Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Blaire Shirt and Dress by Style Arc Patterns

I immediately fell in love with the Blaire Shirt and Dress when it released and when it went on sale during Black Friday I actually also bought it, ha,

The Blaire Dress and Shirt is another Style Arc Pattern. Just like the previous one I made (The Violet Knit Jacket blogged HERE) the pattern is super professionally made and an absolutely pleasure to sew. I'm talking more about it in the Violet post so I'll leave it at that in this post. 

I sewed the shirt version first but here I am showing you the dress version first. Don't ask why! The shirt version is further down in this post.

The fabric is from Miss Matatabi and I looove it SO much. It's a lightweight 100% linen. This color combination is sold out but HERE is the link to a red and blue one. I ended up buying it once and then ordered more when I received it, which was lucky because I finally had, well almost, enough fabric. I didn't have enough for the big pocket bags that also works as a little side slit underlay (more about that later) but that was really not a problem at all!
I was a little worried that it didn't have enough drape but it worked out perfectly.

Here is a photo of that clever feature I just mentioned. The pocket bag is extended so that it creates an underlay under the side seam slit. I had to mess up the photo a little bit so you can see it, otherwise that navy blue fabric just disappears in the shadows.
And I tried to match up my stripes and some places it went well but because of the uneven 'handmade' look of the stripes, it just didn't work out on my side seams. No big deal.

The pattern recommends to put interfacing on the collar, stand and front placket but does not mention the pocket openings. I would definitely recommend you do that too! A pocket opening gets a lot of wear with hands in and out of them and you don't want it to start stretching slightly and go all wavy. Of course it all depends on fabric. If you are making this in a very hard woven poplin it is less likely to happen than if you are making it in a more loose woven like linen or double gauze. But it can never hurt to interface but it can definitely cause troubles later if you don't. So when in doubt...interface! In the pattern instructions they use the word fuse. Is that the correct English term for adding fusible interface to fabric? I would love to know since I'm constantly working on expanding my English sewing vocabulary. It's actually not easy writing a sewing blog in English when you have been taught to sew in a different language, ha. 

Here is a photo from the inside. So notice how the top half is stitched to the dress and the bottom half is double folded and loose. The inside layer of the lower pocket bag is also stitched to the dress right under the pocket opening. It is really really neat looking if you ask me! This isn't hard to do but you got to slow down and take your time to make it look nice, straight and symmetrical on both sides.

This feature is of course only for the dress.

I might make the next one 5 cm (2") longer. I know I'm showing this with tights but I'm probably more going to think of this as a long shirt and wear it with tight jeans under. Not that I don't think I can wear this length with tights's more a feeling thing.
I didn't add any length to it (this is a size 6) so it makes sense that I should have done that. This will be the perfect length for most (more average height) people.

I was nervous that this size 6 would fit my non-size 6 behind but it worked out, phew.

After I posted my first Blaire on IG (the shirt version) which I hemmed with bias tape, someone commented that she liked the bias tape idea because she had troubles getting the hem to lie flat, and after making the dress I can definitely see what she mean. There is only 1 cm (3/8") for hemming and because of the very curved corners you really can't fold it much more. I very carefully double folded it and stitched in one go and then gave it a very very stern pressing. In certain fabrics that might be too hard to do. In that case you can do a handkerchief seam. Fold your fabric once (2-3 mm) and stitch. The fold it again as little as you can and stitch again. You will end up with two visible stitches on the inside but only one on the outside. This method will work no matter how curved your hem is. But yeah, it can become a bit wavy like you can see with mine. I'm okay with this level of waviness but if you want it absolutely flat then bias tape (or a facing) is the way too go. Don't forget to cut off your SA first if you use bias tape or your front button placket will be too short.

I love this so much. And I especially love how well it fits. It feels very effortless to wear.


Then we got my 70s bowling shirt which I also love very much, ha.

The fabric composition is new to me: Viscose Flannel from Mood Fabrics. Is it thinner than normal flannel but just as soft. And the drape is fantastic. It does wrinkle easily though and iron on low temperatures as it goes 'shiny' quite easily.

The shirt pattern comes with a (slightly shorter) underlay for the lower part. So basically the whole bottom is double layered. I decided to skip that and just embrace the crazy curved hem. I do have some fun ideas for that underlay though but I guess that will be in future versions.

Here you can see the bias tape (made with the same fabric as the shirt) that I used for hemming. (Don't forget THIS tutorial of mine, if you need some tips for the pro way to do this.) Be careful not to stretch the bias tape too much when you come to the curved bottom part of the shirt because that will cause it to fold inwards. Mine is a hair away from doing that as you can see, phew.

I interfaced the sleeve cuffs (I cut my interfacing on the bias just like the pattern recommends that you do with the fabric) but I'm not sure the interfacing is necessary. I didn't do it with the cuffs on the dress and I think they look pretty similar. Although the linen is definitely more stiff than the viscose flannel so how knows?

Let's finish off with this sign of spring.
Since I took these photos I have (almost) finished a third Blaire. It was an idea I got and I'm happy to report that it completely worked out the way I hoped. No, I'm not going to spill the beans yet but I'm SO excited to show you. You will realize that this is a crazy versatile pattern. 

Get your own Blaire Shirt and Dress HERE.

Thank you!


  1. I loooooooooooooove this shirt (and dress)!!!! Thank you for all the tips, as usual. Which I will be consulting when it comes time for me to make one of these shirts....maybe in 2018? hahaha. They both look awesome on you of course, and I'm looking forward to seeing number three!

  2. Beautiful work. This pattern really suits you. (And yes, fuse is the correct word!)

    1. Thank you for confirming! I will use that word from now on :-)

  3. They both look great! I love this pattern, too. I made the dress version already, but I have been meaning to make the shirt, too!

  4. Great post as usual! Both versions are perfect! Love the curve on the side of the shirt, it works so well as a layering item. <3 The dress is beautiful, love the fabric and I think it looks gorgeous on you, in that length and all.

  5. oh you are making me regret not getting this on black friday! You look fabulous and both styles suit you so well. And that blue fabric is amazing! Love it all!

  6. These look great and that pocket construction is great!!

  7. Such stylish garments! 'To fuse' is the verb for the process of actually attaching the interfacing to the fabric with heat - it is 'fusible' so it gets 'fused'. But the verb 'to interface' is correct and appropriate as you have used it.

  8. Love the dress, it really does look stylish and effortless on you. The shirt is quite fun! Fuse is the right word. Says the not native English speaker. LOL

  9. Both the dress and the top look super cool. Love love love the sneaky pocket on the dress! Thanks for the tips on interfacing. I am so relieved to see size 6 worked great! Makes agonising over sizes not as painful hehe

  10. I love shirt dresses! You are so good making so many clothes for yourself!

  11. Suz is right - you are so awesome at making clothes for yourself. I am in awe of the bowling shirt (haha - bowling shirt - so funny you call it that). That has to be one of those garments where people exclaim : You made that??!!

    I love the pocket detail of dress! That is so cool! And I always appreciate your sewing tips. I shared your button sewing/alignment tip on my blog last week - I hope you don't mind!

    Such a great post and you are so natural in front of the camera! I am the most awkward person in front of a camera and so entirely un-photogenic. You always look amazing!

  12. perfect! I love the long one I would wear the bejesus out of that one - it's the perfect combination of pattern and fabric, a match made in sewing haven

  13. Both of these look amazing on you! I absolutely adore the shirt, perfect fabric and pattern combination.


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