Monday, August 14, 2017

The Autumn Dress by Style Arc Patterns

And yes, I did say dresses in plural. A floral printed woven one where you barely can see any details and an olive green knit one that is a bit more cooperative on photos.   

I was desperate to take blog photos so I could wear these dresses, but then I guess the urgency wore off because I've had these photos taken for almost two months. Oops.

This floral fabric is from Miss Matatabi and it's sold out a long time ago. It's a rayon linen blend and I really wish I could find more fabric like it. It has drape like rayon but it wasn't slippery to work with. It's also less 'corse' than linen normally is and thin too but still fully opaque. Soft and smooth to the touch. I REALLY love it in case you wondered, ha.

Okay, I'm going to switch to the knit version so you can see the beautiful details this dress has.

One big knife pleat at the front creating a gorgeous fold over neckline.

And a back yoke plus a stunning pleated double cross back.

Because of the pleats and the dress' oversized shape, it's kind of important that you use some fabric with drape.

The pattern is drafted for woven fabrics but as you can see it works for knit too. Just remember to change techniques accordingly when needed.

The pattern comes with pockets and I put them in the woven version. I decided to spare myself the trouble in the knit version. But oh boy I do love when they are there.

The olive green knit fabric is more of that glorious Nosh Fabrics HIPPU 99% cotton knit fabric with 1% viscose strings woven throughout the fabric, which gives the fabric that slight texture. I also used it for THIS dress in blue.

So perfect for this dress.

The pattern also comes with a collar and I never considered not using it (I have liked everyone I've seen make it with the collar. Like Meggipeg's.) but when I saw myself wearing it, I didn't like it. It reminded me of a sleeveless shirt dress, which is a style I've never liked for some unknown reason?!

So I simply used the collar stand on this woven one and that worked out great.  

On the knit one I omitted the collar band too and instead used my favorite thing: knit ribbing.
And yes of course the two olive greens perfectly match, yay.

This is a size 10 and that feels perfect. I only did one change to the pattern. I added 10 cm / 4" to the length of the pattern at the lengthening line.

Perfect fit!

I seriously love this dress from the back.
But I realized reading Meggipeg's post (I was trying to determine what size to buy/make) that the tutorial on this back pleat detail causes some problems.

Since I often don't use the tutorials much except for checking for seam allowance, or more tricky details, I might not have noticed myself. Especially not in Style Arc's patterns because they are so good at using notches. And don't worry I'm not going to start rambling about the language of notches again but they really can tell you an awful lot about how to sew a pattern together, if only you know how to read them (and the pattern designer knows how to place them and Style Arc do know that!).

And that is also the case here. The pattern and the notches are correct but the tutorial/illustration in the pattern file is not quite right. Explanation follows....

Okay, I just spent two hours making this very messy and geeky collage. Please take a good hard look, pleeeaaase haha. I'm including the illustration from the pattern file in the bottom left corner because even though it's sort of wrong, I thought it would be helpful in a don't-let-it-confuse-you kind of way.
Two things are wrong with the illustration from the pattern file. The first is that the TOP FOLD does not go to the marking (A) on the pattern. (as you can see in my photo 3). Only bottom fold goes to (A). Second mistake is that to make that beautiful double fold you have to do the whole pleating arrangement TWO times (one from the right side and one from the left side) and in the end you will end up with 5 layers at the C/BK notch, not 3 layers like they show in the illustration in the pattern file.

1) Here you can see how beautifully the paper pattern has been marked with notches and markings. I have added some of my own markings (just to make this as absolutely helpful as possible) plus enhanced the markings already there. I'm hoping this is totally self-explanatory now!

Photo 2) is showing the pattern and the layers after the folding of one of the pleats. Don't forget you need another pleat going in the other direction too to make the cross over. The big back bodice pattern piece is of course cut to fold, which is why the paper ends there mid back of the fold. I would like to add that when working with pleats it's very helpful (at least for me) to start folding the paper pattern first. That's usually much easier to understand, especially when they are so clearly marked as I think this pattern is.

Photo 3) is showing you how the back yoke is also beautifully marked with corresponding notches for the pleats on the back bodice and that also helps you get the pleats done correctly. (and I might be wrong but I think it's a problem with the angle in this photo that makes them look like they don't totally match up. No matter what, they are still helpful in a general sense so I'm not going to complain if one notch is a millimeter or two off.) 

So there you have it. Double cross over back pleats explained into the smallest details, lol.

And I would say they are worth it. I REALLY love this detail!

The hem has been curved so it makes sort of a slit which is another beautiful detail.

Do I have to mention how comfortable these dresses are to wear.
Soooo perfect for warm summer days and at the same time very nicely dressed.

Get your own Autumn Dress HERE.

Thank you!


  1. Perfect dresses for summer! The pleats are really a gorgeous detail. The fit is fabulous! You look beautiful as usual! 💙

  2. Your dresses look so easy-breezy-lovely-to-wear! I had to laugh when you said you'd spent 2 hours on that graphic - I've been there too, and I just wanted to say think you for putting in the time to help other out with a tricky step! :)

    1. Haha, well as long as it is appreciated then it's all OKAY with me. Although I wish I could make a nicer looking graphic than this one in two hours, lol.

  3. Oh Mie, the dress looks fabulous on you! I especially love the floral, although the knit version does show off the details better. Just for the record, I took a good look at your beautiful collage ;)

  4. Thank you for the instruction. I have the pattern but have yet to start sewing so you saved me a lot of time. Also, I much prefer your collarless versions, so I am so copying that. :-)

  5. Gorgeous - love it in the solid colour!

  6. Okay, I know you love the floral, but I am such a sucker for solids (which you would probably never guess from all my sewing fabric choices!). But they are both beautiful!!! And thank you for the collage. I have saved this post for future reference.

  7. I love both your dresses! You would never think they were made from the same pattern but both showcase it in such a different way. Love StyleArc too :)

  8. Love the dresses and geeky collage!!!!

  9. Lovely! I do love Style Arc, and the pleat detail intrigued me when this one first came out. I'm trying to resist buying more right now as I have several still unused, but I'm sure this will be in my collection quite soon!

  10. I really love the neckline on the floral dress!

  11. Thank you so much!! I have been trying to figure out the back pleat for ages - read your instructions and sorted within 2 mins!

  12. Love your collar options and pleat explanation, thanks.

  13. I was on the point of giving up with the pleat after a frustrating morning. Fortunately it was lunchtime so I did a quick search & came up with your explanation. It took me five mins after lunch & it went together perfectly. Thankyou so much for taking the time to share your skill - MUCH appreciated!

  14. Thank you for your much detailed review. I bought this pattern in pdf format. I left it for several months before I had enough courage to try it. I'm an intermediate beginner sewing. I'd read your review and felt even more scared to start on this pattern. Cutting the story short, I used strong tracing paper as if it's fabric, then battling for a few minutes working on the basic pleat instructions I was so excited when I successfully joined the back pleat. So thank you for your review and your outfits are beautiful.

  15. Could you give me some advice on how to modify this pattern to a v neck? Thanks!

    1. That's not a small job and I'm not sure how muxh pattern drafting experience you have but you would have to skip the front pleat, find CF (center front) and then cut the front bodice/dress on the fold. Plus make whatever v neck you would like of course. You would also need to draft a new neckline facing to fit the new neckline. Good luck and have fun. :-)

  16. Your folding tutorial was SO helpful!! Thank you!

  17. I struggled for several hours with the back pleat, before finding your very, very clear and helpful instructions. Thank you!


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