the fly and when the stitching is completed to secure the layers it works perfectly.

Another issue with the directions is that they weren't very well proof read.  In fact, it seems like they were pretty haphazardly put together.  There are lots of references to follow tutorials on the StyleArc site which I didn't do.  I've made many shirts with stand collars so I know what the process is and can put one together pretty quickly.

Drafting for this one wasn't up to Stylearc's usual standards.  I found the sleeves difficult to set it. Typically StyleArc's sleeves are BEAUTIFULLY drafted and seem to fall into place quite easily. These were a struggle!  I used about 100 pins to ease the sleeve heads in and that worked but dang....not what I was expecting or hoping for!

All in all, I do like this dress.  I will make some additional modifications next time i use this pattern.  I made my usual 1/2" swayback adjustment and I need a lot more next time.  I plan on wearing a belt with this so I think it won't be as noticeable.  I feel like I've complained about this pattern quite a bit but I do like it!

Fit--not too boxy
Sleeve length is perfect and have nice shaping with an upper and lower sleeve
The button fly front is a nice touch
The button cuffs go together well and look nice
The collar and collar stand went together easily and eased into the neckline really well
I like the patch pockets with the flap and the box pleat
I like how this fits through the shoulders

Sleeve head isn't drafted as nicely as some other StyleArc patterns I have used previously
Fit doesn't match the drawings on the pattern
There are a LOT of buttons on this dress!  Three for each cuff and I think 9 marching down the front. I used brown plastic snaps so the process was much faster than sewing on all those buttons and making all the button holes.

What do you think of this dress?  Is the pattern a keeper?

Thanks for reading!
Sue :)


  1. Good Job!! Very good color for you also! Happy sewing!

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