Style Arc patterns are receiving rave reviews from bloggists & Pattern Reviewers, and finally, given last month's sale, I joined the bandwagon & placed a nice hefty order. Hey, they're coming all the way from Oz (aka Australia), so I figured I might as well make it worthwhile for the post carriers, right? I feel for the Ausies and the amount of postage they have to pay on a regular basis if they're ordering anything from elsewhere - that postage cost was a bit painful on the wallet!
I was THIS delighted when my patterns arrived, and dove right into the patterns & my fabric stash to see what paired up. This Fabric Mart rayon stripe (which I originally had other, far different, plans for) practically jumped right on top of the Bella wrap, & it was love at first sight. Who can argue with that?
= Meant to Be!
Besides that, life has been a bit chaotically busy lately, & the sewing projects I've been working on are either rife with head-scratching decision-making, lots of guess-work figuring out how to ensure something will fit someone who isn't available for fittings, &/or loaded with a steep learning curve. Fun & exciting? Yes! Relaxing & quick? Uhh....no. This explains my recent absence from blogland, but really, I was ready for something to be finished - a nice quick fix, & this looked like it would fill the bill perfectly.
First off, some notes about Style Arc. Apparently each pattern is hand drafted, and done beautifully, with RTW industry standards in drafting. Nice paper, lovely print. The Bella Wrap is one size only, but if a pattern comes in several sizes, you'll only get one size in your envelope. You need to look at their measurement/size chart to figure out what you need, but if you are at all confused, they are extremely helpful & right there with personal service, answering questions - great service! My emails were all answered promptly. I joined the Professional Pattern Club, because of some fantastic discounts available last month, & ordered....well.....I ordered a bunch! :D
Now then, about those instructions..... reviewers have said they were minimal. How about mini-minimal? Maybe even ultra-mini-minimal? Not to mention the language barrier. Oh...you think Ausies speak English? Think again! (& my ex was an Ausie....I thought I had a pretty good grasp of the language!) The Bella Wrap is super simple; no problems with this one at all, but I looked through a couple of the more complex patterns I ordered, and I've no doubt I'll be e-mailing for help! I understand that they are planning on adding more detailed instructions to some of the patterns. After all, not all of us are industry-savvy when it comes to reading patterns.
Ahh...but back to Bella. There are 6 steps. Step 1 is lay out & cut the pattern. Step 5 is to press the piece when you're done. Step 6 is to think about personalizing it with embellishments. That leaves 3 construction steps. Which are, basically, sew up the seam & turn & sew the edges. There is one pattern piece. A simple rectangle. Now, one could think "I paid money for this?" But here's the thing. It's brilliant! I loves me my simple shawls & wraps, & I made (& really like) the dkny knock-off cardi-wraps, but the simplicity of this rectangle, with its one seam, the dimensions & seam cut & sewn just so....well....it is now my all-time bar none favorite wrap! I will be making more! Here's just a sampling of the many ways it can be worn:
LOTS of wrapping options! This is really only a smattering. It could definitely be improved by using a yarn-dyed fabric, or something that is equally beautiful on both sides, but I'll really enjoy wearing this one as is. And since we (still) haven't had any summer to speak of (everyone else seems to be sweltering....can we have a few of those degrees here????) I'm actually wearing it already *sigh*
I'm still open for doing a house trade with someone in the tropics...... ;-D
Other notes on the pattern: Although it calls for a knit, I think that any drapey woven should work nicely. I cut the pattern straight from the package, so it hangs a little long on me, but I'm fine with the length. It's SO simple that it would, of course, be very easy to shorten or lengthen.
I can't wait to dive into my next Style Arc pattern - indies rock, once again :) :) :) First, though, it's back to one of those more challenging, half-done projects......
Which makes me wonder, do you sneak an easy snack in the middle of something that's taking forever? Are you like me - just such a slow sewer that I need something quick just to feel like I'm accomplishing SOMEthing after all that time in the sewing room? Or do you just dive in & whip 'em out, without really needing a simple little snack?