Sunday, October 14, 2018

Kylie Knit Top and Indigo Maxi Skirt both by StyleARC

Once again I find myself in a situation where I have more to say than appropriate for an Instagram post. Blog post here we come.

It's funny because both patterns I initially wasn't that interested in and then grew to like.
I'm talking about the Kylie Knit Top and the Indigo Maxi Skirt both from Style Arc.

I actually got the Kylie Knit Top as a free pattern and only because I didn't like the other free option. And there was no way I was not getting a free pattern, ha!

The tee was a breeze to make. Perfect fit (I made a size 10 because my knit only have medium amount of stretch) and no problems at all. Well, I had to reprint and tape it because it was one of the many patterns I printed using the wrong scale, but at least no fabric were harmed in this case! The only modification I did was to lengthen the front piece of the outer layer for better proportions on my long upper body. I added length to the front, side and then sort of continued towards the back making the back slit pieces less pointy. Sorry, I'm not sure I explain this very well with words.

I'm showing you a comparison of the pattern illustration and my top. Hopefully that will show you more clearly what I'm talking about. That my sides are further down and therefore the back slit pieces are less pointy?!

So in case it's not clear, I'm just wearing one top. But the bodice is in two layers, connected at the neckline and armscyes. 
I really want to make one with some kind of print or striped knit. I think this top has a lot of potential for some fun with fabrics. It would also make a great basic long sleeved tee if you skip the outer layer.

It is SO perfect in this Dana cotton/modal knit from Imagine Gnats which is quickly moving up my list of favorite types of knits. I love that it's thin and has lots of drape but it's still opaque. And even better, it's not difficult to work with like other knits with drape (e.g. bamboo knit) can be. This is a great knit to have in your stash!
I used black and ivy green for this one.

As you might remember from a previous IG post, I'm an IG ambassador for Imagine Gnats, so all the fabrics for this post have been kindly provided to me. My opinions about these fabrics are my honest opinions, as always!

Okay, let's get to the skirt. My gosh, did that cause me problems. Isn't it funny how sometimes the most simple styles sometimes gives you the biggest problems?!

The Indigo Maxi Skirt is a faux buttoned a-line skirt (I obviously skipped the front buttons) with big pockets, a partly elasticized waistband, curved hems and side slits.

I started out picking the wrong size. Gah, not a good starting point! My current hip measurements in StyleArc's patterns put me between size 12 and 14. But I only actually print size 14 when the hip measurement is the defining one, such as fitted pants and skirts. SO I printed size 14....because this is a somewhat fitted skirt. It's not super tight but when comparing the finished pattern's measurements and the body measurements for the same size*, the difference/ease is only 6 cm. The general ease for a classic fitted skirt is 4 cm.
*All this information is in the pattern listing, under 'Fabric Estimate & Measurements'on StyleArc's website.

Normally I would have to draft the pattern smaller in the waist but since it's a partly elasticized waistband, I thought I could avoid that and just tighten the elastic more. I've done that before with success. Oh boy, that did not work out for this one.

Maybe this fabric played a part too? Don't get me wrong, it's some of my most favorite fabric ever. It's Robert Kaufman's Brussels Washer linen/rayon blend in yard dyed black from Imagine Gnats. I've used that type of fabric for my Adeline Dress, my Emerson Crop Pants, my Thea Pants and my Ethel Designer Pants. Yes, I really do love that fabric, haha. 
But the combination of not super thin fabric and a too big size was just not a good combination here.

The curve between my waist and hips always causes me problems. It's super hard to find that great balance of a great fit when you have a pear shape. The thing is, a great fit is not always about just following your curves. Sometimes a bit of magic can do good tricks to the eyes. If I made the fabric follow the curve (between my waist and hips) exactly, then it would actually make my hips look bigger (because the difference is quite significant). But on the other hand if there is too much fabric, then it makes me look rounder in general. But if you find the perfect middle way, it will make you look well proportioned. People who sews and have a big difference between hips and waist measurements will definitely understand what I'm talking about. I bet they will also agree to the fact that it's freaking hard to find that balance. 4-5 tries are not unusual. But when you got it right, you will know when looking in the mirror, and that's the best feeling. 

I think I finally got the curve right but my pocket openings kept flipping open. Which is pretty normal for many types of pockets and my type of hips, but not this one I would say. Ugh. Maybe it happened in combination with the partly elasticized waist?

So my real problems were the waist. It was WAY too big and there was way too many gathers when tightening the elastic to fit my waist. It didn't look good on me. I ripped out the waistband, It was only half sewn on at this point because I knew this problem could occur, so I made sure to do many fittings along the way. I took in the side seam at the top and I even partly took off my pockets, so I could hide darts under my pockets.
The waistband elastic is going all the way to the start of the pocket opening (in other words the elastic crosses the side seam and is part of the side of the front waistband too.). And I didn't like how that looked on me. It messed with my perfect curve that I talked about above, ha.

So I shortened the elastic and made it stop at my side seam instead. Check THIS tutorial on how I sew partly elasticized waistbands.

So I tried to fix it but really, I think I should have just gone even further back from the very start, taken pretty much everything apart, fixed the paper pattern, adjusted my pattern pieces and then sewn it together again. You can usually do that when something is too big. (Too small is a different story.) This attempt of patching things up just didn't work this time. I never would have thought that a simple skirt like this was the one that should have been muslined, ha.

You might look at the photos and think: "What the heck is really the problem?" And I don't really know. It just still doesn't feel quite right.
Maybe I would prefer the waistband was wider? The skirt is a bit heavy but there is only a back elastic to hold it up. Or maybe this just needs to hang a bit in the closet? This is definitely a new silhouette for me, so maybe I just need to get used to that. 
Uh, I don't know.

The pattern only have 1 cm SA for hemming and I didn't like the idea of that. So I drafted facings instead. Don't forget interfacing if you do the same. I wish I've added another 1 cm SA to the slits, so I could have double folded them. Again add a strip of interfacing to your slits before sewing.

I didn't add any length to the pattern. I liked this just above the ankles length.

So here we are. A bit of an unusual post for me since I usually end up fixing whatever I'm not happy about, but I guess that's okay to deviate from that path too once in a while.

Thank you!



  1. Oh it is nice to see that top sewed up. I also got it as a freeby. I like the longer overlay. The skirt looks alright but I do know too well when something doesn't feel right. Your photos are beautiful!

  2. I like the changes you made to the top - that would be how I'd prefer it also. The skirt sounds like it was quite the saga, but I really do think it looks nice. Maybe it's a case of getting used to the shape of it? That hem is lovely, as are the side slits!

  3. I like your modifications to the top, I think it is much more attractive as you made it. It inspires me to buy that pattern and make one up.

  4. Your post just saved me! I picked up the Indigo pattern and would have cut the 14 figuring I could just tighten the elastic more. Muslin time it is!!!

    1. I'm SO happy to hear that my mistakes were not in vain, haha. Enjoy your Indigo in the right size. Thanks for stopping by. 😘


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